Tuesday, February 21, 2012

WMO boosts global access to weather data

Media Global News: Communities around the world now have access to a free weather information system that will help avert major disasters by providing warnings of impending extreme weather events. The system, implemented by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), will also assist in water management, food security, and health issues. The WMO Information System (WIS), will make accessible a number of meteorological observations and other data to a wide variety of agencies, communities and other stakeholders.

Dr. Wenjian Zhang, director of Observations and Information Systems at WMO, told MediaGlobal, “With WIS, emergency response teams can register to receive warnings, and once warnings of impending extreme events are issued, they can register for relevant weather, water, and climate information to be sent to them automatically to help with their planning.”

Just over a year ago, there were scales that measured hurricanes’ power and air quality, but none for floods, droughts, or heatwaves. Because of global warming, such droughts and floods are expected to become more frequent, as well.

The new system will be the first all-inclusive weather information source, stemming from data all over the globe. “The WMO Information System is the pillar of our strategy for managing and moving weather, climate, and water information in the 21st century,” said WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud.

“It will reduce the costs of information exchange incurred by national meteorological and hydrological services and maximize exploitation of advances in communications technology … it will allow users outside the meteorological community to have free access to this information for the first time.”...

Headquarters of the WMO in Geneva, shot by Gfuerst, Wikimedia Commons, under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license

No comments: