research / Environment / Climate research / Agricultural
meteorology / Tropical
cyclones / Aeronautical
meteorology / Marine
meteorology / Water / Education and training
experts from affected countries gathered in Beijing, China,
in May to discuss seasonal prediction of the East Asian
As well as the
latest outcomes from research and development, they reviewed
the current situation and its influencing systems and
developed an outlook of the 2005 summertime climate in
objective was to establish a network of experts in the
region which would provide an opportunity for sharing
information among countries and thus enhance capacity.
information, see http://www.wmo.int/web/arep/tmrp/tmrp_homepage.shtml
Weather forecasting research
now underway is a key component in WMO efforts to accelerate
improvements in the accuracy of 1-day to 2-week high-impact
Interactive Grand Global Ensemble (TIGGE) will develop new
methods of combining predictions from different sources
(ensembles) and correcting systematic errors (e.g. from
observations and model input).
the aim is to produce ensemble-based predictions of
high-impact weather, wherever it occurs, on all predictable
will be available to all researchers in a user-friendly
access to the data will be available for the International
Polar Year field campaigns in 2007-2008, the Beijing 2008
Olympics Research and Development project; and for regional
and global experiments on disaster-management systems,
including multi-hazard early warning systems.
information, see: http://www.wmo.int/web/arep/wwrp/wwrp_homepage.shtml and http://www.wmo.int/thorpex/
monitoring in Africa: a success story
Measures taken to control
the emission of greenhouse gases are expected to result in a
recovery of the ozone layer sometime in the next decade. In
order to be able to follow the process, ozone must be
monitored in a sustainable manner: WMO’s Global Atmosphere
Watch (GAW) is supported by some 80 countries and
maintains a network of ozone monitoring stations.
In what was a truly
international effort, a GAW team has assisted Kenya in
adding an ozone-monitoring instrument (spectrophotometer) to
its existing balloonsonde observations, thus filling a major
gap in coverage over Africa.
A WMO instrument comparison
revealed that the spectrophotometer at the University of
Nairobi in Kenya needed extensive and expensive repairs. The
University and the Canadian Meteorological Service agreed to
bear the costs of refurbishing the instrument and its
relocation to the global GAW station in Nairobi.
The GAW Regional Dobson
Calibration Centre in Germany refurbished the instrument.
The Czech Hydrometeorological Institute installed it.
MeteoSwiss transported it to Nairobi in May 2005 and will
assist in its long-term maintenance and operation. WMO used
a dedicated trust fund for assistance to developing
countries to cover additional costs.
coordinates a global network of ozone monitoring stations
and assists countries with the installation, maintenance and
operation of the measuring instruments (spectrophotometers).
For more information, see: http://www.wmo.int/pages/prog/arep/gaw/gaw_home_en.html
Research Centre on El Niño (CIIFEN)
CIIFEN and the
European Geosciences Union organized the First Alexander Von
Humboldt International Conference on El Niño Phenomenon and
its global impact which was held in Guayaquil, Ecuador, in
All aspects of
El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) were discussed, ranging
from the oceans, atmosphere, climate, biology and human
dimensions to its impacts in South America and
outcome of the conference was that CIIFEN and ENSO-related
science will have a substantial and useful contribution to
make to a wide range of research issues and applications.
information, see: http://wcrp.wmo.int/wcrp-index.html
Ocean Circulation Experiment atlas
important end-product arising from the biggest ocean
experiment ever conducted—the 10-year World Ocean
Circulation Experiment (WOCE)—is an atlas which is being
published in four volumes.
was a major research effort of the World Climate Research
Programme sponsored by WMO, the International
Council for Science and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic
Commission of UNESCO. More than 20 countries participated in
collecting the data in the 1990s.
in the Atlas will provide a baseline against which future
ocean changes, whether natural or man-made, can be assessed. For
this reason, all deep-sea research ships will carry a copy.
first volume in the series, the Southern Ocean Atlas,
a state-of-the-art directory to the waters of the least
accessible of the world’s oceans, has just been published.
Volumes describing the Indian, Pacific and Atlantic Oceans
will be published in due course.
more information, see: http://www.woce.org/atlas_webpage/
contact Mike Sparrow (firstname.lastname@example.org)
framework of the United Nations Convention to Combat
Desertification, discussions have recently taken place about
the contribution of national action programmes to
poverty-reduction strategies and integration of the
implementation of the Convention into national development
strategies and other relevant policy frameworks. Linkages
between desertification, migration and conflicts were also
information, see: http://www.wmo.int/pages/prog/wcp/agm/agmp_en.html
Meteorological Services in locust-affected areas are
actively involved in control operations. A major gap remains
the identification of clear and useful guidelines on the
exact nature of meteorological products that must be
provided at regular intervals. WMO provides valuable
assistance with near-real-time weather data for
locust-affected countries via the World AgroMeteorological
Information Service (WAMIS), a centralized Webserver that
disseminates agrometeorological products issued by WMO
needed by locust-control specialists include rainfall and
wind data, vegetation maps and numerical forecasts both
during quiet years and during periods of outbreaks or
plagues, when data requirements are more demanding.
WMO is taking
steps to ensure the quality and smooth transmission and
exchange of meteorological data. It will also provide
additional training of staff at locust control centres and
for an exchange of personnel between those centres and
information is vital for spraying operations to combat
locust swarms. (Photo: FAO)
more information, see: http://www.wamis.org/
See also item
“Catching fish with a climate prediction” in “In
to tropical cyclones
A report has
just been issued on a project which was carried out in
Australia to assess climate change and community
vulnerability to tropical cyclones in Queensland.
