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February 2007 Downloads & Links

Recent events

Twelfth meeting of the Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC/COP 12)

Establishment of the Drought Management Centre for South-eastern Europe (DMCSEE)—meeting to discuss follow-up actions

Technical Conference: “How can we better meet the current and future needs of aviation?”  

Commission for Aeronautical Meteorology—13th session (CAeM-XIII)

Technical Conference on Meteorological and Environmental Instruments and Methods of Observation (TECO-2006) 

Commission for Instruments and Methods of Observation—14th session (CIMO-XIV)

International Workshop on Climate and Land Degradation  

WMO Bureau


Twelfth meeting of the Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC/COP 12)
(Nairobi, Kenya, 6 to 17 November 2006)

UNFCCC, together with UNEP and WMO organized a press conference to emphasize Africa's acute vulnerability to climate change. WMO’s presentation focused on “Weather and climate monitoring, data gaps and implications for global climate forecasting and Africa". A number of journalists attended this press conference and it was widely reported in local and international newspapers, 

For the first time ever, WMO made a Statement in plenary Session of COP 12 entitled “The role of WMO and NMHSs in the implementation of the UNFCCC SBSTA five-year programme of work on impacts, vulnerability and adaptation to climate change”, which improved understanding of delegates on the role of WMO, and NMHSs in adaptation process. Furthermore, WMO presented a concept paper on this issue. COP 12 adopted the Nairobi Programme of Work on Impacts, Vulnerability and Adaptation to Climate Change and officially recognized the role of WMO and NMHSs in adaptation process. It requested their regular reports of actions in future SBSTA and COP sessions. 


SBSTA was established at the first Conference of the Parties (COP) to the UNFCCC in August 1995 to provide the COP and, as appropriate, its other subsidiary bodies with timely information and advice on scientific and technological matters relating to the Convention.  


As was done the previous year, WMO established an exhibition booth to showcase selected publications and provide an opportunity for networking with other participating agencies and NGOs. Large numbers of WMO publications were distributed in all working languages.   

At the High Level Segment of the Conference of Parties, Mr Jarraud, the Secretary-General of WMO, made a statement on the role of WMO and NMHSs in scientific support to the UNFCCC.  

WMO welcomed the active participation of many Permanent Representatives, most especially from Regional Association I (Africa), who served as bureau members, chairs of different meetings of contact groups and heads of delegations during the Conference.  



Establishment of the Drought Management Centre for South-eastern Europe (DMCSEE)—meeting to discuss follow-up actions
(Geneva, 15 November 2006) 

Nine participants from Slovenia, the Secretariat of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification and the WMO Secretariat attended this meeting.  The meeting reviewed the outcomes of two technical workshops held in Romania and Bulgaria and the meeting organized in WMO on 26 September 2006 to select the host country for the DMCSEE (Slovenia).    

It then discussed future actions and responsibilities and agreed on a number of actions including the recruitment of a consultant for the preparation of the comprehensive project proposal; designation of drought researchers in the 11 participating countries (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Greece, Hungary, the Republic of Moldova, Romania, Slovenia and Turkey) in consultation with the National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs); organization of a meeting on 16 January 2007 to review the draft project proposal; transmission of the draft project proposal to all the NMHSs, UNCCD focal points and the designated drought researchers in the first week of February 2007; organization of a meeting of the NMHSs, UNCCD focal points and the designated drought researchers in the second-third week of April 2007 in Ljubljana, Slovenia; preparation of a communication to the fifth Session of the Committee on Review of the Implementation of the Convention (CRIC 5) of UNCCD; organization of a side event on DMCSEE at Fifteeneth World Meteorological Congress; and presentation of the project proposal by Slovenia to donors and to the Informal Conference of the Directors of NMHSs in south-eastern Europe. 



Technical Conference: “How can we better meet the current and future needs of aviation?”  
(Geneva, 21-22 November 2006)

This Technical Conference, held immediately preceding the 13th session of CAeM, attracted nearly 120 participants from aeronautical meteorology service providers, international organizations such as ICAO and  IATA, and professional and industry associations (IFALPA, HMEI). Its aim was to analyse how aviation meteorology can live up to the challenge of providing added value to the aviation sector in terms of safety, efficiency and regularity by entering into an active dialogue with users. 

The conference was organized in a new format, with a few key speakers addressing the topic areas of institutional changes, scientific advances, education and training and new services to aviation. These presentations were followed by work in five break-out groups summarizing the response by the different stakeholders to the presentations, leading to recommendations and guidelines for future development. 

