From: Alecia D. McKenzie, SciDevNet, More from this Affiliate
Published February 21, 2012 07:01 AM

World Meteorological Organization launches new weather data system

An international information system designed to improve and expand the exchange of data on weather, climate and water will help boost food security around the world, according to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

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The UN agency, which launched the system last month (31 January), said it would improve access to meteorological observations and products for stakeholders including the research and disaster risk reduction sectors.

David Thomas, chief of the WMO's information and telecommunication system division, told SciDev.Net that the system could bolster food security because crop yield and agriculture depend on variations in the weather, seasons and climate.

The WMO can provide many useful services to decision-makers, he said.

"For instance, seasonal predictions and climate outlooks are powerful tools for knowing what crops or agriculture will be more likely to be productive, while routine weather forecasts and mid-range outlooks can have strong impacts on harvesting."

The system is based on the Global Telecommunication System of the agency's World Weather Watch, which has been the backbone of meteorological information exchange for 40 years and is used for weather forecasts, tropical cyclone warnings and tsunami alerts.

Rainstorm image via Shutterstock

Article continues: http://www.scidev.net/en/climate-change-and-energy/news/wmo-weather-information-system-improves-access-to-data.html

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