STANFORD, 25 March - The expert and government review of the second order draft of the
Working Group II contribution to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fifth
MyWorldWeather, a free mobile application (app) with official weather forecasts across the globe, has introduced new language versions to reach a growing number of people on the move.
Developed by the Hong Kong Observatory on behalf of the World Meteorological Organization, MyWorldWeather is now available on both iPhone and Android platforms in Chinese, English, German, Korean, Polish, Portuguese and Spanish.
The Director of the Hong Kong Observatory (HKO), Mr Shun Chi-ming, performed a launch ceremony for the MyWorldWeather with officiating guests including the President of the WMO, Mr David Grimes; the Deputy Administrator of the China Meteorological Administration, Shen Xiaonong; and Permanent Secretary for Commerce and Economic Development Andrew Wong on 23 March, marking World Meteorological Day and the 130th anniversary of the Hong Kong Observatory. “Without the close collaboration and partnership that we have enjoyed in the past years, the Observatory alone could not have reached its current level of development and sophistication,” he said. >> More
The fulfillment of basic human needs, the environment, socio‐economic development and
WMO’s Global Atmosphere Watch has held a major symposium
on how to improve the monitoring and understanding of air pollution,
ozone, ultraviolet radiation, greenhouse gases and other atmospheric
conditions which impact on our daily life.
Established in 1963, in the middle of the Cold War, the World Weather Watch is an outstanding landmark in international cooperation. In 2013 the Bulletin celebrates the World Weather Watch with articles outlining its history and offering a forward-looking perspective on its systems and programmes. In this issue, we introduce the Global Observing System (GOS) and the Instruments and Methods of Observation Programme (IMOP).
Watching the Weather to Protect Life and Property is the theme of World Meteorological Day which also celebrates the 50th anniversary of the World Weather Watch: a symbol of global cooperation born at the height of the Cold War
The formal ceremony at WMO headquarters takes place 21 March 2013, starting at 2.30. WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud will give the welcome address. Special guest is Prof. Alan Thorpe Director-General of the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF). Guest speaker is Dr Hamadoun Touré Secretary-General of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). Full programme
WMO will host a Scientific and Technical Forum at its headquarters in Geneva on the morning of 21 March, featuring leading experts from around the globe. The Forum provides an overview of the past successes of World Weather Watch and its evolution into the 21st century. It will highlight advances in the three pillars of World Weather Watch: coordinated observations, telecommunications and meteorological forecasts. There will be a live webcast of the Forum. Details of how to access the webcast
At the Scientific and Technical Forum, Dr K. D. Sullivan, Acting Under Secretary of Commerce for Oceans and Atmosphere and NOAA Administrator, will speak on Past, Present and Future: A Review of the World Weather Watch from NOAA's perspective. Dr Alexander Gusev, Russian Federal Service for Hydrometeorology and Environmental Monitoring will provide a historical review of the World Weather Watch from Rosshydromet’s perspective. Other guest speakers are Dr J.L. Rasmussen, former director of the World Weather Watch, Dr F. Hemmer Head of Information Technology at CERN, and Dr S. Barrell, Vice President of WMO Commission for Basic Systems and ICG chair of WMO Integrated Global Observing System. Full details of the programme
Both the World Meteorological Day ceremony and the Scientific and Technical Forum are open to the public and media
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and Global Water Partnership (GWP) have launched a joint Integrated Drought Management Programme (IDMP) on March 13, 2013, to improve monitoring and prevention of one of the world’s greatest natural hazards.
The programme was launched at the High-level Meeting on National Drought Policy (HMNDP) in Geneva, Switzerland, where decision-makers and scientists from around the world are discussing proactive, forward-looking national drought policies to replace the current piecemeal, reactive approach.
