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Press releases - 2011


No. 937 - Norway and WMO sign an agreement to strengthen climate services in Africa

DURBAN, South Africa, 9 December 2011 (WMO) - The government of Norway today signed a grant agreement with the World Meteorological Organization to strengthen climate services and help vulnerable African countries become more resilient to climate variability and change. The agreement was signed by Norwegian Minister of the Environment and International Development Erik Solheim and WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud during the United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP17. >> full text

No. 936 - IRENA/WMO:  Renewable energy contributes to the Global Framework for Climate Services

Durban, South Africa, 6 December 2011 (WMO) - The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to jointly implement activities related to the assessment of renewable energy potentials. The Director-General of IRENA, Mr Adnan Amin and the Secretary General of WMO, Mr Michel Jarraud, signed this first Memorandum of Understanding between IRENA and a UN agency on 5 December during the United Nations Climate Change Conference 2011 (COP17). This partnership was initiated in Cancun at COP16 last year and reached its successful conclusion with the signing ceremony in Durban. >> full text

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No. 935 - 2011: world’s 10th warmest year, warmest year with La Niña event, lowest Arctic sea ice volume

GENEVA/DURBAN, 29 November 2011 (WMO) - Global temperatures in 2011 are currently the tenth highest on record and are higher than any previous year with a La Niña event, which has a relative cooling influence. The 13 warmest years have all occurred in the 15 years since 1997. The extent of Arctic sea ice in 2011 was the second lowest on record, and its volume was the lowest. >> full text

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No. 934 - Greenhouse gas concentrations continue climbing

WMO Bulletin highlights growth in nitrous oxide in atmosphere

GENEVA, 21 November 2011 (WMO) –The amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere reached a new high in 2010 since pre-industrial time and the rate of increase has accelerated, according to the World Meteorological Organization’s Greenhouse Gas Bulletin. It focussed special attention on rising nitrous oxide concentrations. >> full text

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Greenhouse Gas Bulletin

No. 933 - La Niña reappears: still weak, but expected to slightly strengthen

GENEVA, 17 November 2011 (WMO) - La Niña conditions have re-emerged in the tropical Pacific since August 2011, according to the latest Update from the World Meteorological Organization. This La Niña is expected to persist through the end of this year and into early 2012, possibly strengthening to moderate intensity. However, it is likely to be considerably weaker than the recent episode that was linked to flooding and drought in different parts of the world.

The Update is based on input from climate prediction centres and experts around the world and is an authoritative source of information on a phenomenon which has such a widespread impact on weather and climate – and lives and livelihoods – around the globe. >> full text

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No. 931 -Global Efforts to Strengthen Integrated Drought Information Systems

Casablanca/Geneva/Washington, 9 November 2011 (WMO) – Lessons learnt from droughts in the Greater Horn of Africa will be one of the topics discussed at an international symposium on drought which will focus on the need for more coordinated, proactive policies to manage the risks of the most damaging of all natural hazards. The International Symposium on Integrated Drought Information Systems will group more than 50 experts from all over the world. It is being organized in Casablanca, Morocco, from 9 to 11 November 2011 by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification and the National Meteorological Service of Morocco (Maroc-Meteo). The droughts in 2010 and 2011 in different parts of the world including East Africa, the southern USA, Russia and China are reinforcing the experts’ views that the impacts of droughts have become more severe over the past two decades. >> full text



Geneva / Changwon, Republic of Korea, 18 Oct 2011 (WMO) – Scientific progress has laid the basis for more effective policies to combat and manage drought and desertification. The challenge of climate change means it is imperative to translate that science into action, according to the World Meteorological Organization. >> full text

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Increased Awareness of Risk Management Boosts Self Reliance

Geneva, 12 October 2011 (WMO) – A four-year pilot project involving 15 West African countries has trained 5 700 subsistence farmers – including 1 000 rural women - in how to access and use weather and climate information to maximize yields and minimize risks. >> full text

