The need for international co-operation in meteorology and related areas has been long recognised by scientists, because the atmosphere respects neither political nor geographical boundaries. The prediction of weather and climate for any part of the globe depends intrinsically on access to information from other parts. The current worldwide concern over global environmental problems has served to increase public awareness of the need for international cooperation.
The Bureau of Meteorology continues to participate actively in international bodies, in particular the WMO. Our geographical position in a largely oceanic hemisphere dictates a significant dependence on information from meteorological satellites and oceanic observing systems operated by other nations. The benefits derived are substantial but also impose a responsibility for Australia to also contribute to the international system.
Australia participates in the formal framework of the constituent bodies, especially the WMO Congress, Executive Council, Regional Association V (South-West Pacific) and all eight Technical Commissions. The Director of Meteorology is the Permanent Representative of Australia with WMO, responsible for the overall cooordination of Australian participation in WMO programmes and activities.
The Bureau participates in WMO's World Weather Watch Programme through the operation of one of the three World Meteorological Centres in Melbourne, Regional Specialised Meteorological Centres in Melbourne and Darwin, and a Regional Instruments Centre of Regional Association V (for South-West Pacific). The Bureau is also a major hub of the WMO Global Telecommunication System, a vital element of the World Weather Watch Programme.
Australia support the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) and the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) in several ways, including through major contributions to the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS) and the Joint WMO/IOC Technical Commission for Oceanography and Marine Meteorology (JCOMM). JCOMM is an intergovernmental body of experts that provides the mechanism for international coordination, regulation and management of oceanographic and marine meteorological observing, data management and services systems.