Feeds

World Meteorological Organization says climate data is uncool

Weather wonks call for more frequent collation of climate baselines

Intelligent flash storage arrays

The World Meteorological Organization's Commission for Climatology has called for governments to refresh their “climate normals” more often.

Climate normals are thirty-year chunks of weather observations that are used as baselines for comparison with more recent events. The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) says the data most commonly used today covers 1961 to 1990.

The WMO says that data isn't optimal because “rising atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases are changing the Earth’s climate much faster than before.”

The statement doesn't say where those greenhouse gases are coming from, but does say relying on old data means “decision-makers in climate-sensitive industries may be basing important decisions on information that may be out of date.”

The organization's preferred method to create better data is twofold. For starters, it wants all nations to quickly adopt a climate normal spanning 1981 to 2010, which some countries have already decided to do of their own accord. The second initiative it recommends is updating climate normals every ten years, “so that the 30-year climate normal to be used in the 2020s would be 1991-2020.”

“This approach would satisfy modern needs for current information and standardize weather and climate information and forecasts around the world,” the organization says, adding that updating climate normals more often will also make it easier to put modern technology to work on analysis of climate data. More data, more often, also offers the chance to tap the increasing amounts of data gathered by the planet's proliferating weather monitoring stations.

The proposal won't junk 1961-1990 data, which the WMO advocates retaining “as the base period for monitoring and assessing long-term climate variability and change … over the course of this century and beyond.”

The ideas outlined above were discussed over the last week at a meeting of the Commission for Climatology and condensed into a technical regulation titled “Calculating Climatological Standard Normals Every 10 Years”. That regulation will be debated at the World Meteorological Congress, a The Congress, the WMO's governing body, for three weeks from 25 May 2015.

Maybe the WMO can figure out where the greenhouse gases are coming from before then? ®

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Boffins who stare at goats: I do believe they’re SHRINKING
Alpine chamois being squashed by global warming
What's that STINK? Rosetta probe shoves nose under comet's tail
Rotten eggs, horse dung and almonds – yuck
Comet Siding Spring revealed as flying molehill
Hiding from this space pimple isn't going to do humanity's reputation any good
Experts brand LOHAN's squeaky-clean box
Phytosanitary treatment renders Vulture 2 crate fit for export
LONG ARM of the SAUR: Brachially gifted dino bone conundrum solved
Deinocheirus mirificus was a bit of a knuckle dragger
MARS NEEDS WOMEN, claims NASA pseudo 'naut: They eat less
'Some might find this idea offensive' boffin admits
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.