As weather, climate and the water cycle know no national boundaries, international cooperation at a global scale is essential for the development of meteorology, climatology and operational hydrology as well as to reap the benefits from their application. WMO provides the framework for such international cooperation.
As a specialized agency of the United Nations, WMO is dedicated to international cooperation and coordination on the state and behaviour of the Earth’s atmosphere, its interaction with the land and oceans, the weather and climate it produces, and the resulting distribution of water resources.
Through its Technical Commission, Programmes and Regional Offices as well as by synergistic partnerships, WMO facilitates the maintenance and expansion of its Members' atmospheric, oceanographic and land-based observational networks; the free unrestricted exchange of the resulting data and information; and related capacity development and research in order to optimize the production weather, climate and water-related services worldwide.
Weather forecasts require observations of our environment around the clock and around the world. The bulk of those observations are carried out by National Meteorological Services as part of the WMO World Weather Watch, which networks the observing stations to national, regional and global weather and climate prediction centres 24 hours a day in real-time.
In a narrow sense, climate is the average weather condition in an area over a long period of time. In a broader sense, climate is the status of the climate system that comprises the atmosphere, the hydrosphere, the cryosphere, the surface lithosphere and the biosphere. These elements all determine the state and dynamics of the Earth’s climate.
As the global population grows and the demand for water increases, it is critical to effectively and sustainably manage our limited water resources. To do so, we need to know where they are, in what quantity and quality, how variable they are, and how they will evolve in the foreseeable future.
Within its mandate in the areas of weather, climate and water, WMO focuses on many different aspects and issues from observations, information exchange and research to weather forecasts and early warnings, from capacity development and monitoring of greenhouse gases to application services and much, much more.