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Work of Nobel Prize-winning climate change panel hailed by UN official

Work of Nobel Prize-winning climate change panel hailed by UN official

The head of the lead United Nations agency on weather, climate and water has lauded the work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), whose Nobel Prize-winning efforts have helped the world better understand the impact of global warming on the planet.

“Key IPCC messages have now been widely publicized with the support of many nations and of the United Nations, and serve as the basis for an international mobilization in the domain of climate change,” said Hong Yan, Deputy Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

Addressing an IPCC meeting which began today in Budapest, Hungary, Hong Yan noted in particular the panel’s latest research on the impacts of climate change on water, which he said reinforced the need for countries – especially in the developing world – to strengthen the monitoring and observational capacities of their National Meteorological and Hydrological Services.

He said the work on climate change and water covers a number of WMO’s concerns, such as the link between global warming and large-scale changes in the hydrological cycle, including changing precipitation patterns, the melting of continental ice and changes in the frequency and intensity of droughts.

“All these aspects of the climate system are central to WMO’s expertise and these results highlight the need to further support research and observations,” he stated.

Established in 1988 by WMO and the UN Environment Programme (UNEP), the IPCC and its more than 2,000 scientists and experts have grappled with science and economics of climate change and its likely impacts. It was recognized for its groundbreaking work in 2007 when it was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, along with former United States Vice-President and climate change activist Al Gore.

WMO has been supporting the Panel’s work in a variety of ways, including as the principal provider of the scientific and technical information that underpins IPCC assessments.

Mr. Hong Yan stressed the commitment of WMO to assisting the Panel in its work and in facilitating the increasing involvement of scientists from both developed and developing countries to meet the challenges of global climate change – one of the “defining challenges of the 21st century.”