April 2007 Downloads & Links

WMO statement on the status of the global climate in 2006


WMO, through its Commission for Climatology and in cooperation with its 188 Members, has issued annual statements on the status of the global climate since 1993. The statement for 2006 describes extreme weather and climate events and provides a historical perspective on the variability and trends of surface temperatures and other important parameters. The statements provide authoritative scientific information on climate and its variability, complementing the periodic assessments made by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which is co-sponsored by WMO and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).


All the years since the beginning of the new century, including 2006, rank among the 10 warmest years of the observational period ranging from 1850 to the present. In the course of the year, Australia, the USA and parts of Europe experienced exceptional heat waves. The 2006 typhoon season, even if below average in terms of the number of events, caused disastrous impacts on some South-East Asian nations. Devastating floods and landslides due to heavy precipitation events were reported worldwide and especially affected the Greater Horn of Africa and the Philippines. Prolonged drought conditions persisted in Africa, Australia, China and the USA. The year 2006 continued the pattern of sharply decreasing Arctic sea ice, and Antarctic ozone depletion reached new record values.

The role of WMO and the National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) of its Members is instrumental in addressing the challenges related to climate variability and change, since accurate and timely weather-, climate- and water-related products and services are prerequisites to the successful formulation and implementation of any adaptive response policies and measures, especially to climate extremes. WMO will intensify its efforts to assist all of its Members in modernizing their respective national networks and climate databases in order to help them reach the objectives of several agreed-upon regional and global strategies, including the United Nations Millennium Development Goals.

WMO climate-related programmes contribute to capacity-building by promoting the development of comprehensive climate data management systems, thus ensuring that high-quality climate data are readily available to WMO Members, and by assisting these Members and the relevant international organizations in furthering applications to support public safety, health and welfare, alleviate poverty and foster sustainable development. In addition, major internationally coordinated multidisciplinary research efforts such as the International Polar Year (IPY) 2007–2008 will further help to improve our understanding of basic climate change processes.

According to the first published results of the 2007 IPCC Fourth Assessment Report (AR4), most of the observed increase in globally averaged temperatures since the middle of the 20th century is very likely due to the observed rise in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations. Discernible human influences now extend to other aspects of climate, including ocean warming, continental average temperatures, temperature extremes and wind patterns. In this context, the timely release of authoritative climate statements, assessments, reviews and historical perspectives provides crucial information on the state of the climate and facilitates the important role played by WMO in contributing to sustainable development in the 21st century.



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