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14th session of the Commission for Atmospheric Sciences (CAS)
was held in Cape Town, South Africa, from 16 to 24 February.
Commission recognized that its scope had expanded in view of
the latest developments of comprehensive Earth system models
for a broad range of forecasting applications, including the
chemical composition of the atmosphere, new efforts on
developing interactive observing systems and ensemble
methods being employed to produce probabilistic weather
forecasts. The Commission revised its new terms of reference
for submission to the Executive Council and Fifteenth World
Meteorological Congress. There was agreement that the
highest priority in the Atmospheric Research and Environment
Programme should be the implementation of the Global
Atmosphere Watch (GAW) and the World Weather Research
Programme (WWRP), including THORPEX (The
Observing-System Research and Predictability Experiment).
Moreover, more emphasis should be given to the connection
with climate research activities.
decided to organize its activities under two Open Programme
Area Groups (OPAGs) on the World Weather Research Programme
and Environmental Pollution and Atmospheric Chemistry. The
Commission agreed on the work programme within each OPAG and
consequently established working bodies. The Commission
established the CAS Management Group to manage, assess,
guide and coordinate the work of the two OPAGs and to make
necessary adjustments in the intersessional period. It also
established a Coordinator for Natural Disasters Prevention
and Mitigation, a Coordinator for the Global Earth Observing
System of Systems, co-rapporteurs
for the WMO Information System and a focal point for gender
WWRP/THORPEX Scientific Conference “Improving
Predictability of High Impact Weather in the Southern
Hemisphere” was held just prior to the CAS
session, from 13 to 15 February 2006. Nearly 70
participants from six WMO Regions and some International
organizations (ACMAD, ECMWF and ICID) attended this
conference. Activities of southern hemisphere National
Weather Services were reported on, a draft Southern
Hemisphere THORPEX Science Plan was discussed, and agreement
was reached for the establishment of a Southern Hemisphere
Regional Committee for THORPEX activities.
Beland (Canada) was elected president of CAS. A.V. Frolov
(Russian Federation) was re-elected vice-president. The
Commission expressed its appreciation to the outgoing
president, E. Eliassen (Norway), for his leadership of the
Commission, and for his considerable contributions to the
Commission and the Atmospheric Research and Environment
The third International PMO Workshop, sponsored by the Deutscher Wetterdienst, was held at the Federal Office for Marine Transport and Hydrography, Hamburg, Germany, 23-24 March 2006. Thirty-nine delegates from 24 countries attended. Major aims were to convey important recent developments, enhanced PMO communications and promoting global standards of service.
The Workshop made a number of recommendations dealing with: ship security; migration to table- driven code forms; updating procedures for publication WMO-No. 47; proposed actions to recruit more ships; education and outreach; improvement of VOSClim data submission; proper installation of instruments on ships; updating list of Inmarsat Land Earth Stations; ship inspection forms; reporting on observing practices; monitoring, quality information and feedback; Web tools; and requirements for national reports. These recommendations would be discussed during the next meetings of the Ship Observations Team and the Management Committee of the Joint WMO/IOC Commission for Oceanography and Marine Meteorology.
Second Session of the Forum on Regional Climate Monitoring,
Assessment and Prediction for Asia (FOCRAII) was held in
Beijing, China, 6-8 April 2006. It was organized by the
Beijing Climate Centre (BCC), China Meteorological
Administration (CMA), under the joint sponsorship of WMO and
CMA. The session was attended by
158 participants from 22 countries (Bahrain,
Bangladesh, China, Hong Kong (China), Democratic People’s
Republic of Korea, Ecuador, India, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kenya,
Malaysia, Mongolia, Nepal, Oman, Pakistan, Republic of
Korea, Thailand, Turkmenistan, United Kingdom, USA, Viet Nam
The Forum provides a platform for dialogue and communication for climate centres in Asia countries and other regions to deal with problems encountered in climate monitoring, prediction and impact assessment. It also provides the opportunity for long-established climate centres in developed countries and their younger counterparts in the developing world to share experiences.
Forum reaffirmed the importance of climate monitoring,
assessment, prediction and applications (CliMAP) for
preventing and managing the adverse impacts of climate
variability and change, in particular, extreme climate
events (e.g. droughts, floods, typhoons) on the social,
economic, environmental and developmental well-being of the
Member nations of WMO Regional Association II (RA II)
activities also contribute to clarifying their obligations
and expectations under international, regional and national
agreements, conventions and national development plans.
progress has been made in CliMAP programmes and activities
in RA II, particularly in China with the development of BCC,
which is being recognized as one of the most advanced
centres in the region in the areas of climate system
monitoring, prediction, impact assessments and applications.
The Forum reaffirmed the importance of the continuation and
long-term sustainability of these programmes and activities,
including research and modelling, especially downscaling
methods, which involve the development of regional climate
models. The Forum highlighted the need for education,
training, capacity-building and outreach on these issues and
urged advanced climate centres in the region to host
training and capacity-building events on a regular basis.
Forum discussed the various available climate model
prediction products including those from the BCC, to produce
a ‘consensus’ seasonal climate outlook for Asia for
2006, especially for the summer period (June-July-August (JJA))
(see, for example, http://bcc.cma.gov.cn).
