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WMO president outlines strategic perspectives on new era for weather satellites

A top-level World Meteorological Organization (WMO) delegation has given its strategic perspectives on a new era for environmental satellites as part of a keynote speech at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Satellite Conference, held in New York on July 17-20, 2017.

The speech focused on the latest satellite developments for weather forecasting, disaster risk reduction and climate monitoring, including GOES-16, which is the most advanced weather satellite developed in the USA.

David Grimes, WMO president, said, “Satellite Earth observation is critical to inform our understanding and actions with respect to our environment, climate and weather, and to meet our global commitments on climate change and sustainable development.

“We have a responsibility to use the enormous potential of Earth observations to become more resilient through strengthened, coordinated, comprehensive and sustained monitoring of Earth’s hydrosphere, atmosphere, cryosphere, biosphere and landscape changes. While the future of satellite Earth observations is exciting, it is not without its challenges.”

From a WMO perspective, Grimes stressed the need to find a satellite funding model that benefits from private sector innovation, while respecting resolutions on free and open data, especially for predicting extreme weather events in developing countries.

Elena Manaenkova, deputy secretary-general, WMO, outlined activities to coordinate satellite observing systems, orbits and instruments for the WMO Integrated Global Observing System (WIGOS), and to develop the architecture for climate monitoring from space.

“WMO’s support and training activities are designed to ensure that satellite users are confident and well prepared to maximize the potential of the new generation of satellites in improving weather forecasts; preventing weather, water and climate-related disasters; and monitoring environmental change,” Manaenkova said. - July 2017

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