No. 1004 - WMO: Still Time to Act on Climate Change
Need for Action on Greenhouse Gases Backed by Scientific Evidence
Geneva, 19 September 2014 (WMO) - There is still a window of opportunity to prevent dangerous climate change and preserve the planet for future generations. But it is closing fast, according to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), which says that the urgent need to cut greenhouse gases is based on overwhelming scientific evidence.
WMO is supporting the Climate Summit convened by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in New York on 23 September with a number of initiatives. These underline the need for concerted international action to tame rapid climate change, which may increase temperatures and sea levels to life-threatening levels in the coming decades, and to slow ocean acidification which threatens marine life. >> More
Joint press release UNEP/WMO - Ozone Layer on Track to Recovery
Success Story Should Encourage Action on Climate
Nairobi/Geneva, 10 September 2014 (UNEP/WMO) – The Earth’s protective ozone layer is well on track to recovery in the next few decades thanks to concerted international action against ozone depleting substances, according to a new assessment by 300 scientists.
The Assessment for Decision-Makers, a summary document of the Scientific Assessment of Ozone Depletion 2014, is being published by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), and is the first comprehensive update in four years.
The stratospheric ozone layer, a fragile shield of gas, protects the Earth from harmful ultraviolet rays of the sun. Without the Montreal Protocol and associated agreements, atmospheric levels of ozone depleting substances could have increased tenfold by 2050. According to global models, the Protocol will have prevented 2 million cases of skin cancer annually by 2030, averted damage to human eyes and immune systems, and protected wildlife and agriculture, according to UNEP. >> More
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No. 1002 - Record Greenhouse Gas Levels Impact Atmosphere and Oceans
Carbon Dioxide Concentration Surges
Geneva, 9 September 2014 (WMO) – The amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere reached a new record high in 2013, propelled by a surge in levels of carbon dioxide. This is according to the World Meteorological Organization’s annual Greenhouse Gas Bulletin, which injected even greater urgency into the need for concerted international action against accelerating and potentially devastating climate change.
The Greenhouse Gas Bulletin showed that between 1990 and 2013 there was a 34% increase in radiative forcing – the warming effect on our climate – because of long-lived greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2), methane and nitrous oxide.
In 2013, concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere was 142% of the pre-industrial era (1750), and of methane and nitrous oxide 253% and 121% respectively. >> More
El Niño/La Niña Update: Current Situation and outlook
Geneva, 8 September 2014 (WMO – Despite warming of the Tropical Pacific Ocean up until June, the overlaying atmosphere largely failed to respond. As a result, ocean temperature anomalies along the equator have decreased over the past two months. Changes in the wind patterns in early-August brought some weak re-warming, but winds have now returned to near normal in the western Pacific, while the pattern of cloudiness has remained largely neutral. Despite the recent observations, models and expert opinion suggest that the development of a weak El Niño event in the coming several months remains quite possible, with probability of at least 60%. National Meteorological and Hydrological Services and other agencies will continue to monitor Pacific Ocean conditions for further El Niño developments, and will assess the most likely local impacts. >> More
No. 1001 - WMO calls for greater investments in weather and climate services in Small Island Developing States
Apia, Samoa, 25 August 2014 – Recognizing that Small Island Developing States (SIDS) are particularly vulnerable to climate impacts such as sea-level rise, reduced fisheries catch, droughts, floods, coastal surges, and typhoons (also known as hurricanes and cyclones), the World Meteorological Organization is urging SIDS and their partners to collaborate on developing stronger weather and climate services.
With the UN Conference on SIDS as a platform, WMO is launching the Global Framework for Climate Services for SIDS as a means of promoting this greater collaboration. GFCS-SIDS will engage regional and global partners in a series of projects and activities for attracting greater human, technical and financial investments in these services.
“Most small islands are physically isolated in the vast ocean and are highly vulnerable to climate impacts. Adding to the challenge, because of their small populations they tend to lack a critical mass of technical skills,” said WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud. >> More
No. 1000 - Meteorologists to make major push for more accurate, long-term and useful weather forecasts over the coming decade
Montreal/Geneva, 12 August 2014 – Scientific advances on climate change have been grabbing the headlines this year. Meanwhile, a quiet revolution has been underway in the tightly linked field of meteorology.
Eager to move weather forecasting skill rapidly forward over the next few years, some 1 000 scientists and experts are meeting in Montreal from 16 to 21 August for the first World Weather Open Science Conference to chart the future course of scientific research and its potential for generating new and improved weather services.
