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Posts Tagged ‘World Meteorological Organization’

Norway contributes US$ 10 million to support climate services

Posted by African Press International on November 21, 2013

GENEVA, Switzerland, November 21, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/– The World Meteorological Organization has partnered with leading research, UN agencies and humanitarian organizations to launch the Climate Services Adaptation Programme in Africa in an effort to increase the climate change resilience of some of the world’s most vulnerable countries.

The programme, funded by a grant of US$ 9 750 000 (NOK 60 000 000) from the Government of Norway, is the first multi-agency initiative to be implemented under the Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS). It represents a unique approach that includes natural and social scientists as well as large development and humanitarian agencies working on the ground in a bid to ensure that climate services are tailored to the practical needs of the user community.

The challenges are huge. An estimated 70 nations, including many of the Least Developed Countries, have inadequate or no climate services and are ill-equipped to meet the challenges of both natural variations in the climate and human-induced climate change.

WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud and State Secretary Hans Brattskar of the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs signed the agreement today during the annual climate change conference taking place in Warsaw.

“The Climate Services Adaptation Programme in Africa is a model of how a wide range of partners can unite to ensure that the benefits of scientific advances reach those who are most at risk from weather and climate-linked hazards,” said World Meteorological Organization Secretary-General Michel Jarraud. “The funding from Norway will allow us to roll out climate services to help African countries adapt to our changing climate and to increase resilience to droughts and floods and other extremes.”

“Africa is the continent most vulnerable to a wide range of impacts of climate change. Africa is already facing a decrease in food production, floods and inundation of coastal zones and deltas, as well as the spread of waterborne diseases and malaria. Often it is the most vulnerable people that suffer the most, and there is an urgent need for effective and coordinated action. Norway firmly believes that with this multi-agency climate services program, we can deliver climate services to those vulnerable people and also contribute to strengthening the global framework as the knowledge and action hub of climate services,” said Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr Børge Brende.

The provision of more and better climate services will allow farmers to fine-tune their planting and marketing strategies based on seasonal climate forecasts; empower disaster risk managers to prepare more effectively for droughts and heavy precipitation; assist public health services to target vaccine and other prevention campaigns to limit climate-related disease outbreaks such as malaria and meningitis; and help improve the management of water resources. These activities all contribute to appropriate adaptation planning to a changing climate.

The main countries to benefit initially will be Malawi and the United Republic of Tanzania. The programme will build on existing climate services in food security, nutrition and health, and disaster risk reduction at national, local and regional level. It is intended that the Climate Services Adaptation Programme will become operational in other African countries in the future and will serve as a model for other parts of the world.

“The Norwegian support for the GFCS project in Malawi will enable consideration of how to better meet user needs in Malawi, and provide opportunity to make progress,” said Mr. Jolamu L Nkhokwe, Director of Climate Change and Meteorological Services in Malawi. “While a great emphasis in Malawi has been placed on the ability to forecast large-scale rainfall patterns, it is a known factor that users often request tailored packages that integrate a variety of information, including more detailed features of the expected rainfall, other climate variables, and information about the consequences of the expected climate. Within this project, a number of simple methods of statistical downscaling of the large scale climate product will be turned into the type of rainfall information requested by many users in Malawi.”

Dr Agnes Kijazi, Director General of the Tanzania Meteorological Agency, said “The Programme will be a significant opportunity for enhancing availability of wide range of data and assuring better access to all available data and information. Furthermore, the programme will empower the meteorological agency to better serve our key customers, in particular the agriculture sector and the authorities responsible for disaster management in the country. This in turn will contribute to improved food security and disaster management for the country.”

The Climate Services Adaptation Programme in Africa is implemented by seven partner organizations: WMO; the CGIAR Research Programme on Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security (CCAFS); the Centre for International Climate and Environmental Research – Oslo (CICERO); the Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI); the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC); the World Food Programme (WFP); and the World Health Organization (WHO).

There is growing momentum towards the provision of climate services in both developed and developing countries alike within the context of the Global Framework for Climate Services. This is a country-driven initiative to provide accurate and accessible climate services to users such as disaster management authorities, water and energy utilities, public health agencies, the transport sector, and farmers, as well as the community at large.

This new programme is building on achievements made under another Norwegian supported programme. The GFCS Adaptation and Disaster Risk Reduction in Africa programme started in 2011 with the aim of contributing to the amelioration of weather and climate related disasters and to climate change adaptation in Africa through operationalizing the Global Framework for Climate Services. Tangible impacts obtained so far with Norwegian support include the holding of roving seminars for farmers in 17 different African countries, during which the farmers have received information about weather and climate, future climate change and the implications in their region, climatic risk in production of different crops in their region and better risk management.

