Application of Available Global Land Cover Reference Datasets in the Context of Essential Climate Variables
Tsendbazar, Nandin-Erdene; De Bruin, Sytze; Herold, Martin
Wageningen University, NETHERLANDS

Global land cover (GLC) maps and their accuracy assessment may provide important information to different scientific communities. As one of the Essential Climate Variables (ECV), land cover observations are used for many climate modelling applications. To date, several GLC reference datasets have been produced and used for production and accuracy assessment of the specific maps. Despite great potential, their role in applications outside the intended use has been very limited. Based on the literature, this study provides information on existing and forthcoming GLC reference datasets and assesses their potential use in Climate Modelling applications within the context of ECVs. Twelve existing and forthcoming GLC reference data sets were assessed using sets of criteria reflecting the requirements of the climate modelling community on the sampling scheme, thematic coverage, spatial and temporal detail and quality checking. Furthermore, current efforts to use suitable and available GLC reference datasets in improving ESA-Climate Change Initiative’s Land Cover products, three consecutive GLC maps, is also presented.