“Whether because of climate variability or climate change, droughts have a severe impact on water availability and quality, agricultural and energy production, and ecosystem health,” says GWP Executive Secretary Dr Ania Grobicki. “There is an urgent need to develop better drought monitoring and risk management systems, and for countries to have frameworks in place to manage drought risks through an integrated approach. This programme aims to support countries in this endeavor, within their regional contexts.” >> Full text
A High-level Meeting on National Drought Policy, organized by three United Nations institutions, aims to promote practical and proactive policies at the national level to make drought-prone countries more resilient.
The scientific segment of the week-long conference, organized by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), opened 11 March. A ministerial session will be held 13-14 March.
Droughts cause more death and displacement than cyclones, floods and earthquakes combined, making them the world’s most destructive natural hazard. They are expected to increase in frequency, area and intensity due to climate change. There is therefore an urgent need for coordinated drought and proactive policies. >> full text
Need to focus on building resilience and reducing risks
Geneva 8 March 2013 – Droughts cause the deaths and displacement of more people than
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the
Water is life. But water is also a threat to life. During the past decade, water-related disasters have not only struck more frequently but have also been more severe, hampering sustainable development by causing political, social, and economic shocks in many countries.
The German Meteorological Service (Deutscher Wetterdienst, DWD) hosted a meeting from 26-28 February 2013 of close to 50 representatives from international institutions to discuss which additional and special requirements for climate observations can be drawn from climate adaptation activities. The workshop was jointly organized by the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS), the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).
The experts discussed to what extent specific socio-economic and scientific-technical sectors will need to apply climate adaptation activities and what kind of observations will be required. In particular, they discussed what data and product gaps and information deficiencies need to be addressed to improve already available climate information. The discussion highlighted the fact that in many cases the information provided by climate models and satellites is still not sufficient. This is because there is a huge demand for observation data that are of high quality and have adequate spatial and temporal resolution. This is true for both developed and developing countries, although for the latter the need for free, frequent and useful data is even greater.
The workshop results will serve as a qualified source of information for the 3rd Adequacy Report of Global Observing Systems for Climate that GCOS and its partners will produce by the end of 2014. This Report will then be presented to the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The results of the workshop will be available in a report to be published available in May 2013.
WMO’s Voluntary Cooperation Programme (VCP) has just issued its 2012 newsletter with details of capacity building and development activities during the year.
In 2012, the VCP Secretariat received new requests for support from Armenia, Belarus, Cuba, Fiji, Ghana, Guyana, Kiribati, Mauritania, Moldova, Samoa, Sudan, Tajikistan, Uganda, Vanuatu and Zimbabwe. A total of 21 requests were received in 2012, of which WMO received sponsorship for 17 projects (80% of all requests).
Key projects and activities included:
· Emergency Disaster Assistance to Fiji for following severe flooding in early 2012
For an overview of on-going projects, outstanding requests and links to partners and donors, please check http://www.wmo.int/pages/prog/dra/vcp/on-going.php
The Greater Horn of Africa Climate Outlook Forum has issued its seasonal predictions for the forthcoming March-May rainy season which is vital to agriculture and food security in a region that has been hit by both droughts and floods in recent years.
There is an increased likelihood of near normal to below normal rainfall over much of the northern part of South Sudan; southern Sudan; northern and eastern Ethiopia; eastern half of Kenya; Somalia, and eastern parts of Tanzania, according to the outlook. Specifically, it indicated a 45 percent probability of near normal rainfall, a 35 percent probability of below normal rainfall, and a 20 percent probability of above normal rainfall in these areas.
Burundi; Rwanda; Uganda; southern parts of South Sudan; southwestern and central Ethiopia; western and central Kenya as well as western half of Tanzania have an increased likelihood of normal (45 percent) to above-normal (35 percent) rainfall in March-May, it said, noting a 20 per cent probability of below normal rainfall in these areas.
The climate outlook was issued at the end of a meeting organized by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development
Climate Prediction and Applications Centre (ICPAC), 18-20 February in Bujumbura, Burundi. Factors taken into
consideration included sea surface temperature conditions over the Western Indian and eastern tropical Atlantic Oceans,
The International Year of Water Cooperation 2013 was officially launched 11 February 2013 by Michel Jarraud, WMO Secretary-General and Chair of UN-Water and Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO on the occasion of a high-level event taking place at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, France.
