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Society and the Earth system are facing major upheavals coming at an unprecedented rate, be it global warming, environmental and health hazards, pollution or loss of biodiversity to name a few. Better understanding and predicting the Earth system’s mechanisms and evolution is a fundamental challenge for research. This implies interoperable infrastructures to speed up extraction, analysis, distribution and intelligent use of data, indicators and models from national and international observation systems. Data Terra is a research infrastructure dedicated to Earth-observation data. Created in 2016, it is underpinned by four data hubs covering each of the major compartments of the Earth system.

Data hubs

The AERIS atmosphere data and services hub was created in 2014 but draws on over 20 years of experience in its domain. It encompasses four integrated and increasingly connected data and service centres (DSCs). AERIS works to describe, quantify and understand the atmosphere from a broad perspective through research areas like atmospheric dynamics, physics and chemistry. It also covers work geared more towards climate change research. The scientific community uses both models and observations from ground, satellite or aerial platforms to support this research effort.

The ODATIS ocean data hub federates national oceanography data management and scientific expertise activities in various disciplines such as physics, chemistry, biology, from the open ocean to the coastal waters, from the sea surface and at the depth. Its objective is to develop derived products and facilitate/promote the discovery and use of observation data acquired in the ocean or at its interfaces, from in situ measurements, in the laboratory, and from remote-sensing.

The THEIA land surfaces data hub has been operating since 2012. It provides a vast portfolio of value-added satellite data products, software and image processing for the national and international scientific community and public environmental resource monitoring and management policies to support observation of land surfaces. It is structured around three entities: a Space Data Infrastructure (IDS) spread across several stakeholders, a network of 26 Scientific Expertise Centres (CES) and a network of Theia regional mediation centres (ART) across mainland France, French overseas territories and the southern hemisphere.

The ForM@Ter hub, created in late 2014, is dedicated to solid Earth science data (volcanoes, seismology, soil erosion, etc.). Its mission is to ease access to space, in-situ and experimental solid Earth data and to work towards creating new products and services. ForM@Ter’s ambition is to create value by helping existing data centres with their data and product and management practices and supporting processes for data discovery and availability (applying FAIR principles and enhancing interoperability). It will also spark new services in fields of investigation that are currently poorly represented. It ties in with the national and European landscapes, working closely with infrastructures already in place and in construction in the solid Earth science community.

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