World Meteorological Day - 23 March 2021
World Meteorological Day takes place every year on 23 March and commemorates the coming into force on 23 March 1950 of the Convention establishing the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO).
It showcases the essential contribution of National Meteorological and Hydrological Services to the safety and wellbeing of society and is celebrated with activities around the world.
The themes chosen for World Meteorological Day reflect topical weather, climate or water-related issues. Floods, extreme rainfall, droughts and melting glaciers and many of the major signs of climate change involve water.
The theme for 2021 is “The ocean, our climate and weather”.
The ocean, our climate and weather - celebrates the WMO’s focus in connecting the ocean, climate and weather within the Earth System. It also marks the launch of the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030).
The Decade galvanises efforts to gather ocean science, through innovative and transformative ideas, as the basis of information to support sustainable development. WMO, as the United Nations specialised agency for climate, weather and water, strives to support understanding the inextricable link between ocean, climate and weather. This helps understanding the world in which we live, including the impacts of climate change, and to help strengthen the ability to keep lives and property safe, reducing the risk of disaster and to maintain viable economies.
Covering 70% of the Earth’s surface, the ocean is a major driver of the world’s weather and climate. It also plays a central role in climate change. The ocean is a driver of the global economy, carrying more than 90% of world trade and sustaining the 40% of humanity that lives within 100 km of the coast. Recognising this, National Meteorological and Hydrological Services and researchers regularly monitor the ocean and how it is changing, modelling how it affects the atmosphere and delivering a wide variety of marine services, including supporting coastal management and Safety of Life at Sea.
The growing impacts of climate change are making ocean observations, research and services more critical than ever before.
Why World Meteorological Day is important?
- It helps us plan days
Without the data collected by the WMO, it would be impossible to get accurate daily weather forecasts. Most people plan their whole day, from how to dress to what to do around what the weatherman says.
- It tracks climate damage
The WMO is about more than just weather. They detect and monitor changes in climate. This can range from changing sea levels, fluctuations in temperature, and rising levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. This information is crucial to the understanding of the climate change crises.
- It warns us about natural disasters
Natural disasters are disastrous, but it would be much worse if we couldn’t track the storm for days before it strikes. Because of the WMO, we can predict huge storms with enough time for people to evacuate an area, or at least make the necessary storm preparations.