In December 2010 the United Nations General Assembly declared 2013 as the United Nations International Year of Water Cooperation, following a proposal by Tajikistan. World Water Day, celebrated each year on 22 March, will be dedicated to the same theme. The slogan for the year is Water, Water Everywhere, Only if We Share.
Water, a vital resource unlike any other knows no borders. For instance, 148 countries share at least one transboundary river basin.
As rapid urbanization, climate change and growing food needs put ever-increasing pressure on freshwater resources, the objective of the Year is to draw attention to the benefits of cooperation in water management. It will serve to highlight successful examples of water cooperation and explore key issues, including water diplomacy, transboundary water management and financial cooperation.
International Year of Water Cooperation 2013 - Presskit
Water is one of the top priorities of the Global Framework for Climate Services currently being implemented by WMO and partners. This aims to roll out improved climate services to help cope with our changing climate. http://www.wmo.int/pages/gfcs/documents/GFCS_water_community_flyer_en.pdf
Infographic on International Year of Water Cooperation 2013 at: http://www.unwater.org/watercooperation2013/downloads/2013_infographic.jpg
Poster on the water cycle:
Norway announces NOK 60 million for climate services in Africa
In a seminar held on 12 February in Oslo, the Minister of International Development of Norway, Heikki Holmas, announced a contribution of NOK 60 million (approx. USD 11 million) to support climate services for food and nutrition security in Africa. The contribution is to support collaborative efforts to be implemented by the World Food Programme, the World Health Organization, the World Meteorological Organization and other partners with extensive networks on the ground. As part of this contribution, the Global Framework on Climate Services (GFCS) will receive NOK 2 million per year for a three-year programme starting in 2013. The Oslo seminar was entitled "Let's talk about the weather - and start preparing for changes!", and it was jointly organized by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign, WMO, the Norwegian Meteorological Institute, the Centre for International Climate and Environmental Research (CICERO) and NORAD. For more information visit the Norad website.
Progress in rolling out climate services to help the most vulnerable cope with our changing climate and improve water, agriculture, disaster and health management is the focus of a one day seminar in Norway.
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), the Norwegian Meteorological Institute, NORAD and Cicero Center for International Climate and Environmental Research are organizing the event 12 February ”Let’s talk about the weather – and start preparing for changes.”
This seminar is an important occasion to take stock of the implementation of the Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS) to improve and expand climate services essential to cope with weather, climate and water-related hazards several of which are expected to increase in frequency and intensity as a result of climate change. >> full text
Today the mean sea level is rising, Arctic sea ice cover is shrinking and high
latitude areas are warming rapidly. These effects are caused by a mixture of
long-term climate change and natural variability. An improved understanding
of global changes in both the atmosphere and ocean is needed to project
regional impacts and guide international actions. Until recently, very little
data was available on the ocean, but that has now changed thanks to a
programme co-sponsored by WMO and UNESCO’s Intergovernmental
In 1999, a small group of oceanographers outlined a plan to set up an array of profiling floats to monitor the state of the upper 2 km of the global ocean. The initial objective was to maintain a network of 3,000 units, in ice-free areas, providing both real-time data and higher quality delayed mode data and analyses to underpin a new generation ocean and climate models. The programme was called Argo.
Argo is now a collaborative effort of over 30 countries and by November 2012, it had collected its millionth profile of temperature and salinity, twice the number obtained by research vessels during all of the 20th century. 120,000 new profiles are collected every year, at the impressive rate of 1 profile approximately every 4 minutes. Each profile consists of up to 1,000 measurements of temperature and salinity at varying depths.
Today Argo, with over 3,500 active floats, provides global-scale, all-weather subsurface observations of the oceans, an unprecedented dataset for researchers studying the temperature, salinity, and circulation of the global oceans and how these change over periods ranging from days to decades. This data is also crucial for weather forecasts.
