Agrometeorology / Atmospheric observations / Capacity building / Climate / Climate research / Data
assimilation / Forecasting / Instruments / Water /
change and variability and natural disasters in agriculture
promoting studies of the potential impacts of climate change
and variability and natural disasters on agriculture,
rangelands, forestry and fisheries. These include studies of
mitigation and adaptation strategies.
areas have been identified where assessment capabilities of
impacts are particularly critical: impacts of natural
disasters; the contribution of agriculture to the state of
climate; and climate forecasts for users.
on specific topics in each area will be carried out in
predictions for agriculture
Adaptation of food
production, particularly in areas where climate variability
is large, holds the key to improving food security. The
range of adaptation options for agriculture, forestry and
fisheries is increasing, thanks to technological advances.
These include increasingly
accurate seasonal-to-interannual climate forecasts. Many
developing countries, however, have limited access to these
technologies and appropriate information on how to implement
WMO is encouraging new
approaches to climate modelling, as well as agricultural
applications and systems management. Large-scale
seasonal-to-interannual forecasts need to be downscaled in a
reliable and practical manner for local applications and
users need to be trained in their use.
war against locusts
from National Meteorological and Hydrological Services and
National Locust Control Centres (LCCs) of 11 countries in
Africa met recently to discuss roles and responsibilities
for more effective coordination and planning in the event of
further locust outbreaks during the upcoming rainy season.
particular concern was the dissemination of daily weather
data to the LCCs and other international organizations and
the potential use of advanced weather forecast model
products for locust monitoring and control.
information is crucial for spraying operations against
locusts. (Photo: FAO)
information on WMO activities in agrometeorology, see:
from commercial aircraft
5-million euro infrastructure project entitled
“Integration of routine Aircraft measurements into a
Global Observing System” (IAGOS) has been launched by the
European Commission. Its aim is to sustain and improve measurements of atmospheric
composition from commercial aircraft that began 10 years ago
as a series of research projects (MOZAIC).
The project is
a key component of WMO’s strategy for Integrated Global
Atmospheric Chemistry Observations (IGACO).
observations of the atmosphere are critical for improving
the scientific understanding of chemistry-climate
interactions, particularly those associated with the roles
of clouds and aerosols, for improving weather forecasts and
impacts on human health.
collected in MOZAIC from more than 20 000 long-haul flights
provides a wealth of information on the composition of the
upper troposphere/ lower stratosphere and tropospheric
profiles for the testing of global and regional
on MOZAIC, IAGOS is designed to build the capability for
observations of atmospheric composition, aerosols and cloud
particles from commercial aircraft.
activities are worldwide aeronautical certification for
installation and deployment on long-haul aircraft and
real-time data delivery to National Meteorological Services.
in situ and remote sensing observations of atmospheric
composition will be merged with routine aircraft and satellite measurements through the use of
“smart interpolators” in a similar fashion to that
already done in numerical weather prediction.
The WMO Global
Atmosphere Watch Programme (GAW) is the designated lead in
the implementation of the IGACO strategy. GAW will evolve to
meet the observational needs and challenges of climate
change, ozone depletion, air quality and long range
transport of air pollution.
participants from southeastern European countries recently
received training in radar meteorology and nowcasting. The
course also included severe weather forecasting and
co-sponsored a refresher training course on techniques of
weather forecasting at the WMO Regional Meteorological
Training Centre, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
At the WMO
Regional Meteorological Training Centre, St Petersburg,
Russian Federation, trainers in meteorology took a course in
computerized methods and technologies, including distance
cyclones: forecasts and warnings
National Meteorological and
Hydrological Services play a key role in reducing
vulnerability to natural hazards. This is done, not only
through forecasts, but also through the dissemination of
warnings, community education and collaboration with
WMO contributes to this
process by promoting research and organizing training for
tropical cyclone forecasters from all over the world. The
aim is to upgrade their capabilities so that they may
provide accurate, early and timely warnings about impending
tropical cyclone disasters and associated storm surge.
The training covers
forecasting techniques, track prediction, intensity
forecasting, meteorological satellites and instruments,
cyclone genesis and structure, radar, strike probabilities,
monitoring and the formulation and issue of warnings.
A major focus
of recent attention has been the qualifications and training
of aeronautical meteorological personnel.
recognized that the range of aeronautical meteorological
duties, and the types of personnel who carry out those
duties, vary considerably from country to country, as do the
mechanisms used to qualify the staff concerned and the means
of assessing their competencies.
prepare advice concerning the procedures to be followed by
National Meteorological Services with respect to the
training and qualifications of aeronautical meteorological
Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development has
Some of the
areas in which WMO, together with its partners, has a key
role to play are education as a means of: ensuring a
sustainable livelihood; cleaner solutions for industry and
the environment; biodiversity; water and sanitation;
sustainable energy management; and ocean conservation.
be necessary to re-orient formal education and training
through open and distance learning methods.
will need to develop their own strategies and action plans
for the Decade according to national requirements.
facilitates work on a regional basis to establish
climate-change indices. In particular, there is an interest
to derive indices from daily data, especially measures of
changes in extremes and to fill in blank data areas in the
“global” analysis of climate indices. In this way,
confidence in local analyses will be increased as they will
be placed in a larger, regional context that includes
results from neighbouring stations and countries.
