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LAHORE: Keeping in view the hazardous aspect, the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) has decided to get rid of mercury instruments once and for all, said focal person for Pakistan.

Shahid Abbas, talking to Business Recorder, said a massive upgradation plan is under consideration of the WMO which would start by the middle of 2023 and to be completed by 2040 globally. According to him, finalisation of the plan is underway nowadays and online meetings are taking place every now and then between the stakeholders.

Under the plan, he said, the world meteorological data would be shifted to a modern dashboard with an access to all the members of the organisation. Auto-generation and digitisation of the data is the top most priority of the organisation, especially to facilitate the countries being exposed to the climate changes.

Shahid said Pakistan is amongst the top 10 countries facing threat of climate change. Heavy floods out of monsoon rains have rang alarm bells and the WMO is ensuring to take Pakistan on board for future measures to deal with the phenomenon.

It may be noted that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Monday was nominated as the Vice-President of the United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC - also referred to as COP27. PM Shehbaz has received the honour ahead of the UN’s conference which focuses on climate change and finding solutions to deal with the crisis. It will be held in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt from November 6 to 18, 2022.

According to Shahid, uploading of missing data would be ensured under the digitisation plan and Pakistan Meteorological Department would be able to access both regional and global weather updates. He said it would also enhance capacity of the employees of the department as they would have to respond to the international inquiries on regular basis.

He said the WMO is also committed to updating the weather monitoring system of the country besides ensuring their maintenance without delay.

He added that digitisation of the met data would be helpful in assessing the regional trends of weather systems to timely warn the concerned authorities to avoid any untoward situation like the present one.

It may be noted that the World Bank has provided hefty funds to install 300 automatic weather stations at the tehsil level throughout Pakistan. Besides, JICA is also active in installing modern radars to equip the department with modern tools to deal with natural catastrophes in future.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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