Oystein Hov: meteorological services should be effectively integrated with scientific research

17-05-2018Source:China Meteorological News Press

Recently, Oystein Hov, President of the Commission for Atmospheric Sciences, World Meteorological Organization (WMO), delivered a report entitled Five priorities for weather and climate research for healthy cities in Beijing Municipal Meteorological Service. The report deliberated on the fact that urban meteorological disastrous events were mounting year on year in the world. WMO is focused on integrated urban weather, environmental, and climate services and set up specific projects. On this occasion, the reporter from China Meteorological News Press interviewed him on science, research and services.

Reporter:Can you share your views on China’s meteorological services, especially here in Beijing?

Oystein Hov: Actually, it is important to know the users and have a deep understanding of their demands. To my knowledge, there is good contact between water, meteorology, environment sector in China. Actually, this signifies that the grounds have been prepared for further enhancing China’s services in these fields.

Reporter: Besides data application, can you share more experience of Norway in meteorological research and services?

Oystein Hov: I would like to emphasis the concept that Science for service is not something that you apply; it is something that we need to engage with. It is of vital significance. Traditionally, scientists are just like being in the ivory tower, handing over their publications and hoping someone will read it. This will not work its magic right now. We need to be more engaged and have more understanding of the consumers.

Reporter: Can you elaborate on Integrated Urban Weather Environment and Climate Services (IUWECS)?

Oystein Hov: WMO is carrying out this work. This requires urban meteorologists, and environmental people and urban hydrologists to speak together. It requires operational people to speak to the researchers and bring in user-perspective. But this is not necessarily what WMO excels at. WMO is more of a disciplinary organization. Sometimes, operation and research is disengaged. We need to enable all actors to pull resources together for the greater good and make them interactive with each other in a good manner.

Reporter: What do you think of the 1.5 Celsius Degree Objective?

Oystein Hov: I hold the view that 1.5 Celsius degree objective may be weak. Actually, realizing it calls for dramatic changes, especially in terms of energy use. Admittedly, fossil fuel emissions should be largely controlled while different planning has to be made. Concerted efforts should be made among different actors, and they should be large-scale. For instance, breakthrough technologies should be further developed in large sectors. But concerning the status quo, this objective seems to be out of the question.

Reporter: How can cities strive to be more of a “hazard-free” one?

Oystein Hov: for instance, cities can do something to address water issues and beef up related collaboration. Air quality issue is also a case in point. Actually, the good news is that some technologies are in place now, what we need is to implement them in certain areas. Services and research should be effectively combined. If certain sectors or disciplines only think of themselves, then it will not get anywhere.

Meteorology serves as a crucial component of planning and evolution of society. Weather, climate and water should be well integrated into the planning process and minimize emissions and risks. Satellites and urban infrastructure can be further harnessed to keep risk factors as small as possible. It will pay off in the long run. But it requires that people think together.(May. 17)

Editor: Zhang Yong