Advancing Climate Action Through Early Warning Systems and Adaptation

Advancing Climate Action Through Early Warning Systems and Adaptation

23 Mar 2024

Bangkok, Thailand

Senaka Basnayake, Niladri Gupta, Susantha Jayasinghe,

Climate Resilience

Screenshot of Decision Support System for Impact-based Forecast and Warning in Vietnam (

Meteorology plays a pivotal role in our daily lives, influencing sectors from agriculture, water and transport to disaster management and environmental protection. The theme for World Meteorological Day 2024, "At the Frontline of Climate Action," underscores the critical importance of meteorological services in the global fight against climate change. To guide effective climate action there is a pressing need for accurate weather forecasting, climate monitoring, and research. By focusing on the frontline role of meteorology, the theme brings to light how indispensable these services are in safeguarding lives, livelihoods, and ecosystems against the backdrop of an increasingly unpredictable climate. If we delve deeper into the theme through the lens of climate change adaptation and the pivotal establishment of early warning systems, these systems are not just about predicting weather events but are crucial for preparing societies to withstand and bounce back from the impacts of climate change.

Meteorological services are the backbone of effective climate action. They provide the data and insights necessary for understanding climate patterns, predicting weather events, and making informed decisions to mitigate and adapt to climate change. This relationship is symbiotic, with advances in climate science feeding back into meteorology, enhancing predictive models and strategies for managing climate-related risks.

Asian Disaster Preparedness Center through its projects and programs has been in the forefront to promote Early Warning Systems as a cornerstone of effective climate action strategies in Asia and the Pacific region. With UN Secretary General’s initiative of “Early Warning for All” it has become more imperative that EW4All and Climate Action has to go hand in hand to enable individuals, communities, and governments to prepare and respond adequately, thereby reducing the potential harm to lives, livelihoods, and assets.

Predicting Extreme Weather: Climate change has led to more frequent and severe weather events. Advanced early warning systems utilize cutting-edge technology and modeling to forecast extreme weather with higher accuracy, offering precious time for preparation and mitigation. ADPC as a Meteorological Services and Systems Integrator is supporting the Bangladesh Meteorological Department (BMD) to enhance their capability to forecast extreme weather with higher accuracy and with a considerable lead time. ADPC has supported establishment of state-of the art Meteorological Information and Communication Station comprising of High-Performance Computing System, Forecast Visualization and Climate Data Management System. The systems are capable of running enhanced numerical weather prediction and climate models to strengthen BMD’s prediction capability of extreme weather events. Similar initiatives in the past has also contributed to enhanced capacity of NHMS’s in Vietnam ad Myanmar.

Informing Climate Adaptation: Beyond forecasting, early warning systems contribute valuable data for long-term climate adaptation planning. Understanding the trends and patterns of climate variability allows for the development of resilient infrastructures, agricultural practices, and water resource management. ADPC through it recent programs like Urban Resilience to Climate Extremes in Southeast Asia, Assessing the capacities, gaps, and needs of National Meteorological and Hydrological Services (NMHSs) and their national (multi-hazard) early warning systems ((MHEWS) in Pacific Island, Capacity Assessment of Impact Based Forecasting in Cambodia and Lao PDR, Climate Adaptation and Resilience for South Asia, SERVIR program are contributing significantly to enhance to the country’s capacity to predict and respond to climate-related hazards.

Empowering Communities: The theme of World Water Day 2024 "Leveraging Water for Peace" go hand in hand with the World Meteorological Day 2024 theme "At the frontline of Climate Action" where community-based early warning systems, tailored to local needs and languages, empower vulnerable communities to take proactive measures against transboundary floods as well as use of shared resources during times of water scarcity for effective climate change adaptation. International collaboration is crucial as is sharing knowledge, data, and technologies across borders. It can significantly enhance the global capacity to predict and respond to climate-related hazards especially floods and droughts which are increasing in frequency and intensity. The WMO’s State of Global Climate Report 2023 released on 19th March 2024 clearly states that severe weather and climate events have had significant socio-economic effects across all continents, involving major flooding, hurricanes, extreme temperatures and droughts, and related wildfires. ADPC through its projects and programs have been striving to facilitate transboundary co-operation ensuring that advancements in early warning systems benefit all nations, especially those most vulnerable to climate change.

Empowering the communities in Nepal and India through drills as part of Community-based Transboundary Early Warning System

ADPC has been promoting the vital role of early warning systems in climate change adaptation in Asia and the Pacific region. These systems are not just about predicting weather; they're about saving lives, protecting livelihoods, and preparing for a future where resilience against climate change is not just necessary but imperative. These systems are in the Frontline for Climate Action and ADPC is committed to strengthen the efforts of the global initiatives.