No. 928 - Launch of MyWeather – Worldwide Official Weather Information at your Fingertips

GENEVA / HONG KONG, China, 10 October 2011 (WMO/HKO) - The World Meteorological Organization and the Hong Kong Observatory (HKO) today announced the launch of “MyWeather” – a mobile app on iPhone platform featuring the World Weather Information Service (WWIS). It is the world’s first ever location-specific weather service providing official city weather forecasts around the world for people on the move. >> full text

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No. 927 - Preserve the ozone layer, protect the global climate system

New WMO Bulletin Says Antarctic Ozone Hole is currently 24 million km2

Geneva, 16 September 2011 (WMO) – This year’s International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer is meant to serve as a rallying call to accelerate the phase-out of chemicals which destroy the Earth’s fragile shield and which are also powerful greenhouse gases. >> full text

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No. 926 - Greater Horn of Africa Climate Outlook Forum considers September-December rainfall

Geneva/Nairobi, 6 September 2011 (WMO) - The Greater Horn of Africa climate outlook for the forthcoming season (September through December 2011) indicates a possible return to normal/above-normal rainfall conditions in famine-hit southern Somalia, but a risk of below-normal rainfall remains over northern Somalia and adjoining regions. >> full text


No. 925 - WMO Issues new El Niño/La Niña Update
Neutral Conditions or Weak La Niña most likely scenarios for rest of 2011

Geneva, 1 September 2011 (WMO) – The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has issued its latest Update on El Niño/La Niña, the phenomena in the tropical Pacific which have a significant impact upon weather and climate around the globe. >> full text

No. 924 - Pakistan strengthens flood forecasting services to ensure that warnings arrive ahead of the waters

Geneva, 31 August 2011 (WMO) – As the monsoon and flooding season in Pakistan progresses, the country’s forecasting and warning services are being strengthened in order to ensure that information flows faster than water.

Over the past year, WMO has been working with the Pakistan Meteorological Department on an Integrated Flood Management plan. The cooperation is meant to avert a flood disaster of the magnitude it hit the country in 2010, affecting an estimated 20 million people, causing nearly 2,000 fatalities, damaging nearly 2 million homes and general infrastructure, including meteorological and hydrological networks. >> full text

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No. 923 - UN-Water elects new office holders as water moves to centre of sustainable development challenge

Stockholm/Geneva 25 August 2011 (WMO) - World Meteorological Organization Secretary-General Mr Michel Jarraud and Mr Bert Diphoorn, Director of Human Settlements Financing Division at UN-Habitat, were elected by consensus as chair and vice chair respectively of UN-Water. With the customary two-year term approaching, the election took place in Stockholm during UN-Water’s 15th meeting. >> full text

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Joint Press release WMO/UNCCD - Ten million people at risk as East Africa faces worst drought in 60 years - WMO-UNCCD action underway

Geneva/Bonn, 1 August 2011 - The latest famine in Somalia has put a spotlight on the urgent need to develop national and regional drought policies, according to the World Meteorological Organization and the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification, which are jointly leading the international action to address the growing impact of droughts. >> full text

No. 921 - Experts to prepare a compendium on National Drought Policy

Geneva, 13 July 2011 (WMO) –International experts from National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs), climate and agricultural research institutes, universities and policy agencies are participating in the Expert Meeting on the Preparation of a Compendium on National Drought Policy at the George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia (USA), from 14 to 15 July 2011.  The meeting is being organized by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the George Mason University’s College of Science (COS), the US National Drought Mitigation Center (NDMC) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). >> full text

Joint Press release UNEP/WMO - Complementary Action to Curb ‘Soot’ and ‘Smog’ Pollution Could Help Limit Global Temperature Rise to 2 Degrees or Less