The work of these break-out groups was subsequently presented to plenary by presenters elected from the groups and summaries produced for inclusion on a CD handed to all participants at the end of the conference. 

This new format proved highly successful both in focusing on the most important and relevant developments in the science of aeronautical meteorology and on service provision. It had the added benefit of preparing participants for the ensuing CAeM-XIII, which benefited from lively and active cooperation of the workshop participants who carried their enthusiasm over into the commission session.

Commission —13th session (CAeM-XIII)
(Geneva, 23 to 30 November 2006)

CAeM-XIII was attended by about 150 participants from 72 Members, one Non-Member and observers from five international organizations. Major issues discussed related, among others, to training, a new and streamlined organizational structure of CAeM, implications for Members of the 74th amendment to Annex III of ICAO (which regulates service provision in aeronautical meteorology), the planned migration of aviation meteorology operational data to table-driven code forms, a new terminal weather forecast addressing the information needs of Air Traffic Management, and airport operations.   

The Commission endorsed pilot projects for cross-cutting issues such as disaster prevention and mitigation and preparations for the handover of the now mostly operational Aircraft Meteorological Data Relay (AMDAR) programme to WMO’s World Weather Watch. In this respect, the Commission discussed plans concerning a water vapour sensor that could provide highly valuable information on humidity profiles near all major aerodromes in the future. 

The Commission further considered the contribution of the Aeronautical Meteorology Programme to the new Strategic Plan of WMO, discussing under this item also the difficulty to achieve the work programme as specified by this Strategic Plan, given the shortage of funds under the zero nominal growth budget proposal submitted to Fifteenth World Meteorological Congress. 

The session was informed of the successful implementation of the new training Website by the Expert Team on Training and Education. It concurred that, particularly under strained budgetary conditions, e-learning and Web-based training methods would have to be given priority over traditional classroom training, which was costly in terms of both travel and time resources of participants and lecturers alike. Wherever classroom training was still considered essential, Web-based preparation, interactive work and post-event communication was seen as necessary.

The difficult financial situation of many Member NMHSs, particularly in developing countries, was stressed and the need to continued support from WMO for the introduction of cost- recovery systems was reiterated. As cost recovery relies intrinsically on a recognized quality management system as recommended by ICAO in its Annex III, the publication of the new WMO-No.1001—Guide on the quality management system for the provision of meteorological service for international air navigation was welcomed by the Commission, the imminent publication of WMO-No. 904—Guide on aeronautical meteorological services cost recovery—principles and guidance was eagerly awaited, with the inclusion of further case-studies and examples from developing and developed countries welcomed. 



The WMO Technical Conference on Meteorological and Environmental Instruments and Methods of Observation (TECO-2006) was held in Geneva from 4 to 6 December 2006. A total of 189 experts from 61 countries discussed 126 papers and posters presented under the theme "Innovations in observing systems and practices to meet the evolving needs of Members. The conference was opened by the acting president of CIMO, R. P. Canterford.           

Conference sessions concerned new developments and operational experience in surface and upper‑air observation technology and networks; quality management, calibration and testing; technology transfer; capacity building; and development of Regional Instrument Centres (RICs). A final session of discussion identified the evolving needs of members, in order to guide the deliberations of the 14th session of the WMO Commission for Instruments and Methods of Observation (CIMO-XIV), which immediately followed the conference (see item below).  

There was a clear emphasis on better meeting user's needs and tailoring data specifications and delivery to match requirements. Several papers addressed disaster prevention and mitigation issues and described highly integrated solutions, while others described technological advances in remote-sensing and integrated sounding systems. Many examples were given of the planning, enhancement, renovation and integration of surface and upper-air networks. Renovation gave opportunities to build in quality measures at source, increase efficiency and provide new data complexes for numerical weather prediction (NWP) modelling.  

Participants learned that data were becoming available from a wide range of sources, some from new technologies, some from agencies or the public where quality control was informal, so that issues of representativeness, consistent data series and traceability were paramount, particularly for the climate community. On the other hand, it was recognized that the NWP community desired adaptive networks and rapid assimilation of new and high-density data sources. 

Results of important intercomparisons on rainfall intensity measurement and the 10th International Pyrheliometer Comparisons were reported. Concern was voiced about the traceability of the accuracy of hydrometeorological data worldwide. Proposals were made for the capacity building of Regional Instrument Centres so that they might better support the calibration work of NMHSs in their Region. 

