In a speech to the closing celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the U.N. Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, World Meteorological Organization Secretary-General Michel Jarraud praised the close cooperation between oceanographers and meteorologists.
“For millennia, the world’s oceans and seas have been essential to transportation and commerce. They are also a major component of the global climate system, and they contribute to sustain a large percentage of the Earth’s population and a substantial share of its biodiversity. Meteorological and oceanographic data and services are accordingly vital for the protection and rational exploitation of the global ocean and coasts, which are especially vulnerable to extreme events and climate change, as well as to marine pollution and overexploitation, “ he told the ceremony in Paris.
“Too many vivid memories of the loss of lives and property are associated with tsunamis, storm surges and extreme waves related to severe tropical and extra-tropical cyclones impacting upon heavily populated low-lying areas, so the prospect of climate change-enhanced impacts on highly-vulnerable areas is of special concern.”
The anniversary activities are meant to promote international awareness of, and involvement in, ocean science.