One of the Finnish priority areas that Ambassador Aleksi Härkönen, Chair of the Senior Arctic Officials, emphasizes as a success, is meteorological cooperation. “Already now we could say that we have achieved a breakthrough when the WMO and national meteorological institutes decided to actively contribute to meteorological cooperation in the Arctic.” In its Chairmanship program, Finland emphasized the need for enhancing both meteorological and oceanographic cooperation across the Arctic States. This would improve public safety, benefit international shipping and air traffic, and enhance Arctic climate science.
As the Arctic changes, weather patterns in lower latitudes are affected. The benefits of increased meteorological collaboration in the high North thus reach far beyond the Polar Circle. Not only does it improve monitoring and observation networks across the Arctic and fill geographical data gaps, it also facilitates effectively to manage and forecast risks resulting from extreme weather events.
In March 2018, the Finnish Meteorological Institute organized an Arctic Meteorological Summit in Levi, in Northern Finland. The aim was to gather different stakeholders to share knowledge and to develop alliances that would strengthen Arctic observations. Coming ahead of the Senior Arctic Officials’ meeting, the summit gathered climate experts, industry representatives, as well as representatives from the Arctic States and indigenous Permanent Participants. One of the biggest contributions of the summit was the dialogue it initiated between these different stakeholders.
Collaboration with the meteorological community was also enhanced on the Working Group level of the Arctic Council. AMAP’s Expert Group on climate continued to work on Arctic and mid-latitude weather connections and expanded its membership to include representatives of the meteorological community. “This will strengthen AMAP's work to provide the knowledge needed for adaptation and resilience”, Marianne Kroglund, AMAP’s Chair, stated at the Senior Arctic Officials’ meeting in Rovaniemi in late 2018.
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