Participants heard excellent presentations on capacity building training events for radar radiosonde and automatic weather stations technicians and on the Global Climate Observing System Upper Air Network/Voluntary Cooperation Programme projects for upgrading upper-air stations. The need for training and resources at RICs for calibration of instruments was identified as a pressing issue. There was positive collaboration with members of the Association of Hydro-Meteorological Equipment Industry (HMEI) in making instruments available for intercomparisons and in assistance with training events. 

CIMO was challenged to attend to all of its terms of reference, to identify the operational areas of all WMO programmes where it is required to give expert support, and to improve liaison with the scientific community. 

TECO-2006 papers and posters were published on a CD-ROM, as Instruments and Observing Methods (IOM) Report No. 94, WMO/TD No. 1354. The IOM Report was provided to every participant and is also available on the WMO website:



Commission for Instruments and Methods of Observation—14th session (CIMO-XIV)
(Geneva, Switzerland, 7 to 14 December 2006) 

A total of 109 participants from 50 countries and four international organizations participated in CIMO-XIV. John Nash (Unite Kingdom) and Rainer Dombrowsky (USA) were elected by acclamation as president and vice-president of the Commission, respectively. (See “Award” in “In the news” of this issue.) 

The Commission agreed that the standardization was a key area of CIMO activities and that the current trend in preparation of technical advice to Members should continue. Seventeen technical reports had been elaborated in the intersessional period relating to standardization of instruments and observing methods and to the use and maintenance of instruments and systems. Members would use those in the routine operation of their observation networks. This marked an unprecedented effort by many experts of all CIMO Open Programme Area Groups. The Commission thanked all those individuals for the work done in supporting the needs of Members for technical advice concerning types, characteristics, accuracies, performance, effective and economical use of instruments and methods of observation.   

CIMO members were in agreement that the international standardization of meteorological instruments, related measurements and observations was a precondition for accurate and reliable datasets. It agreed that the development of new sensors and instrumentation, including the inexpensive and durable instrumentation for use in developing countries, more robust sensors suitable for harsh environments, as well as the development of new automatic observing techniques, especially for visual and subjective observations, were becoming more and more important. The Commission committed itself to stimulating efforts focused on the production of meteorological instruments of improved accuracy, stability and reliability but not necessarily at higher cost. As part of this effort the members endorsed the Commission’s efforts in strengthening its relationship with standardization bodies, such as the International Standardization Organization (ISO) and the International Organization for Weights and Measures (BIPM). 

The seventh edition of the Guide to meteorological instruments and methods of observation (WMO-No. 8) had been prepared through the effort of 42 experts from 17 countries and was adopted by the session. Some of the key issues addressed in the new edition were the automation of visual observations, including digital cameras and image recognition technology. Through these and past efforts the Guide is now more widely recognized and used by instrument manufacturers through its link on the Hydro-Meteorological Equipment Industry Association (HMEI) Website ( The Commission requested that the electronic versions of the CIMO Guide be published on WMO Website. 

The Commission recognized the importance of accuracy, reliability and long-term stability of data for all WMO programmes, but especially for use by the climate community in monitoring variability and change, as well as monitoring extreme events in support of the Natural Disaster Prevention and Mitigation Programme. Only through worldwide traceability of measurements to International System (SI) standards can this concern of the Commission be addressed. CIMO declared that if further improvement in accuracy was to be made by Members for their users, it would be best achieved through metrology.  CIMO needed to bring this issue to the attention of WMO Members.

The role of the Regional Instrument and Regional Radiation Centres (RICs, RRCs) were critical to Members in guaranteeing traceability of data to SI, especially for developing countries. Therefore as far as services of the RICs was concerned, the Commission requested that these centres should be significantly strengthened to offer required services to Members and that funding sources should be identified and sought in order to address the needs of RICs and RRCs.   

The session affirmed that one of the Commission’s greatest contributions to its members was the carrying out of instrument Intercomparisons. This unique tool guaranteed the worldwide compatibility and homogeneity of data. The Commission addressed this issue and agreed on a preliminary list of urgently needed instrument intercomparisons to be implemented in collaboration with other interested parties. However, the funding of intercomparisons had been a long-standing issue and should be addressed by WMO so that at least partial funding is made available in the regular WMO budget for this important activity.   

Interaction and collaboration with HMEI had been strengthened. Such collaboration had been documented within each expert team and more so within intercomparisons, in which not only had they provided their equipment for comparisons but had recognized and accepted the results, resulting in sensor modification. In addition to these efforts, HMEI members had shared in providing training to developing countries. It is through such collaborative efforts that CIMO had become more effective. This was evident through the many suggestions from Members for HMEI to become more involved in the Commission’s work. 