"Thanks to major investments in research and observations, today’s five-day forecast is as reliable as the two-day forecast of 20 years ago,” said Michel Jarraud, Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization. >> More
No. 999 - Aeronautical Meteorological Services Face the Future
Meeting focused on efficiency and safety as passenger numbers soar
Geneva/Montreal, 22 July 2014 (WMO) – The future provision of meteorological services vital to the safety and efficiency of the rapidly growing and globalizing airline industry was discussed at a major gathering in Montreal, Canada. Challenges such as volcanic ash and the impact of so-called space weather were also high on the agenda.
The once-a-decade joint Meteorology Divisional meeting between the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) took place from 9-18 July at ICAO headquarters and was also attended by representatives of airlines, air navigation services and pilots organizations. It was held conjointly with the WMO Commission for Aeronautical Meteorology. A two-day technical conference 7-8 July on Aviation Meteorology – Building Blocks for the Future sought to inform deliberations. >> More
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Joint press release WMO/CRED/UCL - Atlas of Mortality and Economic Losses from Weather, Climate and Water Extremes
Better disaster data enables better decisions
Geneva, 11 July 2014 (WMO) - Weather, climate and water-related disasters are on the rise worldwide, causing loss of life and setting back economic and social development by years, if not decades. From 1970 to 2012, 8 835 disasters, 1.94 million deaths, and US$ 2.4 trillion of economic losses were reported globally as a result of hazards such as droughts, extreme temperatures, floods, tropical cyclones and related health epidemics, according to a new report.
The Atlas of Mortality and Economic Losses from Weather, Climate and Water Extremes 1970-2012 describes the distribution and impacts of weather, climate, and water-related disasters and highlights measures to increase resilience. It is a joint publication of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED) of the Catholic University of Louvain (UCL) in Belgium. >> More
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No. 997 - Scientists urge more frequent updates of 30-year climate baselines to keep pace with rapid climate change
Heidelberg, Germany, 9 July 2014 – The WMO Commission for Climatology has recommended that governments adopt a two-tier approach to updating the 30-year baselines that scientists and meteorological services use to monitor the weather and climate and make comparisons to past conditions.
Because the climate varies naturally from year to year, climatologists use standard 30-year averages of temperatures, precipitation and other variables to put, for example, the magnitude of a current heatwave or rainstorm into historical context. These 30-year historical periods are called “climate normals” and can be calculated at the local, national or global levels. >> More
No. 996 - WMO and WHO Establish Joint Office for Climate and Health
Geneva, 8 July 2014 (WHO/WMO) - The World Health Organization and the World Meteorological Organization have joined forces to tackle the increasing risks to human health posed by weather and climate hazards such as extreme temperatures, floods, droughts and tropical cyclones.
A new WHO/WMO Climate and Health office has been established under the auspices of the Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS) to promote the coordinated development and use of climate services to improve public health. It will increase awareness, build capacity, and connect meteorological services with experts in the health sector in an active partnership for climate adaptation and risk management. >> More
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No. 995 -
Executive Council Aims to Strengthen Meteorological Services
Geneva, 3 July 2014 (WMO) - The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Executive Council has agreed on measures to strengthen the delivery and quality of weather, water and climate services vital to public safety, economic efficiency and environmental sustainability.
Discussions during the 10-day meeting (18-27 June) also focused on how to build the capacity of, and recognition for, National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) and secure appropriate funding necessary to the growing challenges posed by climate change, extreme weather events, pollution and urbanisation.
“To meet the evolving needs of society, it is essential that governments invest in their National Meteorological and Hydrological Services so they can meet their responsibilities to provide weather information and related services, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year,” said WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud. >> More
No. 994 - WMO Honours Outstanding Scientists and Leaders
Geneva, 27 June 2014 (WMO) - The World Meteorological Organization’s Executive Council has awarded WMO’s most prestigious prize to Dr Alexander Bedritskiy of the Russian Federation, the President Emeritus of WMO since 2011, for his outstanding work in meteorology, climatology, hydrology and related sciences.
Dr Bedritskiy won the IMO Prize, named after WMO’s predecessor organization the International Meteorological Organization, for his life-long contribution to meteorology. >> More
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No. 993 - WMO Update: Prepare for El Niño
Geneva, 26 June 2014 (WMO) - There is a 60% likelihood of an El Niño being fully established between June and August, increasing to 75-80% for the October to December period, according to an El Niño Update issued by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). Based on advice from National Meteorological and Hydrological Services, many governments have already started preparing for the arrival of El Niño, which is associated with regional-scale drought and flood situations in different parts of the world and has a warming influence on global average surface temperatures.
