March 23, 2020 marks the 60th anniversary of World Meteorological Day, with the theme of climate and water, which aims to gain further insight into the relationship between climate and water under the new situation, and be mindful of the significant impacts of climate phenomena like El Nino and La Nina and climate change incurred by human activity on water. Finalizing this theme has manifested that World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and its members are convinced that climate and water lie in the forefront of global objectives like sustainable development, climate change and disaster risk management; and urge the global community to management climate and water resources in a more coordinated and sustainable manner when confronted with a series of challenges like climate change and water resources shortage, water pollution, rainstorm and flooding.
In our planet, climate and water cycle interact with each other. The earth is suitable for human dwelling in that it possesses the most suitable temperature and sufficient liquid water.Driven by solar power, water is the active factor in the global climate system and a key factor in atmospheric circulation and hydrologic cycle. As time goes by, human has gained deeper insight into climate and water.
Water is most susceptible to the direct impact of climate change. Abundant observation data has shown that in the past 100 years, global climate has been notably warming and impacted water change in various spatial scales from the entire globe to different regions. Glaciers and snow in polar and mountainous regions are dwindling, with permafrost melting and rising sea level, as well as frequent water anomalies like flooding and drought. Against the backdrop of climate warming, water events has exerted influences on more wide-ranging fields. Water resources security, food security, ecological security, health safety, and energy security, as well as socio-economic development have been confronted with more severe challenges. China is among one of the regions in the world that are most susceptible to climate change. It has an uneven spatial and temporal distribution of water resources and mismatch between water and land resources. All those features have led to high frequency of flooding and drought in China and a pronounced conflict in water resources supply and demand.
Currently, people have adopted productive measures in terms of response to climate change, disaster risk reduction, and rational utilization of water resources. In the long run, meteorological departments of China have set up the largest integrated meteorological system in the world which has the widest coverage. Right now, China has air-ground-space borne integrated meteorological observation network which is composed of over 70 thousand ground observing stations, 216 radars, 7 in-orbital meteorological satellites; established refined and seamless forecasting system and realized the rolling update of minute-scale, hourly, daily, monthly, seasonal and yearly prediction products; forms a comprehensive service system with the most coverage of areas, the most inclusive mechanism and the most remarkable benefits, which has given play to the front line role in tackling major natural disasters like huge flooding and severe drought; harnessed the role of climate and water in ecological civilization construction and developed cloud and water resources, which has contributed China’s wisdom and plan to the global community to response to climate change and natural disaster prevention.
When faced with the subject of climate and water which has a vital bearing on human destiny, the whole society needs to have a wider engagement and carry out reasonable utilization of climate and water resources. Meteorological departments in the whole country should implement the new development concept, draw on advantages and ward off risks; consolidate the awareness of major risks prevention and reasonable utilization of resources; develop all-weather, all-sector, and whole-factor integrated meteorological observation, smart prediction with a focus on numerical weather prediction, smart perceptive, accurate, interactive, inclusive and sharing meteorological services; and strive for refined monitoring, accurate prediction, and elaborate services. Special attention should be paid to giving full play to the leading role of meteorology in natural disaster prevention like flooding and drought; reinforcing scientific innovation; deepening openness and collaboration; constructing meteorological disasters monitoring and forecasting system, early warning information dissemination system, and risk management system; improving cross-sector joint collaboration and highly efficient coordination mechanism of meteorological disaster prevention; and actively engaging in global climate governance, to shoulder the responsibility of a major country.(Mar.22)
Editor: Liu Shuqiao