Warsaw, 21 November 2013 – The World Meteorological Organization has partnered with leading research, UN agencies and humanitarian organizations to launch the Climate Services Adaptation Programme in Africa in an effort to increase the climate change resilience of some of the world’s most vulnerable countries.
The programme, funded by a grant of US$ 9 750 000 (NOK 60 000 000) from the Government of Norway, is the first multi-agency initiative to be implemented under the Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS). It represents a unique approach that includes natural and social scientists as well as large development and humanitarian agencies working on the ground in a bid to ensure that climate services are tailored to the practical needs of the user community.
The challenges are huge. An estimated 70 nations, including many of the Least Developed Countries, have inadequate or no climate services and are ill-equipped to meet the challenges of both natural variations in the climate and human-induced climate change. >> More
Geneva, 13 November 2013 - The year 2013 is currently on course to be among the top ten warmest years since modern records began in 1850, according to the World Meteorological Organization. The first nine months, January to September, tied with 2003 as the seventh warmest such period on record, with a global land and ocean surface temperature of about 0.48°C (0.86°F) above the 1961–1990 average.
WMO’s provisional annual statement on the Status of the Global Climate 2013 [PDF] provides a snapshot of regional and national temperatures. It also includes details on precipitation, floods, droughts, tropical cyclones, ice cover and sea-level. The statement was released today to inform negotiators at the United Nations climate change conference in Warsaw, Poland. >> More
Geneva, 6 November 2013 - The World Meteorological Organization’s annual Greenhouse Gas Bulletin shows that between 1990 and 2012 there was a 32% increase in radiative forcing – the warming effect on our climate – because of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other heat-trapping long-lived gases such as methane and nitrous oxide.
Carbon dioxide, mainly from fossil fuel-related emissions, accounted for 80% of this increase. The atmospheric increase of CO2 from 2011 to 2012 was higher than its average growth rate over the past ten years, according to the Greenhouse Gas Bulletin. >> More
Brussels, 31 October 2013 – Leading scientists from around the world are meeting in Brussels from 4 to 7 November to set the agenda for scientific research into regional climate change. This research is being conducted through the Coordinated Regional Climate Downscaling Experiment (CORDEX).
The conference is co-sponsored by the European Commission (EC), the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP), and the WMO/UNEP Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
On Monday, 4 November, a high-level session and stakeholder dialogue will feature addresses by EC Commissioner for Climate Action Connie Hedegaard, WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud, and IPCC Working Group 1 Co-Chairs Thomas Stocker and Dahe Qin.
The conference follows the recent adoption by governments of the IPCC’s assessment of the most up-to-date, peer-reviewed literature on climate science. The IPCC’s report on “The Physical Science Basis” confirms that it is extremely likely (95-100% probability) that most of the global warming since 1950 has been due to human influence. However, scientists are less confident about the precise effects of climate change at the national and regional scales. >> More
Stockholm, 27 September 2013 – A major international assessment of climate change adopted here by 110 governments provides conclusive new scientific evidence that human activities are causing unprecedented changes in the Earth’s climate.
Produced by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which was established by the World Meteorological Organization and the United Nations Environment Programme in 1988, the report confirms that it is extremely likely (95-100% probability) that most of the warming since 1950 has been due to human influence.
The IPCC’s previous assessment, released in 2007, described the evidence for human-caused global warming as “unequivocal,” with at least a 9 out of 10 chance of being correct.
The new report further states that greenhouse gas emissions at or above current rates would induce changes in the oceans, ice caps, glaciers, the biosphere, and other components of the climate system. Some of these changes would very likely be unprecedented over decades to thousands of years. Limiting climate change would require substantial and sustained reductions in emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases. >> More
Geneva (10 July 2013) An ambitious international drive to cushion the impact of climate variability and change through the provision of user-orientated climate services like seasonal outlooks, drought and flood advisories will be accelerated thanks to decisions taken at an intergovernmental meeting organized by the World Meteorological Organization.
At its first session 1 to 5 July 2013, the Intergovernmental Board on Climate Services agreed on an operational road map for the Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS). This is a country-driven initiative to provide accurate and accessible climate services to users all over the world, with an initial focus on the agriculture, water, health and disaster management communities.
