Destination Earth to date: developments, events, and views
The launch of the Destination Earth joint website (destination-earth.eu) this week is just the latest milestone in the work towards a fully operational digital replica of the Earth by 2030.
In this piece, we’ve collected all the published developments from the European Commission and DestinE’s Entrusted Entities working on the initiative: the European Space Agency (ESA), European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) and the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSTAT). This compilation below includes use cases, events where DestinE was showcased and discussed as well as pieces that shed light into the initiative and how DestinE is envisioned.
Launch and developments to-date
The implementation of the initiative was officially launched on 30 March 2022 through a public online event. Together with partnering organisations, the European Commission launched DestinE to help tackle climate change with a funding commitment of €150 million from the Digital Europe Programme until mid-2024. In addition to this implementation programme, Horizon Europe provides over €55 million of additional funding dedicated to related research and innovation activities to reinforce its technologies and prepare for new Twins.
Enabling DestinE will be: (1) the Core Service Platform operated by ESA, providing decision-making tools, applications and services, based on an open, flexible, and secure cloud-based computing system; (2) the Data Lake operated by EUMETSAT, providing storage space and seamless access to the datasets; and (3) the Digital Twins developed by ECMWF on weather-induced and geophysical extremes and climate change adaptation which combines data from real-time observations and simulations.
In the run-up to this launch, national support for the initiative was secured in late 2021 with the signature of the Contribution Agreements between the European Commission and the three leading organisations and even as early as the first quarter of 2021, initial work on DestinE already started.
For some additional insights, see ECMWF’s DestinE developments as of March 2023 and how DestinE will leverage some of Europe’s most powerful supercomputers. You can also read directly from the EC’s Director General of Directorate-General for Communications Networks, Content and Technology Roberto Viola on his views about DestinE and its potential impact.
DestinE will be fully delivered by 2030, but use cases are being undertaken during the full course of DestinE’s development as a means of gathering requirements and continually ensuring that the initiative is really meeting the needs of the end users. To date, ECMWF begun enabling several practical applications for the priority Digital Twins it is developing:
- Exploring ECMWF’s digital twins’ applications for air quality analysis and forecasts
- DestinE Digital Twins to anticipate the devastating effects of flooding in coastal areas
- DestinE for human heat stress: ECMWF use case to tackle urban heat islands
- ECMWF digital twins aid sustainable forestry operations under new Destination Earth use case
- How will Destination Earth help energy systems management?
These, along with a few of the upcoming use cases also from ESA and EUMETSTAT, will be sourced through procurement.
As early as 2020, the DestinE initiative has already featured at conferences and events. The clear need for the solutions and functionalities DestinE will provide can be seen in the diversity and importance of these events.
- 28 Sep 2020: ESA Φ-week: Digital Twin Earth, quantum computing and AI take centre stage
- ECMWF Science and Technology Seminar Series: How the EC’s DestinE programme transforms environmental policy making
- 8 Apr 2021: ESA’s and EUMETSAT’s perspectives
- 11 May 2021: National and collaborative perspectives
- 28 Feb 2022: DestinE Information Day
- 10 Nov 2022: COP27: Destination Earth: Earth’s digital twin to support greener policies for a greener future
- 7 Feb 2023: Science Business Annual Network Conference: Europe has a great advantage when it comes to science cooperation, says Peter Bauer at the Science Business annual meeting (ecmwf.int)
- 15 Feb 2023: Building the Destination Earth community through the User eXchange meetings (ecmwf.int)
- 8 Mar 2023: ETP4HPC conference
How do I get updated
With the launch of the DestinE joint website, all major developments and opportunities to contribute will be announced here, so be sure to bookmark destination-earth.eu and receive updates directly in your inbox.