Geneva - Bonn, 14 June 2011(WMO/UNEP) - Fast action on pollutants such as black carbon, ground level ozone and methane may help limit near term global temperature rise and significantly increase the chances of keeping temperature rise below 2 degrees C --and perhaps even 1.5 degrees C—a new assessment says. >> full text


No. 920 - World Meteorological Congress Sets Priorities for Next Four Years - New tools to cope with climate change impacts top the agenda

Geneva, 3 June 2011 (WMO) – The World Meteorological Congress today endorsed an ambitious global initiative that will help all communities, and in particular the most vulnerable, cope with the impact of climate change, reduce the risk of natural disasters and safeguard food production, water supplies and health. The Global Framework for Climate Services will boost the availability of climate information needed by policy-makers and people to plan ahead and to take decisions that are sustainable in a changing climate. It will be a global undertaking involving a wide array of stakeholders. Congress decided that the Global Framework will be one of the top five priorities of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in the next four years. The others are: more coordinated disaster risk reduction; improved observation systems; and capacity development to help developing countries share in scientific advances and their applications; and more efficient meteorological services for the aviation sector. >> full text

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No. 919 - World Meteorological Congress Reinforces Aeronautical Meteorological Programme

Geneva, 2 June 2011 (WMO) - The World Meteorological Organization plans to boost its aeronautical meteorological activities given their importance to safe, regular and efficient air navigation. The World Meteorological Congress today decided to make the Aeronautical Meteorology Programme a ‘’high-priority programme that should be suitably resourced” to help its Members meet the increasing needs of the aviation sector. >> full text

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No. 918 - World Meteorological Congress elects President and Vice-Presidents

Geneva, 25 May 2011 (WMO) - Mr David Grimes (Canada) was today elected as President of the World Meteorological Organization for a four year term in office. Mr Grimes is the Assistant Deputy Minister, Meteorological Service of Canada, Environment Canada, and Permanent Representative of Canada to the WMO – positions he has held since 2006. >> full text

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No. 917 - World Meteorological Congress reappoints Mr Michel Jarraud as Secretary-General

Geneva, 24 May 2011 (WMO) - The World Meteorological Congress today reappointed Mr Michel Jarraud for another four-year term as Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). >> full text

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No. 916 - WMO Update: La Niña  episode coming to an end

Geneva, 23 May 2011 (WMO) – The La Niña episode, which caused disastrously wet conditions in certain regions and drought in others, is coming to an end, according to the latest Update issued by the World Meteorological Organization.  Development of El Niño or re-development of La Niña is not considered likely for the middle part of the year, but the outlook at this time is not clear for the second half of 2011. >> full text

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No. 915 - World Meteorological Congress High-level segment voices support for future priorities

Geneva, 17 May 2011 (WMO) - A proposed blueprint to equip countries with the scientific knowledge they need to manage climate risks won overwhelming support at a two-day high-level segment which ended today at the World Meteorological Congress.Heads of government and ministers from all around the world voiced strong support for the proposed Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS) which is intended to make climate information available, accessible and relevant, especially to those who need it most in developing countries. They also discussed other WMO major priority areas including capacity building, disaster risk reduction, strengthened information and observation systems, and aeronautical meteorology. >> full text

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Highlights of opening day of the 16th World Meteorological Congress (16 May – 3 June 2011)

High-level segment voices support for proposed Global Framework on Climate Services

Geneva, 16 May 2011 (WMO) - Climate services save countless lives and livelihoods every day, but often do not reach countries and communities which are most vulnerable to climate change. The international community needs to go the “last mile” and make a minimal commitment of US$75 million per year to unleash the full potential of billions of dollars already invested and spread the benefits around the world, the World Meteorological Congress heard today. >> full text

No. 914 - WMO Congress to Set Future Direction, Priorities, Budget

Geneva, 13 May 2011 (WMO)- A proposed Global Framework for Climate Services designed to help countries – especially the most vulnerable – cope with climate variability and climate change is one of the priorities which will be discussed at the Sixteenth World Meteorological Congress which is held every four years to decide the Organization’s future directions. >> full text