One part of
the project has updated and extended understanding of the
threat of storm tide inundation in Queensland on a
state-wide scale, including the effects of extreme wave
conditions in selected areas, and estimations of the
potential of enhanced greenhouse-effect climate impacts.
part contains an advanced numerical model of housing
vulnerability under extreme winds for three parts of the
will serve as valuable reference material for an ongoing WMO
project on the combined effects of storm surges/wind waves
and river floods in low-lying areas.
See also item
“Hurricane season 2005” in
“In the news”
information, see: http://www.wmo.int/pages/prog/www/tcp/index_en.html
data reporting from aircraft (AMDAR) has proved to be
cost-effective, timely and beneficial. These observations
contribute to improving numerical weather prediction,
operational forecasting, output accuracy and data coverage,
particularly in upper-air data-sparse areas of the world.
Some 180 000
observations per day are currently being exchanged over
WMO’s Global Telecommunication System (GTS). This
represents an increase of more than 300% since 1998.
A total of 22
WMO Members and several international organizations now
participate in AMDAR. A number of display systems are
currently operational and available via the Internet.
issues to be addressed include strategies to supply
data-sparse areas of the world with targeted AMDAR data and
the ability to display them operationally on a PC-based
reports from aircraft provide valuable data for parts of the
for which few data are available.
more information, see http://www.wmo.int/pages/prog/amp/mmop/index_en.html
"Adopt a drifting buoy" in "In the news".
the world’s water resources
Hydrological Observing System (WHYCOS) is a WMO concept
which complements national efforts to provide information
for water-resource management. It allows for more accurate
monitoring of water resources and better understanding of
the global hydrological cycle.
implemented by cooperating nations through regional
components called HYCOS projects.
the global water cycle contributes to detecting climate
change and variability (e.g. “Are floods more
frequent?”) and to the analysis of trends in precipitation, streamflows and
other variables. These variables can be observed by
satellites but especially through in situ measurements of
streamflows. HYCOS projects generate, collect and share the
data through the Global Runoff Data Centre based in Koblenz
(Germany), a WMO-affiliated centre (see: http://www.gewex.org/index.html).
information collected contributes to sustainable development
in areas such as water-resources assessment and planning,
ecosystem and water- quality monitoring, agriculture, flood
forecasting, drought monitoring and prediction, fisheries
management and human health.
streamflow measurements are essential for many applications,
including the design of dams and reservoirs.
The lack of
water-related information in developing countries has led to
food insecurity and drought vulnerability, with ensuing
hunger and deprivation.
standardization of observation procedures to be adopted
under WHYCOS will result in end products that will provide
useful inputs to water-related initiatives, particularly in
developing countries. Some of these products are flood
forecasts and lean-season flow forecasts. In combination
with regional climate outlooks, they will help
decision-making in various economic sectors.
requests for setting up 19 HYCOS components all over the
globe. Three components (for the Mediterranean, southern
Africa and West and Central Africa) have already been
implemented. Two new projects—Volta- and Niger-HYCOS) are
being implemented. A HYCOS for the Himalaya-Hindu Kush area
has started with a test phase.
countries are participating in the ongoing HYCOS projects,
of which 19 are Least Developed Countries (LDCs). In the LDC
projects, capacity development of the National Hydrological
Services forms an important part.
are already advanced with development partners for funding HYCOS
projects in eastern Africa, the Caribbean and the Mekong
more information, see http://www.whycos.org/cms/
also item “Climate forecasts in
the electricity sector: the New Zealand experience” in
“In the news”
matters in Europe
in many other parts of the world, the main issues of concern
in Europe relating to water have been identified as climate,
water monitoring and assessment, extreme floods, drought
assessment, forecasting and warning, flood forecasting and
warning, networking for contributions to water related
initiatives, and public relations and visibility of National
specifically, work is ongoing to formulate a statement on
the scientific basis and limitation of hydrological
modelling, priority areas for the implementation of a
strategy on education and training in hydrology and water
resources, the development of a WMO information system, and
implementation of the WMO flood forecasting initiative.
is a vital source of water, providing us with almost
one-third of all freshwater. It is increasingly threatened,
however, by pollution, mismanagement and extreme demands due
to expanding populations and is a matter of global concern.
countries in arid and semi-arid regions to ensure adequate
freshwater resources, including through improved groundwater
management leading to optimal utilization.
changes in groundwater practice can directly assist these
nations alleviate poverty and meet sustainable development
UN-Water/Africa represents the regional body of UN-Water
(Global) in Africa. WMO has been actively participating in
all its sessions since its establishment in 1993.
session, held in March, discussed the concrete and
collaborative activities which can effectively contribute to
the assessment of the regional water situation, as well as
water conferences, meetings and forums.
session, WMO was selected to chair the UN-Water/Africa group
for the next two years.
in water activities
WMO has been
collaborating with UNESCO in the field of water for 25
years. Joint activities include the International Flood
Initiative, the International Glossary of Hydrology and
World Climate Programme-Water.
collaboration is used as a model by other UN bodies having
activities in water.
information, see: http://www.wmo.int/pages/prog/hwrp/homs/homs_en.html
meteorology and hydrology from Asia and the South-West
Pacific have received training to improve their individual
skills and effectiveness.
covered the use of new teaching techniques and resources,
including information and communication technologies,
computer-assisted learning and distance learning. They also
learned about developing curricula, competencies and
improving regional cooperation in training.