El Niño is characterized by unusually warm ocean surface temperatures in the central and eastern tropical Pacific, coupled with typical atmospheric circulation patterns. It is a natural phenomenon with a recurring interval of 2-7 years and has a major impact on the climate around the world. The last El Niño was in 2009/2010. >> More
No. 992 - Upgrade for World Weather Information Service (WWIS)
User-friendly official forecasts in 10 languages
Geneva, 23 June 2014 (WMO) - The World Meteorological Organization’s (WMO) highly successful World Weather Information Service website has been revamped and upgraded to a more modern and user-friendly format.
Developed and operated by the Hong Kong Observatory (HKO) on behalf of the WMO, the website provides official weather forecasts for 1 719 cities around the world supplied by 133 WMO Members. It is available in ten languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.
“The World Weather Information Service is the authoritative source of official forecasts from around the globe. It is an excellent example of international collaboration between meteorological services to better serve the public worldwide. National weather services operate standardized weather observing networks and follow the most rigorous forecasting procedures,” said WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud. >> More
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No. 991 - CO2 concentrations top 400 parts per million throughout northern hemisphere
Geneva, 26 May 2014 (WMO) - For the first time, monthly concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere topped 400 parts per million (ppm) in April throughout the northern hemisphere. This threshold is of symbolic and scientific significance and reinforces evidence that the burning of fossil fuels and other human activities are responsible for the continuing increase in heat-trapping greenhouse gases warming our planet.
All the northern hemisphere monitoring stations forming the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Global Atmosphere Watch network reported record atmospheric CO2 concentrations during the seasonal maximum. This occurs early in the northern hemisphere spring before vegetation growth absorbs CO2.
Whilst the spring maximum values in the northern hemisphere have already crossed the 400 ppm level, the global annual average CO2 concentration is set to cross this threshold in 2015 or 2016. >> More
No. 990 - WMO Update Indicates Possible onset of El Nino Around Middle of Year
Geneva, 15 April 2014 (WMO) - Sub-surface water temperatures in the tropical Pacific have warmed to levels similar to the onset of an El Nino event, and climate models surveyed by WMO experts predict a steady warming of the tropical Pacific during the months ahead, according to the latest Update from the World Meteorological Organization. A majority of models indicate that an El Niño may develop around the middle of the year, but it is still too early to assess the strength of any such event.
El Niño is characterized by unusually warm ocean surface temperatures in the central and eastern tropical Pacific. It has a significant impact on climate in many parts of the world and has a warming influence on global temperatures. It is the opposite of the La Niña phenomenon, which is associated with cooling.
Since the second quarter of 2012, El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) indicators (e.g., tropical Pacific sea surface temperatures, sea level pressure, cloudiness and trade winds) have generally remained at neutral levels. This is expected to continue into the earlier part of the second quarter of 2014, according to the WMO Update. >> More
No. 989 - New IPCC report highlights effective actions for reducing greenhouse gases and the risks of global climate change
Berlin, 13 April 2014 – An Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report launched here today confirms that it is still possible to avoid the worst effects of climate change – but only if the international community takes urgent and ambitious actions to curb greenhouse gas emissions.
“Last year, the IPCC stated that limiting the warming caused by greenhouse gas emissions to a 2°C rise will require that our future emissions of carbon dioxide be dramatically lower than the total amount of all our past emissions. Today’s report on Mitigation of Climate Change presents what we need to do to meet this profound challenge,” said Michel Jarraud, Secretary General of the World Meteorological Organization, which, together with the UN Environment Programme, sponsors the IPCC. >> More
No. 988 - Cherrapunji, India, Holds New Record for 48-Hour Rainfall
GENEVA, 4 April 2014 (WMO) - A World Meteorological Organization (WMO) panel has concluded that Cherrapunji in India now holds the world record for two-day (48-hour) rainfall, with 2 493 millimeters (98.15 inches) recorded on 15–16 June 1995.
This rainfall total exceeds the previous world 48-hour rainfall record of 2 467mm (97.1”) associated with the passage of a tropical cyclone over the Indian Ocean island of La Réunion (France) in April 1958. La Réunion, which is frequently hit by tropic cyclones and receives large amounts of rainfall over its mountains, continues to hold the record for the most rainfall over periods of 12-hours and 24-hours (in 1966), as well as 72-hours and 96-hours (in 2007).