Argo, a major component of the Global Ocean Observing System, is managed
by the WMO and IOC Joint Technical Commission for Oceanography
and Marine Meteorology. This is an intergovernmental body of
technical experts that provides a mechanism for international coordination
of oceanographic and marine meteorological observing, data management
The 1 millionth observation is a symbolic milestone for Argo as we seek to increase our understanding of the oceans and their role in earth's climate.
The influence of climate change on tropical cyclone activity in the western North Pacific basin remains uncertain and more research will be required to understand the relative contributions of natural variations and climate change linked to human activity, according to a new analysis of the world’s most active tropical cyclone region.
The United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP)/World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Typhoon Committee considered the Second Assessment Report on the Influence of Climate Change on Tropical Cyclones in the Typhoon Committee Region at its recent meeting in Hong Kong, China. The report summarized the results and findings from research conducted by Members on the long-term trends of tropical cyclone activity in the region.
The assessment report indicated that, with considerable inter-annual and inter- decadal variations in the tropical cyclone activity in the western North Pacific basin, it remains uncertain whether there has been any detectable human influence on tropical cyclone frequency, intensity, precipitation, track, or related aggregated storm activity metrics in this basin. >> full text
Around 90 meteorological, hydrological and disaster reduction experts are
meeting in Hong Kong to take part in the 45th Session of the United Nations
Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP)/World
The session, hosted by the Hong Kong Observatory (HKO), is reviewing and
discussing collaboration on regional activities to reduce loss of lives and damage
caused by tropical cyclones. The Director of the HKO, Mr Shun Chi-ming, was
Jiao Meiyan, Deputy Administrator of the China Meteorological Administration and chair of the Typhoon Committee for 2012, described the year 2012 as a busy in terms of typhoon activity.
"In China, six typhoons packed with winds exceeding force 12 hit 18 provinces within one month, a historical record of the same period. Bopha, the strongest and deadliest storm that hit the Philippines this year led to more than 1,000 deaths and affected millions of people. Sanba, the most powerful typhoon in the decade lashed the Korean Peninsula, leaving power down, houses destroyed and transport interrupted,” Ms Jiao said.
"This reminds us the importance of the work of the Typhoon Committee - to minimise the loss of lives and material damages caused by typhoons in Asia through planning and implementation of required measures," Ms Jiao said
The Typhoon Committee comprises 14 Members: Cambodia; China; Democratic People's Republic of Korea; Hong Kong, China; Japan; Lao People's Democratic Republic; Macao, China; Malaysia; the Philippines; Republic of Korea; Singapore; Thailand; Socialist Republic of Vietnam; and the USA.
The Thematic Consultation on Water is part of the UN-system led “global dialogue” comprising of 50-100 Country Consultations and eleven global Thematic Consultations. The Thematic Consultation on Water is mainly taking place as an online discussion using different social media. The purpose is to bring voices from a broad range of stakeholders to build consensus around key future challenges related to water and its role in the post-2015 development agenda.
The thematic consultation on water is divided in three sub-consultations:
• - Water, sanitation and hygiene
The Water Resources Management stream will be running through 17 February. The main goal of these discussions is to brainstorm and discuss the potential for water resources management to be a part of the post-2015 development agenda.
The sub-consultation will allow debating important questions such as:
WMO has been asked to lead the weekly sub-stream consultation 21-28 January 2013 on Climate Change and Water-related Risks of the Water Resources Management stream, coordinated by the U.N. Economic Commission for Europe.
Several activities will be taking place throughout the week, including
interventions by Harry Lins, President of WMO’s Commission for
Hydrology through a video clip. Michael Glantz, Director of the
Consortium for Capacity Building, will take part in a live interactive video
Everyone is encouraged to get involved in the discussions, pose
questions, give feedback and partake in a lively debate that will help
further advance the dialogue on climate change and water-related
risks. You can follow the conversation on the website, on Twitter
MyWorldWeather, a free mobile application (app) with official weather forecasts across the globe, is on the move.
