This Project focuses on instigating and coordinating an international climatological data and service exchange between National Meteorological and Hydrological Services, national organizations and other stakeholders on regional and national levels through Regional Climate Outlook Forums (RCOFs) and the establishment of Regional Climate Centres (RCCs). It targets South Asia and the so-called Third Pole Region – the world’s highest mountains, including the Himalayas and the Tibetan Plateau Region.
South Asia is particularly prone to disasters caused by weather and climate related natural hazards. Droughts and flooding occur on a regular basis throughout the region. Overall, disasters in South Asia are caused mainly by recurrent meteorological-, hydrological- and climate-related events such as tropical cyclones and storm surges, floods and landslides, forest fires, and droughts.The consequences of such environmental events, especially on South Asia’s poor, include:
- decreases in water supply and quality in many arid and semi-arid regions
- increasing risk of floods and droughts in many regions
- reducts in water management in mountain habitats
- decreases in the reliability of hydropower and biomass production
- increasing incidences of infectious and waterborne diseases such as malaria, dengue, and cholera
- increases in related damages and deaths from extreme
- decreases in agricultural productivity
- adverse impacts on fisheries
- adverse effects on many ecological systems.
Seasonal and interannual climate variability in South Asia is widely known to be predominantly influenced by the El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phenomenon. Many of the region's major economic sectors – important contributors to the gross domestic product (GDP) – are highly sensitive to weather, water and climate hazards. Agriculture, fisheries and forestry, water resource management, energy, tourism, and urban planning, particularly for megacities, number among these. The greater relative predictability of ENSO impacts on South Asia regional climate patterns, recent advances in seasonal prediction science and seasonal climate forecasting tools have the potenetial to provide reliable early warnings of extremes that could support decision-making in these economic sectors.
This project is part of the programme for Implementing the Global Framework for Climate Services at Regional and National Scales