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Climate Services Introduction

Measured Precipitation across the USA
Measured Precipitation across the USA.
Image: NOAA

Climate variability and change are posing significant challenges to societies worldwide. Timely communication of climate information helps prevent the economic setbacks and humanitarian disasters that can result from climate extremes and long term climate change.

Climate information also plays a crucial role in national development planning, for managing development opportunities and risks and for mitigation and adaptation. Efficient application of climate services requires that climate information become integrated into various sectors’ policies.

Climate services are the dissemination of climate information to the public or a specific user. They involve strong partnerships among providers, such as NMHSs, and stakeholders, including government agencies, private interests, and academia, for the purpose of interpreting and applying climate information for decision making, sustainable development, and improving climate information products, predictions, and outlooks.

WMO members provide a number of climate services at the global, regional and national level to a large variety of users including individual decision and policy makers as well as organizations such as National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHS), universities, and humanitarian organizations. These services are covered in more detail in the rest of the Climate Services section.

Sector Specific Services

Climate affects sectors in a variety of ways and many climate services are used differently for the different sectors. For example, the Health sector uses climate prediction services to provide early warnings and community information on extreme climate events such as heat waves. The Energy sector however, uses climate information to decide where and what type of powerplant should be built in a particular location.

[Further information] on the sector specific application of climate services can be found in the “Climate Application” webpages on this website.

The Global Framework for Climate Services

One of the main outcomes of the WCC-3  was a decision to establish a Global Framework for Climate Services to strengthen the provision and use of climate predictions, products and information worldwide.

The main components of the Global Framework for Climate Services are:

  1. The User Interface Platform to provide a means for users, user representatives, climate researchers and climate service providers to interact.
  2. The Climate Services Information System to protect and distribute climate data and information according to the procedures agreed by governments and other data providers.
  3. The Observations and Monitoring component to ensure that the climate observations necessary to meet the needs of climate services are generated.
  4. The Research, Modelling and Prediction component will assess and promote the needs of climate services within research agendas.
  5. The Capacity Building component to support systematic development of the necessaryinstitutions, infrastructure and human resources.

[Further information] on the Global Framework for Climate Services can be found on the Framework’s High level taskforce Website.

[More in depth information] The report of the high-level Task Force for the Global Framework for Climate Services is available here.

How to access the services

Although the WMO provide links to various products  and service programmes, by far the easiest way to obtain climate information and services is through the local NMHS. The NMHS should always be the first point of contact for individuals and organizations looking for climate information and products.

 

 

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