The WMO Executive Council, which is currently in virtual session until June 24, has approved a new unified data policy to meet increasing demand for the free exchange of observational data needed to deliver better weather- and climate-related services. The milestone decision must now be endorsed by congress in November.
According to the WMO, during the past few decades there has been explosive growth in the demand for weather, climate and water monitoring and prediction data to support essential services needed by all sectors of society, as they face issues such as climate change, increasing frequency and impact of extreme weather, and implications for food security.
On its website, the WMO states, “The free and unrestricted exchange of observational data from all parts of the world and of other data products among all WMO Members must be updated and strengthened to accommodate this growing demand. As the responsibilities of the national meteorological and hydrological services (NMHSs) continue to expand, a growing list of application areas beyond the traditional weather, climate and water activities need to be supported by WMO observing, data exchange and modelling systems. WMO data policy must therefore evolve to accommodate areas such as atmospheric composition, oceans, cryosphere and space weather.”
The new data policy update will help the WMO community strengthen and better sustain monitoring and prediction of all Earth-system components. WMO hopes that it will lead to additional exchange of all types of environmental data, which in turn will enable all WMO members to deliver better, more accurate and timely weather- and climate-related services.