Strategy approved to improve sustainability of global Flash Flood Guidance System
An extraordinary session of the World Meteorological Congress has approved a new sustainability strategy for the Hydrologic Research Center’s (HRC) Flash Flood Guidance System with Global Coverage (FFGS/WGC).
The new sustainability strategy sets out a vision and approach for the future development and implementation of the FFGS to save lives and livelihoods. It was approved by the Extraordinary World Meteorological Congress after being endorsed by the Hydrological Assembly.
The new strategy identifies four key factors and activities:
- Developing an inclusive and broadened governance model
- Increasing and strengthening training efforts
- Increasing the visibility of the FFGS
- Developing additional financial and human resource support
Flash floods are among the world’s deadliest natural disasters, with more than 5,000 lives lost annually and huge social, economic and environmental impacts.
Nobel Prize for Physics awarded to climate scientists
Climate scientists Prof. Syukuro Manabe, Prof. Klaus Hasselmann and Prof. Giorgio Parisi have been awarded the 2021 Nobel Prize in Physics.
The research of these three scientists has been key to advancing the current understanding of complex physical systems such as Earth’s changing climate. When awarding this prize, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences recognized Manabe and Hasselmann “for the physical modeling of Earth’s climate, quantifying variability and reliably predicting global warming”. They share the prize with Parisi for his work on fluctuations in physical systems.
Manabe was born in Japan in 1931 and studied at the University of Tokyo, where he received his PhD in 1958.
Penny Endersby elected Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering
Penny Endersby, chief executive of the UK’s Met Office, has been elected as a fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering.
Endersby is approaching three years since her appointment as chief executive. During this time she has led the organization in the development of a new supercomputer, designed to improve forecasting and climate projections when it is up and running in 2022. Endersby also committed to making the Met Office a net-zero greenhouse gas emitter by 2030, including moving to 100% renewable electricity at all main operational locations.
Around 50 fellows are elected each year for the Academy by peer review from nominations made by existing fellows.
L3Harris selected by NASA to develop ‘sounding’ satellite sensors for enhanced weather prediction
L3Harris Technologies has been awarded a contract by NASA to develop a hyperspectral infrared ‘sounder’ concept that will improve the accuracy and timeliness of US weather forecasting.
Set to begin this month, the second weather prediction modeling study will enable L3Harris to test and evaluate the advanced sounder satellite weather sensors that will measure temperature and water vapor for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) GeoXO mission, tasked with advancing future severe storm tracking, forecasting, and climate and other Earth observations. The L3Harris concept includes a sensor that offers hyperspectral and infrared readings, giving severe weather trackers an advantage as they predict dangerous storms.
IBM launches AI-driven software to lessen the impact of severe weather on business
US technology developer IBM has launched a suite of environmental intelligence software that leverages AI to help organizations prepare for and respond to weather and climate risks that may disrupt business.
The IBM Environmental Intelligence Suite has been designed to help companies streamline and automate the management of environmental risks and operationalize underlying processes, including carbon accounting and reduction, to meet environmental goals.
The suite leverages existing weather data from IBM, as well as advanced geospatial analytics already in use by companies around the world. According to IBM, the offering is the first to bring together AI, weather data, climate risk analytics, and carbon accounting capabilities in one package.
Dr. Richard Wylde appointed to Weather Stream board of directors
Weather Stream, a provider of Earth weather data, has announced that Dr. Richard Wylde, managing director of Thomas Keating, has joined its board of directors.
Wylde is a fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, an expert on quasi-optical antennas and millimeter-wave instrumentation for Earth observation and has been a significant contributor to space-based weather data collection missions for more than a decade.
Weather Stream operates the International Centre for Earth Data (ICED), a cloud-based platform for the aggregation and alignment of multiple commercial and government Earth observation and weather data sets. Using AI and advanced machine learning algorithms, the center processes contrasting data into an accessible format.
Revamped Climate.gov website hailed as “America’s public gateway to climate literacy”
NOAA’s Climate Program Office has launched a newly redesigned version of its Climate.gov website, which provides the public with science-based information about the Earth’s climate.
With the USA facing increasingly frequent, severe and often life-threatening risks from climate change-influenced extreme weather events, communities and businesses are increasingly requesting NOAA’s assistance and expertise to understand the enormously complex and destructive impacts of climate change. The new Climate.gov better meets this growing demand for climate science and information.
Gina M Raimondo, US secretary of commerce, said, “Not only is the climate crisis costing us American lives, with countless families being tragically torn apart by these extreme weather events, but it’s also costing us billions of dollars, with a price tag of over US$96bn last year alone.
WMO inaugurates new center of excellence dedicated to climate resilience
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction have unveiled a new Centre of Excellence for Climate and Disaster Resilience.
The establishment of the center cements the long-standing collaboration between the two organizations and will look to address widening resilience gap between rich and poor nations.
Petteri Taalas, WMO secretary-general, said, “This new Centre of Excellence for Climate and Disaster Resilience will act as an information hub about the escalating impacts of climate change and extreme weather and how we can manage and mitigate these risks. Over the last 50 years there has been a five-fold increase in recorded weather-, climate- and water-related hazards.