Earth Observation from Space: The Atmosphere

Coming soon - you can pre-enrol now by clicking the 'take this course' button.

Course Description

In this course we will introduce you to the role of satellite ‘Earth observation’ (EO) technology in monitoring the Earth's Atmosphere and the data it produces. We will also look at the importance of in situ data on the ground or in the air, which complements as well as validates EO data.

The first week will  guide learners through the basic concepts of how satellites acquire data about the atmosphere and provide an introduction to Atmospheric science, the second week covers atmopsheric chemistry, greenhouse gases and ozone, the third week looks at air quality, health and policy, and the forth week explores atmopsheric dynamics and long-range pollution transport.

An additional chapter focusing on the impacts on the atmosphere of COVID-19 lockdown measures is also available, and can currently be accessed as a separate course here.

Who is this course for?

This course is designed for people who want to learn more about monitoring the Earth's atmosphere from space, climate change and EO in general. The course can also help decision-makers, policy-makers, educators and communicators to gain a better insight into how satellite data can help them assess the changes occurring in the atmosphere and climate, in order to better support atmospheric science, and climate adaptation and mitigation decisions.

Dr Claus Zehner

Sentinel-5P Mission Manager, ESA

Dr Anne Grete Straume

Aeolus Project Scientist, ESA

Dr Andreas Richter

Senior Scientist, University of Bremen

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Course topics

The core videos of this course are labelled as topic videos.

We have also provided a range of optional further reading, links, and additional resources to help consolidate your learning. Here is a summary of what is available:

Topic links and resources

In each topic, once you have watched the video and read the accompanying text, you will find the following information:

  • Optional Further Reading: These are external links to further reading.
  • Featured Images and animations: Below the text on each video page, you’ll find the featured images and featured animations.


  • Quizzes: For each topic there is a quiz consisting of around three questions. These will help you consolidate your understanding of new topics, but are not scored. The feedback given with each answer also will also provide you with important information.

Weekly interactive exercises

At the end of each week, we have included a guided exercise, using interactive apps available on other websites, to help you become more familiar with looking at and working with EO datasets. You will be guided through the process of searching for, comparing and drawing conclusions from data relevant to some of the topics covered in that week.

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