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Biodiversity & Environment

World Meteorological Day

  • 24 Mar 2022
  • 8 min read

For Prelims: World Meteorological Day, Greenhouse Gases, Conference of Parties, Floods, Droughts, Heatwaves, UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, UNFCCC.

For Mains: Role of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in tackling disaster, Issues related to increasing disaster and steps needs to be taken.

Why in News?

Every year, World Meteorological Day is celebrated globally on 23rd March.

What is the World Meteorological Organization (WMO)?

  • The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) is an intergovernmental organization with a membership of 192 Member States and Territories.
    • India is a member of WMO.
  • It originated from the International Meteorological Organization (IMO), which was established after the 1873 Vienna International Meteorological Congress.
  • Established by the ratification of the WMO Convention on 23rd March 1950, WMO became the specialized agency of the United Nations for meteorology (weather and climate), operational hydrology and related geophysical sciences.'
  • WMO is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.

What are the Key Highlights of the World Meteorological Day?

  • About:
    • The day is celebrated to commemorate the establishment of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), which was created in 1950.
    • Being celebrated since 1961, the day is also observed to make people aware of their role in protecting Earth’s atmosphere.
  • Theme for 2022:
    • Early warning and early action - it emphasises the critical necessity of hydrometeorological and climate information for disaster risk reduction.
  • State of Disasters:
    • World:
      • A disaster related to a weather, climate or water hazard occurred every day on average over the past 50 years – killing 115 people and causing USD 202 million in losses daily.
        • According to the WMO Atlas of Mortality and Economic Losses from Weather, Climate and Water Extremes (1970 – 2019), there were more than 11, 000 reported disasters attributed to these hazards globally.
      • The number of disasters has increased by a factor of five over the 50-year period, driven by climate change, more extreme weather and improved reporting.
      • The frequency and intensity of extreme weather events is set to rise due to more and more greenhouse gases being added to the atmosphere every year, resulting in warming.
    • India:
      • The number of severe cyclones over the Arabian Sea has risen by 1 per decade and maximum temperature has increased by 0.99 degree C since 1901 in India - small numbers that are big when it comes to weather.
      • There is a significant rise in heavy rainfall events also over India.

What are the Initiatives taken to tackle Disaster on WMO Day?

  • Action Plan on Early Warning Systems:
    • WMO will present an action plan on early warning systems at the 27th Conference of Parties (CoP) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in November 2022 in Egypt.
      • An early warning system for floods, droughts, heatwaves or storms, is an integrated system which alerts people to hazardous weather. It also informs how governments, communities and individuals can act to minimise the possible impacts of the weather event.
      • The aim is to understand what risks the foreseeable storms could bring to an area that will be affected — which may differ if it is a city or rural area, polar, coastal or mountainous regions.
  • Need:
    • A third of the world’s people, mainly in Least Developed Countries (LDC) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS), are still not covered by early warning systems.
      • In Africa, it is even worse: 60%of people lack coverage.

What is the State of Early Warning System in India?

Way Forward

  • Greater coordination between national meteorological and hydrological services, disaster management authorities and development agencies are fundamental to better prevention, preparedness and response.
  • There is a need to increase investment during the coming five years to improve the quality of the services and related infrastructures, especially in the LDC and SIDS countries.

UPSC Civil Services Examination, Previous Year Questions (PYQs)

Q. “Momentum for Change: Climate Neutral Now” is an initiative launched by (2018)

(a) The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
(b) The UNEP Secretariat
(c) The UNFCCC Secretariat
(d) The World Meteorological Organisation

Ans: (c)

Q. Which one of the following is not related to the United Nations? (2010)

(a) Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency
(b) International Finance Corporation
(c) International Centre for Settlement of Investment Disputes
(d) Bank for International Settlements

Ans: (d)

Source: DTE

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