Today Guyana joins the rest of the World in observing World Meteorological Day 2019 under the theme ‘The Sun, the Earth and the Weather’.
World Meteorological Day was first observed when the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) was established on March 23rd, 1950. Today Guyana recognizes the contribution that Hydrometeological Services make to society’s safety and well-being.
In keeping with the theme, I invite all Guyanese to focus on the importance of the sun and how it helps to sustain life on earth, changes the weather, hydrological cycle and ocean currents.
The Sun delivers the energy that powers all life on Earth. It shapes our mood and our daily activities and is also the inspiration for music, photography and art.
The sun impacts several areas such as plant growth, climate change, our well-being and health, and renewable energy.
The Sun and Plant Growth – Sunshine is an immeasurable and essential aspect in plant growth as heat and light required by all growing plants are supplied by solar radiation. Of the various weather elements, sunshine, directly through radiation, and indirectly through its effect upon air temperatures, influences the distribution of crops. It furnishes the required energy for certain chemical activities within growing plants, as well as promotes evaporation from the foliage.
The Sun and Climate Change – Climate change has noticeably led to an increase in heat extremes, and new temperature records – at local daily levels as well as at national, regional and global level. Heatwaves are starting earlier and ending later in the year and becoming more frequent and intense as a result of climate change.
Climate models project increases in mean temperature in most land and ocean regions, hot extremes in most inhabited regions, heavy precipitation in several regions and the probability of drought and precipitation deficits in some regions. Climate-related risks to health, livelihoods, food security, water supply, human security, and economic growth are projected to increase with global warming.
The Sun and Human Health – Sunlight plays a pivotal role in human health and well-being. Too little sunlight can impact our mood and well-being and increases the risk of Vitamin D deficiency. Overexposure to sunlight causes harmful effects on the skin, eyes, and immune system. Sadly, every year tens of thousands of people die as a result of avoidable extreme heat-related problems such as heat stroke, cardiovascular disease, mental health, dehydration, and other complications of heat stress.
The Sun and Renewable Energy – Energy can be harnessed directly from the sun, even in cloudy weather. Solar energy is used worldwide and is increasingly popular for generating electricity or heating and desalinating water. The rapidly declining manufacturing costs of solar panels is stimulating this growth. Fortunately, nearly all adverse health outcomes of human exposure to dangerous heat are preventable with targeted and informed interventions.
Yesterday we observed World Water Day which goes hand in hand with Meteorology. During my address at the World Water Day Symposium, I reminded everyone about the significance of water and the promotion of sustainability for water resources’ management.
The Ministry of Agriculture’s Hydrometeorological Service will continue to expand its meteorological network to ensure that reliable data is available to guide the decision making process on how the energy from the sun can be fully utilized to support national development.
Today I wish to encourage all Guyanese to use the available resources to understanding how the sun influence weather and climate phenomena as we work together to building resilient societies.