Feeds

World Meteorological Organization says climate data is uncool

Weather wonks call for more frequent collation of climate baselines

Application security programs and practises

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means “decision-makers in climate-sensitive industries may be basing important decisions on information that may be out of date.”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? ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Just TWO climate committee MPs contradict IPCC: The two with SCIENCE degrees
'Greenhouse effect is real, but as for the rest of it ...'
BEST BATTERY EVER: All lithium, all the time, plus a dash of carbon nano-stuff
We have found the Holy Grail (of batteries) - boffins
Asteroid's DINO KILLING SPREE just bad luck – boffins
Sauricide WASN'T inevitable, reckon scientists
Flamewars in SPAAACE: cooler fires hint at energy efficiency
Experiment aboard ISS shows we should all chill out for cleaner engines
The Sun took a day off last week and made NO sunspots
Someone needs to get that lazy star cooking again before things get cold around here
Boffins discuss AI space program at hush-hush IARPA confab
IBM, MIT, plenty of others invited to fill Uncle Sam's spy toolchest, but where's Google?
Famous 'Dish' radio telescope to be emptied in budget crisis: CSIRO
Radio astronomy suffering to protect Square Kilometre Array
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.