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Why the Marine Meteorology and Oceanography Programme (MMOP) is needed?

The oceans cover about two-thirds of the surface of the earth and affect all of us. Ocean adverse phenomena strongly cause major impacts on the marine coastal environment and socio-economic activities. Particularly, where a large percentage of inhabitants lives in coastal region and depend on coastal resources and marine environment it exists a permanent high-level risk and vulnerability to be affected by marine meteorological extreme events.

The oceans provide a vital source of food, energy, water, and hydrocarbon and mineral resources, and are an essential component of the Earth’s climate system. Increasingly, the oceans are under stress due to the pressures of coastal development, industrial pollution and over-fishing. The oceans can also be a serious obstacle or over threat to human activities. Protection of life and property at sea and in coastal regions, the integrated coastal management and societal impacts, in particular in case of extreme events (e.g., storm surges, and high and/or long waves), as well as the analysis of the impacts of oceanic response to climate variability and change, have become matters of global concern in recent years.  These are some of the traditional areas of activities of Marine Meteorology and Oceanography Programme, and continue to be of its highest priority.

For those who work at sea or live near the coast, forecasts of maritime weather and ocean conditions can be just as important as forecast of weather in general.  Rough seas, freak waves, storm surges and strong currents can make many marine activities difficult and dangerous.  High waves and storm surges can lead to coastal flooding.  Tropical cyclones and associated phenomena can be the most dangerous conditions encountered by seamen.  Ocean currents and winds transport and disperse oils slicks, Harmful Algal Blooms and other marine pollution.  Changes in ocean temperature can affect the marine ecosystem, from plankton through to fisheries, and influence weather and climate.  Understanding, monitoring, mapping and predicting maritime weather and ocean conditions offer the opportunity for adequate planning of the coastal zone and marine activities, and to provide a structure to early detection and warning marine-related hazards. 

Marine Meteorology and Oceanography Programme provides the “common denominator” for data, products and services worldwide for all users in the maritime sector.




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