European Union Projects
Project duration: 
Dec 2015 to Dec 2019

Providing global biophysical variables and land surface phenology from Earth observation satellites.


Copernicus is the European Union’s flagship program for Earth Observation. The Copernicus Global Land Service is the component of the Copernicus Land Monitoring Service that ensures a global systematic monitoring of the Earth’s land Surface. The Service provides a series of bio-geophysical variables in the thematic areas vegetation, energy budget, water and the cryosphere. The Global Land Service supports EU policies in climate change, land degradation & desertification, forest resources, biodiversity, water resources, agriculture, rural development and food security.

The Global Land Service has been operational since January 2013. The Service ensures near-real time production and delivery of global bio-geophysical variables on a daily or 10-daily basis, complemented by the constitution of long term time series, from moderate and low spatial resolution satellite data between 100 m and 12.5 km. More information and access to the products can be found on http://land.copernicus.eu/global.

CREAF participates in the European consortium for the operations of the Global Land Component in Lot-1, which is in charge of routine production in the thematic domains of Vegetation and Energy during the operations phase 2016-2019. CREAF takes the scientific lead in the development and evolution of the algorithms for the estimation of Leaf Area Index (LAI), the area of leaves per unit ground area, the Fraction of Photosynthetically Active Radiation Absorbed by vegetation (FAPAR), the fraction of vegetation cover (FCOVER) and phenology retrievals from VEGETATION, PROBA-V and Sentinel-3 observations. LAI, FAPAR, FCOVER and phenology are crucial variables in several ecosystem processes including photosynthesis, respiration and transpiration. They are key variables to describe the state and dynamics of vegetation in the context of monitoring services of surface conditions and global change science.