The UNFCCC1 does not define ‘climate’ at all, while WMO2 used to define climate as: the average weather over a longer period of time. This website will provide information and ask, does science know what climate is?
1. United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change; 2.The World Meteorology Organisation

Reference links :


 Recently, April 2007, WMO evaluated its role in ‘Global Climate Change Issues’[1]


Here: Questions to the ‘Executive Summary’:

(Status, August 29, 2007 ; Alteration and changes reserved)

(Excerpt: ‘Executive Summary’).

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) is the UN system’s authoritative voice on the state and behaviour of the Earth’s atmosphere including its interaction with the oceans, the climate and water resources[2] .


    1. Which legal instrument establishes that WMO is the ‘authoritative voice’ within the UN system on the mentioned subjects?
    2. Is it correct to say that the ‘authoritative voice’ for the FCCC (Art. 7) is the “Conference of the Parties “[3], and WMO has, as other eligible entities, only a position as ‘observer’ (Art.7 (6))?
    3. What is WMO’s understanding of ‘climate’ when saying: ‘on the state and behaviour of the Earth’s atmosphere including its interaction with….the climate’? Has ‘climate’ a physical dimension?

(Excerpt): Its leading role in the coordination of international climate issues dates back to 1929 when the International Meteorological Organization established a Commission for Climatology.


  1. Does it shows competence in ‘climate issues’ when the organisation established in 1929 defined Climate, as the mean meteorological conditions over a period of 30 years, and the variations of the climate as the variations of these means (in Warsaw 1935).
  2. Has WMO ever withdrawn this definition?

(Excerpt): It was WMO that, in 1976, issued the first authoritative statement on the accumulation of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and the potential impacts on clima te.


  1. Why did WMO provided its first ‘authoritative statement’ not on the potential impact of CO2 on the weather?
  2. Was it impossible to realise back in 1976 that the CO2 issue would be difficult to explain as weather-change issue.

INFO: Definition on: Weather

__NASA[4] : Weather: Atmospheric condition at any given time or place.

__ NSIDC[5] : Weather is the day-to-day state of the atmosphere, and its short-term (minutes to weeks) variation. Popularly, weather is thought of as the combination of temperature, humidity, precipitation, cloudiness, visibility, and wind. We talk about the weather in terms of "What will it be like today?", "How hot is it right now?", and "When will that storm hit our section of the country?".

(Excerpt): As a result in 1988, WMO and UNEP jointly established the IPCC[6] , which has been critical in providing regular assessments of climate science, potential impact of climate change and of policy options, including mitigation and adaptation to climate variability and change.


  1. Is the word “established” not misleading, when UNEP expressed in May 1990 its appreciation to the WMO for co-sponsoring the IPCC[7] ?
  2. Has the organisational linkage between WMO and IPCC to secure legitimate scientific advice[8] seriously undermined independent science?

Furthermore, WMO in cooperation with UNEP, FAO, UNESCO and its IOC, and ICSU established the GCOS to ensure systematic observation for climate change studies.


  1. Why is the systematic observation called: Global Climate Observation System, although it is about observing the ‘weather’, which exists worldwide for many decades?

(Excerpt): WMO considers UNFCCC and other legal instruments such as the Kyoto Protocol to be the basis for future climate change debate and actions.


  1. Should the UNFCCC should have a future, if it has not a definition on climate, and the ultimate objective of the FCCC (Art. 2) is the: “stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system.”

(Excerpt – Remaining text of Executive Summary). Through a global partnership in capacity building, training, education and public awareness at all levels; WMO provides active support to the achievement of the UN MDGs6 such as eradicating extreme poverty and hunger and ensuring environmental sustainability. Scientific evidence strongly suggests that the consequences of climate change are grave and have an adverse effect on societies, particularly in developing countries. It is therefore essential that decision-makers are able to formulate their policies based on the latest unbiased, scientific data such as that provided by WMO and its Members - the National Meteorological and Hydrological Services. On the other hand, WMO’s joint programmes such as the WCRP play a crucial role in narrowing uncertainties, particularly in the determination of the rate of climate change, the impacts on regional scales where society and environment are most vulnerable and the occurrence of extremes and sea level rise.


[1] WORLD METEOROLOGICAL ORGANIZATION, POSITION PAPER: ‘WMO’s Role in Global Climate Change Issues with a focus on Development and Science based Decision Making”, April 2007, CCA-2, pages 13.

[2] Meteorology is usually understood (defined) as the interdisciplinary scientific study of the atmosphere that focuses on weather processes and forecasting. See:

[3] Secretariat of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change United Nations administrative and clerical staff assigned the responsibility of conducting the affairs of the UNFCCC. In 1996 the Secretariat moved from Geneva, Switzerland to Bonn, Germany.



[6] IPCC prepares assessments, reports and guidelines on: the science of climate change and its potential environmental, economic and social impacts; technological developments; possible national and international responses to climate change; and cross-cutting issues. It provides advice to the UNFCCC’s Conference of the Parties.

[7] UNEP, Governing Council: Sixteenth Session – Decisions-; Nairobi 20-31 May 1991, in: Environmental Policy and Law, 21/3/4, p.161 (173).

[8] Andersen, Steinar; 1992 „The Climate Negotiations: Lessons and Learning“, in: International Challenges, Vol. 12, No 2, 1992. p.34-43 (p.40)


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Year 2007

Essays from 1992 to 1997 on CLIMATE
by Dr. Arnd Bernaerts
“Legal Means for Understanding the Marine and climatic Change Issue”,
p.24 presented at the 28th Annual Conf. of the Law of the Sea Institute, Honolulu

“Conditions for the protection of the global climate”,
p.53 presented at GKSS Research Center Geesthacht

Black Sea-Model Case
--Paper, p.53, on
--Conf-Paper, p. 6

Four short texts
1994 Moscow

1994 LOS

1993 LOS

1992 Nature

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