Course: User workshop and training online workshop on existing and new generation earth observation based products for wildfire monitoring and forecast (2021) | EUMETSAT

  • 1

    The practical 'data discovery' sessions will be conducted with the help of a JupyterHub training platform. JupyterHub is a pre-defined programming environment that gives learners direct access to the data and Python packages required for following the practicals. No pre-requisites on Python coding are needed.

    We invite you to browse through the content on the JupyterHub before the course - the material will be available some days before the course starts.

    How to access the JupyterHub:

    NOTE: if you log into JupyterHub, a docker image will be created. To have a clean environment for the training course, we will delete all docker images before the course starts. This means that all changes you will have made in the meantime, will be lost.

    After the course, the Jupyter notebook content will be made available to clone from here.

  • 2

    The main objectives of EUMETSAT Atmospheric Composition SAF (AC SAF) is to process, archive, validate and disseminate atmospheric composition products from GOME-2 and IASI instruments onboard EUMETSAT Metop-A, -B, and -C satellites. These products include column-integrated concentrations of different trace gases such as nitrogen dioxide (NO2), ozone (O3) and sulphur dioxide (SO2), carbon monoxide (CO) UV-radiation, aerosol index as well as ozone profiles.  Important applications of AC SAF data include monitoring global air quality and UV-radiation reaching the Earth's surface. This section describes the observations from GOME-2 instrument relevant for this training and how to access the data. IASI  observations are described in a separate section. 

    • AC SAF provides three different types of datasets of GOME-2 observations: Near Real Time, Offline,  and Data Records. One of the main differences between these datasets is the time they are provided for users: NRT is available within 3 hours from observation, whereas Offline data becomes available typically within 1-3 days delay. 

      The primary dataset that will be used in this course is Level 2  Offline data of Absorbing Aerosol Index  (AAI). 

      Sources for browsing GOME-2 AAI images without downloading the data 

      1. The Temis service provided by KNMI provides near real time (last 24 hour composite) and an archive of global AAI images from GOME-2 instruments (A,B,C). Registration is not needed. 


      2. The SACS service provide also NRT and archived images of GOME-2 AAI. In this service you can also compare the AAI to other instrument observations, such as TROPOMI. There is also zoom in option, where you can select a specific grid on the globe. Registration is not needed. 


      Basic information on Absorbing Aerosol IndexPage
    From this section you can find basic information on aerosol absorbing index (AAI), and learn which kind of studies you can use the data for. 

      AC SAF Data Formats & Software ToolsPage

    This data is needed in the AC SAF hands on exercises during the course.

  • 3

    This section provides you with an overview of Sentinel 5P - how you may access the data. In this course we will focus on Absorbing Aerosol Index (AAI) and CO TROPOMI S5P data. However, also other TROPOMI parameters, such as NO2 and HCHO can be accessed  and visualised using the instructions below. 

    Sources for browsing S5P images without downloading the data

    Sentinel Hub EO Browser

    1. With  Sentinel Hub EO Browser you can quickly visualize different Sentinel data, including Sentinel 5P. Registration (which is free) is needed to be able to use all options in the EO browser. Registration can be done by selecting first "Login" from the Hub web page, and then "Sign Up" in the new pop-up window.
    EO Browser 1

    2. After login, by checking the box "Sentinel 5P" (you might uncheck the other boxes) a list of Sentinel 5P parameters appear that you can visualize. By selecting the time period from the calendar you can browse the images.

    EO Browser 2, CO example

    3. More info on EO Browser and its functionalities can be found here.

    Near Real Time and Archived Absorbing Aerosol Index from SACS

    The Support to Aviation Control Service (SACS) focuses on the timely delivery of SO2 and aerosol data derived from different satellite instruments to assess possible impact of volcanic eruptions on air traffic control and public safety. Even though the focus of the service is on volcanic eruptions, Absorbing Aerosol Index maps can give useful information on smoke emissions and transport from fires as well. In SACS AAI is available from several different instruments, including TROPOMI. 


    From SACS service you can get the AAI maps from
    1. "Today", which shows the AAI observations from today only
    2. "NRT", which shows the AAI from the past 24 hours, i.e. it is a composite of  observations from today and yesterday.  
    3. "Archive", which shows observations for a specific day that you can select from the calendar. 

