• The European Space Agency (ESA) is developing a wide range of data products relevant to detecting changes in terrestrial ecosystems. Today the scientific community is confronted with an unprecedented variety of long-term monitoring data.
  • Different relevant programmes are the Climate Change Initiative (CCI) and the Data User Element (DUE). The Sentinel missions will provide additional essential data streams to monitor the relevant processes.
  • So far, we do not tap into the full potential of simultaneously exploring multiple EO data streams. The Earth System Data Cube ESDC aims to fill this gap. We are working towards a virtual laboratory to co-explore multiple ESA EOs to better understand the trajectories of land ecosystems, atmospheric components, and the interactions of these spheres. Our aim is allowing the scientific community to adopt a more holistic approach to understanding land-atmosphere interactions and the role of humans.


  • A central element will be to assemble an Earth System Data Cube including a wide range of diverse data streams representing an equitable range of variables encoding atmospheric conditions, climate states, the terrestrial biosphere, the terrestrial hydrosphere, land-atmosphere fluxes, as well as variables that allow for attributing changes in the subsystems to anthropogenic interventions i.e. land-use change.
  • We mainly build on existing datasets and catalyse their exploration by offering novel analytic tools.
  • We also work on developing data-driven exploration strategies that identify and attribute major changes in the biosphere-atmosphere system. The analytic capacities and approaches developed within ESDCĀ and facilitated in and around the the Earth System Data Cube will be made available to the scientific community and adjusted according to their needs.
  • Ultimately a set of indices characterizing the major relevant Biosphere-Atmosphere System Trajectories, BASTs, will be developed.



  • The ESDC team as well as the ESA seek interactions with and active participation from the relevant user community – we wellcome feedback, requests, and interaction with scientists and the non scientific community at any stage!