“The urgency in achieving early successes in this endeavour cannot be overstated,” said WMO President David Grimes. “We have seen many recent examples of climate-related extreme events with enormous negative social and economic impacts and the tragic loss of life.“ >> Full text
GENEVA 3 July 2013 - The world experienced unprecedented high-impact climate extremes during the 2001-2010 decade, which was the warmest since the start of modern measurements in 1850 and continued an extended period of pronounced global warming. More national temperature records were reported broken than in any previous decade, according to a new report by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).
The report, The Global Climate 2001-2010, A Decade of Climate Extremes, analysed global and regional temperatures and precipitation, as well as extreme events such as the heat waves in Europe and Russia, Hurricane Katrina in the United States of America, Tropical Cyclone Nargis in Myanmar, droughts in the Amazon Basin, Australia and East Africa and floods in Pakistan.
The decade was the warmest for both hemispheres and for both land and ocean surface temperatures. The record warmth was accompanied by a rapid decline in Arctic sea ice, and accelerating loss of net mass from the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets and from the world’s glaciers. As a result of this widespread melting and the thermal expansion of sea water, global mean sea levels rose about 3 millimetres (mm) per year, about double the observed 20th century trend of 1.6 mm per year. Global sea level averaged over the decade was about 20 cm higher than that of 1880, according to the report. >> Full text
Geneva, 28 June 2013 (WMO) - Extreme events are the face of changing climate
Progress in rolling out operational climate services vital to help countries and communities cope with long-term climate change and associated extreme weather events is set to receive a boost at an intergovernmental meeting to consider a road map for future action.
The Intergovernmental Board on Climate Services holds its first session 2 to 5 July 2013 to discuss implementation of the Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS). This is a country-driven initiative to provide accurate and accessible climate services to users such as disaster management authorities, water and energy utilities, public health agencies, the transport sector, farmers as well as the community at large.
The global push to deliver climate information and services is spearheaded by the World Meteorological Organization in partnership with many other international organizations such as United Nations agencies, the World Bank and the International Red Cross and Red Crescent movement. Governments and their agencies are developing the GFCS at national level. >> More
Geneva, 26 June 2013 (WMO) - Neutral conditions (neither El Niño nor La Niña) continue in the tropical Pacific. Model forecasts and expert opinion suggest that neutral conditions are likely to be maintained through the boreal summer and autumn of 2013, though a slight chance of La Niña or ElNiño development remains. National Meteorological and Hydrological Services and other agencies will continue to monitor the conditions over the Pacific and provide outlooks to assess the most likely state of the climate through the remainder of 2013.
During the last year, El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) indicators in the tropical Pacific (e.g., tropical Pacific Ocean temperatures, sea level pressure, cloudiness and trade winds) have generally been at neutral levels, indicating that neither El Niño nor La Niña conditions have been present. In January and February 2013, sea surface temperatures approached a borderline LaNiña level, and although the atmospheric characteristics of La Niña also appeared briefly, the ocean-atmosphere system as a whole did not remain in a La Niña state for long enough to be considered a weak La Niña event. Since March 2013 the central tropical Pacific Ocean, cloudiness and trade winds have been at neutral levels. However, in the far eastern tropical Pacific Ocean temperatures cooled to well below average during May and early June.The latest outlooks from climate models and expert opinion suggest that sea surface temperatures and atmospheric anomalies are most likely to remain neutral through the end of 2013. Less than a quarter of the models surveyed predict weak La Niña conditions to develop during the June to September period, while less than one fifth of the models predict El Niño development during 2013. Hence, while there is a slight possibility for La Niña or El Niño development during the coming few months, neutral ENSO conditions are considered most likely during boreal summer and through the remainder of 2013. >> Update
Geneva, 4 June 2013 (WMO) - The World Meteorological Organization’s Executive Council has awarded its most prestigious prize to DrTillmann Mohr of Germany, and honoured several distinguished scientists for their outstanding work in meteorology, climatology, hydrology and related sciences.
Dr Mohr won the IMO Prize, the highest award, for his life-long contribution to meteorology, and especially his promotion of instrumental satellite meteorology for both research and operational work.
Dr Mohr’s involvement with satellite activities started in 1971 and continued for the rest of his career. He was President of the German Weather Service and Permanent Representative of Germany with WMO from 1992 until 1994. He was Director-General of EUMETSAT from 1994-2004.
