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Scientists have been observing changes in the climate that cannot be attributed solely to natural influences. These changes are occurring rapidly, are significant, and will have consequences for this and future generations. Changes in climate variability and extremes driven by human-induced climate change are some of the key challenges facing humanity.
WMO supports climate policy-making by providing authoritative advice and information on climate change mitigation and adaptation. WMO draws from the best available scientific expertise from the National Hydrological and Meteorological Services of its Members, and international data centres and agencies. Moreover, WMO promotes a better understanding of the societal impacts of climate change within the United Nations system.
Regional Climate Outlook Forums (RCOFs) produce consensus-based, user-relevant climate outlook products in real time through regional cooperation and partnership in order to reduce climate-related risks and support sustainable development for the coming season in sectors of critical socioeconomic significance for the region in question.
Some 3.5 billion people reside in urban areas. This number is projected to reach 6.3 billion by 2050, increasing from 50% to more than 70% of the world’s population. Cities are centres of creativity and economic progress but they also face many environmental challenges due mainly to air pollution and weather, climate and water-related hazard.
Sand and dust storms are common meteorological hazards in arid and semi-arid regions. They are usually caused by thunderstorms – or strong pressure gradients associated with cyclones – which increase wind speed over a wide area. These strong winds lift large amounts of sand and dust from bare, dry soils into the atmosphere, transporting them hundreds to thousands of kilometres away. Some 40% of aerosols in the troposphere (the lowest layer of Earth’s atmosphere) are dust particles from wind erosion.