WMO envisages global weather data sharing revolution

The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) has sought to improve the accuracy of data-sharing with a major new policy.

According to the WMO, the new policy encourages exchange of a much larger realm of data which will improve global weather monitoring and prediction.

“Severe gaps in data and weather observations, especially in Africa and island states, have a major negative impact on the accuracy of early warnings both locally and globally,” WMO secretary-general Petteri Taalas said.

The new resolution, known formally as the WMO Unified Data Policy, envisages data sharing beyond the traditional areas of weather, climate and water data to also incorporate atmospheric composition, oceans, the cryosphere and space weather.

The WMO said the policy would “help its members meet the explosive growth in demand for weather, climate and water services as the world grapples with the dual challenges of climate change and the increasing frequency of extreme weather events.”

Developing countries are expected to receive financial assistance to comply with the new policy and will benefit through improved access to key data themselves, the WMO said.

The resolution will see a two-tiered approach:

WMO members shall provide on a free and unrestricted basis the core data that are necessary for the provision of services in support of the protection of life and property and for the well-being of all nations and which are required to monitor and predict seamlessly and accurately weather, climate, water and related environmental conditions.

Members should also provide the recommended data that are required to support Earth system monitoring and prediction activities at the global, regional and national levels and to further assist other Members with the provision of weather, climate, water and related environmental services in their states and territories.