WMO Calls Attention to Interaction between Weather Patterns, Climate and Air Quality

World Meteorological Day 2009

23 March 2009: Every year on 23 March, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the National Meteorological and Hydrological Services of its 188 members commemorate the 1950 entry into force of the Convention that created the Organization, which became a Specialized Agency of the UN a year later. The theme of World Meteorological Day 2009 is “Weather, climate and the air we breathe.”

In his message to mark the occasion, WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud explained that National Meteorological and Hydrological Services are collaborating in “collecting and assessing air-quality data and enhancing modeling capabilities that are essential for forecasting atmospheric pollution and for protecting communities against its health and economic impacts.” WMO has been actively involved in international efforts to assess the evolving atmosphere in terms of air pollutants such as ground-level ozone, smog, particulate matter, sulphur dioxide and carbon monoxide and dioxide, most of which have directly resulted from the industrial, urban and vehicular combustion of fossil fuels.

A special ceremony for World Meteorological Day 2009 will take place at WMO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. During the ceremony, Gregory R. Carmichael, Co-Director of the Center for Global and Regional Environment Research, Iowa City, US, will address the theme of “Globalization of air pollution”, and Maria Neira, Director of the Department of Public Health and Environment, World Health Organization, will give a presentation on “health effects of climate change.” [WMO Press Release] [World Meteorological Day Webpage]