IES introduces the improvements of Copernicus programme services in 2020

Institute for Environmental Solutions as an official Copernicus Relay and Academy in Latvia introduces the improvements of Copernicus programme services developed in in 2020. Copernicus continued the evolution and improvement of the 6 services by releasing new products, updates, data access tools and much more.

First, Copernicus Security Service (CSS) that supports European Union policies by providing information in response to Europe’s security challenges. It improves crisis prevention, preparedness and response in three key areas: border surveillance, maritime surveillance, support to EU External Action.

Copernicus Support to EU External Action (SEA). Under CSS, throughout 2020 SEA continued to identify and implement solutions aimed at optimising and enlarging the service. SEA identified new application areas, such as Environmental Crime. Moreover, SEA service continued to analyse the most relevant advances in the field of Earth Observation and disseminated this information to its users through the magazine “Hovering Horizon”. Now, its eighth edition is available, with information related to COVID-19 and the new areas of exploration.

Copernicus Maritime Surveillance (CMS). Unlike other forms of surveillance activities, satellite monitoring was not so heavily impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. This resulted in a very successful year for CMS, which is a part of CSS. 2020 saw a strong growth in both the number of organisations served (total: 50 organisations) and services delivered (total: 5,532 services). For example, they saw a 40% growth in the number of images delivered in 2020 when compared to 2019. This confirms a continuous trend of user uptake and growth of the service, as well as the importance of the Copernicus services.


Copernicus Support to Border Surveillance. Throughout 2020, under CSS operational exercises involving the use of the Copernicus Border Surveillance Service took place to enhance Copernicus Member States monitoring and reaction capabilities.

In October, the Baltic Operational Exercise took place in the Gulf of Finland at the border between Finland and Estonia. The exercise was aimed at improving the use of the Copernicus Border Surveillance Service and increasing the overall situational awareness of the Member States involved.


Second, Copernicus Marine Environment Monitoring Service (CMEMS), which provides regular and systematic reference information on the physical state variability and dynamics of the ocean and marine ecosystems for the global ocean and the European regional seas.

During 2020 CMEMS released product updates, new tools, reports and more:

  • The Ocean State Report (OSR) 4 Summary and full report were published. It shows that the ocean is undergoing sweeping and severe changes with an increasingly warming ocean, rising sea levels, acidification, retreating sea ice and more.
  • CMEMS in the website is raising awareness and providing scientific information about plastic pollution and its impact on the marine environment.
  • New data visualisation tool MyOcean viewer was developed. The new tool allows many user communities (starting from interested citizens and start-ups, to data scientists and policymakers) to easily view and browse Copernicus Marine ocean data, such as maps, charts, and local time series.

Video tutorial of MyOcean viewer:


Third, Copernicus Land Monitoring Service (CLMS) that provides geographical information on land cover and on variables related, for instance, to the vegetation state or the water cycle. 2020 was a busy year for the CLMS with many new product releases and updates. 



Forth, Copernicus Emergency Management Service (CEMS) that provides all actors involved in the management of natural disasters, man-made emergency situations, and humanitarian crises with timely and accurate geo-spatial information derived from satellite remote sensing and completed by available in situ and open data sources.

At the peak of the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, the CEMS played a crucial role in the EU’s response, providing much needed data to the Italian disaster response authorities through its Rapid Mapping service.

Throughout the year it continued to provide support and crucial information to disaster response authorities. Under CEMS the Rapid Mapping service (RM) was activated 74 times and the Risk and Recovery mapping service (RRM) was activated 21 times. For example, CEMS was activated following the tragic explosion in Beirut.

Also, as a part of CEMS, European Flood Awareness System (EFAS) launched a new cycle upgrade, EFAS version 4.0. It introduces a difference in the way river discharge is simulated and flood warnings are calculated.

Fifth, Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS), which provides continuous data and information on global atmospheric composition. The service describes the current situation, forecasts the situation a few days ahead, and analyses consistently retrospective data records for recent years.

In June 2020, the CAMS launched its Atmosphere Data Store (ADS). Gradually, all CAMS products that are now available from the data catalogue will be moved to the ADS and a toolbox will be added for users to analyse and process data online without needing to download any of the raw data.

CAMS is one of the world’s leading providers of ozone monitoring data collecting vast amounts of information on air quality, greenhouse gases and climate forcing. CAMS have become the number one source on the ozone hole and ozone monitoring, supporting research, policymaking and informing a large audience through their social media channels and media relations.

Sixth, Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) that responds to environmental and societal challenges associated with human-induced climate changes. The service provides the access to information for monitoring and predicting climate change, thus helping to support adaptation and mitigation.

C3S released an annual overview of climate trends and weather events, analysed in the context of historical patterns, for a broad range of climate indicators – “European State of the Climate 2019”. This report supports the European Commission’s Green Deal and climate action by providing an essential overview of the past year’s climate, contributing to the longer-term perspective, and providing a benchmark for future assessments of the environment.


Find out more about the Copernicus services and their achievements in 2020 here.

Copernicus is the World’s largest and most ambitious Earth observation programme. It provides accurate, timely and easily accessible information to improve the management of the environment, understand and mitigate the effects of climate change and ensure civil security. Since 2017, the Institute for Environmental Solutions (IES) is a member and Latvia’s representative of Copernicus Relay and Academy networks. IES explains possibilities offered by the Copernicus program for national, business, and public needs, organise training and information activities. Since 2015, IES in cooperation with European Space Agency is using Copernicus satellite data for assessment, analysis, and forecasts of different environmental and natural resources.

Find out more about IES work in Copernicus network here.

Find out more about IES cooperation with European Space Agency here.