The Republic of Kiribati first National Climate Outlook Forum concluded successfully with the participants requesting the Kiribati Meteorological Service (KMS) to provide weather forecast and climate information specifically for the Lines and Phoneix Islands’ Group in the Christmas Island.

Representatives from the fishery, water, agriculture, hotels, tourism, meteorology (weather and climate) sectors; Christmas Island Urban Council (CIUC), Ministry of Lines and Phoenix Islands (MLPI); Ministry of Communication, Transport and Tourism Development (MCTTD); Solar Salt Company; the Office of the President; Secretariat of the Pacific Community (SPC); Secretariat of the Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP); and WMO, participated in the Outlook Forum.  Six women participated in the National Climate Outlook Forum for Christmas Island, representing 33.33 % of the participants.

National Climate Outlook Forum Officials—Kiribati

The National climate Outlook for Christmas Island’s focus is: (i) to serve as a key national platform for promoting a regular dialogue and inter-agency coordination in responding to meteorological hazards, climate variability, extremes, and change; (ii) to help the Kiribati Meteorological Service to package climate information to the needs of stakeholders and communicate uncertainties in weather and climate information; and (iii) to help participants to know how to use existing climate information provided by the Kiribati Meteorological Service.

The Kiribati National Climate Outlook for Christmas Island also included discussion on the Kiribati Climate Outlook (3 months rainfall) for November 2015 to January 2016; the Kiribati Drought Update; and The Kiribati Ocean Climate Summary.

 The Kiribati Climate Outlook (3 months rainfall) for November 2015 to January 2016 which also contain information pertaining to climate summary, El Nino/Southern Oscillation, and 3-monthly rainfall prediction/forecasts for Kiribati.  It is indicating strongly towards above normal rainfall in all stations across Kiribati for the November 2015 to January 2016, and forecast confidence is exceptional.

The Kiribati Drought Update is provided and issued on a monthly basis by the KMS, providing information related to drought updates for 3, 6, 12, 36 and 48-months aggregation. The 36 to 48 months drought indices are more for monitoring the groundwater lens. The 3 to 6months drought indices tends to be useful for monitoring rainfall deficiencies and impacts to agriculture crops that have shallow roots. At this time, due to influence of El Nino, Kiribati is not in drought.

The Kiribati Ocean Climate Summary contained information on sea surface temperature, sea level anomaly, coral bleaching, and anomaly changes in the past month and season (last 3 months). It also contained information on the ocean current.

Derived from the Australian Bureau of Meteorology Tide Calendars, the Kiribati Spring Tide Calendar is developed and compiled. Any spring tides above 2.8 meters are considered to be able to generate waves that could overtop low coastal areas near and around Tarawa. The product is available in English and local language to advise communities and sectors to prepare them during Spring Tides and during the new moon and days following the new moon.

The Republic of Kiribati, one of the 3 Pacific Small Island Developing States (SIDS) selected to organise National Climate Outlook Forum(s), support by the WMO/Canada Project. The other 2 Pacific SIDS are Papua New Guinea and Tonga. The Republic of Kiribati first National Climate Outlook Forum was held on Tarawa for the Gilbert Islands’ Group from 1 to 2 September 2015 and on Christmas Island for the Line and Phoenix Islands’ Group from 23 to 24 November 2015.