Weather, climate and water impact on agriculture and fisheries, energy, transport, health, insurance, sports, tourism and many more socio-economic sectors. WMO promotes the application of meteorological, climatological, hydrological and oceanographic information in all human activities.
Agriculture and food security
The agricultural sector critically depends on timely and accurate weather, climate and water information, particularly as it faces increasing climate risks. Timely weather and climate forecasts as well as water-related information enable the agricultural community to increase crop and livestock yields, plan planting and harvest time, and reduce pests and diseases.
The aviation sector requires a range of information on weather conditions. Precipitation, wind, turbulence, fog and a host of other factors affect day-to-day aviation activities. WMO and its Members ensures the worldwide provision of cost-effective and responsive meteorological services in support of safe, regular and efficient aviation operations as well as marine and land transport safety. Early weather warning service for offshore oil and natural gas infrastructure also contribute to energy security.
WMO supports developing countries, particularly the least developed countries and small island developing states and territories, in their social and economic development and to combat poverty by enhancing the capacities and capabilities of their National Meteorological and Hydrological Services. Capacity development in the most vulnerable communities ensures a greater ability to monitor weather, climate and water conditions and plan for future conditions.
Natural hazards are severe and extreme weather and climate events that occur in all parts of the world, although some regions are more vulnerable to certain hazards than others. Natural hazards become disasters when people’s lives and livelihoods are destroyed.
Global hydrological conditions of floods and droughts as well as potential conflicts in water use are some of the greatest challenges and threats facing the world’s population. Some 20 million people are at risk from flooding with the associated damage costing nearly US$80 billion; this could rise to 50 million people affected in just 15 years time, according to the World Resources Institute. The World Economic Forum estimates that the effects of drought across the world cost up to US$8 billion a year from losses in agricultural and related businesses.
Energy systems are the engine of economic and social development. Energy is essential to practically all aspects of human welfare – access to water, agricultural productivity, health care, education, job creation, environmental sustainability and more. Energy investments represent a sizeable portion of Gross Domestic Product but, at the same time, energy sector emissions account for the largest share of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions.
Human health and the wellbeing of individuals and communities are closely linked with weather and climate conditions. Through its Members, WMO provides weather and climate services to the public health community. Furthermore, in 2014, WMO partnered with the World Health Organization (WHO) to establish a unique Joint Office for Climate and Health, located at the WMO.
Some 3.5 billion people reside in urban areas. This number is projected to reach 6.3 billion by 2050, increasing from 50% to more than 70% of the world’s population. Cities are centres of creativity and economic progress but they also face many environmental challenges due mainly to air pollution and weather, climate and water-related hazard.
Providing better hydrologic information, assessments and forecasts, so that Members are able to independently assess their water resources and respond to the threat of floods and droughts....
Providing observations, modelling and analysis of marine and ocean variables to support research, assessments and operational ocean services worldwide.
Enabling the delivery of weather and related services for sound decision-making on public safety and cost-efficiency in all social and economic activities affected by weather.