23 March is the World Meteorology Day. This, in fact, an important day for meteorology, since on 23 March 1950 the Convention that established the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) came into force. The WMO is an intergovernmental organisation comprising 189 Member States and Territories, with the main objective of promoting meteorological research and concentration of all the weather information from around the globe. The theme of the World Meteorology Day 2019 is “The ocean, our climate and weather”: when it comes to the weather and climate, most of us think only about what is happening in the atmosphere. If we ignore the ocean, however, we miss a big piece of the picture.
Covering some 70% of the Earth’s surface, the ocean is a major driver of the world’s weather and climate. It also plays a central role in climate change. The ocean is also a major driver of the global economy, carrying more than 90% of world trade and sustaining the 40% of humanity that lives within 100 km of the coast. It also marks the starting year of the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030). The Decade galvanizes efforts to gather ocean science – through innovative and transformative ideas – as the basis of information to support sustainable development.
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