    In this section you can find basic information on TROPOMI atmospheric observations relevant for fire monitoring.

      OPTIONAL: Google Earth Engine and TROPOMI S5P dataPage
    In this section you can find basic information on Google Earth Engine and TROPOMI S5P data. 

      OPTIONAL: How to register to Google Earth Engine (GEE)Page

    In this section you will learn how to register as a user to Google Earth Engine. This is needed in order to use the satellite data.

  • 4

    The Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) provides consistent and quality-controlled information related to air pollution and health, solar energy, greenhouse gases and climate forcing, everywhere in the world. It is implemented by ECMWF on behalf the European Commissions and is one of six Copernicus data services. The principal CAMS datsets are global forecasts and analyses of reactive gases (O3, CO, NO2, SO2, HCHO), greenhouse gases (CO2, CH4) and aerosol optical depth. In addition to the atmospheric composition products, CAMS also provides near-real-time daily and hourly data on global fire emissions and inventories of anthropogenic and biogenic emissions. In this section you will find out how to access and download CAMS data. 

    Examples of CAMS charts, for an aerosol forecast and fire activity analysis, are shown below and the latest charts can be viewed at

    Example forecast chart of CAMS total aerosol optical depth

    Example chart of CAMS GFAS data

    CAMS analyses assimilate a wide range of satellite observations of meteorology and atmospheric composition (including from the Atmospheric Composition SAF and TROPOMI/Sentinel-5p), and initial conditions for the forecasts are taken from the analyses. Fire emissions are estimated currently based on active fire observations (fire radiative power) from the NASA MODIS instruments on the Terra and Aqua satellites. A full list of the satellite observations can be found at In situ observations made at the ground and from aircraft and balloons are also vital to CAMS and are used to regularly evaluate and validate the datasets. Validation reports for the CAMS data can be found at

    More information on the CAMS Global Fire Assimilation System (GFAS) and fire emissions can be found at

    In this section you will learn how to register as a user and download CAMS data from ECMWF and the CAMS Atmosphere Data Store (ADS). Registration is required to access CAMS datasets.

    In this section you will learn how to download CAMS data and which settings to use.

    Use this section to find help and support for accessing CAMS data.

  • 5

    IASI is an infrared Fourier transform spectrometer developed jointly by CNES (the French spatial agency) with support of the scientific community, and by EUMETSAT. IASI is mounted on-board the European polar-orbiting MetOp satellite with the primary objective to improve numerical weather predictions, by measuring tropospheric temperature and humidity with high horizontal resolution and sampling. IASI also contributes greatly to atmospheric composition measurements for climate and chemistry applications, providing observations both day and night.  IASI retrieves observations of several trace gases and aerosols, for this course primarily carbon monoxide (CO) will be used. Currently, from IASI observations CO and sulphur dioxide (SO2) are part of AC SAF product family. In this section you will find out how to access IASI CO data.


    A short guide on how to access IASI CO data.

  • 6

    The European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) produces daily fire danger forecasts and reanalysis products from the Global ECMWF Fire Forecast (GEFF) model. Reanalysis (and soon seasonal forecasts) is available through the Copernicus Climate Data Store (CDS) while the medium-range real-time forecast is available through the EFFIS and GWIS platforms, which give access to timely fire danger information at a pan-European and global scale, respectively. Thirty-eight local and national authorities across Europe are part of the EFFIS network and have been relying on GEFF outputs for the early identification of regions prone to fire events as a result of persistent drought conditions.

    • GEFF-reanalysis provides historical records of global fire danger conditions from 1980 to the present day and it is made of four types of products: (i) deterministic model outputs (called simply 'reanalysis' on the CDS), (ii) probabilistic model outputs (made of 10 ensemble members), (iii) ensemble mean and (iv) ensemble spread. It is updated as soon as new ERA-5 data becomes available (~2 months behind real-time). 
    • GEFF-realtime provides real-time high-resolution deterministic (~9 Km) and lower-resolution probabilistic (~18Km) fire danger forecasts up to 15 days ahead using weather forcings from the latest model cycle of the ECMWF’s Integrated Forecasting System (IFS). The real-time dataset is updated every day with a new set of forecasts. Forecast data can be requested to EFFIS using an online form.

