March 29, 2022

World Meteorological Day 2022-Early Warning and Early Action

World Meteorological Day 23 March 2022 had the theme Early Warning and Early Action, and spotlighted the vital importance of Hydrometeorological and Climate Information for Disaster Risk Reduction. It is also aligned with the Glasgow Climate Pact (agreed at the UN Climate Change Conference COP26 in November 2021) which emphasized the urgency of scaling up action to enhance adaptive capacity, strengthen resilience and reduce vulnerability to climate change.

World Meteorological Day digital assets, visuals and speeches are available here.

Also UN unveiled an ambitious target to adapt to climate change and more extreme events. Concretely, UN Secretary-General António Guterres has tasked the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) to lead the effort and present an action plan to achieve the following goal: “Within the next five years, everyone on Earth should be protected by early warning systems against increasingly extreme weather and climate change”. “We must invest equally in adaptation and resilience. That includes the information that allows us to anticipate storms, heatwaves, floods and droughts,” said the UN chief.

Climate change is already very visible through more extreme weather in all parts of the world. We are seeing more intense heatwaves and drought and forest fires. There is more water vapor in the atmosphere, which leads to extreme rainfall and deadly flooding. The warming of the ocean fuels more powerful tropical storms and rising sea levels increase the impacts.

Over the past 50 years (1970-2019), a weather, climate or water-related disaster has occurred on average every day – taking the lives 115 people and causing US$ 202 million in losses daily, according to a 2021 WMO report on disaster statistics. The number of recorded disasters increased by a factor of five over that 50-year period, driven by human-induced climate change, more extreme weather events and improved reporting. Thanks to better warnings, the number of lives lost decreased almost three-fold over the same period because of better weather forecasts and proactive and coordinated disaster management.

LIFE BAETULO project is completely aligned with this ambitious target to adapt to climate change by providing an integrated and multi-risk early warning system to support cities to be more resilient while reducing impacts (including economic, social and environmental damages) on people, urban assets and the environment.

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