A trial version for the Android platform supporting multiple languages, including English, Spanish and Polish, has been launched by the Hong Kong Observatory on behalf of the World Meteorological Organization. Meanwhile, an updated iPhone app is also available incorporating Spanish and Polish language versions.
MyWorldWeatherfeatures the WMO’sWorld Weather Information Service, withauthoritative weather forecasts for more than 1,600 cities, supplied by 133 WMO Members. Unlike other weather apps, MyWorldWeather forecasts are official as they are provided by National Meteorological and Hydrological Services. >> More
South Sudan was admitted to the United Nations 14 July 2011. The Government of the United States of America, in its capacity as Depositary for the WMO Convention, received an instrument of accession to the Convention by the Government of South Sudan 14 November 2012. The Convention entered into force for South Sudan 14 December 2012.
The landlocked nation has a fragile natural environment and is vulnerable to extremes such as drought and flooding, exacerbated by desertification.
WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud has saluted the work of the International International Research Centre on El Niño/Southern Oscillation (CIIFEN) as a centre of excellence and expertise on a phenomenon which has a major impact on our climate.
“WMO considers the achievements of CIIFEN remarkable and of great service to the regional and international climate communities,” Mr Jarraud told a 10th anniversary ceremony in Guayaquil, Ecuador 10 January.
Mr Jarraud singled out the development of regional climate models to improve early warning and of scenarios for regional adaptation to climate change, the establishment of climate-based community networks and the implementation of a Regional Climate Information System.
CIIFEN works to develop, strengthen and share information and knowledge on ENSO and its influence on climate. It also contributes to WMO’s periodic Updates on El Niño/La Niña, a phenomenon which has a major impact on our climate and causes extreme conditions including droughts and floods.
Following several resolutions of the General Assembly and the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations, CIIFEN was established in 1993. The U.N. International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UN/ISDR) and WMO have co-sponsored CIIFEN, with support from the Government of Ecuador and the Spanish State Meteorological Agency. In a resolution passed in December 2012, the General Assembly reiterated the importance of CIIFEN.
In order to strengthen and ensure sustainability of CIIFEN and to support its future role as a WMO Regional Climate Centre, additional support is needed from national and other sources, said Mr. Jarraud. WMO’s Regional Association for South America approved the candidature of CIIFEN as a WMO Regional Climate Centre for the sub-region of Western South America. CIIFEN is currently implementing a demonstration phase.
Regional Climate Centres will play a key role in supporting the implementation of the Global Framework for Climate Services to improve the provision of regionalized climate information for agriculture and food security, water, disaster risk reduction and health.
The success of the GFCS will depend on a global partnership of governments and organizations, strengthening national and regional climate services and improving our ability to adapt and respond to the impacts of climate variability and climate change. Governments, organizations and individuals concerned are called on to contribute to this effort.
As a candidate Regional Climate Centre for Western South America, CIIFEN has an important role to play within the GFCS, enhancing its delivery of climate services and products tailored to the information needs of regional users, and coordinating the Climate Outlook Forum for the Western Coast of South America. CIIFEN has also been actively supporting training and capacity building of national stakeholders in the sub-region to provide climate services.
Large parts of central and southern Australia are currently under the influence of a persistent and widespread heat wave event, leading to a number of new temperature maximums. The Bureau of Meteorology expects further significant records to be set. The heat wave, which is pushing the limits of previous temperature extremes, has required an adjustment of the scale used to represent forecast temperatures with new colours representing 50-52°C and 52-54°C.
According to a Special Climate Statement issued by the Bureau of Meteorology, the current heat wave extends a four month spell of record hot conditions affecting Australia. These hot conditions have been exacerbated by very dry conditions affecting much of Australia since mid 2012 and a delayed start to a weak Australian monsoon.
For September to December, the average Australian maximum temperature was the highest on record with a national anomaly of +1.61 °C, slightly ahead of the previous record of 1.60 °C set in 2002. The start of the current heat wave event traces back to late December 2012, and all states and territories have seen unusually hot temperatures with many site records approached or exceeded across southern and central Australia.
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