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World Meteorological Organization

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The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) of which 179 States and 6 Territories are Members.

Headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, the WMO provides a wide range of weather information to people throughout the world, including farmers, mariners, aviators, and travelers. Its work has significant economic and social impact on the U.S.

WMO commenced operations as the successor to IMO in 1951 and, later that year, was established as a specialized agency of the United Nations by agreement between the United Nations and WMO.

The organization's aims are:

  • To facilitate worldwide cooperation in the establishment of networks of stations for making meteorological observations as well as hydrological and other geophysical observations related to meteorology, and to promote the establishment and maintenance of centers charged with the provision of meteorological and related services;
  • To promote the establishment and maintenance of systems for the rapid exchange of meteorological and related information;
  • To promote standardization of meteorological and related observations and to ensure the uniform publication of observations and statistics;
  • To further the application of meteorology to aviation, shipping, water problems, agriculture and other human activities;
  • To promote activities in operational hydrology and to further close co-operation between Meteorological and hydrological Services;
  • To encourage research and training in meteorology and, as appropriate, in related fields, and to assist in coordinating the international aspects of such research and training.

The WMO Member countries have a Commission for Basic Systems (CBS) meeting every two years, in which new code recommendated changes, telecommunication protocol recommendations, and Abbreviated Heading Table updates are approved. After approval these changes are entered into the WMO codes manual 306 and 386. The last meeting of CBS was held in Geneva, Switzerland.

The WMO helped create the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

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