from the South-West Pacific / International
river basin cooperation / Aviation
weather and quality management / Coastal
current, traffic and the environment / Earth
observations / Presenting the
weather / Indian Ocean Tsunami Early
Warning System / Weather and
agriculture / Adapting to climate
change / Sea-level rise / Assessing
the climate system /
from the South-West Pacific
and water resources
of 16 countries in the South-West Pacific met recently to
review the status of hydrological activities in their
region. They concluded that the main shortcomings affecting
their National Hydrological Services (NHSs) were the lack of
standards in data collection and dissemination, the limited
financial support for the maintenance and upgrading of
networks, and the lack of adequately trained staff.
reaffirmed the importance of education and training
activities and noted the seminal importance of activities to
meet the special hydrological training needs of the islands
of the Pacific. In this context, two training events had
been organized on water-resources assessment and
groundwater. It was proposed to establish a regional trust
fund to contribute to the operation and maintenance of
also emphasized the need to raise visibility of NHSs and
public awareness of water-related issues; continue the
development of the training programme; improve networks; and
increase flood- and drought-forecasting capabilities.
Hydrological Cycle Observing System (WHYCOS)
A regional component of the
WHYCOS programme is being developed for the South-West
Pacific region (PACIFIC-HYCOS). It aims mainly at
establishing or reinforcing human and technical capabilities
in data collection and management and water-resources
assessment. The project has been endorsed for implementation
by eight countries and territories (Cook islands, Fiji,
Nauru, New Caledonia, Niue, Papua New Guinea, Solomon
Islands and Vanuatu).
the weather watch
Experts met in
Apia, Samoa (November/December 2005) to discuss ways of
improving components of the World Weather Watch (WWW) of WMO
in the South-West Pacific. These components include
observing systems, data-processing and forecasting systems,
public weather services and telecommunication systems.
WWW is the
backbone of rapid and near-real time exchange and
dissemination of meteorological and hydrological data and
information, including global and regional early warnings of
therefore vital that the WWW is regularly upgraded and
enhanced. This is done by constant monitoring to identify
and remedy deficiencies.
river basin cooperation
share the basin of the River Sava (Albania, Bosnia and
Herzegovina, Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro, and Slovenia).
With WMO's support, they have developed a cooperation project,
aiming at improving hydrometeorological observation and
flood forecasting in the basin. The project will also
support the operations of the newly established Sava River
multinational teams have developed proposals on four
different themes: rehabilitation of the observing network;
exchange of data and information; development of a
rainfall-runoff model; and improvement of hydrological
weather and quality management
In order to
assist aviation authorities in the quality-management
process, WMO has issued guidance material (the updated Guide
to Practices for Meteorological Offices serving Aviation
(WMO-No 732)) and organized the first seminar (Hong Kong,
China, in November 2005) of a series on this subject. As
well as quality management and implementation, the topics of
performance measurement and customer focus were discussed
and experiences shared.
guidance material to be published shortly is a document on
the quality management system for the provision of
meteorological service for international air navigation.
This document has been developed by WMO in conjunction with
the International Civil Aviation Organization.
current, traffic and the environment
subjected to strong and transient currents which have an
impact not only on the environment, but also on crisis and
emergency management. Countries report incidents in which
vessels with hazardous cargo lose engine and pose serious
threats if they run aground. Coastal current monitoring has
become an important component of preventive safety
example, recently installed an operational system based on
high-frequency radars for this purpose. It covers the
entrance to two tanker approaches to crude oil terminals.
The output current maps are transferred to ship masters and
Vessel Traffic Services in the area. The service is public
and can be seen at http://hf.met.no.
of hazardous materials are a danger to coastal environment and their wildlife.
international Group on Earth Observations (GEO) is leading a
worldwide effort to build a Global Earth Observation System
of Systems (GEOSS).
core contributions to GEOSS through its existing unique
systems such as the Global Observing System and Global
Data-processing and Forecasting System, the Global
Atmosphere Watch, the World Hydrological Cycle Observing
System and the WMO Information System. Further contributions
are made through co-sponsored systems such as the Global
Climate Observing System, the Global Ocean Observing System,
the Global Terrestrial Network-Hydrology and the Global
Terrestrial Observing System.
provide comprehensive, coordinated and sustained Earth
observations from thousands of instruments worldwide,
transforming the data collected into vital information for
society. GEOSS will yield a broad range of basic social
benefits, including the reduction of loss of life and
property from natural disasters; improved water-resource and
energy management; and improved understanding of
environmental factors significant to public health.
last decade , disasters killed 600 000 people and caused at
least US$ 500 billion in damage worldwide. Although damage
cannot be completely avoided, better coordination of
observation systems and data will improve preparedness and
thus reduce these losses and help protect other resources.
monitoring of hazards and delivery of information are
critical to prevent hazards from becoming disasters.
WMO is working
with other UN bodies, such as FAO, UNESCO, WHO and UNEP, to
develop coordinated mechanisms for participation in GEOSS
weather for Thailand
Director-General of the Thai Meteorological Department (TMD)
has signed an agreement with the national TV channel to
provide weather forecasts to the public.
objective is to alert people to weather conditions in
Thailand in a timely and easily understandable fashion. The
information given will be useful for the farming, fishery,
transport and tourism sectors.
The TV channel
will broadcast weather forecasts and news five times a day.
