February 2010

In the news

IMO Prize awarded to Eugenia Kalnay / Launching the Global Framework for Climate Services / High-level Taskforce begins work on Global Framework for Climate Services / WMO Commission to enhance meteorological services for aviation / Addressing social needs in adapting to climate risksGlobal Cryosphere Watch / Predicting winter weather for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games

 

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IMO Prize awarded to Eugenia Kalnay

  Eugenia Kalnay

On 14 January 2010, WMO awarded the fifty-fourth International Meteorological Organization (IMO) Prize to Eugenia Kalnay (Argentina/United States of America), a leader in the field of global numerical weather prediction and analysis, including data assimilation and ensemble forecasting. The IMO Prize is the highest distinction of WMO. The award ceremony took place at the National Academy of Science in Washington, D.C. (USA), with the participation of Michel Jarraud, WMO Secretary-General, Alexander Bedritskiy, WMO President, and John L. Hayes, NOAA Deputy Assistant Administrator and Permanent Representative of the United States with WMO.

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Press release no. 851

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Launching the Global Framework for Climate Services

Representatives from more than 100 countries, as well as from non-governmental and intergovernmental organizations, met in Geneva, Switzerland, from 11 to 12 January 2010 to follow-up on the decision by World Climate Conference-3 (WCC-3) to establish a Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS) to strengthen the production, availability, delivery and application of science-based climate prediction and services.  As mandated by WCC-3, the intergovernmental meeting, chaired by WMO President Alexander I. Bedritskiy, approved the terms of reference and endorsed the composition of a High-Level Taskforce of independent advisers, which the Secretary-General of the WMO has been requested to set up. The Taskforce will follow up with recommendations for proposed elements of the GFCS, as well as for next steps to develop and implement the GFCS.  Its report will be published before the next quadrennial World Meteorological Congress in May 2011.

The text with the terms of reference will be posted on the WMO Website as soon as it is available in the six UN official languages. The composition of the taskforce will be made public once its members have notified their acceptance.

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High-level Taskforce begins work on Global Framework for Climate Services

A High-level Taskforce of independent advisers, mandated by World Climate Conference-3 (WCC-3) to elaborate the Global Framework for Climate Services, held its first meeting at WMO (25-26 February 2010). Jan Egeland of Norway and Mahmoud Abu-Zeid of Egypt will serve as Co-chairs of the expert group that is to submit its final report by February 2011.  Among its other members are: Joaquim Chissano (Mozambique), Ricardo Lagos (Chile), Angus Friday (Grenada), Eugenia Kalnay (Argentina/USA), Julia Marton-Lefevre (Hungary/France/USA), Khotso Mokhele (South Africa), Chiaki Mukai (Japan), Cristina Narbona Ruiz (Spain), Rajendra Singh Paroda (India), Qin Dahe (China), Emil Salim (Indonesia) and Fiame Naomi Mata’afa (Samoa).

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WMO Commission to enhance meteorological services for aviation

Three-quarters of significant air traffic delays in regions with high-traffic density are related to weather, and nearly half of aircraft accidents occur during operations in adverse weather. From 3 to 10 February 2010, some 150 representatives from National Meteorological and Hydrological Services, including aeronautical meteorologists and representatives from aviation organizations, will meet in Hong Kong, China, to discuss planning and operations for air transport based on global standards and accurate weather forecasts and warning.

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Addressing social needs in adapting to climate risks

The World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) and the WMO Commission for Climatology (CCl) have adopted a plan to use climate information for emerging social needs relating to adaptation and risk management. At their meeting in Antalya, Turkey (15-19 February 2010), they agreed on a statement that elaborates the implementation plan. The issues being addressed are in line with establishing the Global Framework for Climate Services, decided at World Climate Conference-3. WCRP and CCI have also agreed to establish a joint collaborative mechanism and will seek further partnership with other WMO bodies.

 

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Global Cryosphere Watch

The international community is working within WMO towards the establishment of a Global Cryosphere Watch (GCW) to serve societal needs for weather, climate and water and related environmental information and services. At its next quadrennial session in 2011, the World Meteorological Congress – the WMO supreme governing body – is to consider how to develop and implement a GCW.

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Predicting winter weather for the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Games

An international team of scientists from nine countries assembled by WMO and Environment Canada is conducting a weather research and development project called the Science and Nowcasting of Olympic Weather for Vancouver 2010 (SNOW-V10). Prediction of winter weather in the mountains is always a challenge for meteorologists, as conditions can change rapidly with time and with altitude. The Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games are especially demanding with some events requiring minute-by-minute monitoring and prediction of a wide variety of weather variables. Nowcasting enables forecasting weather conditions up to six hours in advance.

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