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Last updated: 31 August 2010


WMO Secretary-General welcomes review of IPCC
(posted on 31 August)

The Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), Mr Michel Jarraud, welcomed the review of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change working procedures and processes by the Inter-Academy Council of Sciences (IAC). The IAC recommendations, which will be submitted to the IPCC Plenary in October, would strengthen the IPCC. The IAC Report and follow-up action will be brought to the attention of the 16th World Meteorological Congress (Geneva, Switzerland, 16 May - 3 June 2011).


China Meteorological Administration faces extreme weather challenges
(posted on 31 August)

China has witnessed sudden, extreme and concurrent meteorological disasters in 2010, causing widespread damage. Since May, 14 successive torrential rains hit South China and broad areas to the south of the Yangtze River, leading to flooding. Since June, high temperature events have frequently occurred, breaking historical extremes. In July, torrential rains in North China caused severe floods. In August, frequent heavy rains led to floods, landslides, mud-rock flows, causing serious damage to economic and social activities. On 8 August, Zhouqu County, Gansu Province, in Northwest China, was hit by a devastating flood and mud-rock flow, which killed nearly 1 450 people and left more than 300 missing.

Facing frequent extreme weather and climate events, the China Meteorological Administration (CMA) has always put meteorological disaster preparedness and mitigation at the top of its agenda, making full use of meteorological satellites, radars, GPRS, lightning location system and other modern observation equipment to enhance monitoring, forecast and warning of emerging severe weather events. By 24 August 2010, the Central Meteorological Office issued more than 620 forecasts and early-warnings on meteorological disasters, of which 223 focused on heavy rain, 176 were related to high-temperature, and 34 were typhoon warnings.


WMO mourns passing of Professor Igor A. Shiklomanov
(posted on 27 August)

  Prof Shiklomanov

It is with deep regret that WMO has learned of the sudden death of Professor Igor A. Shiklomanov, the Director of the State Hydrological Institute, St. Petersburg, Russian Federation. He passed away on August 22, 2010, in his 72nd year, in St. Petersburg.

Professor Shiklomanov was well-known to hydrologists of many countries. He was recognized as one of the world’s foremost authority on hydrology and water resources, and was the author of more than 250 publications. For more than 30 years, Professor Shiklomanov actively contributed to international cooperation in the field of hydrology and water resources within UNESCO, WMO, IAHS and UNEP. His many years of dedicated services for the WMO Technical Commission for Hydrology and as chair of the Working Group on Hydrology of Regional Association II (Asia) were exemplary, as he helped shaping the Hydrology and Water Resources Programme of WMO. His contributions to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), first as a Co-Chair of the Hydrology and Water Resources Working Group during the First IPCC Assessment and later as a Lead Author of the Hydrology and Water Resources Chapter of the Working Group II (Impacts) report during the Third IPCC Assessment, are unforgettable.

Professor Shiklomanov’s scientific activity was highly recognized by the international scientific community. He was the only Russian hydrologist awarded the International Prize of UNESCO, WMO and IAHS for outstanding achievements in hydrology and international cooperation (2001) and the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievements (2006).

WMO pays tribute to Professor J.C.I. Dooge
(posted on 27 August)

WMO expressed condolences at the passing away of Professor J.C.I. Dooge on 20 August. He was one of the few who had a brilliant carrier as a hydrologist and as a distinguished politician in having the position as Irish Foreign Minister.

Professor Dooge’s immensely useful contributions to the field of hydrology, water resources and efforts to mainstream principles of water management in global political awareness were exemplary.

He broke scientific ground in theoretical hydrology and showed his political astuteness in arranging for the International Conference on Water and the Environment to be hosted in Dublin in 1992 that was the precursor for the Rio Earth Summit. The “Dublin Principles” were influential in shaping water management policy in the last 20 years.

Professor Dooge was awarded the International Hydrology Prize in 1983 and the International Meteorological Organization Prize in 1999 as the only non-meteorologist to be so honoured. He continues to be an inspiration and mentor for many.

Tribute to Prof Dooge


New Cooperation Agreement between WMO and CERN
(posted on 27 August)

  Mr Jarraud & Prof Heuer

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has signed a cooperation agreement with the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN) to promote the sharing of information and knowledge in information technologies.

The agreement was signed by WMO Secretary-General Mr Michel Jarraud and CERN Director-General Professor Rolf-Dieter Heuer 26 August. It is one of a series of contractual cooperation accords signed between CERN and international organizations and is in line with WMO’s policy to foster global scientific and technical cooperation.

Areas of potential collaboration include: high bandwidth capacity networks for exchange of observations and information; collaborative on-line software tools for data and information analysis; management of mass data and storage systems; and capacity building and e-education tools, especially in developing nations.

WMO dignitaries on United Nations Secretary-General’s High-level Panel
(posted on 23 August)

Mr Alexander Bedritskiy, President of WMO, and Mr Guoguang Zheng, Administrator of the China Meteorological Administration are members of the High-Level Panel on Global Sustainability just launched by the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. The Panel that brings together some of the world’s leading policymakers and thinkers, also comprises Mrs Cristina Narbona Ruiz, Spanish Ambassador to the OECD, former Minister of the Environment of Spain and members of the High-level Task Force for the Global Framework for Climate Services set up by the WMO Secretary-General.  The purpose is to formulate a new blueprint for sustainable growth and low-carbon prosperity for all. The High-Level Panel will issue its final report by the end of 2011.  Its inputs will feed into intergovernmental processes, including preparations for the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio 2012), and the annual meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

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Unprecedented sequence of extreme weather events
(posted on 11 August)

Several regions of the world are currently coping with severe weather-related events: flash floods and widespread flooding in large parts of Asia and parts of Central Europe while other regions are also affected: by heatwave and drought in Russian Federation, mudslides in China and severe droughts in sub-Saharan Africa. While a longer time range is required to establish whether an individual event is attributable to climate change, the sequence of current events matches IPCC projections of more frequent and more intense extreme weather events due to global warming. The Monsoon activity in Pakistan and other countries in South-East Asia is aggravated by the la Niña phenomenon, now well established in the Pacific Ocean.

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