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FIDUCEO Report Summary

Project ID: 638822
Funded under: H2020-EU.2.1.6.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - FIDUCEO (Fidelity and Uncertainty in Climate data records from Earth Observations)

Reporting period: 2015-03-01 to 2016-02-29

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

Overall objective: FIDUCEO will set new standards of accuracy and rigour in the generation of Fundamental Climate Data Records (FCDRs) and Climate Data Records (CDRs) with detailed uncertainty information.
Achieving this overall objective is urgent. Climate variability and change will increasingly drive the science and policy of the 21st century with significant economic and social consequences for society, and must be robustly quantified and evidenced with all observational uncertainty exposed. In particular, historical space-based datasets need enhanced credibility based on uncompromising rigour, in order to be fully exploited and trusted in coming decades in conjunction with new Copernicus observations.
This project will define and apply rigorous best practice approaches to utilise data from the principal >20 yr-long satellite sensor series, creating 4 new FCDRs of widespread utility to science. From these, we will derive 4 datasets including 2 CDRs of critical importance to science and society. The new FCDRs and the methods established will create world-leading European capacity for generation of rigorous CDRs across a wide range of essential climate variables (ECVs) and an exemplar template for others to follow.
The specific objectives are:
To create four FCDRs, for Meteosat, AVHRR, HIRS, and the microwave humidity sounder series (SSM/T2, AMSU-B, MHS), with
- physics-based harmonisation of radiance calibration
- traceable propagation of estimates of associated uncertaintycomponents
- a standard, convenient format for wider use.

To develop and apply new harmonisation techniques across sensor-series and wavelength domains to maximise consistency of infra-red (AVHRR and HIRS) and microwave (SSM/T2, AMSU-B, MHS) FCDRs
To link thermal infra-red FCDRs (AVHRR-, HIRS- and ATSR-series) to Sentinel 3 SLSTR
To derive CDRs/new datasets from the new FCDRs for four ECVs, as valuable exemplars
- upper-tropospheric humidity (including joint evaluation of harmonised infra-red and microwave observations)
- sea and lake surface temperature
- surface albedo
- aerosol optical depth
In CDR generation, to set and apply new standards of quality, in relation to
- exploitation of new FCDR uncertainty information
- validated uncertainty budgets for every geophysical value at all spatio-temporal resolutions
- assessment of accuracy, and (crucial for CDRs) measurement stability
- convenience of access and format
To provide the wider community with re-usable and adaptable embodiments of best-practice approaches to harmonisation and uncertainty estimation for FCDR/CDRs
- open-source statistical toolkits (including uncertainty propagation and stability assessment)
- open-access peer-reviewed publications
- a “cookbook” guide: “Climate Data Records from Earth Observations: A Guide to Rigorous Practice”
To publish FIDUCEO’s CDRs in innovative ways that express both ECVs and their uncertainty in ways accessible to the general public and policy-makers

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

RV1 - M1 to M12:

The main objectives in this first 12 month period were to
- establish project startup/ processes
- establish initial FCDR user requirements
- set up and explore metrological foundations
- Establish tool requirements, MMS and start the definition process for a common FCDR format
- Start the FCDR preparation work
- establish the communication plan to reach out to specific stakeholders,

These have all been achieved.

Project processes have been established; a project wiki site has been populated with internal project related information. Regular conference calls, approx every month, are held with project partners with good attendance from the project team. A project face to face meeting was held at NPL in September 2015 and in February 2016 - these were discussion based meetings; centreing on metrology of earth observation and tools required for the project. Partners report on the WP progress in the monthly project calls, report on their actions and raise any concerns/ risks. The minutes are loaded on to the internal project wiki site.
Advisory panel established. Held teleconference/ face-2-face updates with advisors to inform of latest developments/ any changes in methodologies.

FCDR - Initial user requirements established; one to one interviews carried out with 16 FCDR producers/ users. User requirement analysis report written and submitted to ECAS and issued to advisors for information. The project partners have prioritised the requirements on the project wiki.

Metrological foundations hypotheses explained at project level by NPL/ UREAD and each of the sensor teams have created a first version of their respective traceability chain document.

Tool requirements and MMS - The elements of the MMS have been prioritised according to critical need and initial results are just being reviewed.

FCDR preparation work;
• Developed a first version of an empirical and/or physically-based model of the Meteosat VIS band spectral response. The development work has been documented in an internal report titled: “Simulation of TOA Spectral Radiance”.
• Developed a first version of a reverse engineering method to reconstruct the time-dependent VIS band spectral response (including fully traceable uncertainties and covariances). The development work has been documented in an internal report titled: “Recovering Meteosat Spectral Responses”.
• Implemented EUMETSATs operational re-calibration software, named SEVIRI Solar Channel Calibration (SSCC), for reprocessing purposes, and generated first time-series re-calibration files for research and development purposes.
• Started adapting the SSCC algorithm for generating re-calibration coefficients for MVIRI visible channel radiances from the Meteosat First Generation satellites and applying temporally varying spectral response functions.
• Implemented automated procedures to provide the input and setup for the re-calibration runs of MVIRI time- series of multiple years.
• Prepared a first version of the MVIRI visible channel traceability chain document.

