UN forum focuses on improving monitoring of climate change impact

22 February 2010

The climate change challenge is real and every social, economic and environmental sector will be affected, said the head of the United Nations weather agency at the opening of a climatology meeting in Antalya, Turkey, that is focusing on improving climate products and services.

Some 150 experts from 84 countries are participating in the 15th session of the Commission for Climatology (CCI) of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), taking place from 19 to 24 February.

Delegates have been discussing improved climate products and services, including the establishment of an Open Panel of Experts that will focus on thematic areas including climate data management, global and regional climate monitoring and assessment, climate products and services and climate information for adaptation and risk management.

During his opening remarks, WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud pointed out that the agency, through the CCI, has been improving climate system monitoring on various timescales, in particular by incorporating knowledge access and tools for climate change index analysis. He also highlighted the agency’s contribution to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report which earned the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.

Meanwhile, a newly released study by the WMO says that while global warming could cause the number of tropical cyclones worldwide to decrease by the end of the century, the storms that do form probably will be more intense.

The term “tropical cyclones” encompasses all tropical storms, hurricanes, typhoons and cyclones.

The study – published online Sunday by Nature Geoscience, a journal of Britain’s Nature Publishing Group – was led by Tom Knutson and colleagues from WMO. The findings are based on an analysis of past storm data as well as computer models that project future storm activity out to the year 2100.

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