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What services does Copernicus perform?

Land monitoring

The Copernicus land monitoring service provides information and data from the local to the global level about the surface of the Earth (including inland waters).Data is collected continuously and used to compile thematic maps and observe changes. It also enables future developments to be forecast and planned for, particularly in the areas of environmental protection and land use. The underlying data comes from both terrestrial and satellite-based measurements.


Monitoring the marine environment

The Copernicus service for monitoring the marine environment provides data and products for implementing international marine protection policies and supporting the protection of sea routes and coastal regions.

In addition, the data makes up an important part of weather and climate forecasts. The data is collected via satellite-based measuring stations and via stations on the sea (buoys, Argo floats, FerryBoxes) or on the coast.


Supporting disaster and crisis management

The swift, efficient deployment of aid and/or rescue workers is vital in responding to humanitarian crises as well as large-scale, protracted natural disasters and other emergency situations.

Dealing with such events requires regular, detailed information about the size of the affected area and the nature and extent of the damage. This status information can be provided by the Copernicus Emergency Management Service. Detailed information, for instance on possible access routes, can offer additional support so that aid workers can be deployed to the affected areas by the most direct route possible.


In addition to providing satellite-based information for situation management, products have also been developed for preparing for and dealing with the aftermath of crises. These include reference maps for regions outside Europe, special situation analyses, as well as detailed damage mapping and documentation of rebuilding work.


Monitoring the atmosphere

The Copernicus service for monitoring the atmosphere provides data on the global distribution of atmospheric trace substances, in particular trace gases and aerosols (particulates). The distribution of these constituents in the atmosphere and how it changes over time are important factors in air quality and climate. The main purpose of the data provided by this service is to support international efforts to improve air quality and document the efficiency of air pollution control measures.

Monitoring climate change

The goal of the Copernicus climate service is to build up climate information services to support global, European and national decision-makers in measuring and evaluating climate change and its consequences as well as in developing strategies and political measures for adapting to the consequences of climate change and mitigating the emission of climate-relevant trace gases.

Security applications

The Copernicus (GMES) service for security applications is under development. Three general priorities have been set: monitoring the EU’s external borders, supporting EU missions outside its borders, and monitoring maritime traffic.



Three general priorities have been set: monitoring the EU’s external borders, supporting EU missions outside its borders, and monitoring maritime traffic.

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