During a long relationship with WMO dating back to 1970 he chaired a number of key committees. He has been serving as a special advisor to the WMO Secretary-General on space matters and until 2012 on the Global Framework for Climate Services. From 2005-2010 he was a member of the Joint Committee for International Polar Year. He is a member of the Space Advisory Group of the European Commission. >> More
GENEVA, 27 May 2013 (WMO) - The World Meteorological Organization’s (WMO) Executive Council has agreed on measures to expand and improve research and observing networks to increase understanding of our rapidly changing climate and strengthen delivery of meteorological services vital to society and the global economy.
At its annual session 15-23 May, the Executive Council also discussed enhanced disaster risk reduction and early warning systems to increase resilience and sustainable development.
The vulnerability of developing and developed countries alike to natural hazards was underlined in the space of a few days by Cyclone Mahasen in the Bay of Bengal and the deadly tornadoes which caused devastation in USA.
A top priority on the agenda was the Global Framework for Climate Services, a cross-cutting international initiative spearheaded by WMO to make user-friendly climate services available to those who need them most. Several countries are rolling out climate services at national level and WMO is promoting the expansion of regional climate centres to address the regional impacts of climate variability and climate change. >> More
GENEVA, 2 May 2013 (WMO) The World Meteorological Organization’s Statement on the Status of the Global Climate says that 2012 joined the ten previous years as one of the warmest — at ninth place — on record despite the cooling influence of a La Niña episode early in the year.
The 2012 global land and ocean surface temperature during January–December 2012 is estimated to be 0.45°C (±0.11°C) above the 1961–1990 average of 14.0°C. This is the ninth warmest year since records began in 1850 and the 27th consecutive year that the global land and ocean temperatures were above the 1961–1990 average, according to the statement The years 2001–2012 were all among the top 13 warmest years on record.
“Although the rate of warming varies from year to year due to natural variability caused by the El Niño cycle, volcanic eruptions and other phenomena, the sustained warming of the lower atmosphere is a worrisome sign,” said WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud. “The continued upward trend in atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases and the consequent increased radiative forcing of the Earth’s atmosphere confirm that the warming will continue,” he said. >> More
WMO Celebrates 50 years of World Weather Watch
GENEVA 21 March 2013 (WMO) 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 title of this year’s event focuses attention on the crucial 24/7 role of meteorological and hydrological services in improving human safety and safeguarding society against hazards like floods, tropical cyclones and droughts.
“The growing impact of weather extremes cannot be ignored. Over the last 30 years natural disasters took the lives of over 2 million people and produced economic losses estimated at over 1.5 trillion US dollars,” said World Meteorological Organization Secretary-General Michel Jarraud. “Almost 90 percent of such disasters, more than 70 percent of the casualties and almost 80 percent of the economic losses were caused by weather-, climate- or water-related hazards.” >> More
Meeting urges disaster risk reduction instead of crisis management
GENEVA (15 MARCH 2013) _ A top-level United Nations conference has, for the first time, laid the foundations for practical and proactive national drought policies to increase resilience to the world’s most destructive natural hazard, which is being aggravated by climate change.
The High-level Meeting on National Drought Policy marked the first globally-coordinated attempt to move towards science-based drought disaster risk reduction and break away from piecemeal and costly crisis-response, which often comes too late to avert death, displacement and destruction.
The meeting issued a declaration encouraging governments to develop and implement national drought management policies consistent with their development objectives. It also provided detailed scientific and policy guidance on how to achieve this.
“Prevention must be our priority,” said U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon in a message to delegates. “Nations need urgently to develop strategies for resilience — especially for the poor, who are always hit first and worst.” >> More
Geneva/Rome/Bonn, March 2013 - Michel Jarraud, Secretary-General, World Meteorological Organization; José Graziano da Silva, Director General, Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN; and Luc Gnacadja, Executive Secretary, UN Convention to Combat Desertification
Droughts have scarred human history since ancient times. While lacking the drama of earthquakes or hurricanes, droughts cause more deaths and displace more people than any other kind of natural disaster. During the past several years alone, they have struck such diverse places as Australia, Brazil, Djibouti, southeastern Europe, Mexico, Russia, Somalia, Spain and the United States.
Climate variability and change threaten to bring even higher temperatures, greater evaporation and altered rainfall patterns in the years to come. While rainfall and water supplies vary everywhere in the world, the countries most vulnerable to serious drought are in the world’s drylands, which since 1950 have increased by almost 2 per cent per decade. >> Full text
Geneva 11 March 2013 –Neutral conditions (neither El Niño nor La Niña) continue in the tropical Pacific. Model forecasts and expert opinion suggest that the likelihood of El Niño or La Niña conditions developing during the first half of 2013 is low, and that neutral conditions are likely to be maintained through the boreal spring. National Meteorological and Hydrological Services and other agencies will continue to monitor Pacific Basin conditions and provide outlooks to assess the most likely state of the climate through the coming several months of 2013.
