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Last updated: 30 March 2010


El Niño in decline but impacts may continue until mid-2010
(posted on 30 March)

According to the latest El Niño/La Niña update issued by WMO on 30 March, the ongoing El Niño event continues to have significant and widespread impacts. The signature of this event, which started in June 2009, is seen in basin-wide Pacific Ocean conditions, and in many of the climate patterns around the world that are typically impacted by an El Niño event. The most likely outcome by mid-year 2010 is for the El Niño event to have decayed and near-neutral conditions to be re‑established across the tropical Pacific. However, this time of year (March-June) is a particularly difficult period for forecasting developments in the tropical Pacific, and forecasters cannot rule out persistence of El Niño or the possible early stages of La Niña by mid-year. Even during the decaying phase of the El Niño expected over the next few months, the conditions associated with it will continue to influence climate patterns at least through the second quarter of the year, and this information will be contained in the available national and regional seasonal climate forecast assessments. 

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Brazil Welcomes WMO’s Initiatives for Improved Weather and Climate Services for Farmers
(posted on 23 March)

On 18 March, a launch event was held in Brazil’s Minas Gerais State for two upcoming WMO events in July 2010. The “International Workshop on Addressing the Livelihood Crisis of Farmers: Weather and Climate Services” and the Fifteenth Session of the Commission for Agricultural Meteorology (CAgM-XV) will be held in Belo Horizonte from 12 to 14 July and 15 to 21 July 2010 respectively. Antonio Augusto Anastasia, Vice Governor of the State of Minas Gerais, welcomed the WMO initiatives which would benefit the farming community worldwide. Mr Gilman Viana Rodrigues, State Secretary of Agriculture, Livestock and Supplies and Prof. Luiz Claudio Costa, Rector of the Federal University of Viçosa were among those who participated in the event. Dr Mannava Sivakumar, Director of the Climate Prediction and Adaptation Branch of WMO, outlined the objectives of the July workshop. Experts from over 80 countries are expected to participate in the International Workshop and the CAgM-XV session.

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Reducing Risks of Natural Disasters in Central America and the Caribbean
(posted on 23 March)

For the first time, WMO has brought together all stakeholders involved in reducing impacts of extreme weather and water events in Central America and the Caribbean. The Multi-hazard early warning system workshop, taking place in San José, Costa Rica (22-25 March) brings together senior executives from the National Disaster Risk Management agencies, National Meteorological and Hydrological Services, and all agencies supporting early warning systems in the region. The purpose is to enhance early warning system capacities for saving lives by fostering cooperation among all those involved and linking to latest developments in forecasting.

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World Meteorological Day 2010: Celebrating WMO’s 60 Years of Service to Humanity
(posted on 19 March)


On 23 March 2010, the National Meteorological and Hydrological Services all over the world commemorate the Convention establishing World Meteorological Organization 60 years ago. This year’s theme is: “WMO – 60 years of service for your safety and well-being.” A special booklet to mark this occasion recalls historic achievements by the organization and illustrates sixty ways how WMO makes the difference in our daily lives. At a ceremony at the WMO premises, Dr Osvaldo F. Canziani, who has been closely associated with the work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, will be the Guest Speaker. Professor Walter R. Stahel, a prominent authority in Insurance Economics and Risk Management associated with Climate Change, will also address the audience as a special guest. The contemporary artist Remi Benyamin will display some of his paintings inspired by satellite images.

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First Conference of Ministers Responsible for Meteorology in Africa (12-16 April, 2010)
(posted on 16 March)

  From left to right: V. Mungur, K.R. Masri, M. Jarraud, P.R. Owade, J. Lengoasa and C. Van Maele

At a press conference in Geneva on 16 March, Michel Jarraud, Secretary-General of WMO, announced that African Ministers responsible for meteorology will meet in Nairobi, Kenya, to explore the best ways to strengthen weather, climate and water information for decision-making to help achieve the UN Millennium Development Goals. Recognizing the need to strengthen the role and contribution of African National Meteorological and Hydrological Services to Government policies and initiatives for mitigating and adapting to climate change, Ambassador Philip Richard Owade, Permanent Representative of Kenya, underlined the timeliness of the Ministerial conference for the African continent. Ambassador Khadija Rachida Masri, Permanent Observer of the African Union (AU) mentioned that the AU “felt the need in Africa to have ministerial conferences on very specific fields” such as meteorology. “Our goal, with WMO, is to reinforce meteorological capacities in African countries in order to prevent the negative impacts of climate change”, she added. WMO, in partnership with the AU, is organizing the First Conference of Ministers Responsible for Meteorology in Africa, from 12 to 16 April 2010, with the support of the Government of Kenya.

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More rigorous procedures will strengthen science consensus
(posted on 15 March)

WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud said the request for an independent review of the IPCC processes and procedures met with the full support of the WMO.  On official visit to Mexico last week, Mr Jarraud told reporters that while criticized by some quarters and on different grounds, the IPCC reports today are the best source of information on the science and the impacts of climate change.  The integrity of the science behind climate change, the leadership and the role of the IPCC itself as an intergovernmental mechanism to bring together eminent scientists and the latest knowledge and research outputs and to bring this knowledge to the attention of the world are solid. He added that evolving learning processes and more sophisticated research tools when reflected in working procedures would contribute to produce even more rigorous science.  This was endorsed recently also by the WMO Commission for Climatology which decided to take advantage of recent technological and scientific advances in producing refined global surface temperature information.

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

WCRP: ‘Open Science Conference’ to better predict Earth’s Climate
(posted on 15 March)

The World Climate Research Programme (WCRP), jointly co-sponsored by WMO, the International Council for Science and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO, will host an international Open Science Conference from 24-28 October 2011, in Denver, Colorado, USA. The conference aims to attract the world’s experts to provide a unique synthesis of current research findings on climate variability and change. It will help identify the most urgent scientific issues and research challenges, and to ascertain how the WCRP can best facilitate research and develop partnerships critical for progress in the future.

World Climate Research Programme

Africa Environment Day: Building resilience to climate change and protecting biodiversity
(posted on 03 March)

The Secretary-General of WMO, Michel Jarraud, joined the celebrations to mark the Africa Environment Day on 3 March 2010 in Arusha, Tanzania. This year’s theme focuses on building African resilience to climate change and protecting Africa's unique biodiversity in the face of the mounting impacts of climate variability and change.

In his statement, Mr Jarraud expressed WMO’s firm commitment to support Africa’s efforts. “While natural hazards cannot be avoided, capacity building can prepare societies to significantly reduce death and destruction,” he noted. Giving an update on the Global Framework for Climate Services, he said that for Africa it would contribute to meet vital challenges in the areas of disaster prevention, food security and water management in a way fully compatible with the protection of the environment.







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