The World Meteorological Organization is the United Nations System’s authoritative voice on Weather, Climate and Water

 

SOURCE

World Meteorological Organization (WMO)

 

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The world has recorded a few droughts in recent years – Earth warms at record-breaking pace

Posted by African Press International on August 4, 2013

The world has also recorded quite a few droughts in recent years

JOHANNESBURG,  – As the latest Superman movie – which shows the superhero’s home planet being destroyed by the unsustainable use of its natural resources – hits theatres, a new report reveals that the earth is warming faster than ever in recorded history.

The report, released today, is based on an analysis of temperature and precipitation data recorded from 2001 to 2010.

Michel Jarraud, secretary-general of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), which did the analysis, said in a statement, “Global warming accelerated in the four decades of 1971 to 2010… The decadal rate of increase between 1991-2000 and 2001-2010 was unprecedented. Rising concentrations of heat-trapping greenhouse gases are changing our climate, with far-reaching implications for our environment and our oceans, which are absorbing both carbon dioxide and heat.”

“The 2001-2010 decade was the warmest since modern meteorological records began (around 1850) for both land-only and ocean-only surface temperatures”

He continued: “Natural climate variability, caused in part by interactions between our atmosphere and oceans – as evidenced by El Niño and La Niña events – means that some years are cooler than others. On an annual basis, the global temperature curve is not a smooth one. On a long-term basis the underlying trend is clearly in an upward direction, more so in recent times.”

Some key findings from the analysis include:

1. The 2001-2010 decade was the warmest since modern meteorological records began (around 1850) for both land-only and ocean-only surface temperatures.

2. Over the past four decades (1971-2010), the global temperature increased at an average estimated rate of 0.17 degrees Celsius per decade, while the trend from 1880-2010 had been only 0.062 degrees per decade.

3. Nine of the years in the 2001-2010 decade were among the 10 warmest years on record. The warmest year ever recorded was 2010, the year Russia experienced a severe heat wave that killed about 55,000 people. It was also the wettest on record, with Pakistan experiencing one of the worst floods in recent times, claiming 2,000 lives.

4. The high temperatures caused widespread melting of Arctic ice and the thermal expansion of sea water, causing global mean sea levels to rise by an estimated 3mm per year, about double the observed 20th century trend of 1.6mm per year. “Global sea level, averaged over the decade, was about 20cm higher than that of 1880,” the report says.

5. If this trend continues, melting ice sheets will contribute more to sea level rise in the 21st century than any other factor.

6. The world’s glaciers lost more mass in 2001-2010 than in any decade since records began.

7. Nearly 94 percent of countries whose data were assessed had their warmest decade in 2001-2010.

8. Africa experienced warmer-than-normal conditions in every year of 2001-2010.

9. Floods were the most frequently experienced extreme event over the course of the decade.

10. The decade saw the most tropical cyclones in the North Atlantic Basin since 1855.

jk/rz  source http://www.irinnews.org

 

 

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The world has recorded quite a few droughts in recent years

Posted by African Press International on July 7, 2013

The world has also recorded quite a few droughts in recent years

JOHANNESBURG,  – As the latest Superman movie – which shows the superhero’s home planet being destroyed by the unsustainable use of its natural resources – hits theatres, a new report reveals that the earth is warming faster than ever in recorded history.

The report, released today, is based on an analysis of temperature and precipitation data recorded from 2001 to 2010.

Michel Jarraud, secretary-general of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), which did the analysis, said in a statement, “Global warming accelerated in the four decades of 1971 to 2010… The decadal rate of increase between 1991-2000 and 2001-2010 was unprecedented. Rising concentrations of heat-trapping greenhouse gases are changing our climate, with far-reaching implications for our environment and our oceans, which are absorbing both carbon dioxide and heat.”

“The 2001-2010 decade was the warmest since modern meteorological records began (around 1850) for both land-only and ocean-only surface temperatures”

He continued: “Natural climate variability, caused in part by interactions between our atmosphere and oceans – as evidenced by El Niño and La Niña events – means that some years are cooler than others. On an annual basis, the global temperature curve is not a smooth one. On a long-term basis the underlying trend is clearly in an upward direction, more so in recent times.”

Some key findings from the analysis include:

1. The 2001-2010 decade was the warmest since modern meteorological records began (around 1850) for both land-only and ocean-only surface temperatures.

2. Over the past four decades (1971-2010), the global temperature increased at an average estimated rate of 0.17 degrees Celsius per decade, while the trend from 1880-2010 had been only 0.062 degrees per decade.

