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WMO marked its 70th anniversary on 23 March, World Meteorological Day. Members selected “Climate Change and Water” as the theme for this landmark year’s celebration to underline the impacts of climate change on water and raise the profile of water in the climate debate. One of the biggest impacts of climate change is on water, which in turn affects sustainable development and security.
The COVID-19 virus has led to localized improvements in air quality due to the reduction in economic activity from efforts to control the pandemic. But cuts in emissions as a result of the economic crisis triggered by COVID-19 will not substitute for concerted Climate Action.
The overall health and performance of WMO coordinated Global Observing System is under continued monitoring during the current COVID-19 outbreak. Large parts of the system, for instance its satellite components and many ground-based observing networks, are either partly or fully automated, and are therefore expected to continue functioning without significant degradation for several weeks, and in some cases even longer.
Climate change will affect the availability, quality and quantity of water needed for basic human needs, thus undermining enjoyment of the basic rights to safe drinking water and sanitation for billions of people, warns the latest UN World Water Development Report. The authors call on States to make more concrete commitments to address the challenge.
From October 2019 to March 2020, WMO completed a series of five national pilot workshops aimed at enhancing the climate science basis for projects and activities seeking financing from the Green Climate Fund (GCF). The first workshop. St. Lucia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Cabo Verde, Cambodia and Paraguay were the five countries to benefit.
The Red Cross announced the release of funding to reduce the impacts of extreme winter weather on vulnerable herders following an announcement of Mongolia’s National Agency for Meteorology and Environmental on 2 January that 50% of the country was at risk of an extreme winter. It was the first time that the early action funding mechanism developed by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) was used anywhere.
WMO and the World Health Organization (WHO) have agreed on a roadmap to strengthen the provision and use of weather, climate, water and environmental information and services in evaluating human health risks and thereby improve health outcomes. The roadmap was developed by a group of experts from the health, weather and climate sectors representing research, operational, and policy interests.
The Republic Hydrometeorological Service of Serbia (RHMSS), a partner in the WMO Sand and Dust Storm Warning Advisory and Assessment System (SDS-WAS), has numerically simulated an Australian dust storm event using DREAM dust model. The simulation was part of WMO SDS-WAS initiative to include dust impacts to high latitudes in its research agenda.
The desert locust situation remains extremely alarming in the Horn of Africa, specifically Kenya, Ethiopia and Somalia. Widespread breeding is in progress and new swarms are starting to form, representing an unprecedented threat to food security and livelihoods at the beginning of the upcoming cropping season. The high risk of further spread in the East Africa region necessitates an immediate and significant intensification of control activities.
We can definitely say that cloud seeding enhances snowfall under the right conditions," said Sarah Tessendorf, a scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR) and co-author of Quantifying snowfall from orographic cloud seeding, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in late February.