UK Climate Data Exploration Demonstrator to be showcased at ESA Living Planet Symposium

Press Release issued: Wednesday, April 27, 2016

A new visualisation demonstrator tool that allows quick and easy comparison of reliable climate data from variable sources is being showcased at the European Space Agency (ESA) Living Planet Symposium in Prague on May 9-13, 2016.

The Climate Data Exploration Demonstrator was commissioned by the UK Space Agency’s Climate Data from Space Stakeholders Group (CDSSG) and the project was managed by the Institute for Environmental Analytics (IEA).

The demonstrator, built by PML Applications Ltd, addresses the significant challenge of giving users flexible and easy access to usable, relevant climate data from the vast amounts to be made openly available by Copernicus, the European Earth Observation programme. It pulls together various climate data variables into a seamless, reliable climate data record, which can be easily and quickly downloaded by date and region, using a suite of simple analysis tools.

The brief from the CDSSG was:

  • To make climate data from space more visible and accessible to a wider audience interested in developing or consuming climate services.
  • To build towards a seamless supply chain of climate data.
  • To develop best practice that is applicable to other end users and climate data sets beyond the demonstration project.

Users can define date range and areas of interest from across the globe and explore and extract climate data, for example relating to sea surface temperature or chlorophyll levels. Plans to extend the demonstrator would include further climate related variables such as soil moisture and sea ice levels. It allows easy interrogation of sizable datasets and is accessible to end users who are not necessarily researchers. It also allows users to compare their own data with other variables.

The Climate Data Exploration Demonstrator is being distributed via as a standardised software package, to ensure compatibility with most computers, and also offers the opportunity to plug in additional data, if users wish.

The project has produced a Lessons Learned Report to share experiences, particularly regarding networking, libraries and access to data. Training in using the application is available from with an additional installation guide at

It is being distributed as a Docker container so anyone can install it on their machine and plug in their own sensitive data if they wish. It is planned to demonstrate the Climate Data Exploration Demonstrator at the ESA Living Planet Symposium in Prague on the UKSA stand which is no: 5.


Tim Fileman, PML Applications Ltd’s Business Development Manager, said: “We are very excited to be involved in this project and for the opportunity to develop a user-focused portal to climate data.

“We believe this is an important tool for academics, policymakers, insurers, industry professionals and environmental managers, to name but a few potential beneficiaries. It will give them easy access to important information that can feed into environmental policies and management strategies as well as safeguarding various industries and businesses into the future. We look forward to hearing about the users’ experiences of using the demonstrator and expanding the system to include additional variables.”

Colin McKinnon, CEO of the IEA, said: “The Climate Data Exploration Demonstrator is a commercially-relevant and practical result for the end user, showing the positive impact that IEA collaborations can deliver for the climate services industry from environmental data analytics.”

The CDSSG was set up in 2013 by the UK Space Agency to deliver the Government’s ambitious Innovation and Growth Strategy (IGS). It draws together the academic, public sector and industry elements of the climate data community, and this effective collaboration has been central in demonstrating the UK’s capability in translating world-class science and research expertise into real-world applications and services.

Find out more about the ESA Living Planet Symposium at