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Commision for Atmospheric Sciences—14th session

Third International Workshop of Port Meteorological Officers (PMO-III) 

Forum on Regional Climate Monitoring, Assessment
and Prediction for Asia
 

Regional Association V (South-West Pacific)—14th session

Integrated Global Observing Strategy Partnership (IGOS-P)

 

 

Commission for Atmospheric Sciences—14th session 

The 14th session of the Commission for Atmospheric Sciences (CAS) was held in Cape Town, South Africa, from 16 to 24 February.    

The 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. 

The Commission 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 issues. 

The 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.   

M. 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 Programme 

See: http://www.wmo.int/web/arep/cas/cas-home_under_rev.html

 


Third International Workshop of Port Meteorological
Officers (PMO-III)
 

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.  

 

 

Forum on Regional Climate Monitoring, Assessment
and Prediction for Asia
 

The 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 and Zimbabwe.  

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.  

The 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) (Asia).  Such activities also contribute to clarifying their obligations and expectations under international, regional and national agreements, conventions and national development plans. 

Significant 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. 

The 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 predictions.  

A 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 effective use.  

The 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. 

See also: http://www.wmo.int/web/wcp/clips2001/html/frame.html

 

Regional Association V (South-West Pacific)—14th session

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.

The Association elected Mr Arona Ngari (Cook Islands) as president and Ms Sri Woro B. Harijono (Indonesia) as vice-president.

 

Integrated Global Observing Strategy Partnership (IGOS-P)

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.

This 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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