April 2009

Recent events

Advancing research in regional climate projections / League of Arab States Workshop on the Role of NMHSs in Disaster Risk Reduction / International Workshop on Drought and Extreme Temperatures / International Conference on the Challenges and Opportunities in Agrometeorology / New science directions and activities relevant to the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report


Advancing research in regional climate projections
Toulouse, France, 11-13 February 2009

The first World Climate Research Programme’s workshop on Evaluating and Improving Regional Climate Projections was held in Toulouse, France, 11-13 February 2009, to discuss the way forward in producing climate information on regional scales. At the workshop, the development of a general framework for experiments and model development was discussed to which the RCM-community can refer. A report will soon be made available for download on the workshop website.


League of Arab States Workshop on the Role of NMHSs in Disaster Risk Reduction
Manama, Bahrain, 16-17 February 2009




A League of Arab States Workshop on the Role of National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) in Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR) was held from 16 to 17 February 2009 in Manama by the Bahrain Meteorological Service, in cooperation with the WMO Office for West Asia and the UNDP Office in Bahrain. The Workshop was attended by meteorologists and representatives from disaster risk reduction agencies in 13 Arabic-speaking countries, as well as UN agencies and regional organizations.

The objectives of this Workshop were: (a) highlighting the role of NMHSs in national and global efforts in disaster risk reduction; (b) building capacity of these Services through the exchange of experiences; (c) exploring means of improving regional cooperation in exchanging early warning and weather forecasts for severe weather conditions in the Region; (d) improving cooperation and coordination among national stakeholders in the field of disaster risk reduction; and (e) raising public awareness in DRR issues.

The Workshop was expected to serve as an activity prior to the launch of the UN International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (ISDR) Global Assessment Report (GAR) on Disaster Risk Reduction.  The report of the Workshop will be launched in a high-profile event which will take place in Bahrain on 11 May 2009, under the patronage of HM King Hamad and will be attended by the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon, and other international figures. As a member of the Oversight Board of the ISDR and a member of the Advisory Committee for the launch of the ISDR GAR DRR, WMO has contributed to the preparation of this report.

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International Workshop on Drought and Extreme Temperatures
Beijing, China, 16-17 February 2009

An International Workshop on Drought and Extreme Temperatures: Preparedness & Management for Sustainable Agriculture, Rangelands, Forestry & Fisheries was held in Beijing, China from 16-17 February 2009 organized by WMO and the China Meteorological Administration (CMA).  This workshop was held in conjunction with the WMO CAgM Expert Team on Drought and Extreme Temperatures from 18-19 February 2009 which used the presentations and recommendations as input in their delibrations. More than 40 scientists from climate and agricultural research institutes, universities and environmental monitoring organizations participated in the workshop and Expert team.

The workshop adopted several recommendations to cope with increasing droughts and extreme temperatures on agriculture, rangelands and forestry.The workshop strongly recommended that WMO make appropriate arrangements to identify the methods and to marshal resources for the development of standards for agricultural drought indices in a timely manner.  Other recommendations include supporting more proactive drought planning; promoting use of more water efficient coping strategies such as new drought tolerant crop varieties, water harvesting, micro irrigation techniques, and agro forestry; and using groundwater more efficiently for agriculture. Implementing these coping strategies will require better use of weather and climate information and early warming systems to assist in determining where and when to use the strategies.

The workshop also emphasized the need to strengthen national capacities for collecting and processing data and information on natural disasters such as drought; to promote the use of crop insurance products; and to appropriately use crop varieties in consideration of climate variability and change. It will be increasingly important to take into account the impact of climate change on future drought intensity and duration, especially in countries where drought currently has low impacts, and also to improve the linkage between farmers and agricultural extension services. Finally, the workshop underlined the need to develop precision models of impacts of future climate change on agricultural systems.

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International Conference on the Challenges and Opportunities in Agrometeorology
New Delhi, India, 23-25 February 2009

An International Conference on the Challenges and Opportunities in Agrometeorology was  held in New Delhi, India from 23-25 Feb 2009. This Workshop was organized by the Indian Meteorological Society and co-sponsored by WMO, the India Meteorological Department, Ministry of Earth Sciences, Ministry of Agriculture, Department of Science and Technology, the Indian Council of Agricultural Research and other Indian organizations. More than 100 participants attended the workshop.

This workshop was followed by a Meeting of the CAgM Implementation and Coordination Team (ICT) on Support Systems for Agrometeorological Services was held in New Delhi, India from 26-28 February 2009. The ICT members attended the International Conference and used the input from that meeting with their own discussions to make some the following recommendations: NMHS should use about 5% of their budget to interact with users; NMHS must be proactive in getting involved with existing agricultural fora such as farmer field days in order to further improve user interactions; organize training workshops on agrometeorological tools based on MODIS tools and products; improve the status of old agrometeorological service products which highlight local characteristics; develop methodologies for the application of data from meteorological satellites to obtain parameters characterizing the agricultural crop development during the vegetation period across different geographical zones; and apply daily meteorological data in agrometeorological models developed to forecast the yield of certain agricultural crops at the local and national levels.

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New science directions and activities relevant to the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report
Honolulu, Hawai, 3-6 March 2009

A workshop jointly organized by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) and the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP) was held in Honolulu, Hawaii, USA, 3-6 March 2009, on New Science Directions and Activities relevant to the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report. Among the scientific challenges that were discussed by the 150 participating scientists are interactions between the cycling of carbon and nitrogen in the climate system and new feedback processes involving the atmosphere, oceans, land and ice; the fate of the large ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica in a warmer world and the role of warming oceans in promoting ice-shelf melt and ultimately, global sea-level rise. The Statement issued at the workshop concludes: “In seeking to advance knowledge about the vulnerability of this planet to human-induced climate change, scientific rigor must remain a hallmark of the information that will be used for responsible decisions and wise stewardship”.


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