World Wetlands Day on 2 February: How Copernicus protects fragile ecosystems

World Wetlands Day on 2 February: How Copernicus protects fragile ecosystems

01/02/2019 0 Di puntoacapo

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The Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) and the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) provide a range of services to monitor multiple wetland indicators, forecast floods and track gas emissions

Wet­lands are home to a wide vari­ety of fau­na and flo­ra and are in dire need of pro­tec­tion as these pre­cious ecosys­tems are declin­ing due to the effects of cli­mate change. For this rea­son, almost 90 per cent of UN mem­ber states signed the Con­ven­tion on Wet­lands on 2 Feb­ru­ary 1971 – and since 1997 the date is com­mem­o­rat­ed as World Wet­lands Day. Against this back­drop, the Coper­ni­cus Cli­mate Change Ser­vice and the Coper­ni­cus Atmos­phere Mon­i­tor­ing Ser­vice, imple­ment­ed by ECMWF on behalf of the EU, pro­vide a range of dif­fer­ent infor­ma­tion and fore­cast­ing tools that can help pre­serve wet­lands and char­ac­terise their role in the cli­mate system.

Ser­vices for water managers

C3S devel­ops ser­vices tai­lored for spe­cif­ic indus­try sec­tors to help them adapt to cli­mate change. The oper­a­tional ser­vice for the water sec­tor includes an inter­ac­tive web appli­ca­tion and prac­ti­cal show­cas­es cov­er­ing sev­er­al cli­mate impact indi­ca­tors such as riv­er flow, tem­per­a­ture, pre­cip­i­ta­tion, water qual­i­ty, and local air con­di­tions. Using this ser­vice, water man­agers and pol­i­cy mak­ers can adapt their strate­gies to mit­i­gate the effects of cli­mate change, par­tic­u­lar­ly in the areas of water allo­ca­tion, flood man­age­ment and indus­tri­al water use.

“The oper­a­tional ser­vice for the water sec­tor can be used to mod­el changes in wet­lands caused by weath­er and cli­mate, and to pre­dict future water avail­abil­i­ty at such sites,” says Car­lo Buon­tem­po, Sec­toral Infor­ma­tion Sys­tem Man­ag­er at the Coper­ni­cus Cli­mate Change Service.

C3S Cli­mate Data Store

All rel­e­vant cli­mate infor­ma­tion for wet­lands can be found in the Cli­mate Data Store (CDS), the C3S-devel­oped one-stop shop for cli­mate data. The CDS will soon include cur­rent and his­tor­i­cal infor­ma­tion about water lev­els and tem­per­a­tures in lakes, enabling users to detect unusu­al changes and make pre­dic­tions for the future.

CAMS data on green­house gas­es emis­sions from wetlands

As wet­lands are also one of the largest stores for car­bon on our plan­et, mon­i­tor­ing the lev­els of green­house gas­es ema­nat­ing from wet­lands forms is impor­tant to bet­ter under­stand their role in the cli­mate sys­tem. The Coper­ni­cus Atmos­phere Mon­i­tor­ing Ser­vice (CAMS) con­tributes to wet­land pro­tec­tion and man­age­ment with its data sets on car­bon, car­bon diox­ide and methane emis­sions from wet­lands and else­where. They help users under­stand the bal­ance of gas­es around wet­lands as well as the bio­log­i­cal activ­i­ties of flo­ra and fau­na in these regions. Col­lat­ing and quan­ti­fy­ing this infor­ma­tion helps users under­stand the inter­ac­tion between wet­lands and the climate.

With this range of ser­vices, Coper­ni­cus and ECMWF pro­vide exten­sive oppor­tu­ni­ties for bet­ter wet­land man­age­ment by deliv­er­ing time­ly insight and accu­rate data. These also facil­i­tate com­pli­ance with the rec­om­men­da­tions of the Con­ven­tion on Wetlands.