Feeds

World Meteorological Organization says climate data is uncool

Weather wonks call for more frequent collation of climate baselines

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

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means “decision-makers in climate-sensitive industries may be basing important decisions on information that may be out of date.”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

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
GRAV WAVE DRAMA: 'Big Bang echo' may have been grit on the scanner – boffins
Exit Planet Dust on faster-than-light expansion of universe
Mine Bitcoins with PENCIL and PAPER
Forget Sudoku, crunch SHA-256 algos
SpaceX Dragon cargo truck flies 3D printer to ISS: Clawdown in 3, 2...
Craft berths at space station with supplies, experiments, toys
'This BITE MARK is a SMOKING GUN': Boffins probe ancient assault
Tooth embedded in thigh bone may tell who pulled the trigger
DOLPHINS SMELL MAGNETS – did we hear that right, boffins?
Xavier's School for Gifted Magnetotaceans
Big dinosaur wowed females with its ENORMOUS HOOTER
That's right, Doris, I've got biggest snout in the prehistoric world
Japanese volcano eruption reportedly leaves 31 people presumed dead
Hopes fade of finding survivors on Mount Ontake
That glass of water you just drank? It was OLDER than the SUN
One MEELLION years older. Some of it anyway
Canberra drone team dances a samba in Outback Challenge
CSIRO's 'missing bushwalker' found and watered
NASA rover Curiosity drills HOLE in MARS 'GOLF COURSE'
Joins 'traffic light' and perfect stony sphere on the Red Planet
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
The next step in data security
With recent increased privacy concerns and computers becoming more powerful, the chance of hackers being able to crack smaller-sized RSA keys increases.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
A strategic approach to identity relationship management
ForgeRock commissioned Forrester to evaluate companies’ IAM practices and requirements when it comes to customer-facing scenarios versus employee-facing ones.