Given the substantial differences in model simulations of
regional anomalies, a real ‘consensus’ prediction is
rather difficult to achieve.
However, the very process of attempting such a
prediction was found to be useful. All the participants
stressed the need to sustain efforts in the future to
formulate an effective strategy to integrate the various
meeting with end-users of climate information and prediction
products from the sectors of agriculture, transportation,
tourism, health, disaster reduction and water- resource
management was organized to facilitate the development of
tailored climate products and to better understand
requirements. Effective communication between end-users and
services/providers is vital for improving the products and
services. Further, the end-users may acquire a better
understanding of the products, paving the way for their more
Forum not only promoted cooperation and communication among
climate services within Asian, but also stimulated dialogue
between Asia and other regions. Other regional climate
centres or similar agencies are encouraged to participate
and share experiences in the future Asia Forums, which are
expected to become annual events.
The 14th session of Regional Association V (South-West Pacific) was held in Adelaide, Australia, from 9 to 16 May 2006. It was attended by 55 representatives of 20 Members of the Association, four observers from three non-Members in the Region and three observers from three international organizations.The session approved a total of 19 resolutions and re-established five Working Groups on: Planning and Implementation of the World Weather Watch; Tropical Cyclones; Climate-related Matters; Agricultural Meteorology; and Hydrology. Two new bodies were established: the Management Group, and the Working Group on Natural Disaster Prevention and Mitigation.
The Association agreed on the need to strengthen the capacities of Members in observing practices and calibration of instruments. It agreed that EMWIN, RANET and HF e-mail systems be included as components of the Regional Meteorological Telecommunication Network, in view of their important function in operational meteorological communications in the Region; and recommended that the plan for evolution of the WMO Information System include a timetable to show specific actions and plans for Region V.
The Association urged its Members to favour the engagement of National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (operational forecast and research entities and consumers of their products and services) and national academic institutions in THORPEX research, experimentation and demonstration projects. Members were also urged to upgrade their current workstations and their workstation visualization software and to ensure that their operational staff have been trained to access, decode and use both the GRIB-coded information and BUFR-coded WAFS products for the preparation locally of all T4 charts required for flight documentation.
The Association encouraged its Members to support and actively participate in the WMO Programme for the Least Developed Countries both scientifically and by mobilizing resources through national cooperation agencies and other funding mechanisms. It expressed its appreciation to the WMO Voluntary Cooperation Programme donor Members and urged more Members to become VCP donors. It expressed its hope that certain countries, e.g. Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Timor-Leste, Tokelau and Tuvalu would become Members of WMO and urged existing Members and development partners, with the support of WMO, to take necessary steps to assist them in the development of their national meteorological infrastructure and services. The Association encouraged its Members to make the maximum use of the training programmes offered by the WMO Regional Meteorological Training Centre.
Stressing the potential vulnerability of its Members to tsunami generated and propagated in the Pacific Ocean, and recognizing the importance of the Pacific Tsunami Warning System (PTWS) in providing timely warning information to Members, as well as the need for Members themselves to develop their national capabilities to receive and respond to the information, the Association agreed, in collaboration with the Secretariat of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (UNESCO), to enhance communications and response capabilities in the Region and encouraged Members to participate in the PTWS. The Association requested the Working Group on Natural Disaster Prevention and Mitigation, in liaison with the RA V Management Group, to identify specific tasks to be undertaken.
The Association identified six priority areas of concern with regard to the preparation of the Seventh Long-term Plan (7LTP) as follows: natural disaster prevention and mitigation; maintenance and strengthening of the World Weather Watch Programme; improved understanding and prediction of the nature of climate change and variability; implementation of operational hydrology activities; enhancement of human resources development; and strengthening collaboration with relevant regional bodies. It was decided to develop an RA V Strategic Plan. A Task Team was established to assist the president and the Management Working Group in preparing the regional plan in relation to the overall WMO Strategic Plan.
Association elected Mr Arona Ngari (Cook Islands) as
president and Ms Sri Woro B. Harijono (Indonesia) as
IGOS-P held its 13th annual meeting at the WMO Headquarters in Geneva on 23 May 2006. The 15 Partners that constitute IGOS-P include the organizations that coordinate the major Earth observing systems— WMO’s Global Observing System and Global Atmosphere Watch; the Global Ocean Observing System; the Global Terrestrial Observing System; and the Global Climate Observing System. Other Partners are international agencies that sponsor these systems, global research programmes, and the Committee on Earth Observations Satellites. At the opening ceremony, the Global Geodetic Observing System became a new IGOS Partner.
year’s annual meeting focused on the work of the nine
thematic areas (land, water, cryosphere, oceans, coastal
zones, geodesy, carbon, atmospheric chemistry and geohazards).
Each thematic area has a number of experts who contribute
towards the development of a Strategy for developing and
maintaining a sustainable network of global observations to
support the environmental information needs of scientist and
decision-makers. The Partnership also discussed how to
enhance its contribution to the development of the new
Global Earth Observation System of Systems (GEOSS).
Two new thematic areas were proposed: energy and health. The World Health Organization is currently considering joining the Partnership. During the session, it was noted that a number of environment and health initiatives are currently underway looking at the impacts of climate and climate change on human health.
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