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World Meteorological Organization

Working together in weather, climate and water WMO

WMO and Biomass Burning

Liisa Jalkanen, Atmospheric Environment Research (AER) Division WMO Secretariat


1 www.wmo.int

World Meteorological Organization (WMO)

Independent technical UN agency, 189 Members

Secretariat in Geneva (staff 280)

Technical Departments
Observing and Information Systems (OBS) Climate and Water (CLW) Agricultural Meteorology Weather and Disaster Risk Reduction Services (WDS)

Research (RES) Atmospheric Environment Research Division (AER) Global Atmosphere Watch (GAW) Programme GURME
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Systematic long-term monitoring of atmospheric
chemical and physical parameters globally

Analysis and assessment

Development of predictive capability

(GURME and Sand and Dust Storm Warning System)
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GAW observations
Stratospheric Ozone Tropospheric Ozone Greenhouse Gases (CO2, CH4, N2O, CFCs) Reactive Gases (CO, VOC, NOy, SO2)

Precipitation Chemistry
Aerosols (chemical, physical, AOD)

UV Radiation
(Natural Radionuclides, Rn222, Be7, 14CO) Meteorological measurements also needed
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GAW Station Information System

GAWSIS Online - comprehensive information on all GAW stations
Database Search / Update Inventory / Audit
(Supported by Switzerland)


GAW publications available from:

http://www.wmo.int/pages/prog/arep/gaw/ gaw-reports.html


Need to consider all scales


Fires History
Expert Overview SE Asia 1996 PARTS Program to Address ASEAN Regional Transboundary smoke WMO WS on Regional Transboundary Smoke and Haze Singapore 1998 recommendations, incorporated into Health Guidelines for Vegetation Fire Events WHO/UNEP/WMO WMO/ ESCAP Project 2001-2003 Support to the Implementation of the
Regional Haze Action Plan of ASEAN Member Countries, objectives Improve monitoring of particles

Development and assessment of aerosol transport models in the ASEAN region (ASMC)
Promote coordination between institutions Network of countries and international organizations formed
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WMO/IUGG Collaboration: Aerosol Pollution Impact on Precipitation: A Scientific Review. Springer. Z. Levin, W.R Cotton (Eds.), 2009
UN Inter-Agency Task Force on Disaster Risk Reduction WG 4 on Wildland Fire: mitigation through early warning and local actions, transfer of technical knowledge and establishment of effective fire management networks

Currently UNISDR Wildland Fire Advisory Group Meetings held annually in GFMC, Freiburg, Germany Mainly fire management, planning for the Wildland Fire Conferences (held every 4 y, next 2015), guidelines for fire emergencies.
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WWRP Wildfire Weather Workshop 2003: Short range forecasting Smoke transport, Fire behavior Seasonal range forecasts Decision support systems Economic analysis of fire weather services

Ad Hoc WG on Fire Weather

World Climate Programme El Nino outlooks Possible disruption of normal rainfall and temperature patterns including extreme events, e.g. droughts increase in the duration and intensity of fire seasons
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Commission for Agricultural Meteorology

Applications of meteorology to agricultural cropping systems, forestry, fisheries, and agricultural land use and livestock management Development of agromet services of Members by transfer of knowledge and methodology and by providing advice on various subjects; Methods, procedures and techniques for the provision of meteorological services to agriculture (all sectors); Formulation of data requirements for agricultural purposes; Introduction of effective methods for disseminating agromet information, advice and warnings to agriculture by mass media; Meteorological aspects of drought and desertification.

CAgM and Forestry

Guide to Agricultural Meteorological Practices: Chapter 11 Applications of Meteorology to Forestry & Non-Forest Trees GOFC-GOLD Workshop on Requirements for Fire Early Warning Systems in Africa (cosponsored by WMO), Ghana (Nov 2007) International Workshop on Advances in Operational Weather Systems for Fire Danger Rating, Edmonton, Canada (July 2008) CAgM Report No. 99 Fire in Forests, Rangelands and Agricultural Systems (Jan 2006)


(1) traditional activities related to meteorological monitoring and forecasting (2) monitoring and surveillance functions, hot spot identification using satellite imageries, smoke trajectory and dispersion modelling, compiling monthly and seasonal climate prediction information, activities related to atmospheric chemistry observations (3) dissemination of information to environmental and other agencies Regional Specialized Meteorological Centres (RSMCs) provide analyses and forecasts, such as smoke trajectory forecasts, to assist in environmental emergency situations (ASMC Singapore, RSMC Melbourne)
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New activity focus, benefits of international cooperation

WMO 16th Congress requested GURME, with other WMO Programmes to revisit the issue of forest fires, possibly together with other dispersion studies, and include both research and operational aspects. Core GAW activity in fires: the use of GAW observations to detect the influence of fires on atmospheric chemistry, combine with modelling. Assist in strengthening regional monitoring efforts. Fits well in overarching GURME Tasks (GSP Addendum, GAW Rep 197) such as use of satellite data, improvement of AQ products for e.g. human health and agriculture sectors and improved AQF as an element of MHEWSs for integrated disaster risk management. Improved AQ and weather forecasting in fire impacted regions through incorporation of feedbacks.
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New activity focus, benefits of international cooperation

Better understanding of interconnections between vegetation cover, climate (e.g., climate/drought indexes) and fires for improved forecasts of fires, such as, and their consequences (landslides etc).
Improved management of smoke and haze (transboundary) pollution events through efforts directed at enhanced information exchange and coordination. Consider establishing Fire nodes and centres similar to the Sand and Dust Storm Warning Advisory and Assessment System SDS/WAS.



Collaboration critical for success!