WMO Congress approves three initiatives to strengthen its data exchange policy
The World Meteorological Congress has approved three initiatives to strengthen the world’s exchange of observational data from across the globe to improve weather and climate services.
The three initiatives are the WMO Unified Data Policy, the Global Basic Observing Network, and the Systematic Observations Financing Facility. The WMO’s actions have been taken due to the data gaps in data-sparse regions and lack of sustainable financing; transformative changes in data, science, and technology; and the rapid growth of private-sector capabilities and activities in meteorology.
WMO Unified Data Policy
The WMO Unified Data Policy will guide the international exchange of weather, climate and related Earth system data between the 193 member states and territories of WMO.
ECMWF signs landmark partnership to help combat climate change challenges in the Mediterranean
The European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) has signed a partnership agreement with the Union for the Mediterranean (UfM) to support all member countries in accessing the critical data needed to tackle Mediterranean climate change challenges.
Over the next few years, ECMWF, as entrusted entity to implement the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) and the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S), will work closely with the UfM to develop targeted training sessions and materials for knowledge transfer and capacity building in the region. They will also develop a joint free and open data dashboard with easy-to-use indicators and information for the UfM countries to maximize the uptake of climate and atmosphere monitoring data products from Copernicus in all relevant regional initiatives.
University of Hawaiʻi awarded US$1.3m grant to roll out weather station network
The US National Science Foundation (NSF) has awarded the University of Hawaiʻi (UH) at Mānoa a US$1.3m grant to deploy more than 80 weather stations across the state.
With funding spread across three-years, the Hawaiʻi Mesonet research project will be used to better understand the complex weather and climate of the Hawaiian Islands, which in turn will lead to improved forecasting capabilities. This is the first time the NSF has funded a mesonet system under its Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) Program.
UH Mānoa students and post-doctoral researchers will install 84 climate stations in some of the most remote parts of the state.
Alibaba’s DAMO Academy unveils AI-powered application for nowcasting
Alibaba Group’s Academy for Discovery, Adventure, Momentum and Outlook (DAMO) has unveiled a cloud-based AI-powered nowcasting platform capable of predicting short-term weather conditions up to six hours in advance.
The Short-term AI Weather Forecasting Platform, now available to Alibaba Cloud’s clients in China, produces high-resolution imagery with 1km grid spacing with updates available every 10 minutes. Capable of tracking rainfall, windspeed as well as severe weather conditions such as thunder and hailstorms, the platform has been designed to deliver time-critical reports to weather-dependent sectors such as agriculture, logistics, transportation and renewable energy.
For farmers, a timely and accurate weather forecast can minimize damage to crops and livestock; couriers can schedule their routes efficiently on rainy days; and photovoltaic power stations can use cloud formation predictions to better prepare their electricity trading plans.
UNSW Canberra study deems creation of Australian-built weather satellites “practically achievable”
A suite of Australian designed and built meteorological satellites could help meet the future needs of the Bureau of Meteorology (BoM), a University of New South Wales (UNSW) Canberra study has found.
At present BoM depends heavily on Earth observations from foreign-owned satellites and partner meteorological organizations to predict the weather, as Australia does not own or operate any such satellites.
Conducted in UNSW Canberra’s Australian National Concurrent Design Facility (ANCDF), the study identified the feasibility of Australian-designed and built meteorological satellites that could support the Bureau’s numerical weather prediction (NWP) and nowcasting functions, as well as address data gaps in the global meteorological observing system.
Food insecurity, poverty and displacement in Africa exacerbated by climate change
A new multi-agency report coordinated by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) found that food insecurity, poverty and displacement in Africa were compounded by changing precipitation patterns, rising temperatures and more extreme weather. In turn, these weather elements were found to have exacerbated the socioeconomic and health crisis triggered by Covid-19. The report, named The State of the Climate in Africa 2020, was released October 19 during the Extraordinary World Meteorological Congress and ahead of the UN Climate Change negotiations, COP26.
The report estimated that adaptation costs in sub-Saharan Africa are US$30-50bn (2–3% of regional gross domestic product (GDP)) each year over the next decade, to avoid even higher costs of additional relief for expected disasters.
Research sheds light on unexpected behavior of Australia’s Black Summer bushfires
Research from Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology (BoM) has provided new insights into the destructive Black Summer bushfires of 2019-20, having discovered complex correlations between the atmosphere and extreme local bushfire behavior.
Led by BoM research scientist Dr Mika Peace, together with the Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre, the research used advanced supercomputer simulations that combined bushfire behavior and meteorology reports to investigate why the Badja Forest (New South Wales), Green Valley Talmalmo/Corryong (New South Wales/Victoria), Kangaroo Island (South Australia), Stanthorpe (Queensland) and Yanchep (Western Australia) bushfires were so extraordinary and challenging to firefighters.
Peace said, “The research uses two linked models to help us understand the processes driving these challenging and destructive fires – one which simulates the fire and one which simulates the weather, so by combining them we can see how both the fire and weather change in response to each other.
UAE advances weather forecasting with Hewlett Packard supercomputer
Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) has built a new supercomputer for the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE) National Center of Meteorology (NCM) to advance weather forecasting and climate research across the country.
Nicknamed ‘Atmosphere,’ the supercomputer has been built using the HPE Cray EX – an end-to-end high-performance computing (HPC) liquid-cooled platform. The combined 2nd Gen AMD EPYC processors and NVIDIA A100 Tensor Core GPUs, as well as advanced software, storage and networking technologies, will help NCM’s researchers to improve modeling, simulation, artificial intelligence and deep learning capabilities to process complex data, increase accuracy and predict weather events faster. NCM’s Atmosphere will go into service by the end of 2021.