IRDR discusses progress with WMO Working Group on Societal and Economic Research Applications of WWRP

In 2012, IRDR and the World Weather Research Programme (WWRP) of WMO signed a working arrangement to jointly support the activities of the Working Group on Societal and Economic Research and Applications (WG SERA) of the WWRP for which the research priorities include:

  • Estimation of the societal (including economic) value of weather and disaster risk reduction information;
  • Understanding and improving the use of weather-related hazard information in decision making;
  • Understanding and improving the communication of weather-related hazard information and forecast uncertainty;
  • Development of user-relevant verification methods; and
  • Development of decision support systems and tools.

In the past, the SERA Working Group had been co-chaired by representatives from both IRDR and WWRP. More recently, the WG activities had slowed down, and this meeting, held in conjunction with the World Weather Open Science Conference in Montreal, Canada, on 21 August 2014, was meant to reconnect the WG SERA to three main WMO WWRP programmes, HiWeather (High Impact Weather Forecasting), S2S (Subseasonal to seasonal predictions) and PPP (Polar prediction project). IRDR was represented by a delegate from GNS, whereas the regular representative is David Johnston.

The meeting reviewed the funding situation: currently no dedicated funding is made available from WMO WWRP for WG SERA. In the similar vein, also the proposed main projects are largely coordination projects, without own funding of their own.

The main challenge for the three projects discussed is the apparent inability to connect with social scientists. It was suggested that IRDR might provide such links, due to its more interdisciplinary scientific community.