The study of weather and its impact on human, animal and plant lives has always fascinated man. Scientists and researchers over the world are always on the lookout for clues towards better understanding and forecasting of weather systems for a more sustainable use of the resources at hand. Specialized and concerted efforts are imperative for the achievement of probing results.
The implications being global, the United Nations passed a convention on 23 March 1950 and created the World Meteorological Organization which became its specialized agency a year later. Since then World Meteorological Day is celebrated on that date every year on a particular theme. This year’s theme is “Polar Meteorology: Understanding global impacts” and is being upheld by the International Council of Science (ICSU).
Everybody is now aware, except those who don’t want to. The world is suffering from the phenomenon of global warming with the consequence that weather systems are behaving awkward. Cyclones have become more intense and hit areas where they seldom did. Studies and reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) indicate that during the last century the earth’s global temperature has risen by 0.6oC and it is forecast that the rise would be of the order of 1.4 to 5.8oC by the year 2100.
Observations have revealed considerable changes in the polar environment. The effects of the shrinking sea ice are yet to be evaluated, but it is certain that marine ecosystems and the Polar species will be in danger. Sea level rise is another concern for scientists who believe low lands might be washed away and some small islands might disappear in the long run.
We might not be living by 2100, but the next generation should have no reason to blame us for inaction. That’s why researchers from different spheres of specialization, meteorology, oceanography, hydrology, glaciology and others will be working together during the International Polar Year (IPY) 2007-2008 to carry out observations and collect crucial data from the earth’s Polar Regions. They believe this will provide useful information to enable them better comprehend the global impacts of climate change.
Let’s be optimistic and wish our scientists the best of luck.
Mauritian residing in Rodrigues, Amanoola Khayrattee (pen name Alfa King) is contributing writer and journalist to La Gazette Mag de l’océan indien and This Week News Mauritius.
Retired, former meteorological cadre, trade unionist and OSH consultant, Amanoola has written for in-house union and other journals, publications and magazines. He runs two blogs since 2007: “Alfa King Memories”, and “Le Journal d’Alfa King”. When he is not reading or writing, he is on a 10+ km daily hike in anticipation of his monthly trails.
Amanoola may be reached at [email protected].