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No. 913 - Taskforce recommends new climate services framework to save lives, livelihoods and reduce disasters

Geneva, 12 May 2011 (WMO) - A top-level panel of experts has recommended the establishment of a new global system to provide climate services which would help countries understand and adapt to climate change, reduce the risk of disasters from extreme events and save lives and livelihoods for generations to come. >> full text


No. 912 - Record stratospheric ozone loss in the arctic in spring of 2011

Geneva, 5 April 2011 (WMO) — Depletion of the ozone layer - the shield that protects life on Earth from harmful levels of ultraviolet rays - has reached an unprecedented level over the Arctic this spring because of the continuing presence of ozone-depleting substances in the atmosphere and a very cold winter in the stratosphere. The stratosphere is the second major layer of the Earth’s atmosphere, just above the troposphere.  >> full text

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No. 911 - Polar research boosts understanding of our climate and global environment

Geneva, 28 March 2011 (WMO/ICSU) – The largest coordinated research project ever undertaken into the Arctic and Antarctic regions yielded a treasure trove of information which will shape our understanding of the polar regions, global oceans, climate and climate change for decades ahead, according to a summary of the research released today. >> full text

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No. 910 - World Meteorological Day Celebrates Climate For You

Geneva, 22 March 2011 – “Climate for You” is the theme of this year’s World  Meteorological Day (23 March) celebrating the contribution of National Meteorological and Hydrological Services to every aspect of our daily lives >> full text

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No. 909 - WMO monitoring meteorological conditions in quake-hit area  

Geneva, 15 March 2011 (WMO) – The World Meteorological Organization has activated its Environmental Emergency Response mechanism in the aftermath of the earthquake in Japan. The International Atomic Energy Agency requested the World Meteorological Organization to activate its Environmental Emergency Response mechanism on 12 March 2011 following the 9.0 earthquake and the resulting Tsunami.  WMO is providing the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) with meteorological information.  WMO’s Regional Specialized Meteorological Centres in Asia (Beijing, Tokyo and Obninsk, Russian Federation) are closely monitoring the situation. These centres are responsible for developing predictions of the trajectories and spreading of contaminants following environmental accidents with cross-border implications. The information is made available to the IAEA and National Meteorological and Hydrological Services of the immediate region concerned.  Other Regional Specialized Meteorological Centres in other regions were also activated to provide guidance in their respective regions of responsibility. >> full text

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No. 908 - WMO adds gales to severe weather information website as site visitors soar

Geneva / Hong Kong, 7 March 2011 (WMO) – Gales and high winds now feature on the World Meteorological Organization Severe Weather Information Centre website as part of the continuing drive to improve public weather forecasts and reduce risks from natural hazards. >> full text


No. 907 - WMO Update says La Niña expected to continue through first quarter of 2011 but gradually weaken

Geneva, 25 January 2011 (WMO) – A significant La Niña episode, which is affecting climate conditions in different regions of the world, continues in the tropical Pacific Ocean. Its strength is expected to decrease during the course of the coming four months, according to a new Update issued today by the World Meteorological Organization. >> full text

No. 906 -2010 equals record for world’s warmest year

Geneva, 20 January 2011 (WMO) - The year 2010 ranked as the warmest year on record, together with 2005 and 1998, according to the World Meteorological Organization. Data received by the WMO show no statistically significant difference between global temperatures in 2010, 2005 and 1998. >> full text

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No. 905 - International Support For Haiti’s Meteorological Services Proved Critical to Minimize Hurricane Impact

Geneva, 11 January 2011 (WMO) – The international support for meteorological services in Haiti has proved to be a success story emerging from the devastation of last year’s earthquake. The weather forecasting system will play a major role in helping reduce disasters in one of the world’s most vulnerable nations, as evidenced by the accurate and timely early warnings which helped limit the impact from Hurricane Tomas. >> full text





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