Early Warning Systems for the Coming Climate Storm

Chile—The fury of Chaitén volcano - nat geoBy Stephen Leahy

GENEVA, Aug 31 (IPS)

Climate change is here. The challenge in Geneva this week is to find ways to help the world cope with a climate that will have more and worse extremes in terms of temperatures, floods, and storms.

More than 2,500 experts and policy-makers from 150 countries are attending the Aug. 31-Sep. 4 World Climate Conference to discuss how to improve weather forecasting and long-range seasonal weather projections, especially to help poor nations in areas such as agriculture.

“Until now, the way that we deliver climate information to some sectors has been ad hoc. What we need is a formal system that all people can trust to access vital information that can save their lives and protect property and economies,” said Michel Jarraud, secretary- general of the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), which is convening the World Climate Conference this week in Geneva.

The WMO has proposed that a global climate services system be created to boost observations and research for monitoring the climate and new information tools that will provide sector- and regional-specific products and services, Jarraud told IPS.

The first two “World Climate Conferences” in 1979 and 1990 were organised by the WMO and played the key roles in the creation of the U.N. climate secretariat, and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

This “Global Framework” system could help reduce losses caused by extreme weather and climate events such as heat waves, sandstorms, cyclones, drought and floods which will become more frequent and more intense as the climate continues to warm, he said.

“Extreme weather events and changing climatic conditions affect all of us, frequently resulting in humanitarian disasters and heavy losses,” said Swiss President Hans-Rudolf Merz.

For full article:  CLIMATE CHANGE: Early Warning Systems for the Coming Storm.

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