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World Meteorological Day: WMO to ensure global early warning systems coverage in 5 years

  • Published
    24th Mar, 2022
Context

The chief of the United Nations announced a project to put every person on Earth in range of early weather-warning systems within five years as natural disasters have grown more powerful and frequent due to climate change.

About

Significance of the project:

  • ‘Unacceptable’ inequity
  • The most recent report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) details the ongoing suffering, as “each increment of global heating” further increases the “frequency and intensity of extreme weather events”..0..
  • Better forecasting
  • Climate change has become a more stark reality in all parts of the world, leading to increasingly extreme weather, including intense heatwaves, droughts and forest fires.
  • Meanwhile, increasing moisture in the atmosphere is leading to extreme rainfall and deadly flooding, while ocean warming is fuelling more powerful tropical storms and rising sea levels.
  • Humanity must boost the power of prediction for everyone and build their capacity to act.
  • Investing to improve
  • Over the past 50 years, a climate or water-related disaster has occurred on average each day – taking the lives 115 people and causing daily losses of $202 million, according to a 2021 WMO disaster statistics report.
  • “There is a need to invest $1.5 billion during the coming five years to improve the quality of the services and related infrastructures especially in the LDC and SIDS countries
  • Warning systems
  • An integrated Early Warning System for floods, droughts, heatwaves or storms, alerts people to upcoming hazardous weather and informs governments, communities and individuals, so their impact can be minimized.
  • Using advanced computer models, they provide real-time monitoring on land and sea.
  • In addition to understanding forthcoming storm risks, a comprehensive early warning system must also include lessons learned from past events, to improve future response.

About World Meteorological Organization (WMO):

  • The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) is an intergovernmental organization with a membership of 193 Member States and Territories.
  • It originated from the International Meteorological Organization (IMO), the roots of which were planted at the 1873 Vienna International Meteorological Congress.
  • Established by the ratification of the WMO Convention on 23 March 1950, WMO became the specialized agency of the United Nations for meteorology (weather and climate), operational hydrology and related geophysical sciences a year later.
  • The Secretariat, headquartered in Geneva, is headed by the Secretary-General.
  • Its supreme body is the World Meteorological Congress.

World Meteorological Day:

  • World Meteorological Day takes place every year on 23 March and commemorates the coming into force on 23 March 1950 of the Convention establishing the World Meteorological Organization.
  • The theme of this year’s World Meteorological Day is “early warning and early action”, with hydro meteorological and climate information for disaster risk reduction.

 

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