WMO Data Conference (Virtual Conference)

WMO Data Conference (Virtual Conference)


Start date

16 November 2020

End date

19 November 2020

Earth System Data Exchange in the 21st Century (#WMOData)

Registration, meeting documents, information and poster session are available here.

The WMO Data Conference aims to develop a common understanding among entities from all sectors of society of the roles, requirements and arrangements for international exchange of observations and other data for monitoring and prediction of the Earth System environment, including weather, climate and water.

The World Meteorological Organization and its predecessor, the International Meteorological Organization, have coordinated and regulated the free and unrestricted international exchange of observations and other meteorological data for the last 150 years. Building on this exchange, dramatic progress has been made in weather forecast and climate analysis capabilities over the last few decades. 

Since the establishment of WMO in 1950, the activities of the organization have expanded into areas such as atmospheric composition, hydrology and space weather, leading to a holistic approach to Earth system modelling and prediction being adopted as a strategic priority of the Organization. In parallel, the explosive growth in demand for weather, climate, water and other environmental data from all sectors of society has led to a dramatic increase in the involvement of entities outside the traditional group of WMO National Meteorological and Hydrological Services in monitoring and prediction efforts. 

In view of these developments, it is timely to review the WMO requirements and arrangements for data exchange, and the Data Conference is intended to provide a venue for involving a broad group of stakeholders in this review.

Expected Outcomes

The Conference is expected to formulate recommendations to WMO and its partner organizations and stakeholders regarding current needs and modalities for data exchange and specifically regarding the ongoing WMO review of its data policies.

The Conference is expected to lead to:  

  • Common understanding among all sectors of data exchange and its role in supporting the goals laid out in the WMO convention and the global agenda as articulated in the UN Sustainable Development Goals
  • Improved understanding of the role of the private sector in data provision; stronger links between the private and public sectors
  • Identification of the main obstacles to increased exchange of data and specific opportunities or activities to try to overcome them
  • Recommendations for decision-making at the WMO Executive Council and the World Meteorological Congress in 2021.


  • The changing landscape of weather, climate and water data
  • Business models and data policy issues
  • Filling the gaps in global data coverage
  • Data exchange for Earth system monitoring and prediction


Representatives from:

  • WMO Members
  • Space agencies
  • Private sector 
  • Global data users
  • Academia
  • Development partner organizations
  • Other United Nations agencies and international organizations


The Conference will be fully virtual, from 13h00 to 16h00 CET.

Each of four theme sessions - The changing landscape of weather and climate data, Business models and data policy issues, Filling the gaps in global data coverage, Data exchange for earth system monitoring and prediction - will feature guest speakers and contributed papers, and conclude with a moderated panel discussion with audience participation.

The closing session will formalize the conference outputs.

Interpretation in official UN languages will be provided as required.

Abstract Submissions

Participants interested in contributing a paper should submit an abstract (max 250 words) to the email address below by 30 August.


For information, registration, or to submit an abstract, please contact: DataConference@wmo.int

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