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Water insecurity costs the global economy roughly US$ 500 billion annually and causes the death and displacement of more people than cyclones, floods and earthquakes combined. In particularly vulnerable economies, a 50% reduction in drought effects could lead to a 20% increase in per capita GDP over a period of 30 years. Therefore, mechanisms to enhance integrated drought management are more critical than ever.
In June, the WMO Education and Training Office completed its 4th Online Course for Trainers, this time for Regional Association II (Asia) and Regional Association IV (Pacific). The course, which has been offered in English, French, Russian and Spanish, has now been delivered in all WMO regions. So far, over 150 participants have completed the online training thanks to the contributions of some 20 volunteer facilitators from 15 WMO Members.
From October 2016 to March 2017, a SIGMET coordination pilot project was conducted by WMO in Southeast Asia in response to a Regional Forum on Meteorological Services for Aviation Safety held in 2015. The NMHSs of three target countries – Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore with Meteorological Watch Office (MWO) responsibilities for the Jakarta, Ujung Pandang, Kuala Lumpur, Kota Kinabalu and Singapore flight information regions – actively participated in the pilot project. Web-based tools were made available by the Hong Kong Observatory, China and Japan Meteorological Agency to assist MWOs to...
The installation of Chatty Beetles and Barret High Frequency radio network in Tuvalu in July has secured the communication of weather, climate and other warning messages between its scattered islands. The new equipment, provided by the Early Warning System (EWS) network project and supported under the National Adaptation Programme of Action (NAPA 2), will serve as a communications backup in the disaster-prone region in case of failure of the primary telecommunications and Internet services.
The 4th Pacific Meteorological Council (PMC), hosted by the Solomon Islands and held in conjunction with a Donor Roundtable and the 2nd Pacific Ministerial Meeting on Meteorology (PMMM) from 14 to 18 August, endorsed the final drafts of the revised Pacific Island Meteorological Strategy (PIMS) 2017-2026 and the Pacific Roadmap for Strengthened Climate Services 2017-2026. The meeting requested partners and donors to allocate resources to support the implementation of the PIMS and align regional and national projects on climate, meteorology, ocean and water services to the PIMS priorities.
As countries work towards implementing National Adaptation Plans (NAPs), National Meteorological and Hydrological Services can take advantage of climate services and their potential to support sustainable development benefits. Once equipped with improved weather, water and climate information, countries can make better, informed decisions in sectors sensitive to climate and thus give rise to both substantial economic benefits and sustainable development (WMO, World Bank, USAID, Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery, 2015). This can not only save lives and preserve assets, but...
The Meeting on Carbon Dioxide, Other Greenhouse Gases and Related Measurement Techniques (GGMT-2017) from 27 to 31 August at the Empa institute in Dübendorf, Switzerland, discussed new technologies for greenhouse gas measurements. A side event on improved quality of isotopic measurements was led by the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Other side events addressed greenhouse gases observations over the ocean, where the follow up work will be undertaken to improve observations from the ship platforms, and greenhouse observations in the urban areas.
A two-week training course on Urban Meteorology, Environment and Climate Services in Malaysia in late summer considered how urban atmospheric processes are, and could be, treated by national/city agencies and research bodies, drawing from the knowledge and experience of participants. Attendees shared insights from some of the coldest and hottest urban areas as well as from the largest and some of the fastest growing.
WMO has helped establish regional climate outlook forums (RCOFs) around the world to produce and disseminate a consensus-based regional assessment of the state of the regional climate for the upcoming season. As of 2017, the RCOF process has completed 20 successful years with 19 RCOFs operational around the world. To commemorate this important milestone, WMO has taken up a comprehensive review of the RCOFs in order to consolidate their strengths, identify gaps and propose improvements.
The Group of Experts on the Scientific Aspects of Marine Environmental Protection (GESAMP) met at WMO headquarters from 4 to 7 September to review the progress of existing working groups, to discuss emerging issues regarding the state of the marine environment, and to design its future work programme.