ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia, April 4 (UPI) -- The United Nations' top meteorologist said Africa needs to play a larger role monitoring climate change and extreme weather events.
Speaking this week at an African Union conference of finance and economy ministers, World Meteorological Organization Secretary-General Michel Jarraud said Africa's National Meteorological and Hydrological Services must be strengthened, the WMO said in a release.
"African National Meteorological and Hydrological Services must be seen as actors of development," Jarraud told the conference. "They have an important role to play in regional and international action plans, particularly with regard to evaluating and monitoring the environment, preparing for natural hazards, agricultural production, water resources and, particularly, climate change."
The WMO said many African countries are the most susceptible to threats posed by drought, flooding, cyclones, dust storms and other extreme weather events. The agency said increased support of the National Meteorological and Hydrological Services would result in better weather forecasts, improved early warnings of imminent natural hazards and climate predictions.