The programmes will include an explanation of meteorological
graphics and radar and satellite images.
weather presenters in Africa
WMO held a
Media Weather Presentation Training Workshop in Maputo,
Mozambique, in December. Well-known weather presenters and
journalists from around the world helped to coach weather
presenters from the National Meteorological Services of 27
provided intensive training in communicating accurate
weather information to the public and decision-makers. The
Workshop participants received guidance in modern
presentation techniques used in television, radio,
newspapers and on the Internet to help them convey forecasts
and warnings in a clear, targeted and effective manner.
Oke (CNN) was one of the coaches at a WMO training workshop
on weather presenting for African countries.
Ocean Tsunami Early Warning System
been made in the implementation of an end-to-end Indian
Ocean Tsunami Early Warning System coordinated by UNESCO's
Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC).
arrangements have been implemented in WMO’s Global
Telecommunication System (GTS) to ensure the distribution to
Indian Ocean rim countries of interim tsunami watch
information provided by the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center
(Hawaii) and the Japan Meteorological Agency (Tokyo). The
GTS is also used for the exchange of certain oceanographic
observation data and alerts of emerging tsunamis to the
proposed Regional Tsunami Watch Providers and
national tsunami centres.
developed for technical improvements to the GTS at National
Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) of Indian
Ocean rim countries. These improvements will ensure full
operational support to the Indian Ocean Tsunami Early
Warning System as part of coordinated and sustainable
multihazard, multipurpose early warning systems.
will enable NMHSs to receive and process accurate and timely
bulletins and warnings within a goal of two minutes,
allowing governments to respond rapidly and appropriately
when a natural hazard occurs.
the upgrades to the GTS at the NMHSs of Kenya, Madagascar
and the United Republic of Tanzania will be operational
within nine months. It is also planned to upgrade GTS links,
such as that between India and Thailand.
operational structure of the WMO Regional Specialized
Meteorological Centres is serving as a basic model. With
modifications, it will be used as the operating framework
for organizing the Regional Tsunami Watch Providers. Corresponding operational
arrangements will be rapidly developed and implemented.
collaboration with the United Nations Food and Agriculture
Organization, WMO organized a training event for 17 African
countries in geographical information systems (GIS) and
remote-sensing applications in agricultural meteorology
(Botswana, November 2005).
presented included monitoring and assessing the impacts of
drought, flood and fire on food security and forest
production; agro-ecological zoning; and development of
products from Meteosat Second Generation data.
Other topics included spatial data analysis; development of
agrometeorological products; overview of tools and their use
for crop insurance applications; and good statistical
practices for development and research projects.
In view of the
importance of remote sensing and GIS applications for socio-economic development, several recommendations were
made for improving the capacity of National Meteorological
and Hydrological Services in these fields.
application of data received from geographical information
and remote sensing systems (radar and satellites) can help
increase crop yield and quality. WMO facilitates training in
developing and using these applications.
to climate change
major concern of WMO is to enhance climate knowledge to
improve adaptation to climate variability and change. A side
event on this subject was organized at the first meeting of
the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol in conjunction with the
11th session of the Conference of the Parties to the United
Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (Montreal,
Canada, November/ December 2005).
highlighted studies on socio-economic scenarios for
assessments of climate variability and change impacts,
vulnerability and adaptation in the context of sustainable
A brochure Climate Knowledge for Adaptation and
Sustainable Development (WMO-No.994) was also prepared. It
highlights the applications of climate information to
health, safety, tourism and urban life.
also contributes to the United Nations Convention on
Biological Diversity, in particular with regard to
desertification, land degradation and climate change
activities; dry and sub-humid lands and mountain and forest
biodiversity. The climate and agrometeorological information
provided by WMO serves as input to adaptation strategies to
present and projected future rates of global sea-level rise
and the associated variability range from long time-scales
(decades to centuries, for example due to climate change),
to short time-scales (hourly to daily, for example due to
storm surges). WMO and partner organizations are supporting
studies to identify the factors contributing to observed
sea-level rise and variability, as well as that projected.
Major sources of uncertainty will be identified and what can
be done to reduce them.
state of the science will be assessed. Future research
requirements for improving our understanding of sea-level
rise and variability will be outlined. The observations that
are needed both for research and for operational work will
the climate system
In 2005, the
WMO/UNEP Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
issued two special reports. One considers the effects on the
climate system and the ozone layer of total emissions of
ozone-depleting substances and their substitutes. It
provides the scientific context required for consideration
of choices among alternatives to ozone depleting substances,
summarizes methodologies for assessing options, describes
technical issues relating to reduction opportunities for
greenhouse-gas emissions for each of the sectors involved,
and addresses future availability of hydrofluorocarbons:
Safeguarding the Ozone Layer and the Global Climate
System—Issues related to hydrofluorocarbons and
Carbon Dioxide Capture and Storage
report considers carbon dioxide capture and storage as an
option for stabilizing greenhouse-gas concentrations. It
assesses the status of technologies in various stages of
development, including capture, transportation, geological
and ocean storage, mineral carbonation and industrial uses
of carbon dioxide. The assessment also covers the cost,
technical and economic potential for capture and storage,
local health and environment risks, legal issues and the
implications for emissions inventories and accounting in the
context of the United Nations Framework Convention on
Climate Change and of the Kyoto Protocol.