March 23rd is World Meteorological Day. It commemorates the day the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) was established, March 23, 1950.
Each year the WMO executive council comes up with a theme, and this year’s theme is “The Ocean, our climate and weather”.
According to the WMO website, this year’s theme focuses on the connection the ocean has with climate and weather.
The ocean covers approximately 70% of the Earth’s surface and plays an important role in our daily weather and climate. The ocean warms and cools more slowly than the atmosphere, so coastal areas tend to have less temperature extremes compared to places inland.
“Evaporation from the ocean, especially in the tropics, creates most rain clouds, influencing the location of wet and dry zones on land. The enormous amount of energy captured by the ocean creates the world’s most powerful and destructive storms and extreme events such as cyclones,” according to the WMO.
The theme also coincides with the start of the United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030). The Decade’s goal is to motivate efforts to gather more information about the ocean “through innovative and transformative ideas as the basis of information to support sustainable development,” according to the WMO.