Saturday, September 5, 2009

Two thousand scientists and experts from 150 countries begin a march toward climate change sanity

Breaking News – By Paul K. Haeder

So, the decision makers establish a way to begin to codify the production, availability, delivery and application of science-based climate prediction services. In Geneva, more than 2,000 climate scientists, sectorical experts and other established this Global Framework for Climate Services. World Climate Conference-3 (WCC-3), 31 August to 4 September 2009, produced this declaration garnered from from more than 150 countries participating. This is big news -- - heads of State of Ethiopia, Monaco, Mozambique, Slovenia, Tajikistan, the Vice-Presidents of Comoros and the United Republic of Tanzania, the Premier of Niue, the Prime Ministers of Bangladesh, Cook Islands, the Vice-Premier of China, and more than 80 Ministers and other Senior Government Officials.

This conference got many things going related to climate change monitoring, planning, mitigation and collective organizing of resources -- a formalized system that ensures the availability of user-friendly products for all sectors to plan ahead in the face of changing climate conditions.

"The work to implement the Global Framework goes beyond WCC-3 and beyond climate negotiations in Copenhagen this December. Society will need information tools to adapt as the climate will continue to be variable and to change notwithstanding steps taken to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases."

"World Climate Conference-3 is a natural bridge for connecting science to the climate negotiations for Copenhagen," said Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations, who spoke at the WCC-3 High-Level Segment opening after a visit to the polar ice rim north of the Norwegian island of Svalbard. "Scientific knowledge must be the basis for global climate policy, both for mitigation and adaptation to inevitable climate impacts. The Global Framework for Climate Services is an important step toward strengthening the application of climate science in local, regional, national and international decision-making."

"The Framework gives us an instrument to better adapt on actual climate change," said H.E. Moritz Leuenberger, Federal Councillor, Head of Federal Department of the Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications, and twofold former President of the Swiss Confederation. The Framework "builds a bridge between the science, climate experts and users around the world and within as many as possible users in several socio-economic sectors," said Leuenberger, who co-chaired the WCC-3 High-level Segment opening.

"Climate change and variability are global phenomena which affect us all in different forms," said H.E. Armando Emílio Guebuza, President of Mozambique and co-chair of the High-level Segment. "The hea twaves and the floods developed countries experience demonstrate that no single country is immune to these phenomena. More importantly, the very fact that climate change and variability interfere with the Millennium Development Goals should urge us all to act today because tomorrow may be too late."

"The Global Framework for Climate Services aims to enhance climate observations and monitoring, transform that information into sector-specific products and applications, and disseminate those products widely," said Alexander Bedritsky, WMO President and Chair of the WCC-3 Expert Segment.

The 1, 500 scientists and sector experts who participated in the WCC-3 Expert Segment (31 August-2 September) supported the development of the proposed Global Framework and called for a strengthening of five essential elements:

  • The Global Climate Observing System and all its components, encouraging exchange and access to climate data

Based on performance reports of all GCOS component systems, national reports on systematic observation for climate, expert advice and an open review by the community, the Report provides an assessment of progress since 2004 in maintaining, strengthening, or otherwise facilitating global observations of the climate system for the purposes of the UNFCCC. It is based on the 131 Actions called for in the 2004 "GCOS Implementation Plan" (GCOS-92).

Also see:

The Earth Observing System (EOS) is a coordinated series of polar-orbiting and low inclination satellites for long-term global observations of the land surface, biosphere, solid Earth, atmosphere, and oceans. EOS is a major component of the Earth Science Division of NASA's Science Mission Directorate. EOS enables an improved understanding of the Earth as an integrated system. The EOS Project Science Office (EOSPSO) is committed to bringing program information and resources to program scientists and the general public alike.

  • The World Climate Research Program, underpinned by adequate computing resources and increased interaction with other global climate research initiatives

  • Climate services information systems taking advantage of existing national and international arrangements

  • Climate user interface mechanisms focused on building linkages and integrating information between the providers and users of climate services;

  • Efficient and enduring capacity building through education, training and strengthened outreach and communication.
Within 12 months of the task force being set up it will prepare a report that will include next steps for developing and implementing the Framework. The WMO Secretary-General will then circulate the report to WMO Members for consideration at the WMO Congress in 2011 with a view toward the Framework's implementation.

Sept. 3rd’s keynote address was by Rajendra Kumar Pachauri, Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and co-winner of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.

Basically, Pachauri laid out the realities associated with a 2 degrees Celsius target – that is, containing global temperature increase to no more than 2 degrees Celsius. Just through thermal expansion, sea-level rise is inevitable and undoubtedly will threaten millions of people in coastal areas and large deltas locations. He pointed out that in order to achieve the 2 degrees Celsius target, 2015 has to be the point where global greenhouse gas emissions peak, with a global commitment and policies and infrastructure that will push GGHE’s into a sharp decline.

"Given that the inertia in the system will result in climate change and its impacts, even if we reduced our emissions to zero today, the global community has to address the need for adaptation measures, particularly in the most vulnerable regions of the world", Pachauri said. More blogs on this soon.

For a full WCC-3 programme and more details, visit the WCC-3 Website:

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