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Press Release No. 876

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Antalya, 22 February 2010 (WMO) – Climate change challenge is indeed real and every social, economic and environmental sector is critically susceptible to climate variability and change. Some 150 experts from all over the world participating in the Fifteenth Session of the Commission for Climatology of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) are discussing an action plan for providing improved climate services to the global community, which includes the establishment of Open Panel of Experts that will focus on thematic areas including climate data management, global and regional climate monitoring and assessment, climate products and services and climate information for adaptation and risk management. 

The leading role in the coordination of international climate issues dates back to 1929 when the International Meteorological Organization, the predecessor of WMO, established the Commission for Climatology (CCl). The vision of the CCl is to stimulate, understand, lead and coordinate international technical activity to obtain and apply climate information and knowledge in support of sustainable socio-economic development and environmental protection. CCl advises and guides the standards of climate activities through a network of volunteered dedicated scientists from the 189 Members of WMO.

The Fifteenth Session of CCl, which brought together Representatives from 84 countries, including Representatives from the National Meteorological and Hydrological Services as well as experts from academia and international organizations, is being held in Antalya, Turkey from 19 to 24 February 2010.

The President of the CCl, Dr Pierre Bessemoulin (France) expressed the appreciation to the government of Turkey for hosting the CCl session and the Technical Conference preceding it. He noted that climate and climate related issues feature as important focus areas in the United Nations System including WMO. Dr Bessemoulin highlighted a number of developments including the implementation activities for the UNFCCC Nairobi Work Programme on Impacts, Vulnerability and Adaptation to Climate Change, and the input into the development of the Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS) which was the major outcome of the World Climate Conference-3 held in 2009. 

In opening the CCl session, the Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization, Mr Michel Jarraud, highlighted the contributions made by experts in CCl who demonstrated that the climate change challenge is indeed real and that every social, economic and environmental sector is critically susceptible to climate variability and change. They equally share the merit for the IPCC Noble Prize for Peace, by facilitating their time and efforts to contribute to the authoritative assessments which resulted in the Fourth Assessment Report of the IPCC.  Mr Jarraud pointed out that WMO, through the CCl, has been improving climate system monitoring on various timescales, in particular by incorporating knowledge access and tools for climate change index analysis. At operational level, special emphasis has been assigned to the establishment of Climate Watch Systems at NMHSs and RCCs, in order to produce timely and reliable climate advisories. These mechanisms are increasingly being linked to assist user communities in proactively mitigating the impacts of climate anomalies and related extremes.

Dr Veysal Eroglu, Minister for Environment and Forestry of Turkey, in his opening speech noted that in the context of climate as a natural resource, observation, climate watch and high quality climate services are essential elements for development. Dr Eroglu, also noted that his ministry, has taken every measures to increase efficiency in the waste material management and encourage innovative environmental friendly technologies. He continued that climatological assessments and services provided by Turkish State Meteorological Service (TSMS), serve well government purposes for decision making processes at national level.

Mr Mehmet Çaglar, Director General of Turkish State Meteorological Service, noted that challenges posed by climate change are serious threat to sustainable development and countries are forced to take new measures due to increase of these challenges over time. He added that the TSMS operates 450 stations of surface  and upper  air  observations across the country, conducts satellite observation every 15 minutes with  the international   cooperation, and operates weather RADAR  network as well as “Regional Climate Models” to safeguard the population from natural weather and climate disasters and provide effective early warning systems.

The Commission for Climatology, unanimously elected Dr Thomas Peterson, Chief scientist, National Climatic Data Center/NOAA, USA, and Mr Serhat Sensoy, Chief of the Climatology Division, Turkish State Meteorological Service (TSMS), as the president and vice-president of the Commission for Climatology, respectively, for the next four years.


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