The WMO Commission of Climatology international panel of experts reached its decision following an in-depth investigation of the Cherrapunji rainfall event for it to be included in the WMO World Archive of Weather and Climate Extremes, the official international listing of weather and climate extremes. >> More
No. 987 - IPCC report on impacts, vulnerability and adaptation confirms the high human costs of climate change _ WMO urges governments to translate research findings into actionable information through climate services
Yokohama, 31 March 2014 – The IPCC’s Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability, a comprehensive assessment report by leading scientists launched here today, offers policymakers and the general public a wealth of information about how climate change will affect the lives of current and future generations – and what governments can do to adapt and reduce vulnerabilities.
“Over the coming decades, climate change will have mostly negative impacts on cities and infrastructure, migration and security, ecosystems and species, crops and food security, public health, water supplies, and much more. We will see more ocean acidification and extreme droughts, floods and heatwaves. The poor and vulnerable will be most affected,” said Michel Jarraud, Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) which, together with the UN Environment Programme, established the IPCC in 1988. >> More
No. 985 - WMO Annual Climate Statement Highlights Extreme Events
Geneva, 24 March 2014 – The year 2013 once again demonstrated the dramatic impact of droughts, heat waves, floods and tropical cyclones on people and property in all parts of the planet, according to the World Meteorological Organization’s Annual Statement on the Status of the Climate. The report confirmed that 2013 tied with 2007 as the sixth warmest on record, continuing the long-term global warming trend. It provided a snapshot of regional and national temperatures and extreme events as well as details of ice cover, ocean warming, sea level rise and greenhouse gas concentrations – all inter-related and consistent indicators of our changing climate.
Thirteen of the fourteen warmest years on record have all occurred in the 21st century, and each of the last three decades has been warmer than the previous one, culminating with 2001-2010 as the warmest decade on record. The average global land and ocean surface temperature in 2013 was 14.5°C (58.1°F) – 0.50°C (0.90°F) above the 1961–1990 average and 0.03°C (0.05°F) higher than the 2001–2010 decadal average. Temperatures in many parts of the southern hemisphere were especially warm, with Australia having its hottest year on record and Argentina its second hottest. >> More
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No. 986 - World Meteorological Day Focuses on Youth
Geneva 20 March 2014 _ Weather and Climate: Engaging Youth is the theme of World Meteorological Day 2014, seeking to increase awareness among young people about climate change and mobilize them as champions for action.
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) is also using the 23 March occasion as a rallying call for more young people – especially women – to become meteorologists: a profession which makes a vital contribution to the safety and well-being of society.
Today’s youth will benefit from thedramatic advances being made in our ability to understand and forecast the Earth’s weather and climate. Most will live into the second half of this century and experience the increasing impacts of climate change. >> More
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No. 983 - WMO: 2013 Among Top Ten Warmest on Record
The year 2013 was among the top ten warmest years since modern records began in 1850, according to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). It tied with 2007 as the sixth warmest year, with a global land and ocean surface temperature that was 0.50°C (0.90°F) above the 1961–1990 average and 0.03°C (0.05°F) higher than the most recent 2001–2010 decadal average.
Thirteen of the 14 warmest years on record have all occurred in the 21st century. The warmest years on record are 2010 and 2005, with global temperatures about 0.55 °C above the long term average, followed by 1998, which also had an exceptionally strong El Niño event.
Warming El Niño events and cooling La Niña events are major drivers of the natural variability in our climate. Neither condition was present during 2013, which was warmer than 2011 or 2012, when La Niña had a cooling influence. 2013 was among the four warmest ENSO-neutral (neither El Niño nor La Niña) years on record. >> More
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Update El Niño / La Niña
Geneva, 30 January 2014 (WMO) -The tropical Pacific continues to be ENSO-neutral (neither El Niño nor La Niña). Model forecasts and expert opinion suggest that neutral conditions are likely to continue into the second quarter of 2014. Current model outlooks further suggest an enhanced possibility of the development of a weak El Niño around the middle of 2014, with approximately equal chances for neutral or weak El Niño. However, models tend to have reduced skill when forecasting through the March-May period. National Meteorological and Hydrological Services and other agencies will continue to monitor the conditions over the Pacific and assess the most likely state of the climate through the first half of 2014.
Since the second quarter of 2012 El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) indicators in the tropical Pacific (e.g., tropical Pacific sea surface 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. >> More