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Press Release No. 877

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FUTURE STRATEGY TO IMPROVE CLIMATE INFORMATION AND SERVICES AGREED AT GLOBAL MEETING

Geneva, 1 March 2010 (WMO) – Over 150 participants representing 88 countries and three international organizations met at the Fifteenth Session of the Commission for Climatology (CCl) of World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in Antalya, Turkey from 19 to 24 February 2010 and agreed on a future strategy to provide improved climate information and services. In many parts of the world, weather and climate are amongst the biggest risk and uncertainty factors that affect a broad range of socio-economic sectors. Decision makers in these sectors need information for planning, operations, risk management and for adaptation to both climate change and variability covering a wide range of time scales. Their needs would be better served through more readily available and reliable climate information and knowledge, and by access to and use of related tools and products, as proposed in the Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS).

The Commission for Climatology stressed the importance of climate observations and the processes for their collection, development, maintenance and exchange amongst Members for climate assessment, and prediction and for sector-specific applications. The Commission recognized that climate datasets with global coverage are of critical importance in detecting, monitoring and communicating climate change and for characterizing climate variability.  Ongoing and proposed new international collaborative efforts were endorsed to analyse climate data in a comprehensive and accurate manner under the aegis of WMO.

Substantial progress have been made in climate system monitoring, including  international coordination of the work on climate change detection and indices, which has helped improve the understanding of climate extremes and climate change indices worldwide. The Commission decided to strengthen worldwide climate monitoring including implementing climate watch systems in its Member countries.

The Commission agreed to support development and implementation of appropriate institutional mechanisms to generate, exchange and disseminate high-quality climateinformation at global, regional and national levels on an operational basis.Noting the role of National Meteorological and Hydrological Services as the most likely source of authoritative climate information at the national level, the Commission decided to focus especially on the development of climate services at the national level, giving due consideration to the national capabilities and priorities.

Keeping in view the fact that climate knowledge, as well as access and use of climate information and products are critical to climate adaptation and risk management, the Commission agreed to develop sector-specific climate indices, methods and tools and guidance to support climate applications in the key socio-economic sectors.  Experts also agreed to develop a comprehensive strategy for capacity building for climate services through education, training, strengthening infrastructure, and enhanced outreach and communication in climate science and services to users and public.

The United Nations System (Chief Executives Board for Coordination) has established an initiative in December 2008, to coordinate and integrate climate related activities of the UN system under one umbrella called “UN Delivering as One”. Within this initiative, WMO and UNESCO were assigned the leadership role in developing the ‘Climate Knowledge Base’. Noting that WMO brings together the standard setting and knowledge-sharing capacities of a network of scientists and other specialists at the global level, the Commission emphasized the need to promote this Climate Knowledge Base.

For more information:

WMO Press release on CCI: http://www.wmo.int/pages/mediacentre/press_releases/pr_876_en.html

Global Framework for Climate Services: http://www.wmo.int/hlt-gfcs/documents/WCC3GFCSbrief_note_en.pdf

WMO is the United Nations System’s authoritative voice on weather,
climate and water.

For more information, please contact:

Ms Carine Richard-Van Maele, Chief, Communications and Public Affairs, WMO, Tel: +41 (0) 22 730 8315, Mobile: +41 794 064730; E-mail:  cpa@wmo.int

Ms Gaëlle Sévenier, Press Officer, Communications and Public Affairs, Tel. +41 (0) 22 730 8417, Fax: +41 (0) 22 730 8027, E-mail: gsevenier@wmo.int

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