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The weather seems to be getting wilder and weirder. People are noticing. What are the connections to human-caused climate change? And how can we best communicate what the most recent science is telling us about human-induced and natural changes to weather and climate?

When heavy rains led to devastating floods in the United Kingdom (UK) in January 2014, the then Prime Minister David Cameron stated that he “very much suspects”...

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“Investments made in women and girls are great multipliers of development progress,” said WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas, who recently joined the ranks of the Geneva Gender Champions with a commitment to promote a gender-sensitive culture in WMO and to strive for gender parity. “In a world of diminishing resources, we must use human capital wisely and strategically. We must take full advantage of the capacity of both women and men...

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The weather enterprise is a well-established and successful global public-private partnership in which both sectors share common goals. There are new opportunities emerging to develop this partnership further that will enable the whole enterprise to grow and produce more accurate and reliable weather forecasts1. The urgency to do this comes from the need to be even more effective in saving lives and protecting infrastructure because of vulnerability to weather hazards...

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It is the integration of meteorological service delivery for land transport that will be the biggest challenge for National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs). The land transport network is much less regulated and harmonized, especially at the national and international levels, than that of the aviation and the marine sectors1. The weather vulnerability of land transport compared to aviation and maritime transport is painfully apparent in the accident statistics.  Data...

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Recent media and social media clamour that we are now living in a “post-truth world” has raised concerns with some scientists; however, to take such claims at face value would paint an overly simplistic and deeply ahistorical picture. While 2016 may have had its surprises, the problems it presented for those concerned with communicating facts and figures to both specialist and general audiences should come as no real shock.

Meteorologists...

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Accreditation helps to set standards across the wider meteorological community, promotes continuing professional development and career advancement. In addition, it demonstrates that individuals have reached and continue to maintain a specified level of professional expertise that satisfies clients, employers and the public. By benchmarking professional meteorologists at the same high level, accreditation aims to ensure that the public and other users of meteorological services can have confidence in the services...

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Research funding

Hydrological research can be pure or applied, and it is sometimes difficult to link the development of practical procedures to a specific research endeavour. Although it is not always the case, there is usually a substantial amount of investment behind a good practical hydrological technique. Countries with relatively buoyant economies are often the only ones that can afford the “luxury” of sustaining sizeable long-term investment in research. Research...

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This will not only require building more resilient energy infrastructure itself, but also creating tools and solutions to better anticipate and mitigate climate risks. In recent years the European Commission (EC) has invested in a series of initiatives including research, projects and innovation that support the development of climate services for the energy sector.

Non-industrial energy demand, especially in mid-latitude countries, is primarily driven by variations in temperature, cloud cover...

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Weather forecasts are subject to inherent uncertainties due to the chaotic nature of the atmosphere and the limitations of weather prediction models. Ensemble prediction systems (EPSs) are widely used by the meteorological community to quantify these uncertainties, but these were not communicated to end-users until recently. However, such information on uncertainties has great potential to improve time-critical decision-making processes in civil protection agencies and by other stakeholders, especially if tailored...

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Climate change a global concern

In 1992, participants of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (the “Rio Earth Summit”) adopted the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), an international treaty aimed at combatting climate change. The ultimate objective of the Convention is to stabilize greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations "at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic (human-induced) interference with the climate system." It further states "such...