    These products have been developed as part of the EU-funded Copernicus Emergency Management Services (CEMS) and complement other Copernicus products related to fire, such as the biomass-burning emissions made available by the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS).  The development of the GEFF modelling system was funded through a third-party agreement with the European Commission’s Joint Research Centre (JRC). 

    GEFF produces fire danger indices based on the Canadian Fire Weather index as well as the US and Australian fire danger models. GEFF datasets are under the Copernicus license, which provides users with free, full and open access to environmental data.

    For more information, please refer to the documentation on the CDS and on the EFFIS website.


    Figure 5.1  - Example fire danger forecast at day 10 (classified Fire Weather Index) in the Iberian Peninsula

    Software tools




    Journal papers

    • Vitolo, C., Di Giuseppe, F., Krzeminski, B. and San-Miguel-Ayanz, J., 2019. A 1980–2018 global fire danger re-analysis dataset for the Canadian Fire Weather Indices. Scientific data, 6, p.190032.

    • Vitolo, Claudia, Francesca Di Giuseppe, and Mirko D’Andrea. Caliver: An r package for calibration and verification of forest fire gridded model outputs. PLOS ONE, 13(1):1–18, 01 2018

    • Di Giuseppe, F., Pappenberger, F., Wetterhall, F., Krzeminski, B., Camia, A., Libertá, G. and San Miguel, J., 2016. The potential predictability of fire danger provided by numerical weather prediction. Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology, 55(11), pp.2469-2491.

    Newsletter articles

      How to download samples of GEFF datasetsPage

  • 7

    The Eumetsat LSA SAF (Land Surface Analysis Application Facility) is generating products from MSG and Metop satellites, allowing  to characterize and to monitor land surfaces. The data is available in Near Real Time (NRT) and  Climate Data Records for some products are also available, enabling homogeneous time series analysis of several parameters. LSA SAF products are produced since 2004, at different time frequencies: from 15 min, for the case of MSG derived products, to daily and ten daily, for Metop based products. 

    From the set of products produced by the LSA SAF, the vegetation products, such as NDVI and fAPAR enable to characterize the vegetation conditions. 

    The ENDVI (EPS NDVI)  are near-global, 10-daily composite images which are synthesized from the "best available" observations registered in the course of every "dekad" by the orbiting earth observation system Metop-AVHRR.

    Fraction of Absorbed Photosynthetically Active Radiation (FAPAR) defines the fraction of PAR (400-700 nm) absorbed by the green parts of the canopy, and thus expresses the canopy's energy absorption capacity. FAPAR depends both on canopy structure, leaf and soil optical properties and irradiance conditions. FAPAR has been recognized as one of the fundamental terrestrial state variables in the context of the global change sciences (Steering Committee for GCOS, 2003; Gobron et al., 2006). It is a key variable in models assessing vegetation primary productivity and, more generally, in carbon cycle models implementing up-to-date land surfaces process schemes. Besides, FAPAR it is an indicator of the health of vegetation. FAPAR is generally well correlated with the LAI, the more for healthy fully developed vegetation canopies.

    Many wild fires are anticipated by extreme warm conditions. Maps of Land Surface Temperature allows to evaluate the extent of regions affected by very high temperatures. 

    The EDLST (EPS Daily Land Surface Temperature) provides a day-time and nigh-time retrievals of LST based on clear-sky measurements from the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) on-board EUMETSAT polar system satellites, the Metop series.

    Fires location and intensity can be followed with the LSA SAF Fire Radiative Power (FRP) product, base on MSG observations. 

    The FRP product records information on the location, timing and fire radiative power (MWatts) output of landscape fires detected every 15 minutes across the full Meteosat disk at the native spatial resolution of the SEVIRI sensor.  Measuring this FRP and integrating it over the lifetime of a fire provides an estimate of the total Fire Radiative Energy (FRE) released, which for landscape fires should be proportional to the total amount of biomass burned.

    To have access to LSA SAF data users must be registered and need to be logged in before an actual order can be set.

