COVID-19 and Compound Climate Hazards: A WMO COVID Task Team Roundtable

  • 29 June 2021

On Wednesday, June 30 from 9-11 EDT, the WMO COVID-19 Task Team is hosting the first in a series of virtual targeted roundtable events. These events are designed to hone in on experiences with, and prospects for, actionable climate and meteorologically-informed decision making during the COVID-19 pandemic. CPO's Juli Trtanj serves as the U.S. representative on the WMO COVID Task Team and helped plan the Roundtable with the goal of helping both NOAA and other climate and meteorological services better address compound hazards affecting health. Information gathered through this Roundtable Series will help inform NOAA's work in providing useful climate information for COVID-19 response and for other climate sensitive diseases.

This first roundtable will address the complex challenges associated with compound events when one of the amplifying conditions is the global spread of an infectious disease like COVID-19. Speakers will discuss experiences with these challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic (such as managing health risks during major storms or heat waves), explain how the presence of COVID-19 alters extreme event preparedness and response, and highlight the roles that climate services can play to protect health during extreme events in the context of elevated disease transmission risk.

These roundtables, undertaken in collaboration with the WMO/WHO Integrated Health Services Study Group, will also elicit lessons learned that can help guide the development of climate services for health. The events feature expert panel discussions on targeted topics relating to the ways in which COVID-19 has influenced the production and use of climate and meteorological information and the potential to inform the COVID-19 response as well as future disease outbreaks or pandemics. 

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Americans’ health, security and economic wellbeing are tied to climate and weather. Every day, we see communities grappling with environmental challenges due to unusual or extreme events related to climate and weather.