Newsletter No. 153 banner

Copernicus users rate services highly

Karl Hennermann
Anabelle Guillory
Xiaobo Yang

What users say about CAMS

“CAMS is amazing and enables researchers in atmospheric and earth sciences the world over.”

“The data has really helped to conduct some analysis that would not have happened without it.”

“For me it was actually rather troublesome to obtain data.”

“The parameters I have used (aerosol) perform very well in comparison with other models. It is extremely useful to have these tools available.”

“The ability to request more than two download streams would be very helpful.”

“The people at the helpdesk are very helpful!”

What users say about C3S

“We are waiting for ERA5. Pre-release support has been helpful.”

“It would be important to have access not only to charts but also to numerical values.”

“I was only aware of ERA-Interim products, not any others. However, I am very satisfied with ERA-Interim.”

“It would be great if the seasonal forecast data were freely downloadable.”

“C3S is still developing its services, we'll have to wait and see. WebAPI is considered very useful, especially for business but it's not user-friendly.”

“Allow data processing online so we don't have to download large amounts of data and then analyse them locally.”

“More training, like summer schools and workshops.”

A survey has found high levels of satisfaction among users of the EU-funded Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) and the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) run by ECMWF. It has also helped to identify a number of areas where improvements can be made. The survey was carried out by the Copernicus User Support Team in collaboration with the European Commission. Between 13 June and 8 July 2017, 254 CAMS users and 1,298 C3S users took part in the survey. The overall satisfaction rating is 87.5% for CAMS (an average rating of 3.5 out of 4) and 85% for C3S (3.4 out of 4).


About half of users are academics and researchers, the others are divided equally between the private and the public sectors. Two thirds are based in Europe. User satisfaction is consistent across sectors and locations.

Most users find CAMS products and services useful. However, user uptake and satisfaction vary significantly across products and services. The most popular services are the provision of global atmospheric composition data, European air quality data, and solar radiation data. These services have the highest numbers of users, are rated as the most useful, and receive the highest satisfaction ratings. The user demographics, usage patterns and satisfaction ratings reflect the fact that CAMS started as a science programme, while also demonstrating that CAMS has established a firm foothold in the private and public sectors. The survey identified four main areas for improvement:

  • the footprint of CAMS in Eastern Europe
  • the attractiveness of CAMS to public-sector users
  • data access tailored to users’ specifications
  • more detailed scientific documentation.


C3S serves a global user community: 60% of survey participants are based outside Europe. Globally three quarters of respondents are academics and researchers, and within Europe two thirds work in this sector. Other users are equally divided between the private and the public sectors.

The perceived usefulness of C3S products and services varies significantly: the ERA-Interim climate reanalysis (an ECMWF dataset for which the Copernicus User Support Team provides a technical support service) remains the most popular dataset and the support service provided receives the highest satisfaction ratings. Other products included in the survey are primarily monthly charts, plus some pre-release data and services. Many features suggested by respondents are already planned for implementation in upcoming products and services, including the ERA5 climate reanalysis, seasonal forecasts and the Climate Data Store (CDS), indicating that C3S is well aligned with user requirements.

The survey identified three main areas for improvement:

  • the footprint of C3S in Eastern Europe
  • the attractiveness of C3S to private- and public-sector users
  • access to future products tailored to users’ specifications.

The survey highlighted that some users were having difficulties downloading large amounts of data with the current infrastructure. The upcoming Climate Data Store (CDS) and the toolbox associated with it will play a vital role in attracting more users to the service. For details on the CDS, see ECMWF Newsletter No. 151, pp 22–27.

Usefulness of CAMS products and services
Usefulness of CAMS products and services. Many users find CAMS very useful or essential but there is considerable variability across products and services.

Users of CAMS as well as C3S are mostly satisfied with supporting services, in particular with the available data access mechanisms and with the Copernicus service desk.

The full survey reports are available on the CAMS ( and C3S ( websites under ‘Help & Support’.