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WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas met with United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres and Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed on 6 March at UN Headquarters in New York. Discussions centred around climate-related issues, including the upcoming WMO Statement on the State of the Global Climate in 2017 and the provision of meteorological early warning services to the UN Operations and Crisis Centre to help in contingency planning and emergency response.
The implementation plan, The Global Observing System for Climate: Implementation Needs”, GCOS-200, October 2016 , of the Global Climate Observing System (GCOS) introduced lightning as a new Essential Climate Variable. Lightning is a proxy for severe storms and, therefore, relevant for climate monitoring. Measurements of lightning have, in recent years, become more extensive. New satellite instruments have also further enhanced their observation.
The League of Arab States (LAS), with support from WMO and the Economic and Social Commission for West Asia (ESCWA), organized a meeting of the Technical and Scientific Committee for the Arab Climate Outlook Forum (ArabCOF) in Cairo, Egypt, from 13 to 14 February, followed by a training workshop on sand and dust storms (SDS) in the Arab Region. The meeting addressed issues related to institutional, financial and technical aspects of the climate outlook and made decisions and recommendations to be submitted to the Permanent Committee for Meteorology of the LAS.
WMO and the Association of the Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) ran a joint Training Workshop on Weather Radar Data Quality and Standardization in Bangkok, Thailand, from 5 to 13 February. The workshop addressed the common challenges for severe weather monitoring and forecasting in Southeast Asia, where capacity-building in weather radar techniques is a crucial concern for a lot of NMHSs.
In December 2017, Niger released its first Health Climate Bulletin, which was produced by the multidisciplinary Climate-Health Group. The Bulletin, which provides a co-developed climate product for the health sector, was developed with support from the Climate Services for Increased Resilience in the Sahel project, a Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS) initiative funded by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
In Senegal, cereal production is estimated to have increased by 20% in 2017 compared to 2016. Experts will investigate how much climate services contributed to this improvement in the coming years, given Senegal’s dedication to ramping up climate services in the country.
The Southeast Asia Regional Climate Centre Network(SEARCC-Network) demonstration phase, which started on 7 November 2017, has opened the door for seasonal climate services and products to support the region’s NMHSs.