Climate Symposium gets underway in Darmstadt

Nearly 500 climate experts, policy makers and representatives from space agencies and industry have gathered in Darmstadt to join in the debate to identify how observations from current and future satellites will address the grand research challenges identified by the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP).

Delegates heard from the Honourable Ms. Brigitte Zypries, German State Secretary for Economic Affairs and Energy that "We see climate as one of the main focuses of our space policy."

photograph of the Honourable Ms. Brigitte Zypries speaking

The Honourable Ms. Brigitte Zypries addresses the Climate Symposium

Mr. Klaus-Peter Willsch MdB, Member of Parliament and Chairman of the Aviation and Space Group in the Bundestag added "Space-based climate observation is one of our main topics, and one of our main arguments to persuade colleagues in parliament on why to spend money on space-based issues. In the Aviation and Space Group, our goal is to bring together decision-makers from politics, industry, ministries, research and science to have a constant dialogue about new developments in our field and about the question of how politics can shape the conditions for the best of all."

EUMETSAT Director-General Alain Ratier said, “After the publication of the Fifth Assessment Report of the IPCC and one year before the next Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, our purpose is to bring together scientists and space agencies to connect satellite observations to the climate challenges we are facing. This means not only to understand climate change but also to establish on the best possible scientific foundation the climate information services expected by decision makers.”

The WCRP Director, David Carlson, highlighted the twin needs of immediate urgent focus, and a larger perspective for persistent infrastructure.

World Meteorological Organization Secretary-General Michel Jarraud, said that climate change was one of the challenges that characterises our time.

"Climate change can make our efforts to achieve sustainable development ineffective. It is essential to take action now, because time is not on our side," he said.

Following the opening addresses, Monday's session entered into "scene-setting" talks reflecting the communities that need climate science, observational capabilities, and science requirements and developments.

The Climate Symposium 2014 is organised by the WCRP and EUMETSAT, with the support of the European Union, the European Space Agency, and the City of Darmstadt. Other sponsors are GFCS, GEO, JAXA, DLR, NOAA, CNES and NASA.

To follow the symposium, join us on Twitter #climaspace or watch it being streamed live. For more details of the symposium programme, visit the Climate Symposium web site.