During the last 10 months El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) indicators in the tropical Pacific (e.g., tropical Pacific Ocean temperatures, sea level pressure, cloudiness and trade winds) have generally been at neutral levels, indicating neither El Niño nor La Niña conditions have been present. From July to October 2012, sea surface temperatures increased to a borderline El Niño level, but the atmospheric characteristics of El Niño failed to develop and the ocean-atmosphere system as a whole remained in a neutral state. Since November the tropical Pacific Ocean has cooled, and although the first two months of 2013 showed patterns of ocean temperatures that approached borderlineLa Niña levels, and cloudiness and trade winds that also leaned towards La Niña conditions, the tendency has been weak and the state of the ocean-atmosphere system as a whole continued to be neutral.
Need to focus on building resilience and reducing risks
Droughts cause the deaths and displacement of more people than cyclones, floods and earthquakes combined, making them the world’s most destructive natural hazard. Yet while droughts are expected to increase in frequency, area and intensity due to climate change, effective drought management policies are missing in most parts of the world. Three United Nations institutions have now joined forces to promote the development and adoption of practical and proactive policies at the national level to make drought-prone countries more resilient.
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and other partners will hold a High-Level Meeting on National Drought Policy on 11-15 March 2013 in Geneva to focus on drought preparedness and management policies. >> More
GENEVA/DOHA, 28 November 2012 (WMO) – The years 2001–2011 were all among the warmest on record, and, according to the World Meteorological Organization, the first ten months indicate that 2012 will most likely be no exception despite the cooling influence of La Niña early in the year.
WMO’s provisional annual statement on the state of the global climate also highlighted the unprecedented melt of the Arctic sea ice and multiple weather and climate extremes which affected many parts of the world. It was released today to inform negotiators at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Doha, Qatar.
January-October 2012 has been the ninth warmest such period since records began in 1850. The global land and ocean surface temperature for the period was about 0.45°C (0.81°F) above the corresponding 1961–1990 average of 14.2°C, according to the statement.
The year began with a weak-to-moderate strength La Niña, which had developed in October 2011. The presence of a La Niña during the start of a year tends to have a cooling influence on global temperatures, and this year was no different. After the end of the La Niña in April 2012, the global land and ocean temperatures rose increasingly above the long-term average with each consecutive month. The six-month average of May–October 2012 was among the four warmest such periods on record. >> Full text
WMO's provisional annual statement:
Geneva, 20 November (WMO) – The amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere reached a new record high in 2011, according to the World Meteorological Organization. Between 1990 and 2011 there was a 30% increase in radiative forcing – the warming effect on our climate – because of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other heat-trapping long-lived gases.
Since the start of the industrial era in 1750, about 375 billion tonnes of carbon have been released into the atmosphere as CO2, primarily from fossil fuel combustion, according to WMO’s 2011 Greenhouse Gas Bulletin, which had a special focus on the carbon cycle. About half of this carbon dioxide remains in the atmosphere, with the rest being absorbed by the oceans and terrestrial biosphere.
“These billions of tonnes of additional carbon dioxide in our atmosphere will remain there for centuries, causing our planet to warm further and impacting on all aspects of life on earth,” said WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud. “Future emissions will only compound the situation.” >> More
Lugano, Switzerland, 6 November 2012 - The Coordination Group for Meteorological Satellites (CGMS) is celebrating 40 years of successful cooperation as it prepares to meet growing demands from a world which is increasingly vulnerable to the impact of weather and climate.
Created in 1972 by Europe, Japan, USA, and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the CGMS has contributed to significantly improve, global planning, coordination and utilisation of meteorological satellites for weather forecasting and warning, as well as for scientific research, and more recently climate studies.At its 40th anniversary meeting this week, the CGMS will harness past experience and expertise to devise a high-level priority plan to meet future challenges that will arise from the introduction of a new generation of meteorological satellites. >> More
Geneva, 5 November 2012 –As Hurricane Sandy highlighted the force of nature, governments from around the world agreed on a detailed road map 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/or intensity.
A historic extraordinary session of the World Meteorological Congress 29-31 October approved the governance structure and implementation plan for the Global Framework for Climate Services. This is a sweeping initiative to capitalize on scientific advances and roll out user-driven services such as seasonal climate outlooks and El Niño watches, flood prediction and drought monitoring tools.
