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Christchurch – Today is world meteorological day which highlights concerns about the ocean, climate and weather.

When it comes to the weather and climate, most people think only about what is happening in the atmosphere. If the world ignores the ocean, a big piece of the picture is missing.

The ocean covers 70 percent of the Earth’s surface and is a major driver of the world’s weather and climate.

It also plays a central role in climate change. The ocean is a major driver of the global economy, carrying more than 90 percent of world trade and sustaining the 40 percent of humanity that lives within 100km of the coast.

Meteorological staff and researchers regularly monitor the ocean and how it is changing, modeling how it affects the atmosphere and delivering a wide variety of marine services, including supporting coastal management and safety of life at sea.

Today, the growing impacts of climate change are making ocean observations, research and services more critical than ever before. New Zealand is surrounded by the sea and the warming ocean temperatures is certainly on the radar of He Pou a Rangi, the NZ Climate Change Commission.

The world meteorological day also  marks the starting year of the United Nations decade of ocean science for sustainable development.

The decade galvanises efforts to gather ocean science through innovative and transformative ideas  – as the basis of information to support sustainable development.

The World Meteorological Organisation, as the United Nations’ agency for climate, weather and water, strives to support understanding of the inextricable link between ocean, climate and weather.