The Future

The demand for weather, climate and water forecast information in support of decision-making is likely to rapidly increase in the coming years.

The generation and provision of these weather, climate and hydrological services has been revolutionized by supercomputers, satellite and remote sensing technology, smart mobile devices, continuing scientific advances, and international collaboration. A growing share in these innovations has come from the private sector.

With appropriate investment in science and technology, and through better Public-Private Engagement, the weather and climate enterprise will meet increasing demands for tailored and seamless weather and climate forecasts. Such improvements will provide significant value to all nations.  

Research bringing together the physical and social science communities is pivotal to understand the scale and pace of changes in our weather and climate, and in our water cycle and to help us become more resilient and to adapt. 

Science and innovation are also key tools to protect ocean health, and this is why 2021-2030 is the Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development. This decade will be the decisive period for realization of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Climate change threatens the achievement of many of these goals. 

The IPCC has declared that « it is now or never » to take drastic action. 

The IPCC projects that in the coming decades climate changes will increase in all regions – more intense heatwaves, longer warm seasons and shorter cold seasons. But it is not just about temperature – there will be changes to wetness and dryness, to winds, snow and ice, coastal areas and oceans.  

Climate change is intensifying the water cycle. This brings more intense rainfall and associated flooding, as well as more intense drought in many regions. Hence the need for urgent and integrated action on both water and climate and much better water monitoring and management to ensure that water is part of the climate solution and not only a problem.  

Without immediate and deep emissions’ reductions across all sectors, limiting global warming to 1.5°C is beyond reach, according to the IPCC latest report. The global temperature will stabilise when carbon dioxide emissions reach net zero. For 1.5°C (2.7°F), this means achieving net zero carbon dioxide emissions globally in the early 2050s; for 2°C (3.6°F), it is in the early 2070s. 

There are grounds for hope. All generations are uniting behind the challenge of climate change, with young people at the fore of Climate Action. 

Since 2010, there have been sustained decreases of up to 85% in the costs of solar and wind energy, and batteries. An increasing range of policies and laws have enhanced energy efficiency, reduced rates of deforestation and accelerated the deployment of renewable energy. The WMO community is working to improve weather and climate services for renewable energy. 

Cities and other urban areas also offer significant opportunities for emissions reductions.  These can be achieved through lower energy consumption (such as by creating compact, walkable cities), electrification of transport in combination with low-emission energy sources, and enhanced carbon uptake and storage using nature.  

Our action today will shape the future of the planet.