3. Nine of the years in the 2001-2010 decade were among the 10 warmest years on record. The warmest year ever recorded was 2010, the year Russia experienced a severe heat wave that killed about 55,000 people. It was also the wettest on record, with Pakistan experiencing one of the worst floods in recent times, claiming 2,000 lives.

4. The high temperatures caused widespread melting of Arctic ice and the thermal expansion of sea water, causing global mean sea levels to rise by an estimated 3mm per year, about double the observed 20th century trend of 1.6mm per year. “Global sea level, averaged over the decade, was about 20cm higher than that of 1880,” the report says.

5. If this trend continues, melting ice sheets will contribute more to sea level rise in the 21st century than any other factor.

6. The world’s glaciers lost more mass in 2001-2010 than in any decade since records began.

7. Nearly 94 percent of countries whose data were assessed had their warmest decade in 2001-2010.

8. Africa experienced warmer-than-normal conditions in every year of 2001-2010.

9. Floods were the most frequently experienced extreme event over the course of the decade.

10. The decade saw the most tropical cyclones in the North Atlantic Basin since 1855.

jk/rz source http://www.irinnews.org

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Mapping the health connection

Posted by African Press International on November 5, 2012

An bleach in Guinea’s capital, Conakry, where people have been infected with choleraaid worker distributes soap and

JOHANNESBURG,  – Countries could save countless lives and greatly reduce health costs if forewarned about climate-sensitive infectious disease outbreaks months in advance: and that is becoming a possibility, according to the Atlas of Health and Climate, a report mapping the links between climate and diseases like cholera, malaria, dengue fever and diarrhoea.
These diseases take the heaviest toll, according to the Atlas, a collaborative effort between the UN’s World Health Organization (WHO) and World Meteorological Organization (WMO), and real-time maps showing possible spread could help prevention and treatment efforts. Diarrhoea kills over two million people every year, for example, and malaria kills nearly a million; both are influenced by climate variability.

Data gathering
But the Atlas authors say they still have a long way to go to make such warnings global and reliable.
“We have good real-time weather data, but that is not the case with health data,” said Geoff Love, WMO’s director of weather and disaster risk reduction. Disease outbreak data in most developing countries is typically collected by hand and often updated weekly. “There are also issues of respecting the privacy of individuals,” Love said.

Yet with improvements in computer access, internet connectivity and digital media, health data collectors in deep rural interiors could contribute to regional and global datasets.
The agencies are currently focusing on the health impact of short-term changes in the climate, but the Atlas opens the door to long-term forecasts linked to climate change.
Modest global warming, starting in the 1970s, was causing over 150,000 excess deaths every year by 2000, according to a WHO study looking at the impact of climate-sensitive illnesses like diarrhoeal disease.
Countries, mostly in the developing world, could spend from US$6 million to $18 billion a year by 2030 managing the additional health costs resulting from climate change, a study based on the WHO assessment noted.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, an international scientific body, said rising temperatures and the increasing frequency of extreme events could exacerbate malaria, cholera, Rift Valley fever and dengue fever in developing countries.

  • Raising awareness
    Diarmid Campbell-Lendrum, who leads the climate change and health team at WHO and is an author of the Atlas said, “One of the functions that we illustrate through the Atlas is that we can correlate climate and health information in places where we have both, and use the climate data to make health predictions, either for places where we have climate but not health information, or for the future.”

Much of the information in the Atlas is not new, says Campbell-Lendrum, but “what we are doing is to connect it together, and make it as accessible and clear as possible to decision-makers, from heads of health and meteorological agencies to field staff in disease-control programmes.
“This also includes the general public, who we hope will become increasingly ‘climate-aware’ in regards to their health. This is going to become more important as issues such as heat waves become more frequent through climate change, and vulnerability to health impacts increases through ageing, chronic disease rates, etc.”
For example, according to the Atlas, heat extremes currently expected to occur only once every 20 years may, by the middle of this century, occur on average every 2 to 5 years. At the same time, the number of older people living in cities – one of the groups most vulnerable to heat stress – will nearly quadruple globally, from 380 million in 2010 to 1.4 billion in 2050. The Atlas also shows seasonal linkages between diseases like meningitis and an increase in dust concentration and reduction in humidity levels in sub-Saharan Africa.
These and other findings make the case for more computer-generated climate models for tropical and waterborne disease outbreaks, says Campbell-Lendrum. There are very few, if any regional or country-level climate-change projections of possible diseases in developing countries.
“We already have many research studies in this area, but very few are converted into early warning systems or risk maps that are actually used for health decision-making,” he added.
WMO’s Love said, “The Atlas is more of an advocacy document at this stage.”

jk/rz

source http://www.irinnews.org

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