Climate Pulse, C3S’s new tool to monitor the state of our climate at a glance

Source(s): Copernicus Climate Change Service
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The record high global average temperatures observed in 2023 have shown the importance of closely monitoring our climate. To make climate monitoring more intuitive and available to everyone, the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S*) presents Climate Pulse, a new interactive application that gives a concise and precise picture of the near-real time status of our climate.

Copernicus Climate Change Service data has always been available via the Climate Data Store, but handling and processing different datasets can be challenging for some users. To make data more accessible to a wider audience, C3S has released Climate Pulse, an interactive and intuitive tool displaying key global-average surface air temperature and sea surface temperature data, enabling users to better understand how our climate is changing, explore different years, and download and share the data, charts and maps obtained.  

Explore the application

Climate Pulse is based on the same data that C3S uses for its climate monitoring activities: the reanalysis dataset ERA5**, but the data is reprocessed to make it more accessible and offered only two days behind real time.

The app has been pre-launched as a beta version and will be updated in the coming months. Users will be informed on our usual channels of the updates.

Samantha Burgess, C3S Deputy Director said: “We are delighted to launch Climate Pulse, a new tool that will help communicators and users who want a quick snapshot of the data representing our changing climate. Climate change is already impacting everyone, and by enabling people to understand how our climate is changing, it will help start conversations about the risks we face. We look forward to developing the platform in the future with more features.”

The animation shows the interface of Climate Pulse. We can explore air temperature and sea temperature, both in absolute values and anomalies at different time scales. Explore the app for all the functionalities.

With Climate Pulse, users can explore the charts and maps and compare different years and different regions, to get a better understanding of climate dynamics on a daily, monthly, annual and interannual scale. Users can also easily download and share the data and graphics. 

Since the application aims to make data exploration accessible to all, Climate Pulse focuses on the main variables that allow us to understand our climate: air temperature and sea temperature.
By default, the time series chart allows us to see how the last year compares with previous years, and with the modern long-term average (1991-2020). The pre-industrial average reference period (1850-1900) will be included in a future update. 

With a single click users can select and deselect desired years and, in a drop-down menu, highlight more years for comparison.   

The animation shows some of the features of the time series chart in Climate Pulse, including selecting years, hovering to obtain the data, and changing between absolute values and anomalies. Explore the app for all the functionalities.

By hovering over the chart, users can obtain precise daily values. The temperature anomaly time series shows how the selected years compare with the 1991-2020 average (and soon with the pre-industrial average).  The temperature anomaly allows us to put into perspective the absolute values by comparing them with the longer-term values for the same period.   

The selection can be reset at any time with a simple click on the dedicated button.

The animation shows some of the features of the globe map in Climate Pulse, including skipping the time selected and changing between absolute values and anomalies. Explore the app for all the functionalities.

The map application shows the annual, monthly or daily global surface temperature and allows users to explore any part of the globe with a mouse (desktop) or fingers (mobile, tablet), and zoom in and out.

The globe provides data for both absolute values and anomalies. The globe data, which is more complex than the time series, can be downloaded from the C3S Climate Data Store through the links provided in Climate Pulse.

The same principles above apply for the sea surface temperature time series and globe, which for 2023 shows an unprecedented jump compared to previous years that concerns and puzzles scientists.

Screenshot from Climate Pulse showing the sea surface air temperature anomaly for 2023 and 2024.

Last but definitely not least, users can download and share either the data in CSV format or the image file and share it easily. The help buttons provide guidance and additional information about the charts, maps and datasets.

With this effort, which removes some hurdles in climate data handling and processing, C3S reaffirms its commitment to make quality climate data accessible to all.

*C3S is implemented by the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts on behalf of the European Commission

 **ERA5 is the fifth generation of the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts’ reanalysis dataset, providing a consistent picture of our climate since 1940. Find out more.

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