In 2021, the World Meteorological Organisation released a white paper that assessed the future of weather forecasting and climate forecasting. The increasing demand for weather and climate forecast information, is being fulfilled by new technology, applications, satellites, and smart computers. However, there are some challenges and opportunities in the industry.
The White Paper on the Future of Weather and Climate Forecasting, collates the opinions and analyses of leading experts in research, operations, and education. They identify and quantify the challenges and opportunities in the industry as well as provide actionable recommendations for the future.
The White Paper
Dr. Gilbert Brunet, Chair of the WMO Scientific Advisory Panel explained that the paper aims to “improve public safety, quality of life, protect the environment (and) safeguard economic productivity”. He believes that as long as there is investment in science and technology, the weather and climate sector can meet the need for weather and climate forecasts.
The paper looks back as the history of the weather enterprise, its development over the years and expectations for the future. It also focuses on specific aspects of the innovation cycle. These are infrastructure, research and development, and operation.
Chapters in the white paper include:
- Infrastructure for forecasting
- Science and technology driving advancement of numerical prediction
- Operational forecasting
- Acquiring value through weather and climate services
The white paper is a useful publication that highlights the importance of weather forecasting and climate prediction. It also raises hopes that advances in these areas will lead to the achievement of specific goals. Some of these goals are the mitigation of risks, reduction of losses, and materialisation of opportunities from new intelligence.
Historically, meteorological and related services were provided by the National Meteorological and Hydrological Services in the 193 WMO member countries. However, other providers have entered the sector. This signals that there are many entities interested in and fighting for the future of weather and climate forecasting.
Image: Brian McGowan via Unsplash
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