Building Climate Resilience through Disaster Risk Reduction

Natural hazards involving weather, climate and water are a major source of death, injury and physical destruction. Over the past decade (2005-2014), 3 253 hydrometeorological hazards were reported around the world, resulting in 283 035 deaths and economic losses amounting to US$ 983 million.

Interview: Qing-Cun Zeng

Qing-Cun Zeng, a famous academic meteorologist, is a pioneer of numerical weather prediction, dynamic climate prediction and remote sensing theory for meteorological satellites. This Bulletin interview highlights in particular his scientific contributions to disaster risk reduction.

The Weather: What’s the Outlook?

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New sources of atmospheric observations, faster supercomputers and advances in science together revolutionized weather forecasting in the latter part of the 20th century. On the global scale, we can today predict out to five days ahead as accurately as we could do for two days 20 years ago. This means society has much more advance warning of weather hazards than before, permitting people to prepare and, thereby, limit the loss of lives and property. Expectations are high for even greater advances in the years to come.

The Future of the Weather Enterprise

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At a time when the impacts of weather and climate are still growing dramatically, it is important to look for strategies to strengthen the science and technology that have resulted in substantial improvements in the skill of weather predictions and services over the past four decades.

The World Weather Research Programme: A 10-year Vision

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Weather prediction has achieved immense progress, driven by research and increasingly sophisticated telecommunication, information technology and observational infrastructure. Predictive skill now extends in some cases beyond 10 days, with an increasing capability to give early warning of severe weather events many days ahead.

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