Climate monitoring and research using remote sensing

The research area focuses on remote sensing, above all satellite data, to study processes in the atmosphere and to evaluate and improve models to create a better understanding of climate and climate change.

SMHI's mission includes providing the public with weather and climate information and contributing to sustainable development. Observing the regional and global climate system and the interactions between its components is necessary, but very challenging. In this context, remote sensing has an important role to play.

Various space and ground based remote sensing platforms contribute to increasing our knowledge of the climate system. However, the information content from various satellite sensors has increased exponentially in recent decades. The remote sensing products are often interdisciplinary in nature and therefore have the potential to offer solutions that span different disciplines. Societal benefit is created when the remote sensing products are used for climate monitoring, evaluation and improvement of underlying numerical models and studies of relevant processes, so that we not only gain a better understanding of the past climate, but also improve forecasts of future climate change.

The research area shall contribute to:

  • Monitoring of essential climate variables (clouds, humidity and temperature) using satellites, including preparation of cloud data from satellites and development of tools needed to support ongoing projects, as well as monitoring of extreme events in the Arctic.
  • Studies of processes using space and ground based remote sensing data relevant either to better understanding of the climate system or to improve parameterizations, such as the role of clouds and radiation in climate change, aerosols in the climate system, air pollution and their links to meteorology, agrometeorology.
  • Model evaluation and improvement using satellites, including work related to improving climate models, particularly in collaboration with the Rossby Center (for example, satellite cloud data simulators, evaluation and improvement of cloud and aerosol parameterizations).