“We have finished the last kilometer of preparation and now we are beginning the many kilometers of progress to improve the livelihood of citizens all over the world,” said World Meteorological Organization President David Grimes. >> Full text
Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe 23 October 2012 – An integrated African Strategy for Meteorology (Weather and Climate) to meet challenges such as climate change and extreme weather hazards has been adopted by an African ministerial-level conference in Zimbabwe.
The Second Session of the African Ministerial Conference on Meteorology 15 - 19 October 2012 also focused on how to improve weather and climate services for sustainable development, particularly for priority sectors such as agriculture, water, health, disaster risk reduction and transport.
The ministerial conference, organised by the World Meteorological Organization, the African Union Commission and the Government of Zimbabwe, welcomed the general improvement in the capacity and capabilities of African meteorological services over the past decade. But it also noted that many National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) in the region operate with poor infrastructure and limited capability. Their meteorological services are generally poorly developed and in a number of countries basic climate services are only available from external sources. >> More
Geneva, 25 October 2012 – Climate change is having a fundamental impact on every aspect of our lives. It affects the sustainability of rural development and urban planning, the security of water supplies, and the strength of disaster defences. It influences the variety and cultivation of crops, the viability of renewable energy projects, the resilience of transport infrastructure,, and public health and disease control campaigns, to name but a few of its impacts.
The World Meteorological Organization is therefore spearheading a UN-wide initiative to improve and increase access to climate information and operational services needed to cope with natural climate variations and with human-induced climate change, which is leading to more extreme weather conditions such as droughts, heat-waves and floods. >> More
Geneva, 29 October 2012 (WHO/WMO) – As the world’s climate continues to change, hazards to human health are increasing. The Atlas of Health and Climate, published today jointly by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), illustrates some of the most pressing current and emerging challenges.
Droughts, floods and cyclones affect the health of millions of people each year. Climate variability and extreme conditions such as floods can also trigger epidemics of diseases such as diarrhoea, malaria, dengue and meningitis, which cause death and suffering for many millions more. The Atlas gives practical examples of how the use of weather and climate information can protect public health. >> Full text
Addis Ababa/Geneva/Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe 12 October 2012 - The development of an integrated African strategy for meteorology to meet challenges such as climate change and extreme weather hazards will be top of the agenda at a ministerial conference in Zimbabwe, 15-19 October, 2012.
The Second Session of the African Ministerial Conference on Meteorology will also focus on how to improve weather and climate services for sustainable development, particularly for priority sectors such as agriculture, water, health, disaster risk reduction and transport.
The meeting, to be held in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe, is organised by the World Meteorological Organization, the African Union Commission and the Government of Zimbabwe. It follows on from the inaugural 2010 First Ministerial Conference of Ministers Responsible for Meteorology in Africa, which adopted the Nairobi Declaration calling for the strengthening of National Meteorological and Hydrological Services. >> Full text
Geneva, 25 September 2012 (WMO) – A weak El Niño may develop in September and October and last until the northern hemisphere winter, according to the World Meteorological Organization’s new El Niño/La Niña Update.
The El Niño phenomenon is due to large-scale interactions between the ocean and the atmosphere. It is characterized by unusually warm ocean surface temperatures in the central and eastern tropical Pacific, in contrast to the unusually cool ocean surface temperatures witnessed in the same region during La Niña events. Both El Niño and La Niña have a large influence on weather and climate around the globe. >> Full text
GENEVA, 14 September 2012 (WMO) - An international agreement to phase out chemicals which attack the Earth’s vital ozone shield celebrates its 25th anniversary as a showcase for successful global environmental cooperation, “protecting our atmosphere for generations to come.
The Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, which was signed 16 September 1987, has prevented the destruction of the ozone layer which protects Earth from the harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun. >> Full text
GENEVA, 13 September 2012 (WMO) - A World Meteorological Organization panel has concluded that the all-time heat record held for exactly 90 years by El Azizia in Libya is invalid because of an error in recording the temperature. The announcement follows a danger-fraught investigation during the 2011 Libyan revolution. Death Valley National Park in California, USA, now officially holds the title of the world’s hottest place – as symbolic for meteorologists as Mt. Everest is for geographers.
