Floods, extreme precipitation, droughts and melting glaciers: many of the major signs of climate change involve water. On this year’s World Meteorological Day, the United Nations Meteorological Agency (WMO) is reinforcing the World Water Day message by focusing on the links between climate and water, and calling for better water-related data. In a message to mark the day, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said that climate and water are “inextricably linked. Both lie at the heart of the global goals on sustainable development, climate change and disaster risk reduction.” “Water,” he continued, “is one of the most precious commodities of the 21st century. The national meteorological and hydrological services will be central to efforts to count every drop, because every drop counts.”
The theme chosen for this year is “Early Warning and Early Action”, to underline the importance and necessity of providing hydro-meteorological and climatic information for disaster risk reduction. Extreme weather, climate and water conditions are becoming more frequent and intense in many parts of the world due to climate change. The key word is “alerting” and not alarming: today it is more essential than ever to be able to interpret data in order to prevent the most catastrophic consequences of extreme weather events.
Why is it celebrated on 23 March?
23 March is an important day for meteorology. On 23 March 1950, the convention establishing the World Meteorological Organisation (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 cooperation in unified networks of various weather and climate information from all over the globe.
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