WMO starts public science lecture series

WMO starts public science lecture series



29 April 2019

A new World Meteorological Organization (WMO) public science lecture series starts on 8 May with a presentation from Thomas Stocker, Professor of Climate and Environmental Physics at the University of Bern and former Co-chair of Working Group I of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

The science lecture series will invite top experts in the fields of weather, climate, water, the environment, and related areas to engage with the WMO community, partner organizations and the interested public. 

The inaugural lecture on 8 May is co-organized with the World Climate Research Programme (WCRP). It will be opened by WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas, WMO Chief Scientist and Research Director Pavel Kabat and Detlef Stammer, Chair of WCRP's Joint Scientific Committee. It will include an address by Luis Alfonso de Alba, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy for the 2019 Climate Summit, and will be followed by a high-level panel discussion. It takes place at the WMO Secretariat in Geneva and it will be livestreamed. It starts at 1600 CEST. 

Mr Stocker will examine the development of contemporary climate science in his presentation entitled The Climate of Tomorrow: Building the Knowledge for Earth Stewardship. He will discuss  four specific challenges that need to be overcome in order to build the knowledge required for better Earth stewardship and to confront anthropogenic climate change.

Those challenges are to obtain:

  1. Real-time simulations of extreme events, as these are essential for disaster risk reduction.  Much-improved climate models must be developed to achieve this.
  2. Seamless climate prediction, which is necessary for forward-looking resource management in exposed and vulnerable countries. Regional climate phenomena, such as the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO) and monsoon systems around the world, may influence resource availability.
  3. A better understanding of tipping points in the Earth system, as these represent potentially irreversible changes affecting all life on Earth. In particular, instabilities in ice sheet extent caused by ocean warming and tipping processes in marine ecosystems through the combined impact of acidification and warming are still little understood.
  4. Comprehensive climate-chemistry models, as these are required to assess the potential impact of emerging technologies such as geoengineering, and to ascertain their governance and their ethical consequences. Such technologies may themselves be dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system.

High quality, standardized, comprehensive, and global observations, coordinated model development, and operational Earth system simulations, as well as an improved understanding of the fundamental climate system processes are essential to progress in delivering this knowledge.

The lecture will be followed by a panel discussion. Panelists include:

  • Detlef Stammer - Chair, WCRP Joint Scientific Committee
  • Helen Cleugh - Vice-chair, WCRP Joint Scientific Committee
  • Maria Uhle - Co-chair, Belmont Forum and Program Director for International Activities in the Directorate for Geosciences at the National Science Foundation
  • Amy Luers - Executive Director, Future Earth
  • Maxx Dilley - Director, Climate Prediction and Adaptation Branch, WMO

Further information and extended biographies of the main speaker and panelists are available on the WMO Public Science Lecture webpage. Advance registration for the event is mandatory in order to be admitted to WMO premises and must be completed at:


For more information contact Narelle van der Wel, World Climate Research Programme Joint Planning Staff. nvanderwel(at)wmo.int

Livestream link is here


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