    This sections presents more details about NDVI product

    ENDVI10 is available as a Climate Data Record (LSA-453) starting in March 2007 and an Interim Climate Data Record (LSA-410) performing continuous updates in Near Real Time of LSA-453. In both cases, ENDVI10 consists of composites representing a Normalized Difference Vegetation Index and are distributed together with a set of ancillary dataset layers (surface reflectances, sun and view angles, quality indicators).

    FAPAR accounts for the active radiation absorbed by the canopy in the range of 400-700 nm, and therefore constitutes an indicator of the health and thereby productivity of vegetation.  It is thus suitable to quantify CO2 uptake by plants and the water release through evapotranspiration.

    EDLST is the EPS Daily Land Surface Temperature, the radiative skin temperature over land measured by the clear-sky measurements from the Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) on-board EUMETSAT polar system satellites, the Metop series. It is availlable as daytime and nigh-time composites on a daily basis. 

    The Meteosat SEVIRI Fire Radiative Power (FRP) products generated at the LSA SAF identify pixels containing fires that are actively burning  (so-called ‘fire pixels’) at the time of a SEVIRI observation, and provide an estimate of the Fires Radiative Power (FRP) output, together with its uncertainty.

  • 8

    In addition to its core marine and continental objectives, the Copernicus Sea and Land Surface Temperature Radiometer (SLSTR), onboard the Sentinel-3 A and B satellites, detects and monitors the immediate threats of any 'burning' events over an area size of 1 km2. Commonly gathered under the term of hotspots, these are not only fires over continents, but also flames from persistent land and ocean gas flares, and active erupting volcanoes.

    The Copernicus Sentinel-3 (S3) Near Real Time (NRT) FRP product, implemented by EUMETSAT, monitors in a short time the location and associated threat (i.e. total radiative power) of all land and ocean hotspots detectable on our planet. It is applicable to agricultural burning, wildfires, deforestation, tropical peatland fires, industrial gas flares, and volcanoes, all emit radiative signatures with a high seasonal and geographical variability.

    Sentinel-3 A SLSTR - NRT FRP MWIR [MW] - 05.12.2019 (night-time)

    The EUMETSAT deployment is based on the NRT FRP v2.0 processor. The current version of the NRT S3 FRP product is considered as 'preliminary operational'. It is mainly applicable during nighttime. EUMETSAT is responsible for the generation and quality of the Sentinel-3 NRT FRP product, as well as its long-term validation and improvements, acting on behalf of the European Commission (EC).

    The spectral wavelength at which the heating signal is maximal depends on the hot-spot temperature. Indeed, vegetation fire signals peak in the Medium Wave InfraRed (MWIR), between 3 and 5 µm, while hotter bodies, like industrial gas flares, may exhibit a higher signal in the ShortWave InfraRed (SWIR), between 1.5 and 2.3 µm. Consequently, two FRP techniques are employed: one based on the Medium Wave InfraRed (MWIR) channels, at 3.7 um, one based on the Short Wave InfraRed (SWIR).

    Sentinel-3 A SLSTR - NRT FRP SWIR [MW] - 26.04.2020 (night-time) - Industry gas flares in Persian Gulf

    One of the key users of this product is the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS), who is responsible for tracking the intensity and emissions of wildfires around the world. EUMETSAT and CAMS have a long-standing cooperation, with EUMETSAT having developed an operational Copernicus data stream to CAMS and providing its satellite data and products in order for them to provide accurate and timely air-quality forecasts across the globe.

    CAMS will assimilate the Sentinel-3 NRT FRP product, into their own air quality-forecasting model, the data from which gets broadcast via Euronews and CNN International, in order to clearly show society at large how air quality might impact people’s day-to-day lives, so that they can make decisions on their exposure to pollution more easily. CAMS, implemented by the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) on behalf of the European Commission, will use its Global Fire Assimilation System (GFAS) to assimilate the NRT Copernicus S3 FRP product, in addition to currently assimilated satellite FRP products, in order to provide global biomass burning smoke emissions in a timely and effective manner. Currently, GFAS assimilates FRP from MODIS space-borne sensors, from both Terra (morning) and Aqua (afternoon) satellites. Both have been operated beyond their nominal lifetime. Hence, GFAS is currently under preparation to be able to ingest the NRT S3 FRP product soon. In the future, NRT S3 FRP, combined with GFAS, will likely be the only source of global information for fires and hotspots in the early morning and evening.