In the news
Climate and tourism / International Polar Day focuses on people / New Nigerian meteorological observatory launched / Canadian award for urban climatologist / 16 September: International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer / IPCC elects new Bureau / WMO and ISO strengthen working arrangements / New headquarters for the Deutscher Wetterdienst / MeteoSwiss inaugurates innovative Lidar measuring system
Climate is an essential resource for tourism, and especially for the beach, nature and winter sport tourism segments. Changing climate and weather patterns at tourist destinations can significantly affect tourists’ comfort and travel decisions. Changing demand patterns and tourist flows will have impacts on tourism businesses and communities, as well as related sectors, such as agriculture and construction.
In many developing countries, where tourism is a major economic activity, any significant reduction in tourist arrivals will have serious employment impacts and generate further poverty
To help meet the challenges posed by global climate change, the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) chose as the theme for this year’s World Tourism Day (29 September) “Tourism: responding to the challenge of climate change”.
The Davos Declaration was the major outcome of the Second International Conference on Climate Change and Tourism, convened by UNWTO, UNEP and WMO (Davos, 1-3 October, 2007). The Davos Declaration Process encourages tourism stakeholders to help developing countries adapt to face the challenge of climate change.
Climate Change and Tourism— Responding to Global Challenges
International Polar Year 2007-2008 (IPY) launched its sixth International Polar Day on 24 September 2008, this time focusing on people and community and cultural well-being, health issues and the role of the Arctic in the global economy. This Polar Day took place at a time when the combined effects of modern climatic, environmental, economic and social change challenge the resilience of many Arctic communities and when polar inhabitants, researchers, and the public view the future of the polar regions from new societal, humanistic and environmental perspectives.
Radio events streamed from the Arctic connected researchers, communities and classrooms from Canada and Greenland to Zambia, Brazil and Australia. Other events included global on-line discussions about communities, local classroom discussions and activities and a global virtual balloon launch.
International Polar Year is co-sponsored by WMO and the International Council for Science.
A new meteorological observatory, built by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET), was launched at Abuja International Airport on 19 September 2008. The Director General of NIMET, Anthony Anuforom, said that the observatory was part of NIMET’s programme of modernizing operational infrastructure to meet the standards set by WMO and the International Civil Aviation Organization.
On 1 July 2008, Timothy R. Oke was awarded the Order of Canada for his contributions to meteorology and urban climatology, as well as for his mentoring of generations of geographers. The Order is the highest civilian honour bestowed by Canada. Tim is a professor emeritus of geography at the University of British Columbia and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada.
Tim has served WMO as a rapporteur, as a member of several expert teams and as Scientific Director of the Mexico City Meeting on Urban Climate in Tropical Regions. He has authored two WMO Technical Notes and a chapter for the WMO Guide to Instruments and Methods of Observation. Tim made a presentation entitled “Meteorology for the urban environment: technology-transfer options” at the WMO Secretariat on the occasion of World Meteorological Day in 1993, which was reproduced in WMO Bulletin 42 (3) (July 1993).
Two years after 22 countries signed the Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer, the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer was signed on 16 September 1987, a day which has since been designated by the United Nations as International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer. The theme for 2008 was “Montreal Protocol—global partnership for global benefits”.
The first issue of the 2008 WMO Antarctic ozone bulletins (see WMO activities in this issue) reports that the meteorological conditions observed so far this year could indicate that the ozone hole will be smaller in 2008 than in 2006 but larger than in 2007.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), co-sponsored by WMO and UNEP, re-elected Rajendra Pachauri, as Chairman for a second term during its 29th plenary session in Geneva (31 August- 4 September 2008). Mr Pachauri has held the position since 2002. Under his leadership, the IPCC in 2007 released its Fourth Assessment Report and was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.
The other members of the IPCC Bureau and the Bureau on National Greenhouse Gas Inventories were also elected. The new team will lead the IPCC through the preparation of the Fifth Assessment Report, which is expected to be released in 2014.
See also article on 29th anniversary of the IPCC in this issue (Anniversaries).
WMO and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) signed an agreement on 16 September 2008 to increase cooperation in the development of international standards related to meteorological and hydrological data, products and services.
WMO has liaison status with nearly 30 of ISO’s technical committees developing standards with relevance to hydrometry, air quality, water quality, soil quality, geographic information, solar energy, petroleum and gas industry, information technologies, marine, quantities and units.
Procedures are now in place for the accelerated adoption by ISO of WMO documents as ISO standards. WMO and ISO will develop, approve and publish common standards based on WMO technical regulations, manuals and guides. The new procedures will clarify the authority of WMO documents and enhance their international recognition and dissemination. This will be of particular importance to the activities of National Hydrological and Meteorological Services in addressing standards issues.
ISO and WMO have been working in close cooperation since the granting of consultative status to ISO by the WMO Executive Council at its fifth session in 1954.
ISO recognized WMO as an international standardization body through ISO Council Resolution 43/2007 approved in December 2007.
The Deutscher Wetterdienst, the German Meteorological Service, inaugurated its new headquarters in Offenbach am Main on 4 September 2008. The ceremony was presided by HE Mr Wolfgang Tiefensee, Federal Minister for Transport, Building and Urban Affairs. Mr Horst Schneider, Mayor of Offenbach am Main, was also present.
Mr Michel Jarraud, Secretary-General of WMO, addressed the ceremony and expressed his gratitude to Germany for more than half a century of fruitful cooperation with WMO, encompassing systematic and vital support to WMO’s scientific and technical programmes and activities. He recalled that German meteorology had a rich tradition that could be traced back to 1781 and the beginning of continuous weather observations at Hohenpeißenberg in Bavaria, within the framework of the Societas Meteorological Palatina, and the foundation of the Prussian Meteorological Institute in 1847.
The former headquarters building was inaugurated on 21 April 1958, as reported in the August edition of MeteoWorld in the section 50 years ago.
A Light Detection and Ranging (Lidar) weather measurement system was officially launched at the MeteoSwiss weather forecasting headquarters in Payerne on 26 August 2008.
The high-tech instrument is the only one of its kind in the world able to provide continuous data on the vertical distribution of humidity in the atmosphere up to an altitude of 10 km. It works by firing a laser beam vertically into the sky 30 times a second, then measuring the “echo” (light reflected back from different layers in the atmosphere) to build instantaneous vertical profiles of humidity.
The Lidar project is the result of 20 years’ research and development at the Federal Institute of Technology, Lausanne, in collaboration with MeteoSwiss, funded partly by the Swiss National Science Foundation. It will play an important role in the evaluation of global warming.
Contact: MeteoWorld Editor - WMO ©2008 Geneva, Switzerland