UN announces global early warning system for extreme weather events

The World Meteorological Organization will present in November, at COP27, a detailed plan to cover even the 30% of the world’s population who cannot count on any warning system against floods, droughts, heat waves, etc.

Over the next five years, the entire world population will be protected by a global early warning system against floods, tsunamis, droughts and heat waves.

The mechanism will cover the gaps which, to date, leave more than 2,500 million people exposed to extreme weather events. This is the ambitious and necessary project announced yesterday by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the value of which is estimated at around 1,500 million dollars. The UN body will present a detailed plan in November, during COP27 in Egypt.

Human-caused climate disturbances harm all regions. The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change details the suffering that is already taking place. Any increase in global warming will further increase the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events. We need to invest equally in adaptation and resilience. This includes information that allows us to anticipate storms, heat waves, floods and droughts.

Antonio Guterres, UN Secretary General.

According to statistics, for 50 years there has been at least one climate catastrophe every day. But the frequency and intensity of extreme events have changed a lot: compared to 1970, there are now five times more extreme weather events.

Early warning systems make a difference compared to previous decades. Thanks to them, many more lives can be saved than before, despite the multiplication and intensification of extreme events. It is the poorest countries that bear the brunt of climate disasters: 60% of Africans are not protected, as are most of the inhabitants of micro-island states and the least developed countries.

How do early warning systems work?

Real-time monitoring of meteorological and climatic conditions makes it possible to predict future phenomena, to assess their intensity and their evolution over time and thus to formulate hypotheses on the impact they may have on a specific territory.

In addition to the “predictive” part, these systems incorporate emergency response plans for local authorities and communities.

It is a dynamic section, which is updated based on experiences from other parts of the world in similar situations.

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