The WMO World Weather Research Programme’s Polar Prediction Project aims to advance the science in numerical models, data acquisition and assimilation, ensemble forecast methods, verification, and the production of prediction products – all with a polar emphasis.
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Heavy rainfall has triggered devastating flooding causing dozens of casualties in Western Europe. Parts of Scandinavia are enduring a lasting heatwave, and smoke plumes from Siberia have affected air quality across the international dateline in Alaska. The unprecedented heat in Western North America has also triggered devastating wildfires.
Climate change has accentuated natural hazards, including flash floods caused by melting of snow and ice in many regions of the world. The Himalayas, which are the third largest deposit of ice and snow in the world after Antarctica and the Arctic, are heavily impacted. This was highlighted by a disaster in February in Uttarakhand in the Indian Himalayas, after a part of the Nanda Devi glacier broke off and collapsed causing a massive flood in the Rishi Ganga /Dhauliganga river. This destroyed two hydropower plants, burst open dams, and led to a large number of casualties and widespread environmental damage in an ecologically fragile area.
The record-breaking heatwave in parts of the US and Canada at the end of June would have been virtually impossible without the influence of human-caused climate change, according to a rapid attribution analysis by an international team of leading climate scientists. Climate change, caused by greenhouse gas emissions, made the heatwave at least 150 times more likely to happen.
The 2021 Boreal wildfire season in the Northern Hemisphere is heating up, with a large and increasing number of intense fires; most notably across northeastern Russia, western Canada and the western United States.
Above normal air and sea-surface temperatures are expected over the majority of the Arctic regions in June, July, and August 2021. Lower to near normal ice cover is the predominant forecast while early to near normal break-up of sea ice is expected for most regions. This is according to a new seasonal climate outlook produced by the Arctic Climate Forum.