- MHS;
• Collected the complete set of Microwave Humidity Sounders data required for the FCDR generation.
• University of Hamburg established and formalized a link with the CM-SAF and the UK MetOffice in particular on the collaboration for the creation of a FCDR of Microwave Humidity Sounders.
• Prepared a first version of the MicroWave traceability chain document.

• Collected the complete archive of HIRS level1b data from NOAA CLASS
• Implemented the processing package for to processing HIRS level1b data to HIRS level1c data
• Extended software to find collocations between IASI and HIRS observations, and provided a first set of HIRS/IASI collocations.
• Started investigating accuracy of the HIRS spectral response function by using the highly resolved infrared spectra from IASI.
• Started assessing the use of statistical methods for understanding the calibration of HIRS measurements.
• Established PLS (Partial Least Squares or Projection onto Latent Structures) as a very promising regression method to predict HIRS measurements upon shifted SRFs.

• Collected the archive of AVHRR GAC data required for the FCDR generation.
• Modified the AVHRR-GAC reader so as to better find spurious data.
• Investigating the AVHRR noise characteristics, and started to draft a paper on the findings of this work
• Developed a Fourier transform filtering routine to remove long-time noise from the AVHRR-GAC data time-series.
• Developed a new algorithm to significantly reduce the impact of solar contamination events on the thermal IR channels. This method also reduces the error caused by blackbody temperature gradient effects. Projected improvements to the observed BTs are of the order of up to 1.2K (for solar contamination effects in the 3.7μm channel) or of order 0.2-0.3K (for the temperature gradient effects in the 11μm and 12μm channels).
• Prepared a first version of the AVHRR FCDR traceability chain document.

The FIDUCEO external website has been established and website hits/ google stats are recorded and reported on monthly. There has been a successful monthly blog item that increases the hits on the website.
The website also allows the ability to view publications and posters that have been presented at various fora, throughout the past year.
A newsletter has been created and distributed to interested parties.
Descriptions of cooperation have been established with C3S/ ECMWF and NOAA CDR, with regular interaction steps agreed.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

"EO-2-2014 call:
"The proposal is expected to significantly contribute to the availability of validated space-based observational data on Climate Change as a long time series, providing consistent Climate Data Records over a time period corresponding to the satellite era. Close cooperation with other relevant on-going activities such the ESA CCI and GEO is expected. Proposers should demonstrate how the work performed adds value to existing data repositories and efforts by the respective remote sensing data holding agencies. Best practices in combining data from different satellites and other sensor in consistent ways should be established and promoted."

Our high-level approach to realising this series of expected impacts is the following.
The FIDUCEO project will:

Integrate European scientific expertise on metrology, calibration, and retrieval science in a coherent traceable system for the production and provision of validated Fundamental and Thematic Climate Data Records, with the goal of contributing towards capacities in the climate change context of Copernicus.

Develop and promote methods for estimating and propagating uncertainty with the aim of providing standards for the production of Climate Data Records for the Copernicus Climate Change Service and other European activities related to climate change.

Generate new and improved long-term Fundamental Climate Data Records and associated GCOS ECV Climate Data Records applying new standards of accuracy and rigour, with the goal of providing consistent data sets containing traceable uncertainty estimates;

Provide, without commercial restrictions, high quality Fundamental and Thematic Climate Data Records, in a simple manner as an asset for the development of downstream specific climate service elements.

FIDUCEO will also contribute to several societal benefit areas of GEO/GEOSS. The provision of Fundamental Climate Data Records will boost opportunities for deriving improved Climate Data Records for oceanic, land surface and atmospheric parameters. With this FIDUCEO directly contributes to the GEO Climate Task CL-01 Climate Information for Adaptation that foresees the delivery of improved climate data records related to GCOS ECVs. Retrieval systems potentially applied to the FCDR outputs and also the Thematic Climate Data Records produced within FIDUCEO can have indirect impact on the weather, water, and agriculture societal benefit areas. FIDUCEO activities on FCDRs and TCDRs are also associated to several projects of the WMO Sustained, Coordinated Processing of Environmental Satellite Data for Climate Monitoring (SCOPE-CM) initiative ( where GEO is one of the stake holders.

The findings from the analysis of historic and current observations may also support the GEO Infrastructure Task IN-01 Earth Observing Systems by showcasing the best use of observations and making suggestions for future observing systems.
GEO/GEOSS is also promoting common technical standards and here FIDUCEO will provide standards on uncertainty characterisation with the Earth Observation Metrology CookBook."

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