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Those who question the importance of climate change sometimes claim that reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions into the atmosphere will have a very limited effect, because water vapour is the most dominant greenhouse gas. If that is the case, they wonder why bother so much about CO2 and other greenhouse gases? Observations by the WMO Global Atmosphere Watch programme have helped to investigate this in some detail.

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One certainty about sustainable development is that it will not be possible without taking climate change into account. And if there is a certainty about climate change, it is that humanity will not adapt to it without taking into account water resources management. In September 2015 when 193 countries at the United Nations adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) these two certainties so greatly influenced decision-making that goal #6 was dedicated to water. SDG #6 is not only about the urgent need for clean water and sanitation for everyone. It encompasses the full range of issues around managing water resources, including the work of the Global Water Partnership (GWP) for an integrated approach to water use by all economic sectors.

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The management of weather and climate risks in agriculture has become an important issue due to climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has highlighted multiple climate risks for agriculture and food security as well as the potential of improved weather and climate early warning systems to assist farmers. Wise use of weather and climate information can help to make better-informed policy, institutional and community decisions that reduce related risks and enhance opportunities, improve the efficient use of limited resources and increase crop, livestock and fisheries production. National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) have an important role to play in providing this weather and climate information to farmers, big and small.

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High costs and relatively low usage are major concerns for operational meteorological satellite systems. In the early 1990s, Tillman Mohr, then Director General of the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT), made a rough calculation that the operational cost of the constellation of meteorological satellites was in the order of US$ 2 million per day. However, a WMO survey conducted around the same time determined that many of its Members were not able to access and use satellite data and products in real time and were, thus, not able to reap the benefits of this major investment.

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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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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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The World Climate Research Programme (WCRP) Coupled Model Intercomparison Project (CMIP) serves as a fundamental basis for international climate research. The process represents a remarkable technical and scientific coordination effort across dozens of climate modelling centres, involving some 1 000 or more researchers. 

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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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Efforts to reduce fuel burn and thus carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in aviation over the past four decades have been impressive. Operational measures in line with new air traffic management systems, as well as new technological concepts, all have the potential to continue reducing these CO2 emissions. The Commission for Aeronautical Meteorology (CAeM) supports aviation stakeholders in their efforts to operate under changing climate conditions.