World Meteorological Organization

Context: In the final report released by the expert group setup by WMO  highlighted a general negative association between temperature and Covid 19 transmission. The expert group was setup in 2020 to assess whether meteorological factors like heat and humidity had any role to play in transmission of Covid 19 virus.

About WMO

  • WMO is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) with 193 Member States and Territories.
  • It is the UN system’s authoritative voice on the state and behaviour 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.
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  • WMO originated from the International Meteorological Organization (IMO), which was founded in 1873 to facilitate the exchange of weather information across national borders.
  • Established in 1950, the WMO became a specialized agency of the United Nations in 1951. Its mandate is in the areas of meteorology (weather and climate), operational hydrology and related geophysical sciences.
  • It has fostered collaboration between the National Meteorological and Hydrological Services of its Members and furthered the application of meteorology in many areas.
  • In collaboration with other United Nations agencies and National Meteorological and Hydrological Services, WMO supports the implementation of a number of environmental conventions and is instrumental in providing advice and assessments to governments on related matters. These activities contribute towards ensuring the sustainable development and well-being of nations.

Governance Structure

  • Secretariat: The Secretariat, headquartered in Geneva, is headed by the Secretary-General.
  • In June 2019, the World Meteorological Congress approved a reform of the WMO governance and a vision for 2030 as well as other changes that called for an overhaul of the structure of the Secretariat. One of the most important changes implemented thus far is the creation of a Board of Directors.
  • WMO undertakes this task through the National Meteorological and Hydrological Services of its Members, which own and operate the systems for collecting, processing and analysing information from thousands of observation systems, including satellites and ships. It also ask Services to develop climate change detection tools and software to compute indices that reflect the best estimate of climate trends within the countries.
  • WMO issues Annual, Five-Year and Decadal Statements on the Status of the Global Climate. These statements document extreme weather and climate events in the regional context and provide a historical perspective on the variability and trends of climate, particularly surface temperatures that have occurred since the 19th century.
  • India is a member of WMO. It has been the member since 1949 and India’s permanent representative is the head Director General of Meteorology of the IMD.

WMO reports

  1. Green House Gas Bulletin 
  2. Status of World Climate

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