28 Feb Collaborating for Resilience and Prosperity
Global Opportunity 2015 | Met Office
The changing climate is adding to the pressures on our fragile planet and increasing the risk of extreme and dangerous weather. Floods, droughts and storms are putting pressures on lives and livelihoods, agriculture production and economic performance
Environmental risks are intensified by growth in population, urbanisation and our reliance on interconnected and vulnerable technologies – making accurate hydrometeorological information essential.
There is a growing recognition that the reality of climate change requires services that help people around the world adapt to the changing environment and mitigate its impacts.
No individual, organisation or nation can address this alone – only by bringing together skills and expertise from a wide range of disciplines and perspectives can this challenge be overcome.
The Met Office, the United Kingdom’s national weather service and global centre of excellence in weather and climate science, is already working with a large network of partners around the world in collaboration and knowledge sharing.
How can communities, governments, industries, businesses and national meteorological and hydrological services around the world become more resilient to the effects of the changing weather and climate and extremes? The Met Office believes the answer is to combine the latest scientific knowledge with advances in technology and local understanding.
Supporting sustainable development
The Met Office has a strong track record in supporting countries around the world to deliver effective weather and climate services.
Met Office International Development services range from institutional strengthening and capacity development, user engagement and service development to the application of weather and climate models.
These services are essential in dealing with the impacts associated with changing weather and climate variability and extremes. They enable nations to be better prepared and help protect critical national infrastructure, well-being, resilience and prospects for growth.
Drawing on scientific and operational strengths, experts at the Met Office work with partners such as national hydrological and meteorological services, non-governmental organisations and national governments, to offer practical advice and specialist weather and climate consultancy services.
One example of this collaborative work is enhancing tropical cyclone and heavy rainfall forecasting with the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Service Administration (PAGASA).
As Julian Menadue, Senior International Development Manager at the Met Office explains: “Typhoons are one of the most dangerous natural hazards to people. They can cause considerable loss of life and damage to property, as we saw with Typhoon Haiyan in 2013.
“Following Haiyan we have been working closely with PAGASA to help enhance their scientific and technological capabilities. Together we have created a complete modelling, forecast, guidance and impacts service for the Philippines.
“When Typhoon Hagupit reached land in December 2014, many lives were saved as a result of improved weather warnings and forecast information as well as consistent communication of the weather event to the Philippine Government.
A key part of this project was a Severe Weather Events training programme for PAGASA, civil defence and media delegates.’’
Training from the Met Office College
Another example of how the Met Office is working with people around the world to manage the impacts of weather and climate is the Met Office College. The College has provided meteorological tuition for over 75 years and has earned a reputation for world-leading training.
Flexible as well as experienced, the College offers training anywhere in the world, including its dedicated training facilities at the Met Office head office in the UK.
Topics range from professional weather forecaster and observer training, which conform to World Meteorological Organization guidelines, to short courses that help people better understand and interpret weather information or recognise the likely impacts of climate change.
Scheduled courses are provided as well as bespoke training, as Sally Wolkowski, Head of the Met Office College, describes: “Our trainers are experienced meteorologists and climate scientists so can provide the best possible advice, tuition and support.
The training team has extensive experience of delivering bespoke training projects all over the world including Nigeria, South Korea, The Gambia, Rwanda and Brazil.
“We train a wide range of people from around the world, including those from meteorological service providers and research bodies to public sector and industry delegates.
We have delivered training in a range of non-standard locations including the galley of an icebreaker moored in a Finnish fjord and an oil rig in Trogir, Croatia.”
Services to industry
With forecasting capability ranging from the seabed to the top of the atmosphere and right across the globe, the Met Office supports a variety of industries, from insurance to renewable energy.
Accurate and reliable weather intelligence enables businesses to operate safely and efficiently. For example, around the world, airlines are estimated to save £2.7 billion a year by using Met Office forecasts.
Providing services to the marine industry for over 150 years, the Met Office has a Marine Centre of Excellence at Aberdeen in the UK, which has worldwide capability.
With in-depth understanding of how weather impacts the marine industry, the Met Office provides expert consultancy and services to support decision making through all phases of offshore operations.
This helps businesses around the world to plan, construct, operate, maintain and decommission effectively, safely and profitably. Offshore consultancy services include bespoke analyses, studies and opinion work.
This might incorporate guidance on capturing and using metocean data, mapping marine climate, oil-spill modelling, regional affects of sea-level rise, or shifting seabed temperatures for subsea pipelines.
Expert witness services are also provided for legal or insurance cases. Through a long involvement with the oil and gas industry, and by gaining local knowledge through collaboration in different countries, the Met Office continually transforms its services.
For example, a new collaboration between the Met Office and NiMet, the Nigerian Meteorological Agency, has made metocean weather products and services available to the Nigerian offshore oil and gas industry.
The alliance draws on the Met Office’s extensive meteorological, training and commercial experience, as well as NiMet’s national meteorological archive and unrivalled local knowledge.
Through the partnership the Met Office and NiMet are able to provide the best possible service, which demonstrates the Met Office’s commitment to providing relevant high quality products and services to customers anywhere in the world.
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