Global Change Unit

University of Valencia

Who we are...

The University of Valencia (UVEG) (, founded in 1499 and initially dedicated to the study of medicine, humanities, theology and law, has today become a modern European university, and it stands out as one of the main public research organisations in Spain, with more than three thousand researchers integrated in 84 departments, 21 institutes and 5 other research units, belonging to social, biomedical, human, experimental and formal sciences. UVEG is a leading academic organisation at national level, with a remarkable international dimension, which ranks among the top 300 in the world, top 200 in Europe and top 10 in Spain as per ARWU “Shanghai” Ranking. Regarding the Shanghai Ranking of Academic Subjects 2020, UVEG in Remote Sensing shows a position of 11 in the world.

The Global Change Unit (GCU) is a research unit of the UVEG, belonging to the Department of Earth

Physics and Thermodynamics until 2009, and later integrated into the Image processing Laboratory (IPL),

a facility located into the Science Park of the UVEG. The GCU is one of the pioneer groups in Spain in using Satellite Remote Sensing, and it is equipped with a complete instrumentation to carry out its research: satellite reception and image processing systems, and field thermal infrared radiometers. It is also necessary to highlight its education activity imparting courses in Remote Sensing.

The Global Change Unit focuses its research on changes that happen on our planet, which are analyzed through Remote Sensing Satellites and Digital Treatment support. The aim of our research group is to develop operative algorithms to estimate different biophysical parameters (Land Surface Temperature, Sea Surface Temperature, surface emissivity, ground albedo, thermal inertia, evapotranspiration, radiation, atmospheric water vapor content, among others) as well as to study their evolution throughout the years. All of this is based on remote sensors localized on satellites platforms (AVHRR, TM, AATSR, MODIS; SEVIRI, METOP, ASTER, S2, VIIRS) and airborne sensors (DAIS, AHS, etc). In addition, the GCU also organizes and carries out field campaigns to characterize these parameters using Radiometers, thermal cameras, etc. Moreover, we operate several ground stations around Spain to calibrate and/or validate such biophysical parameters.

What are our tasks in CityCLIM?

Leading of intensive field campaigns. The GCU of the university of Valencia will provide their resources, infrastructures, scientific equipment (thermal radiometers, calibration sources, etc.) and computational resources.

  • Carry out Calibration/validation tasks to ensure the algorithm robustness and to report its accuracy
  • Develop algorithms for SUHI analysis on different spatial and spectral configurations (Sentinel 3, TERRA and AQUA, MSG, Landsat, ECOSTRESS). This will be one of the innovative parts of this project
  • Mapping the Urban Thermal Field Variation Index (UFTVI), the Discomfort Index (DI), SUHImax and SUHImin in European urban areas.
Image by Marvin Meyer

Related skills and experience of the organisation

The member of the Department of Ecosystem Services ESS use studies at the landscape level, analyses of large databases with multivariate statistics, modelling and geospatial analysis employing geographical information systems

(GIS), as well as transdisciplinary workshops, focus groups, interviews and CS approaches. ESS is actively involved in the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) and the development of the German Ecosystem Service Partnership (ESP-DE).