The Joint Commission for Oceanography and Marine Meteorology (JCOMM) of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC), meets in Yeosu, Republic of Korea, to consider progress and
priorities in strengthening our understanding of oceans through collective action. The session coincides with Expo 2012 Yeosu Korea, which has as its theme “The Living Ocean and Coast."
The oceans have long been recognized as a major component of the global climate system and their interaction with the atmosphere – for instance in so-called El Niño/La Niña events – has a major impact on weather patterns and the natural variability of our climate. Now more than ever, there is a need to increase our knowledge of the feedbacks between climate, ocean and changes induced by human activities.
The JCOMM meeting will discuss how to strengthen marine meteorological and oceanographic information and services, through improved data exchange and management, through enhanced observing systems – from satellites, data buoys, tide gauges and
observations from ships. JCOMM oversees global networks that feed publicly-available data in real time to research and modelling centres developing weather and climate information and services.
Disaster risk reduction on the oceans and in coastal zones is another main theme of the meeting.Recurrent loss of life and property is caused by storm surges and extreme waves associated with severe tropical and extra-tropical cyclones. The threat is more evident in heavily populated low-lying areas, and the risk multiplies with prospects of climate change and associated sea-level rise. JCOMM has focused on responding to the urgent need to help develop improved operational forecasting and warning capabilities for marine and coastal disasters like storm surges.
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