The availability of adequate fresh water for human consumption, agriculture, industries, cooling of industrial and electric generating facilities, and aquatic and riparian resources is critical, or will become so, in all countries. Accurate and verifiable streamflow data are essential for making confident estimates of available fresh water, for designing roads, bridges and other infrastructure, for calibrating and validating hydrological models, and for assessing the potential impact of floods. The quality of that data is ever more important as resources become more limited and water allocation decisions more impactful on local, regional and national socio-economic development.
An introduction to the content and articles found within Volume 63 (2) of the Bulletin, published in November 2014.
The science community is concerned: many established researchers plan to retire in the coming decade and there is a dearth of early and mid-career researchers ready to take their place and contribute in a meaningful way. Unless young scientists are encouraged, trained and mentored in various scientific fields knowledge gaps will occur.
New sources of atmospheric observations, faster supercomputers and advances in science together revolutionized weather forecasting in the latter part of the 20th century. On the global scale, we can today predict out to five days ahead as accurately as we could do for two days 20 years ago. This means society has much more advance warning of weather hazards than before, permitting people to prepare and, thereby, limit the loss...
By Jack Hayes1, Harinder Ahluwalia2 and Jim Abraham3
At a time when the impacts of weather and climate are still growing dramatically, it is important to look for strategies to strengthen the science and technology that have resulted in substantial improvements in the skill of weather predictions and services over the past four decades. It was not that long ago – when many baby-boomers were just entering the workforce...
WMO ranked 2014 as the hottest year on record. In 2015, the United Nations Member States will adopt three major agreements that relate to the environment. The first, in March, is in the area of disaster risk reduction. The second, in September, will promote sustainable development. The third, in December, aims to limit average global temperature increases and the resultant climate change.
By WMO Secretariat1
The 2014 Ozone Assessment provides the latest update of the current state of the ozone layer and makes predictions on when the ozone layer will return to 1980 values. In the northern middle latitudes (35-60°N), total ozone is now about 3.5% less than it was in the period from 1964-1980. At southern middle latitudes (35-60°S), it is about 6% less. The larger depletion in...
Qing-Cun Zeng, a famous academic meteorologist, is a pioneer of numerical weather prediction, dynamic climate prediction and remote sensing theory for meteorological satellites. This Bulletin interview highlights in particular his scientific contributions to disaster risk reduction.
Natural hazards involving weather, climate and water are a major source of death, injury and physical destruction. Over the past decade (2005-2014), 3 253 hydrometeorological hazards were reported around the world, resulting in 283 035 deaths and economic losses amounting to US$ 983 million.
As atmospheric CO2 continues to increase, more and more CO2 enters the ocean, which reduces pH (pH is a measure of acidity, the lower the pH, the more acidic the liquid) in a process referred to as ocean acidification. Declines in surface ocean pH due to ocean acidification are already detectable and accelerating.