During 2010-2011, a WMO Commission of Climatology special international panel of experts conducted an in-depth investigation of the long-held world-record temperature extreme of 58ºC (136.4 ºF). That temperature (often cited by numerous sources as the highest surface temperature for the planet) was recorded at El Azizia, approximately 40 kilometres south-southwest of Tripoli on 13 September 1922. The investigation was conducted with the support of the Libyan National Meteorological Centre for the WMO Commission of Climatology World Archive of Weather and Climate Extremes (http://wmo.asu.edu/), the official WMO world meteorology-verified record of weather and climate extremes. >> Full text
Zanzibar/Geneva, 3 September 2012 (ICPAC/WMO) - The Greater Horn of Africa Climate Outlook Forum has concluded that, in the forthcoming September-December rainy season, most parts of the region are likely to receive near normal to above normal rainfall.
The Forum issued a consensus-based regional climate outlook following a review of the current and expected future state of the global climate system, large-scale climate anomalies and their implications for the 11 countries in the Greater Horn of Africa region. Meteorological experts as well as representatives from disaster risk management, water resources, agriculture and food security, health and development sectors were among the participants. The forum session held from 29 to 31 August 2012 in Zanzibar, United Republic of Tanzania, was convened by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development’s Climate Prediction and Applications Centre (ICPAC) with the support of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and other partners, and hosted by the Tanzanian Meteorological Agency.
September to December constitutes the second most important rainfall season, after the March-May rainfall season, over southern Somalia and other equatorial parts of the Greater Horn of Africa (Kenya, Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda and northern Tanzania).
Geneva/Zagreb, Croatia, 30 August 2012 (UNISDR/WMO) – The United Nations, European Commission and national authorities have launched a new project in the Western Balkans and Turkey that will reduce disaster risks and increase resilience to climate change.
The Western Balkans and Turkey are prone to multiple hazards such as heat and cold waves, precipitation that causes floods as well as landslides, droughts and forest fires and earthquakes. Climate variability and climate change, new land-use patterns and increasing human settlements in vulnerable areas may compound such problems.
The UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) are co-sponsoring the two-year multi-beneficiary project. EUR 2.2 million is being provided by the European Commission’s Directorate General for Enlargement, under the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance Programme. Beneficiaries are Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, Serbia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkey, and Kosovo (under UN Security Council Resolution 1244/99).>> Full text
Geneva, 21 August 2012 (WMO/UNCCD) - The drought gripping the United States of America and the ripple effects on global food markets underline the vulnerability of our inter-connected world to a natural hazard that is expected to increase in future.
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and other UN agencies are stepping up efforts to develop more coordinated and proactive policies for managing drought risk to fill the existing vacuum in virtually every nation.
“Climate change is projected to increase the frequency, intensity, and duration of droughts, with impacts on many sectors, in particular food, water, and energy,” said WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud. “We need to move away from a piecemeal, crisis-driven approach and develop integrated risk-based national drought policies.” >> Full text
Geneva, 10 July 2012 (WMO) – The World Meteorological Organization’s Executive Council has awarded its most prestigious prize and honoured several distinguished scientists for outstanding contributions in the field of meteorology, climatology, hydrology and related sciences.
Dr Zaviša Janjić won the IMO Prize, the highest award, for his life-long contributions to the advancement of theory and practice of atmospheric modelling and numerical weather prediction. The scope of his scientific interest and expertise is very broad, ranging from all aspects of model dynamics to major aspects of model physics.
Dr Janjić (Serbia/U.S.A.) is currently a research meteorologist with the U.S. National Center for Environmental Prediction. >> Full text
Geneva, 5 July 2012 (WMO) - WMO’s Executive Council has issued guidance on a planned road map to increase the availability, accuracy and relevance of climate services to help society cope with natural fluctuations in our climate and human induced climate change.
The Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS) was one of the main focuses of the WMO Executive Council’s annual meeting held from 25 June – 3 July 2012. Discussions helped in preparations for the first ever Extraordinary World Meteorological Congress at the end of October to decide on the governance and implementation of the GFCS.
The GFCS is currently being developed by WMO and a wide range of partners within and outside the United Nations System. It aims to fill the critical gaps in provision of science-based climate information, especially to the most vulnerable, and to tailor it to the needs of a wide range of users. The initial priority areas for action are agriculture and food security, water management, disaster risk reduction and health. >> More
Geneva, 22 June 2012 (WMO) – The Executive Council of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) holds its annual meeting from 25 June to 3 July to review progress in the provision of critical weather, climate and water services to meet the growing needs of society.
