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The edge of crisis: Dust and sand storms

by Enric Terradellas last modified Jan 19, 2016 12:44 PM

At the 12th session of the Conference of the Parties of the U.N. Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), held in Ankara in October 2015, the SDS-WAS Regional Center for Northern africa, Middle East and Europe has participated in the side event “The Edge of Crisis: Dust and Sand Storms".

Deon Terblanche, Director of the WMO Atmospheric Research and Environment Branch, presented WMO's Sand and Dust Storm Warning Advisory and Assessment System, SDS-WAS, which could become part of a wider-UN-based system to better manage this phenomenon and its impacts.

Over the past 10 years, SDS-WAS fostered global research and cooperation on sand and dust storm related matters, in order to improve forecasts and warnings especially given the impacts on health, agriculture, transport and other sectors of the economy. WMO’s activities focus mainly on the understanding of sand and dust storm processes, its modelling and the prediction of such events to improve early warning services.

Enric Terradellas, Technical Director of this SDS-WAS Regional Center, discussed about the transition from R&D to operational dust forecasts. He presented the Barcelona Dust Forecast Centre, which became an operational dust prediction centre in 2014, with responsibility for Europe, the Middle East and North Africa, where dust storms are closely interlinked with desertification.

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