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Accurate weather and climate information can save 23,000 lives every year

Climate change will bring global tension

Ground Report | New Delhi: Accurate weather and climate information; Improving weather forecasts, early warning systems, and climate information, known as hydrometeorology, could save an estimated 23,000 lives a year and provide potential annual benefits of at least $ 162 billion. It is the conclusion of the first Hydromet Gap report, presented this Thursday by the Alliance for Hydrometeorological Development, which brings together the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and international development, humanitarian and financial institutions, and which was launched at COP25 in Madrid.

Accurate weather and climate information

 The report was made public at an event within the high-level political forum on sustainable development (HLPF) that is taking place this week.

The report highlights how investments in multi-hazard early warning systems generate benefits that are worth at least ten times their costs and are vital to building resilience to extreme weather. However, only 40% of countries currently have effective early warning systems, and large gaps remain in the critical observational data on which these services depend, particularly in the least developed countries and small island developing States.

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“Our climate is changing rapidly. The last decade was the hottest on record. The global average temperature is about 1.2 ° C warmer than in pre-industrial times. We are a long way from reducing global greenhouse gas emissions to avoid the worst impacts of climate change and limit the temperature increase to 1.5 ° C following the Paris Agreement, “said the Secretary-General of WMO, Petteri Taalas.

In partnership with 16 countries, the first round of national hydrometeorological diagnoses was carried out. The evaluations were carried out by peer meteorological services. It revealed wide capacity gaps between the countries evaluated. The weakest countries lacked the most basic capacity in terms of equipment, skills, and user participation, despite clear and growing risks

The observation gap is particularly acute in the least developed countries and small island developing states, which are currently far from meeting the internationally agreed Core Global Observing Network requirements. This makes it impossible to provide high-quality forecasts in these countries. (Accurate weather and climate information)

Lack of observations

The report warns that the lack of observations from these countries affects the quality of forecasts around the world. Without a substantial increase in internationally exchanged surface observations, the quality of hydrometeorological services cannot be significantly improved. These services can only be as good as the data on which they are based.

Professor Talas says that weather and climate services based on science and data are the foundation of effective climate adaptation. Keeping all this in mind, the Alliance for Hydromet Development was launched at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP-25) held in Madrid. Its objective is to ensure weather, climate, water and related environmental services for all, thereby paving the way for sustainable development.

It is estimated that with the help of weather forecast, the economic output of those areas which are very sensitive to weather can be an annual profit of Rs 716,250 crore. According to the Global Commission on Adaptation, an investment of Rs 134.3 lakh crore on climate adaptation between 2020 and 2030 will generate a net profit of Rs 522.3 lakh crore, with hydromet services being the mainstay.

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In this regard, Inger Andersen, Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP), said that it is important that we prepare to address climate-related threats at the local and global level and strengthen the capacity for climate adaptation. A large part of this success will depend on the ability to anticipate

Benefits of hydrometeorology

For all these reasons, the Hydromet Gap Report establishes the creation of the Systematic Observations Financing Mechanism (SOFF) as a priority action of the Alliance. The creation of the Alliance is supported by many leaders of beneficiary countries and international organizations. It aims to strengthen climate adaptation and resilient development through the sustained collection and international exchange of high-quality surface-based weather and climate observations.

As a global initiative, the service is expected to provide long-term financial and technical support to bridge the observation gap on a sustained basis, particularly in least developed countries and small island developing states.

The goal is to launch it at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, COP26, and have it operational in 2022.

  • Avoid Loss – Reliable and accurate early warning systems save lives and assets worth at least ten times the cost.
  • Optimize production : Estimated annual benefits of improved economic production by applying weather forecasting in highly climate-sensitive sectors amount to about $ 96 billion.
  • Improving the long-term strategic response to climate change:  The Global Commission on Adaptation estimates that strategic investment of $ 1.8 trillion between 2020 and 2030 worldwide could generate $ 7 trillion in total net benefits. Hydrometeorological services are providing the basis for these investments.

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