The criteria used by everyone from farmers to governments to predict normal weather patterns need to be updated more frequently to account for significant changes caused by climate change, the U.N.’s World Meteorological Organization said Wednesday.
The WMO's Commission for Climatology believes that rising temperatures and more frequent heat waves and heavy rains mean that existing criteria, based on climate averages from 1961 to 1990, are out of date.
The commission’s report highlighted growing concern among governments and businesses that climate change will disrupt not only the environment but also entire economies and nations. It comes just two months after a report from the Obama administration warned of dire consequences for every business sector and every region of the U.S. if climate change is not slowed.
"For water resources, agriculture and energy, the old averages no longer reflect the current realities," Omar Baddour, head of data management applications at the WMO, told Reuters.