The Council will consider WMO priorities including the Global Framework for Climate Services, which is being developed by WMO and its partners. Other priorities are: enhanced disaster risk reduction; improved observation and information systems; more efficient meteorological services for the aviation sector; and capacity-strengthening of National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) in developing countries.
The 37-member Council is chaired by WMO President David Grimes. The WMO is the UN’s authoritative scientific voice on weather, climate and water. >> Full text
GENEVA, 26 June 2012 (WMO) _ There is a slight chance that El Niño conditions may develop some time during July to September, according to a new El Niño/La Niña Update issued by the World Meteorological Organization. The potential strength of any such event is uncertain at this stage.
Neutral conditions (neither El Niño nor La Niña) have prevailed since the 2011-12 La Niña ended in April 2012, and are likely to continue for at least the first half of the northern hemisphere summer (southern hemisphere winter). Beyond July, odds slightly favour El Niño over neutral conditions. The re-emergence of La Niña is considered very unlikely. >> Full text
Yeosu, Republic of Korea, 22 May 2012 (WMO) - The interrelationship between our changing climate and oceans which cover two thirds of the Earth’s surface will be on the agenda of an intergovernmental commission of meteorologists and oceanographers discussing improved cooperation in the face of challenges such as maritime and coastal safety and the need for more high-quality data from the ocean to support weather prediction and climate studies.
The Joint Commission for Oceanography and Marine Meteorology (JCOMM) of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC), meets in Yeosu, Republic of Korea, 23-31 May to consider progress and priorities in strengthening our understanding of oceans through collective action. >> Full text
GENEVA, 16 May 2012 (WMO) – The 2011-2012 La Niña has ended. La Niña conditions in the tropical Pacific transitioned to neutral (neither El Niño nor La Niña) conditions in early April 2012. Model forecasts and expert opinion suggest that neutral conditions are likely to continue into the Northern Hemisphere summer (austral winter). For the second half of 2012 a return of La Niña is unlikely, while neutral or El Niño conditions are currently considered to have equal chances of occurring. National Meteorological and Hydrological Services and other agencies will continue to monitor Pacific Basin conditions and outlooks to assess the most likely state of the climate during 2012.
The weak to moderate strength La Niña of 2011-2012 ended in early April 2012, as tropical Pacific sea surface temperatures, sea level pressure and trade winds returned to neutral levels of ElNiño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO), with neither El Niño nor La Niña prevailing. The latest results from forecast models and expert opinion suggest that sea surface temperature anomalies will likely oscillate around neutral conditions into the northern summer (austral winter) of 2012. Beyond July 2012, however, some forecast uncertainty exists. Based largely on a recent build-up of heat in the deeper tropical Pacific Ocean, at least half of the dynamical climate models surveyed predict development of El Niño conditions during the July to September period. However, some dynamical models and more than half of the statistical models indicate neutral ENSO conditions will remain through 2012. Currently, practically none of the models suggests a return to La Niña conditions. Expert interpretation of these models and conditions suggests that while La Niña is unlikely to redevelop later this year, there is a greater than normal chance both for neutral conditions to continue and for the development of El Niño during the second half of the year. >> Full text
The Uganda Department of Meteorology, World Meteorological Organization (WMO), MTN, Ericsson, National Lake Rescue Institute and the Kalangala Fishing community have come together in a unique partnership, and combined mobile technology, weather forecasting and local know-how, to provide a localised weather alert service to fishing villages on Lake Victoria.
WMO and Ericsson in partnership with MTN, Uganda Department of Meteorology and the National Lake Rescue Institute have made possible the delivery of daily weather forecasts and well-timed warnings in local languages. The service, still in its pilot phase, is being tested by over 1000 fishermen in the Kalangala District of Lake Victoria. . MTN, Grameen Foundation AppLab Uganda and Ericsson are in the preparation of the wider service offering together with the Uganda Department of Meteorology, which will then be available for the entire Lake Victoria community in the next three months. >> Full text
Climate change accelerated in 2001-2010, according to preliminary assessment
GENEVA, 23 March 2012 (WMO) – The World Meteorological Organization’s Annual Statement on the Status of the Global Climate said that 2011 was the 11th warmest since records began in 1850. It confirmed preliminary findings that 2011 was the warmest year on record with a La Niña, which has a cooling influence. Globally-averaged temperatures in 2011 were estimated to be 0.40° Centigrade above the 1961-1990 annual average of 14°C.
