The WMO is the United Nations’ specialised agency for meteorology (weather and climate), operational hydrology and related geophysical sciences. It has more than 191 Member States and Territories.
As a specialised agency of the United Nations, the WMO is dedicated to international cooperation and coordination on the state and behaviour of the Earth’s atmosphere, its interaction with land and the oceans, the weather and climate it produces, and the resulting distribution of water resources.
EUMETSAT is contributing to and fulfils several of the WMO’s objectives and activities. Cooperation with the WMO dates back to the origins of EUMETSAT and the WMO is explicitly mentioned in the EUMETSAT Convention. In pursuit of its primary objective of establishing, maintaining and operationally exploiting European systems to monitor weather and climate from space, EUMETSAT takes into account as far as possible the recommendations made by the WMO. EUMETSAT’s activities contribute to a number of WMO programmes, its regional associations (Europe and Africa in particular), its Commission for Basic Systems, the Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS, GCOS, WCRP, etc) as well as some of the WMO co-sponsored programmes related to oceanography (such as GOOS/GTOS and JCOMM). EUMETSAT is granted observer status at WMO Executive Council and Congress meetings, and participates in WMO expert and task teams.
WMO Space Programme
The WMO Space Programme coordinates satellite activities across all WMO programmes to promote the availability and utilisation of satellite data and build related capacity for weather, climate, water and related applications for all Members. The overall goal is to achieve maximum benefit from Earth observation satellites for WMO applications.
Its main objectives are:
- to develop the integrated space-based observing system component of the WMO Integrated Global Observing System (WIGOS), involving operational (like EUMETSAT) and research and development environmental satellites;
- to enhance accessibility of current and next-generation satellite data and products, and respond to user needs;
- to promote data exchange through common standards and the WMO Information System (WIS);
- to stimulate coordinated data processing with traceable quality;
- to raise awareness of satellite capabilities and promote education with a focus on developing countries so that Members may benefit from these and other technological innovations; and
- to coordinate the establishment and further development of space weather monitoring by improving warnings and preparedness for space weather hazards.
EUMETSAT’s involvement in WMO Space Programme initiatives includes:
- EUMETSAT satellites are a component of the space segment of the WMO Integrated Global Observing System (WIGOS) of the WMO World Weather Watch, and EUMETSAT is involved in corresponding training and data access activities to facilitate the use of and access to satellite data;
- EUMETSAT takes into account WMO requirements reflecting the needs of Regional Association I (Africa). In addition, EUMETSAT is supporting RA-VI (Europe) countries which are not EUMETSAT Member or Cooperating States;
- EUMETSAT contributes to the Global Climate Observation System (GCOS) which is a programme co-sponsored by the WMO;
- EUMETSAT participates in several expert and task teams within the WMO.
Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS)
EUMETSAT is supporting the WMO with the development and implementation of the Global Framework for Climate Services (GFCS). The GFCS provides a worldwide mechanism for coordinated actions to enhance the quality, quantity and application of climate services. The main objective of the GFCS is to “enable better management of the risks of climate variability and change and adaptation to climate change, through the development and incorporation of science-based climate information and prediction into planning, policy and practice on the global, regional and national scale”.
In support of the GFCS, EUMETSAT participates in the CEOS-CGMS Working Group on Climate. This group’s main tasks are:
- updating and verification of the ECV Inventory entries;
- performance of a gap analysis on the updated ECV Inventory;
- generation of a coordinated action plan.
EUMETSAT is chairing this working group as of November 2017 for a 2-year period and with the support of the CEOS and CGMS agencies.
For more information on EUMETSAT climate monitoring activities, see here.
EUMETSAT also supports capacity-building initiatives in developing countries in order to ensure that regional climate centres have access to climate data records and provides specific training on climate data produced at EUMETSAT or by the CM SAF.