ECMWF Newsletter #168

Copernicus services again rated highly by users

Kevin Marsh
Anabelle Guillory
Michela Giusti
Xiaobo Yang


The 2020 user satisfaction surveys for the two EU-funded Copernicus services implemented by ECMWF show that the vast majority of users remain highly satisfied. Survey results for the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) and the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) reflect the continued use of the services both in the EU and the rest of the world. The survey participants also made a number of useful suggestions for improvements to these services. The new approach implemented for the running of the 2020 surveys also yielded a significant increase in the number of responses and user engagement with the process.

C3S and CAMS overall satisfaction ratings 2020. Respondents to the C3S and CAMS user satisfaction surveys rated the services highly, with 89% awarding C3S four or five stars and 87% awarding CAMS four or five stars.


The 3,777 users who participated in the C3S survey gave the service an overall satisfaction rating of 4.3 out of 5 stars (see the figure). Around two thirds of survey participants were based outside the EU. As with the 2019 survey results, 70% were academics and researchers. A comparison of usage patterns from 2017 to 2020 shows that uptake in the private and public sectors has been maintained.

Climate reanalysis data (mainly ERA5 datasets) continue to be the most popular with users across the board and received the highest satisfaction ratings. Other C3S products and services, such as seasonal forecast datasets, have continued to increase in popularity. Users also appreciated the help of the User Support service; the Climate Data Store (CDS) API, which enabled scriptable access to data; and the extensive documentation of the Copernicus Knowledge Base and Copernicus User Support Forum.

Many suggestions for improvements were made by the survey participants. The CDS Toolbox was thought to benefit from additional development. The survey results indicated that the Forum should be used to further strengthen communication with users and to help the C3S user community to evolve. This is in line with the User Support vision of developing the 'self-service' user support journey, which now includes a 'Virtual Assistant' for the CDS.


The number of users who participated in the CAMS survey (709) was a significant improvement on the previous year (114) and a clear endorsement of the new approach to how the survey was run. The users gave the service a satisfaction rating of 4.2 out of 5 stars (see the figure). Around 47% of participants were based in the EU, and around 47% of them worked in academia/research, while 30% were based in the business sector. As with C3S, there is a continuing interest in CAMS from the commercial sector, particularly from within the EU.

The launch of the Atmosphere Data Store (ADS) had a beneficial impact on data access for users and is expected to become ever more important in the future. The most popular CAMS services remain information on global atmospheric composition and global reanalysis. Users were satisfied with supporting services, such as data access mechanisms, validation reports and product documentation. Several areas for improvement identified by users include data access tailored to users’ specifications and more detailed scientific documentation.

Sample of user comments on C3S

"It is one of the most user-friendly data portals to use."

"This service is excellent for the whole community of Weather and Climate."

"The C3S service is exceptional, and the data and knowledge it provides is paramount to the community's efforts to advance science and its application to real-world problems."

"Improve the efficiency and waiting time of dataset ingestion in the CDS."

Sample of user comments on CAMS​

"Overall CAMS is a very good and very useful service. Keep doing this!"

"I would like to congratulate CAMS and all the staff to enable the public and stakeholders to make use of these reliable forecast data."

"Feedback from user support is SUPERB, I really don’t know how they manage."

"I would like access to full chemical species for the regional CAMS data."

Further information

Full 2020 C3S and CAMS user satisfaction survey reports are available from and, respectively.