CCI+ HRLC Climate Change Initiative Extension (CCI+) Phase 1, New Essential Climate Variables (NEW ECVS) High Resolution Land Cover ECV (HR_LandCover_cci).

Land cover (LC) is defined by FAO as the observed physical cover of the Earth surface. It includes the vegetation and human-made infrastructures, like water, ice, rock, forest or urban areas. Its assessment and the monitoring of its dynamics are of extreme importance for the correct estimation of Earth radiation budget. Moreover, LC is correlated to land use and by proxy allows the study of how human activities impact on the Climate.

CCI+ aims at the cooperation between climate modelers, EO communities and industrial partners on the development of software systems for the pre-operational ECV production in a research context.

During the 3 years of the program, the Consortium will generate and validate LC maps and LCC using EO data acquired over the last decades and continuously acquired today. This will enable the study of LC and LCC and their impact on Earth Climate at regional scale using high spatial resolution EO data (i.e., 10-30m). Indeed, with the evolution of technology, a higher spatial resolution and an increased operational availability of EO satellite data make it possible to overcome several limitations of LC mapping. The HR_LandCover_cci variable is crucial for improving our understanding in relation to climate modelling and mitigation/adaptation strategies.

The primary objectives are:

  1. Examining the role of the spatial resolution to support climate research;
  2. Studying LCC in key regions exposed to extreme climate conditions or characterized by significant climate changes over the last decades;
  3. Understanding classification variability across spatio-temporal scales.

The EO outputs will be:

  1. A static HRLC at subcontinental level at 10m as reference static input to the climate models;
  2. The long-term record of regional HRLC maps at 30m in the regions identified for the historical analysis every 5 years;
  3. The change information at 30 m and yearly scale for supporting the updates of the HRLC maps;
  4. The rescaled maps at intermediate multiple spatial resolutions