Volume 61(1) 2011

In this issue

Sustainable development holds the promise for a better future for all. Information on weather, climate and water – important factors affecting all areas of human activity – is critical to decision-making for sustainable development. Thus, the Global Framework for Climate Services (the Framework), which provides the mechanism for the generation and use of climate knowledge, products and services, will bring us closer to achieving sustainable development.

One of the essential elements of the Framework, the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) celebrates its 20th Anniversary in this issue. Established in 1992, the GCOS looks back at its accomplishment and forward to the challenge that implementation of the Framework will bring.

Accurate and timely analyses and predictions

The Framework will provide accurate and timely weather and climate analyses and predictions, which can further improve human safety, prosperity and livelihood, and preserve precious natural resources. The importance of such information to end-users is highlighted in Reaching the last Mile with Mobile Weather Alerts. The article brings out the practical aspect of delivering weather and climate services to farmers and fishermen in Uganda and the benefits that stem from such services in terms of lives saved and livelihoods improved.

Water Sector Industry Perspectives for Climate Services in turn highlights how weather and climate information and predictions are used in short and long-term decision-making concerning the delivery of safe drinking water and sanitation services to populations.

These articles demonstrate the value of accurate predictions to the diverse end-user communities. In Predictability Beyond the Deterministic Limit, the last article in this issue, Brian Hoskins questions the traditional idea of a deterministic limit by considering the possibility of some predictive skill on all time-scales from hours to decades.

World Meteorological Day

WMO was honoured to have two special guest speakers, United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) Director General Kandeh Yumkella and French Meteorological Society President Jean Jouzel, for its World Meteorological Day celebration in Geneva on the afternoon of 23 March. In this issue, we publish articles based on their speeches:

  • The Sustainable Energy for All Initiative and Climate Change Mitigation and
  • Evolution of climate in Response to Human Activity.

The centrefold Photo Exhibition – “One civilization. One planet.” also featured in World Meteorology Day.

Sustainable development

Water is life. But it can also take lives. From droughts to floods – it requires constant vigilance and monitoring. The 5 Essential Elements of a Hydrological Monitoring Programme highlights the best practices, industry standards and new technologies that optimize efficiencies and maximize effectiveness for the preservation of vital ecosystems, safety of citizens and sustainable development.

Without financial support and investments climate services would not be a reality. Part of the Green Climate Fund should be used to support such infrastructure development and other decision-support mechanisms such as the Framework and would help scale up scientific and technical capabilities, especially in developing countries.

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