More than 400 meteorological experts, scientists and researchers from 40 countries are meeting in Geneva for the 2014 EUMETSAT Meteorological Satellite Conference.
EUMETSAT Director-General Alain Ratier said, “This event has become a reference point in Europe for dialogue among users of meteorological satellite data. This offers the scientific community a forum to come together and discuss progress made on current and future satellite programmes and how to get the best out of satellite data.”
The use of satellite data for forecasting and studying atmospheric processes is the focus of this year’s event, which will also address climate monitoring, marine meteorology and oceanography, instrument calibration and validation campaigns, atmospheric composition, and satellite data in global and regional modelling.
The event from 22-26 September, is jointly organised with MeteoSwiss, Switzerland’s Federal Office of Meteorology and Climatology, the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, and the Canton and City of Geneva, and also be supported by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).
“EUMETSAT is a key partner in the international collaboration fostered by WMO: this extends to the global space-based observing system, efficient data distribution according to agreed global standards, and user support and training,” said WMO Deputy-Secretary-General Jerry Lengoasa in a speech to the opening ceremony. “The Meteosat and Metop satellites are among the best and most reliable systems of their kind, and data from their instruments are heavily used and have demonstrated strong impact on the services of National Meteorological Services in Europe, Africa, and globally,” he said.
The constellation of meteorological satellites, particularly of geostationary satellites, is undergoing rapid changes within the next five to six years. An entire new generation of systems will become operational, posing great opportunities but also significant challenges to many users, said Mr Lengoasa.
Upgraded as well as entirely new instruments will generate data rate increases by a factor of 10-100. It is very important that user readiness projects are set up to be able to effectively ingest the new data and to minimize the risk of service disruption, he said. WMO has developed a Reference User Readiness project with recommended milestones to help structure the preparation process.
There will be a special side-event on 23 September at WMO headquarters on the socio-economic benefits provided by meteorological satellites. It will also highlight the importance of global coordination under the umbrella of WMO in support of weather and climate services.