World Meteorological Organization

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The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) is an intergovernmental organization with a membership of 189 Member States and Territories. It originated from the International Meteorological Organization (IMO), which was founded in 1873. Established in 1950, WMO became the specialised agency of the United Nations for meteorology (weather and climate), operational hydrology and related geophysical sciences. It has its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. The current president is Alexander Bedritsky and the current Secretary-General is Michel Jarraud.

In June 1977, in response to press reports predicting an event similar to the Little Ice Age, the World Meteorological Organization issued the following statement: "Since the climate has been so continuously variable due to natural causes in the past, it must be assumed that it will continue to vary."[1]

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The Organization

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations. It is the UN system's authoritative voice on the state and behavior of the Earth's atmosphere, its interaction with the oceans, the climate it produces and the resulting distribution of water resources.

WMO has a membership of 189 member states and territories (since 4 December 2009). Established in 1950, WMO became the specialized agency of the United Nations in 1951 for meteorology (weather and climate), operational hydrology and related geophysical sciences. It originated from the International Meteorological Organization (IMO), which was founded in 1873. It publishes the International Cloud Atlas, the international standard cloud atlas since 1896.

The WMO hierarchy:

  • The World Meteorological Congress determines the policy of WMO and meets every four years. Each Member country is represented by a Permanent Representative with WMO. The Permanent Representative should be the director of the National Meteorological or Hydrometeorological Service.
  • The Executive Council implements Congress decisions and meets once a year.
  • Six regional associations for addressing regional concerns:
    • Region I Africa
    • Region II Asia
    • Region III South America
    • Region IV North America, Central America and the Caribbean
    • Region V South-West Pacific
    • Region VI Europe
    • (Antarctica is outside the regions)
  • Eight technical commissions provide technical recommendations for WMO and the national services.
  • The secretariat headed by the Secretary-General coordinates the activities of WMO with a regular staff of some 250 employees.[2]

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