eLibrary EARTH OBSERVATION Version 1.0 (September 2021)

The purpose of this eLibrary is to introduce scientific research on climate change and biodiversity using earth observation satellites. High above the earth, in geostationary orbit, earth observation satellites are reshaping our understanding of climate change. We introduce you to two agencies engaged in such work as well as a list of publications.The list is not intended to be exhaustive. For readers new to the field, we recommend reading the Abstract and Conclusion first, before deciding whether to invest further in a specific piece. All the pieces are free-online. However, some items have been republished in Academia Edu [AE] and Research Gate [RG]. These can be accessed simply by registering at each (once only). 

If anyone wishes to contribute similar entrances to:

  • China National Space Administration (国家航天局) Beijing
  • State Corporation for Space Activities (Роскосмос) Moscow

we will be happy to include them in this list. Meanwhile, we concentrate on:

  • The European Space Agency (ESA) Noordwijk in the Netherlands.
  • National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Washington DC

The main entrance to the European Space Agency’s Climate Change Initiative which, after a brief description of its work leads you to the open-access database with over one hundred climate datasets derived from its satellites – including observations on air quality, ice thickness, sea temperature,  land cover, moisture and fires – all with their own searchable interface. It offers a summary of the evidence derived from earth observation satellites including

as well as a full bibliography of publications deriving from its work. For more advanced research, there is a separate access to Copernicus Services.

NASA also has a portal to its work on climate change, with subsections devoted to

It, too, has a list of all of its earth science missions


Asimakopoulou, P. e.a. (2021) ‘Earth Observation as a Facilitator of Climate Change Education in Schools: The Teachers’ Perspectives’ Remote Sensing

Commonwealth Secretariat (2021) Earth Observation Technologies for Improved Access to Climate Finance. The Role of Data and Information. Discussion paper 27

Coppenolle, R. van and S. Temmerman (2020) ‘Identifying global hotspots where coastal wetland conservation can contribute to nature-based mitigation of coastal flood risks’. Global and Planetary Change, 187

ESA (2015) Satellite Earth Observations in Support of Climate Information Challenges, Special 2015 COP21 Edition

Guo, H-D, Zhang, L. and Zhu, L-W. (2015) ‘Earth observation big data for climate change researchAdvances in Climate Change Research, 6, 2, 108-117.

Kulk, G. e.a. (2020) ‘Primary Production, an Index of Climate Change in the Ocean: Satellite-Based Estimates over Two Decades’, Remote Sensing 12, 826.

Herold, M. e.a. (2019) ‘The Role and Need for Space-Based Forest Biomass-Related Measurements in Environmental Management and Policy’, Surveys in Geophysics, 40, 757-788.

Matsunaga T. and Maksyutov S. (eds.) (2018) A Guidebook on the Use of Satellite Greenhouse Gases Observation Data to Evaluate and Improve Greenhouse Gas Emission Inventories, Satellite Observation Center, National Institute for Environmental Studies, Japan, 129 pp

OECD (2017) Earth observation for decision-making

O’Sullivan, S. (2017) ‘Capturing Climate and Security Risks Through Satellites and Earth Observing Technologies’ in C.E. Werrel and F. Femia (eds) Epicenters of Climate and Security: The New Geostrategic Landscape of the Anthropocene

Quegan, S. e.a (2019) ‘The European Space Agency BIOMASS mission: Measuring forest above-ground biomass from space’. Remote Sensing of Environment, 227, 44-60.

Parkinson, C.L. ‘Satellite Contributions to Climate Change Studies’ PAPS, 161, 3.

Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (2017) ‘Environmental Earth Observation’, Postnote 566. UK Parliament

Rodriguez-Veiga, P. e.a. (2017)  ‘Quantifying Forest Biomass Carbon Stocks from Space’, Environmental Science,

Schmidt, C. (2018) Monitoring Biodiversity from Space, NASA

Sudmanns. M. e.a. (2019) ‘Big Earth data: disruptive changes in Earth observation data management and analysis?International Journal of Digital Earth, 13, 7, 832-850.

Taalas, P. (2021) ‘How observing Earth from space protects our planet’ ITU News magazine

World Meteorological Organization (2011) Space and Climate Change. Use of Space-based Technologies in the United Nations System

Yang, J. e.a (2013) ‘The role of satellite remote sensing in climate change studies’, Nature. Climate Change

Zhang, L. and Zhu L.W. (2015) ‘Earth observation big data for climate change research’, Advances in Climate Change Research 6, 2. [RG]

Casson, L. e.a. (2020) DEEP TROUBLE The murky world of the deep sea mining industry. GreenPeace

Christiansen, S., Jaeckel, A. and Houghton, K. (2019) Ecological safeguards for deep seabed mining Final report. German Environment Agency

Cuyvers, L. e.a. (2018) Deep seabed mining A rising environmental challenge, IUCN

Danovaro, R., Snelgrove, P.V.R. and Tyler, P. (2014) ‘Challenging the paradigm of deep-sea ecology’ Trends in Ecology and Evolution, 29, 8, 465-475 [RG]

Hallgren, A. and Hansson, A. (2021) ‘Conflicting Narratives of Deep Sea MiningSustainability, 13

Howard P. e.a. (2020) An assessment of the risks and impacts of seabed mining on marine ecosystems, Flora and Fauna International

Koschinsky, A. e.a. (2018) ‘Deep-sea Mining: Interdisciplinary Research on Potential Environmental, Legal, Economic, and Societal Implications’, Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management, 1-20. [RG]

Levin, L.A., Amon, D.J. and Lily, H. (2020) ‘Challenges to the sustainability of deep-seabed mining’ Nature Sustainability,

Miller, K.A. e.a. (2018) ‘An Overview of Seabed Mining Including the Current State of Development, Environmental Impacts, and Knowledge GapsFrontiers in Marine Science, 4, 418

Niner, H.J. e.a. (2018) ‘Deep-Sea Mining With No Net Loss of Biodiversity—An Impossible AimFrontiers in Marine Science, 5,

Oceanea (2005) Deep Sea Life. On the edge of the Abyss.

Rozemeijer, M.J.C. e.a. ‘Seabed Mining’ BOOK 74-131

Seas at Risk (2021). At a crossroads: Europe’s role in deep-sea mining. Brussels: Seas at Risk

Sharma, R. (2015) Environmental Issues with Deep-sea Mining’ Science Direct, 11, 204-211.

Sharma, R. and Smith, S. (2019) ‘Deep-Sea Mining and the Environment: An Introduction’ in BOOK Environmental Issues of Deep-Sea Mining [RG]

Svatikova, K. e.a. (2015) Deep Sea Mining: Hitting the Bottom or Taking-Off?, The Hague

Thompson, K.F. e.a. (2018) ‘Seabed Mining and Approaches to Governance of the Deep SeabedFrontiers in Marine Science

Thurber, A.R. e.a. (2014) ‘Ecosystem function and services provided by the deep sea’, Biogeosciences, 11, 14, 3941-3963.

UNEP (2006). Ecosystems and Biodiversity in Deep Waters and High Seas. UNEP Regional Seas Reports and Studies No. 178

World Economic Forum (2020) Deep-Sea Minerals: What Manufacturers and Markets Need to Know WEF Briefing Paper.

World Wildlife Fund (2020) An Investigation into Deep Seabed Mining and Minerals, WWF