The WMO Congress will specifically focus on key priorities including water, a comprehensive new data exchange policy and a reinforced, better-funded global observing system
Weather, climate and the water cycle are oblivious to national borders and so global cooperation in the domains of meteorology, climatology and operational hydrology is crucial, said Swiss Federal Councillor and Head of the Federal Department of Home Affairs (FDHA) Alain Berset.
In 2021, both the developed and developing world witnessed record-breaking extreme weather events, he noted.
In his opening address at the World Meteorological Congress in Geneva October 12, 2021, he underlined the significance of the role played by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) to deal with global challenges related to climate change and extreme events.
The 10-day special virtual session from October 11-22 is being hosted by WMO to strengthen policies for addressing the growth in the demand for weather, climate, water, atmospheric and ocean services.
Alain Berset said:
The ongoing refinement of weather‑, water‑ and climate‑related data and improved risk management mean that we are now better able to cope with the impact of extreme events such as those we experienced this summer.
Weather4UN, a pilot project led by MeteoSwiss and supported by the Swiss Federal Council, aims to improve the coordination of meteorological data production and transmission within the United Nations system and for humanitarian organisations around the world.
As a result of this initiative, early action can be taken and people will be better protected from extreme weather events.
In the last five decades (1970-2019), the number of disasters increased five times, stated WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas.
These have been attributed to climate change, more extreme weather and improved reporting, he added.
Water-related hazards top the list of disasters in terms of both the human and economic toll over the past 50 years, according to Atlas of Mortality and Economic Losses from Weather, Climate and Water Extremes (1970–2019) released by the WMO September 2021.
Germany experienced an unusually wet summer in 2021, according to a review of the season published by the German Weather Service August 2021.
But many countries, particularly in the developing regions of the Global South, are not prepared to handle the surge in…