The Commission paid great attention to the enhancement, renovation and integration of observing technologies and networks. Members presented a strong message for the need to link observational data assimilation directly to numerical weather prediction models and to integrate observing networks based on technology rather on data. This would become the cornerstone of a WMO integrated global observing system. The integration of various observing systems should preferably be done on the technology, rather than data level.   

Significant decisions were made regarding other areas that crosscut in a fashion similar to CIMO, these included the WMO Qualify Management Framework, the Disaster Prevention and Mitigation, and the Global Earth Observation System of Systems.  It was clear from the discussions that these crosscutting programmes were of utmost importance in CIMO’s future activities.    

The Commission agreed to continue in the current trend in building the capacities of Members. It identified urgent needs for training in the operational practice of National Meteorological and Hydrological Services in the aresa of upper-air observations (in situ and remote-sensing), and metrology and calibration. In the intersessional period, 235 trainees had been trained in 10 training workshops on instruments and observing methods.    


International Workshop on Climate and Land Degradation  
(Arusha, United Republic of Tanzania, 11 to 15 December 2006) 

This Workshop was organized by WMO, the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) and the Tanzania Meteorological Agency was held in. It was co-sponsored by the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID), the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Sixty-four participants from 30 countries and five UN agencies (WMO, UNCCD, FAO, UNDP, UNEP) participated. The workshop focused on how climate induces and influences land degradation and what measures need to be taken to enhance the applications of weather and climate information to combat land degradation.    

Land degradation is a threat to natural resources with consequences on food security, poverty and environmental and political stability. The workshop noted that trends in land degradation are assessed differently in various parts of the world. The increasing occurrence of climate extremes (for example, heat waves, droughts, heavy precipitation) is having an impact on land degradation processes, including floods, mass movements, soil erosion by water and wind and salinization in all parts of the globe. Climate variability, climate change and land degradation are intimately linked and are generating unexpected effects e.g., an increased occurrence of fire-weather conditions in large parts of the globe. In combating land degradation, bottom-up and top-down participatory management approaches that foster income-generating activities are required.  

The workshop recommended that:

  • As the relationship between locally observed land degradation processes and their aggregation at different scales (national, regional and global) requires further exploration of scale-transfer methodologies and procedures, it is essential to improve the monitoring of land degradation, as well as climate at these scales. Global assessments need to take into account the perceived reality of land degradation by local populations.

  • There is a need to strengthen the knowledge and understanding as well as the functions of ecosystems (thresholds, resilience and dynamic equilibria) in order to better understand, predict and value the risks of land degradation and fully understand the complex interrelations between land use and environment. 

  • Innovative and adaptive land-management responses to inherent climatic variability and natural hazards (droughts, floods, landslides, sand and dust storms, wildland fires etc.) must be identified and implemented for sustainable land management.

  • Land management practices in affected areas, particularly in Africa and other developing countries, should focus on improving the amount of rainfall that is used in biomass production. This can be facilitated by unlimited hydrometeorological data and increased human and institutional capacity building.

  • The network of climatological, hydrological and agrometeorological stations around the world should be increased and strengthened to provide data on rainfall intensities, soil temperature and soil moisture for land degradation monitoring, assessment and for the implementation of the NAPs. Climatological and hydrological end products should be developed in coordination with end user needs by relevant and competent personnel and institutions.

  • An integrated approach backed up by institutional support and regeneration of affected areas by means of agro-ecological practices and other physical interventions to reduce land degradation. Direct interactions between National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) and the land users can help enhance the direct communication of weather and climate information. There is a need to develop a cost-effective system to communicate early climate forecasts to various stakeholders, in particular to farmers, so that they can improve their land management practices.

  • Given the current concerns with recurrent droughts and their impacts on local communities, it is important to develop and implement a National Drought Policy that supports effective implementation of the NAPs.    

WMO Bureau (Moscow, Russian Federation, 23 to 25 February 2007)

The WMO President, Secretary-General, three Vice-presidents, three of the six presidents of WMO regional associations and representatives of the three World Meteorological Centres met for the 57th session of the WMO Bureau in Moscow, Russian Federation, from 23 to 25 February 2007. 

The Bureau reviewed and discussed a variety of issues for the preparation of Fifteenth World Meteorological Congress (7-25 May 2007) and the 59th session of the Executive Council (28-30 May).

On 26 February, the WMO Bureau met with Officers of UNESCO's Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission for a Joint Consultative Meeting, to review the status and discuss matters of collaboration between the two Organizations.

WMO/IOC Joint Consultative Meeting, Moscow, 26 February 2007


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