By Raza Hasnain Naqvi
Today, March 23 is World Meteorological Day. The day is celebrated to remember the year 1950 when the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) was created.
WMO is the specialised agency of the United Nations for all matters related to meteorology (weather and climate), operational hydrology and related geophysical sciences. It has its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland.
This organisation tells the world about the behaviour of the Earth’s atmosphere, how it interacts with oceans, state of Earth’s climate and the manner in which water resources are distributed.
This year, the theme of World Meteorological Day is ‘Weather and Climate: Engaging Youth’. The objective is that young minds should be encouraged to learn more about the Earth’s weather and climate system, so that they can find ways to nurture it for a long time.
Much scientific technology has been applied in understanding and forecasting the Earth’s weather and climate. Many more such technological gadgetry and processes are being experimented with on a daily basis so that humans may come to terms with nature.
Since youth and their developing minds are most in tune towards change for the better, so it was felt that engaging them would be the best way to make progress towards a healthier and happier planet. All efforts that harm weather, climate and water systems on the planet need to be curtailed, seems to be the message that WMO has encouraged the youth to understand with their 2014 theme for World Meteorological Day.
* Thunder is one of nature’s loudest sounds. A roll of thunder can be up to 120 decibels, which is louder than a train speeding past.
* The state of Oklahoma in the USA gets more tornadoes per square kilometre than any other region in the world.
* Average global temperatures increased by about 1 degree Celsius over the 20th century.
* 97% of climate experts agree humans are causing global warming.
* In the last 35 years of global warming, sun and climate have been going in opposite directions.
* 500 million litres of rain can fall in a single thunderstorm.
* If all the ice in the Antarctic melted, the world’s oceans would rise by nearly 67m (220 feet), or the height of a 20-storey building.
* Weather satellites float high above the Earth. Some are up to 22,000 miles up from the ground, floating in space.
* A bolt of lightning can contain enough energy to power a light bulb for three months.
* The Sun is about 91 million miles away from the earth. Sunlight leaving the Sun’s surface takes around eight minutes to reach the earth.
Parting Question: When days are designated for a particular cause, the thought behind it is that awareness would open doors to solutions. On World Meteorological Day and till a few days later, will you take out some time to look at nature and even look upwards at the blue sky and give thanks for the priceless blessings that Mother Earth bestows on us for our survival?
Raza likes to share snippets of his life experiences and observations through his writings. This blogpost is the Day-10 post of his 15-day trial of daily blogging. Besides his social media footprints on twitter, facebook, instagram and Google+, he can also be reached on his email: bylineraza[at]gmail[dot]com
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