March 23 is World Meteorological Day, a celebration of all-things-weather from the United Nation’s World Meteorological Organization (WMO). As a specialized agency of the United Nations, WMO is dedicated to international cooperation and coordination on the state and behavior of the Earth’s atmosphere, its interaction with the land and oceans, the weather and climate it produces, and the resulting distribution of water resources.
WMO programs facilitate and promote:
- the establishment of networks of observational stations to provide weather, climate and water-related data;
- the establishment and maintenance of data management centres and telecommunication systems for the provision and rapid exchange of weather, climate and water-related data;
- the creation of standards for observation and monitoring in order to ensure adequate uniformity in the practices and procedures employed worldwide and, thereby, ascertain the homogeneity of data and statistics;
- the application of science and technology in operational meteorology and hydrology to aviation, transport (air, land and maritime), water resource management, agriculture and other focus areas;
- activities in operational hydrology as well as closer cooperation between National Meteorological and Hydrological Services in states and territories where they are separate; and
- the coordination of research and training in meteorology and related fields.
The theme of this year’s World Meteorological Day is “Water and Climate”. On average, a human being cannot survive more than three days without any water. Water is essential for the production of food, virtually all of our goods and services and for the environment. According to the United Nations, “The world now faces increasing challenges posed by water stress, floods and droughts and lack of access to clean supplies. There is an urgent need to improve forecasting, monitoring and management of water supplies and to tackle the problem of too much, too little or too polluted water.”