Today, March 23, is World Meteorological Day. What is celebrated is an area of knowledge vital to our survival on planet Earth, as it is knowledge that increases our understanding of global atmospheric phenomena. In 2021, the celebrations are directed to the theme “Ocean, Climate and Weather”.
World Meteorological Day is also the 71st anniversary of the entry into force of the convention that established the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), created in 1950 as a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) for matters of meteorology and climate and, more recently , for hydrology and the environment.
WMO is no longer just a rapporteur for what is happening in the atmosphere. Concerned about the impacts of human activities on our future, WMO is alerting the population to the urgent need to preserve ecosystems and make a rational use of the planet Earth’s natural resources.
Therefore, in 2021, the eyes of meteorologists, and of all humanity, must turn to the oceans, considered our immense blue heart, which, in close connection with the Earth’s atmosphere, allow a better understanding of its behavior for the forecast of weather and climatic conditions.
Why the oceans?
There is no way to talk about the variability of atmospheric patterns without mentioning the oceans. Covering about 70% of the Earth’s surface, the ocean is considered by WMO as “the main engine of the world’s climate and weather”. After all, more than 90% of the extra heat trapped on Earth by humanity’s carbon emissions is stored in the ocean.
In addition, it is through the oceans that the world economy revolves, transporting more than 90% of all world trade, in addition to being the sole source of subsistence for 40% of the world population that lives up to 100 km from the coast.
It is by recognizing this importance that the meteorological and hydrological services of all nations and thousands of researchers constantly monitor the ocean and how its changes, over time, affect the atmosphere. Currently, the devastating effects of climate change make these ocean observations, research and services vital to humanity.
The theme of this World Meteorological Day – “The ocean, our climate and weather” – establishes a focus of knowledge in connecting these three categories in a single terrestrial system. It also marks the beginning of the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, which will run from 2021 to 2030, with the union of innovative ideas in support of sustainable development.