Such work is a
good beginning for international cooperation: regional
research synergies are enhanced by sharing insights, while
analyses between neighbouring countries will be improved,
together with the appreciation for data and data
aim is to make available the data and indices in the
analysis available to researchers everywhere.
on regional climate-change indices in Guatemala
project in the form of a Regional Climate Centre for Central
America will focus on data, services, research and
development and capacity building. It will enhance products
developed by Members of the region, including seasonal and
interannual forecasts, forecast verifications and climate
benefit from more targeted climate forecasts, particularly
for El Niño and La Niña events.
information, see: http://www.wmo.int/pages/prog/wcp/index_en.html
the ozone layer and the global climate system
After 20 years
of protecting the ozone layer with a new generation of
chemicals, governments are now having to confront the fact
that these ozone-friendly substitutes for
chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) also happen to be greenhouse
gases that contribute to global warming.
climate change and ozone destruction may appear as being
different issues, our use of certain chemicals links them
To assess the
extent of the problem and the available solutions, the WMO/UNEP
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), in
collaboration with the Technology and Economic Assessment
Panel, has produced a special report entitled
“Safeguarding the ozone layer and the global climate
system: issues related to hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and
future for climate research
Observation and Prediction of the Earth System (COPES) is a
new strategic framework for climate research for the next 10
years. It addresses new opportunities and challenges in
determining the predictability of climate and the effect of
human activities on climate.
provide a framework for ensuring collaboration among nations
and synergy across various climate research activities. It
will build new tools to describe and analyse climate
variability and change and their combined effects and assess
why those effects are occurring. It will also build improved
and more comprehensive climate system models and will make
climate predictions of greater utility from weeks to
centuries and on global to regional scales.
will enable improved climate-change assessments for use in
widespread applications in all socio-economic sectors.
information, including the COPES flyer (pdf), see:
See also: http://copes.ipsl.jussieu.fr/
needs better predictive capabilities and operational
potential to reduce and mitigate natural disasters, and to
improve understanding and society’s response to
environmental change. Data assimilation is a critical bridge
between rapidly progressing information technologies, an
increasing volume of observational data and the utilization
of data in various domains of the Earth system.
framework of WMO, all nations, especially developing and
least developed countries, may benefit, directly or
indirectly, from comprehensive and effective information and
products in support of safety of
life and property and socio-economic development.
more information, see: http://www.chmi.cz/dasympos/index.html
In May, WMO
organized in Bucharest, Romania, a technical conference and
an exhibition that promoted the interaction of manufacturers
and users of meteorological instruments and observing
A total of 254
experts from 71 countries participated in the conference
that discussed meteorological and environmental instruments
and methods of observation. Some 64 exhibitors participated
in the conjointly organized Exhibition of Meteorological
Instruments, Related Equipment and Services (METEOREX
2005)—the largest such event in the world.
and accurate measurements
the Earth’s climatic system, its variability and change,
is only possible with homogeneous and accurate data measured
worldwide. Intercomparisons of the instruments that measure
the data are therefore essential.
initiated a new schedule of intercomparisons. The first took
place with 19 pairs of rainfall intensity gauges from 18
manufacturers in three laboratories in three countries.
intercomparison was of six radiosonde systems. Divided into
two groups, these were launched successively on 2 000 g
balloons at four successive launch times.
The results of
the tests are currently being analysed.
For more information, see: http://www.wmo.int/pages/prog/www/IMOP/IMOP-home.html
that atmospheric analyses and weather and climate products
are prepared and made available to Member countries in a
useful and cost-effective fashion.
WMO’s Global Data Processing and Forecasting System (GDPFS)
include the preparation of products derived from Numerical
Weather Prediction (NWP) systems for nowcasting (0-2 hours
ahead) up to long-range forecasts (1 month-2 years ahead).
tailored, value-added products are used for a wide range of
purposes such as marine and aviation safety and
environmental quality monitoring.
verifying the accuracy and reliability of products are
constantly under review for improving forecast product
quality. This has, on average, increased by two days over
the last 20 years.
new forecasting techniques by facilitating discussions and
organizing training so that developing countries may make
the best use of the new techniques and products available.
These include forecasts of risk and warnings of severe
information, see http://www.wmo.int/pages/prog/www/DPS/gdps.html
and groundwater are not managed wisely, water will become an
even more limited and fragile resource than it is today.
Integrated water-resources management can help reconcile
conflicting uses of water and provide communities with the
opportunity to utilize their sometimes scarce water
WMO and the
National Meteorological and Hydrological Services have a
primordial role to play in water quantity and quality
assessment. Monitoring is the information backbone and
knowledge base for integrated water-resources management and
for building resilience in society against water-related
lack adequate water-monitoring programmes. WMO assists
countries in improving the availability and reliability of
water data for a wide range of uses.
information, see: http://www.wmo.int/pages/prog/hwrp/homs/homs_en.html
and Press Release No. 726
management in Kenya
Integrated Flood Management
(IFM) is flood management in the context of Integrated Water
As one of the leaders in
promulgating IFM as a means of attaining sustainable
socio-economic development, WMO has initiated a pilot
project to assist the Kenyan Ministry of Water and
Irrigation develop a Flood Management Strategy for the Lake
Work on the strategy was
carried out in close collaboration with a team of local
technicians and involved information gathering and
interaction with regional stakeholders and policy-makers.
The strategy covers all
rivers and sub-catchments in the Lake Victoria basin. The project was launched on 16 February.
For more information, see: