The demand for Weather and Climate Forecasting in support of critical decision-making has grown rapidly during the last decade and will increase even faster in the coming years.
White Paper Explains The Future of Weather and Climate Forecasting
New Delhi (ABC Live
India): The advancement of our ability to predict
the weather and climate has been the core aspiration of a global community of
scientists and practitioners, in the almost 150 years of international
cooperation in meteorology and related Earth system sciences.
The demand for weather and climate forecast information in
support of critical decision-making has grown rapidly during the last decade
and will increase even faster in the coming years.
generation and provision of these services has been revolutionized by
supercomputers, satellite and remote sensing technology, smart mobile devices.
A growing share in these innovations has come from the private sector. At the
same time progress has been hampered by persisting holes in the basic observing
In a new White Paper on
the Future of Weather and Climate Forecasting, 30 leading experts
from the research, operations and education fields therefore analyse the
challenges and opportunities and set directions and recommendations for the
the 2020s will bring significant changes to the weather, climate and water
community: on the one hand through rapid advancement of science and technology,
and on the other hand through a swiftly changing landscape of stakeholders with
evolving capabilities and roles,” writes WMO Secretary-General Prof. Petteri
“Such changes will affect the way weather and climate forecasts
are produced and used,” he says.
While National Meteorological and Hydrological Services in all
193 WMO Members are still the public entities designated by governments to
provide meteorological and related services, many other providers have entered
the weather forecasting business in recent decades, including intergovernmental
organizations like ECMWF, private sector companies and academic institutions.
This profound change into multi-stakeholder delivery of weather
and climate services is driven by several factors such as: rapidly growing
demand for such services from public and private sectors; the open data policy
of many public agencies and the technological advancement and affordable
solutions for service delivery; and the improved skill of the forecasts, which
raises demand and user confidence. As a result, there is now a new era of
weather and climate services with many new challenges and opportunities.
In June 2019, WMO launched the Open Consultative
Platform (OCP), Partnership and Innovation for the Next Generation
of Weather and Climate Intelligence, embracing a community-wide approach with
participation of stakeholders from the public and private sectors, as well as
academia and civil society. The new White Paper is an output of this
“The White Paper is based on the concept of a weather and
climate innovation cycle which is determined to advance prediction services
with the aim to improve public safety, quality of life, protect the
environment, safeguard economic productivity. This applies across all domains,
weather, climate, oceans, hydrology and the land surface, and time span of
decisions from minutes and hours, through to weeks, months and even years ahead."
Says Dr Gilbert Brunet, Chair of the WMO Scientific Advisory Panel and lead
author and coordinator of the group of prominent scientists and experts
worldwide who contributed to the White Paper.
"With appropriate investment in science and technology, and
through better PPE, the weather and climate enterprise will meet
the increasing stakeholder and customer demands for tailored and seamless
weather and climate forecasts. Such improvements will provide significant value
to all nations. This paper makes the case that in many ways the PPE will
accelerate the desired bridging of the capacity gap in weather and climate
service needed for developing countries," said Dr Brunet.
The White Paper traces the development of the weather enterprise
and examines challenges and opportunities in the coming decade. It examines
three overarching components of the innovation cycle: infrastructure, research
and development, and operation.
- Infrastructure for forecasting (observational and high-performance ecosystems; advances through public-private engagement)
- Science and technology driving advancement of numerical prediction (numerical Earth-system and weather-to-climate prediction; high-resolution global ensembles; quality and diversity of models; innovation through artificial intelligence and machine learning; leveraging through public–private engagement.
- Operational forecasting: from global to local and urban prediction (computational challenges and cloud technology; verification and quality assurance; further automation of post-processing systems and the evolving role of human forecasters; leveraging through public–private engagement).
- Acquiring value through weather and climate services (user perspective; forecasts for decision support; bridging between high-impact weather and climate services; education and training).
“The decade 2021–2030 will be the decisive period for
realization of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Most of
these goals have links with the changing environment – climate change, water
resources and extreme events,” he said.
“The desired outcomes in all areas require enhanced resilience,
which is also the main call of the WMO Vision 2030. The advances expected in
weather forecasting and climate prediction during this decade will support
those ambitious goals by enabling a next generation of weather and climate
services that help people, businesses and governments to better mitigate risks,
reduce losses, and materialize opportunities from the new intelligence of
highly accurate and reliable forecasts and predictions,” says the concluding
chapter of the White Paper.
The White Paper on the Future of Weather
and Climate Forecasting is available here