World Meteorological Organization, State of Climate Services
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- Recently, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) released the State of Climate Services, in 2023.
Findings of the Report
- The health sector is inadequately prepared to safeguard people from the effects of heat and other extreme weather events.
- By 2030, there will be around 560 medium- to large-scale disaster events every year, or 1.5 per day.
- The health of the most vulnerable countries and populations will be impacted by the extreme weather events resulting from climate change, including heatwaves, droughts, floods, and wildfires.
- Most national climate plans, known as NDCs, now recognize climate change as a threat to human well-being and planetary health.
- Climate targets are also increasingly taking into account the benefits that mitigation activities, including climate services, can have on human health.
- Climate information and services play a crucial role in reducing disaster risks and minimizing the impact of climate hazards on public health. Despite this, less than 25 per cent of health ministries across the world utilise climate information and services to monitor health risks related to climate sensitivity, according to WMO’s State of Climate Services, 2023.
- Around 74 percent of the National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHS) provide data services for the health sector, but these are not specifically tailored to the sector's needs.
- At least 85 percent of nations lack a formal agreement between the Ministry of Health and NMHSs to facilitate data sharing and collaboration.
- A wide gap exists between data services provided by NMHSs and their utilization by health ministries.
- Only 23 percent of health ministries have a health surveillance system that utilizes meteorological information to monitor climate-sensitive health risks such as vector-borne diseases and heat stress.
- This suggests that there is limited cooperation, and most government agencies dealing with health and climate need to develop and strengthen their partnerships.
- Addressing the climate-health nexus is essential for safeguarding the well-being of current and future generations.
- Africa is the least responsible for global greenhouse gas emissions but disproportionately suffers from climate change:
- Around 50 percent of excess mortality resulting from climate change by the year 2050 will occur in Africa.
- The WMO report attributes this health threat in low Human Development Index (HDI) countries, including African nations, to factors such as mortality from floods, heat, undernutrition, and the risk of malaria, without adequate adaptation.
- A new analysis released by Carbon Brief in October 2023 indicated that at least 15,700 people in Africa have been killed so far in 2023.
- However, the lowest levels of climate services for health are reported in Africa, Asia and the Caribbean region.
- Heat was the deadliest of extreme weather events, claiming at least 489,000 lives annually between 2000 and 2019.
- The 2023 El Nino will likely trigger more extreme weather events and further elevate temperatures worldwide, potentially resulting in catastrophic health consequences for the most vulnerable populations.
- We are likely to witness an increasing number of unprecedented weather events, and countries need to begin preparations.
- However, heat warning services are provided to health authorities responsible for decision-making in only 50 percent of the affected countries. According to the report, only 26 countries have climate-informed, heat-health early warning systems.
- While the WMO highlighted gaps in climate services regarding health risks, case studies from 19 countries in Africa, Asia, Europe, the United States, and the Caribbean provide evidence of how the health sector has successfully used climate services to predict and manage health risks associated with climate change.
NOTE: THE ABOVE-MENTIONED FINDINGS CAN BE USED AS FODDER POINTS IN MAINS EXAM.
World Meteorological Organization
- The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations.
- The WMO was established by the Convention of the World Meteorological Organization, signed 11 October 1947 and ratified on 23 March 1950.
- It is responsible for promoting international cooperation on atmospheric science, climatology, hydrology and geophysics.
- The WMO is made up of 193 countries and territories.
- WMO is Headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.
- WMO is governed by the World Meteorological Congress, composed of member states, which meets every four years to set policies and priorities.
- It facilitates the "free and unrestricted" exchange of data, information, and research between the respective meteorological and hydrological institutions of its members.
- It also collaborates with nongovernmental partners and other international organizations on matters related to environmental protection, climate change, resource management, and socioeconomic development.
- The annually published WMO Statement on the status of the World Climate provides details of global, regional and national temperatures and extreme weather events.
- It also provides information on long-term climate change indicators including atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases, sea level rise, and sea ice extent.
- The year 2016 was the hottest year on record, with many weather and climate extremes, according to the most recent WMO report.
Q. Addressing the climate-health nexus is essential for safeguarding the well-being of current and future generations. Elucidate.