The international meteorological organization – WMO as we know it today – turns 150 this year. We started life with morse code and telegraphs and now embrace super-computing, satellites and artificial intelligence. Our long history of data exchange was a pioneer for the Big Data revolution. Our World Weather Watch preceded the World Wide Web (and is just as important!). Our birth in 1873 was before pollution from greenhouse gases. Climate change is now the defining challenge of our times – and will shape the life of future generations.
A global initiative to ensure that everyone on Earth is protected by early warnings by 2027 is being fast-tracked into action on the ground. A recent record-breaking tropical cyclone in Southeast Africa once again shows the paramount importance of these services to save lives and livelihoods from increasingly extreme weather and climate events.
The impacts of climate change are often felt through water – more intense and frequent droughts, more extreme flooding, more erratic seasonal rainfall and accelerated melting of glaciers – with cascading effects on economies, ecosystems and all aspects of our daily lives.
There are multiple, feasible and effective options to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to human -caused climate change, and they are available now, according to the Synthesis report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report released today.
WMO’s Executive Council has passed a series of resolutions to advance its vision to make society more resilient to extreme weather, climate and water-related events and to provide science and services to support sustainable development.