Precipitation extremes, many of them associated with one of the strongest La Niña events of the last 60 years, had major impacts on the world. Significant flooding occurred on all continents, whilst major droughts affected parts of east Africa and North America. Arctic sea ice extent fell to near record-low levels. Global tropical cyclone activity was below average, but the United States had one of its most destructive tornado seasons on record.
The annual statement for 2011 was released for World Meteorological Day 23 March. In addition, WMO also announced preliminary findings of the soon to be released Decadal Global Climate Summary, showing that climate change accelerated in 2001-2010, which was the warmest decade ever recorded in all continents of the globe. >> Full text
GENEVA, 22 March 2012 – “Powering our Future with Weather, Climate and Water,” is the theme of this year’s World Meteorological Day (23 March), an opportunity for National Meteorological and Hydrological Services and the WMO community at large to promote their contribution to our daily lives.
The theme highlights the growing importance of weather, climate and water services for sustainable socio-economic development of present and future generations. “Knowledge about our weather, climate and water has made great strides in recent years and is fundamental to food security, disaster risk reduction, water management, energy supplies and health, to name but a few examples,” said World Meteorological Organization Secretary-General Michel Jarraud. >> Full text
KIGALI/GENEVA, 1 March 2012 (ICPAC/WMO). The Greater Horn of Africa Climate Outlook Forum has warned of the possibility of below normal rainfall during the main March-May rainy season in Somalia and other areas which were affected by drought in 2010 and 2011.
The regional consensus climate outlook for the March to May rainfall season indicates increased likelihood of near normal to below normal rainfall over much of the Greater Horn of Africa region. Specifically, it indicates a 45% probability of below normal rainfall over much of eastern and northern Kenya; southern, eastern and northeastern Ethiopia; Somalia and Djibouti, with a 35% probability of near normal rainfall and a 25% probability of above normal rainfall in these areas. It indicates an increased likelihood of near normal to above normal rainfall is indicated over southwestern Tanzania, southwestern Ethiopia, South Sudan and southwestern Sudan. The climate outlook was issued at the end of a meeting organized by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development Climate Prediction and Applications Center (ICPAC), 27-29 February in Kigali, Rwanda. >> Full text
Geneva, 17 February 2012 (WMO) - Radio frequencies which are vital for weather forecasts, disaster warnings and climate monitoring will remain available to the meteorological community and protected from interference from other applications thanks to decisions taken by the World Radiocommunication Conference 2012 (WRC-12). The World Meteorological Organization today welcomed the outcome of WRC-12 and said it would safeguard the use of radio frequency spectrum which are needed to observe and understand our Earth, atmosphere and oceans and to reduce the risk of weather, climate and water-related disasters. >> Full text
UN-Water new office bearers take on duties as water moves to centre of sustainable development challenge
Zaragoza/Geneva/Nairobi, 8 February 2012 (UN-Water – WMO – UN-Habitat) - World Meteorological Organization Secretary-General Mr Michel Jarraud and Mr Albert Diphoorn, UN-Habitat Urban Basic Services Branch Coordinator, take up positions as Chair and Vice-Chair respectively of UN-Water for a customary two-year term. Both were elected by consensus during UN-Water’s 15th meeting in Stockholm in August 2011. Challenges including population growth, urbanization, food security and environmental degradation mean that the United Nations (UN) system – now more than ever before – needs to elevate the role of water on the international agenda and step up efforts to preserve and manage this precious natural resource which is so fundamental to life on our planet. >> Full text
WMO Information System boosts data exchange for disaster risk reduction, forecasting, predictions and service delivery for food security and health
Geneva, 31 January 2012 (WMO), A new international information system to improve and expand the current exchange of weather, climate and water data – and cut the costs involved - has become operational. The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Information System will make it easier to find and use meteorological observations and products and to share them with a wide variety of stakeholders such as the research and disaster risk reduction communities. >> full text
Geneva, 16 January 2012 (WMO), Weather forecasts, disaster warnings and climate monitoring are all critically dependent on radio frequency bands which are used around the clock by meteorological services. Increasing pressure on the use of radio spectrum from wireless technology and other applications could hamper Earth observations and efforts to understand and predict climate change. These are some key points of a submission by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) to the World Radiocommunication Conference taking place in Geneva 23 January to 17 February 2012. The conference is mandated to review and revise the Radio Regulations, the international treaty governing the use of radio-frequency spectrum. >> Full text