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Met Éireann Director Appointed to Chair European Body

3rd July 2022
Ireland’s Met Éireann director Eoin Moran
Ireland’s Met Éireann director Eoin Moran

Ireland’s Met Éireann director Eoin Moran has been elected chairman of Europe’s meteorological satellite agency, EUMETSAT.

The 30-member-state EUMETSAT council made the decision to appoint him to the post for two years at its 101st meeting late this week.

The council is the supreme decision-making body for EUMETSAT, which controls fleets of meteorological satellites from its headquarters in Darmstadt, Germany.

The data from these satellites is disseminated to member states to inform citizens and decision-makers about upcoming weather events and changes to the climate

“At the end of this year, the first satellite will be launched in the next-generation of EUMETSAT’s geostationary satellites, Meteosat Third Generation,” its director-general Phil Evans said.

“Next year, the first satellite in its next-generation polar-orbiting satellites will be launched,” he continued, describing it as an “exciting time of transition” for the organisation.

“I am looking forward to working with Eoin Moran on the challenges ahead of us,”Mr Evans said.

Eoin Moran said the two new satellite systems will provide the national meteorological services in EUMETSAT’s member states with weather and climate data of “unprecedented accuracy and quality”.

“The aim is simple - to equip meteorological services with the data they need to provide even more accurate weather predictions and to help protect lives, infrastructure and livelihoods through early warnings of severe weather events,” he explained.

““The need for this is clear. The European Environment Agency estimates that weather and climate-related events caused as much as €520 billion in economic losses in the European Economic Area between 1980 and 2020,” Mr Moran said.

“Up to 145,000 lives were lost over the same period. EUMETSAT member states are preparing now for these new systems. It’s a great honour to be elected chair at this time, when our communities are experiencing more frequent extreme weather events due to climate change,” he said.

EUMETSAT’s responsibilities under the European Union’s Copernicus environment-monitoring programme will also expand in the years ahead.

It provides its 30 member states with meteorological imagery and data that are essential for keeping their communities safe and for the benefit of critical sectors of their economies from its base in Germany.

Four Meteosat satellites in geostationary orbit deliver continuous observations of fast developing severe weather events over Europe, Africa and the Indian Ocean.

Two polar-orbiting Metop satellites provide data described as of “pivotal importance” for forecasts of up to 10 days ahead.

The first of the next-generations satellites in these systems will be launched in 2022 and 2024 respectively, EUMETSAT says.

Its archive of satellite observations over more than 40 years provides climate scientists around the world with long-term, homogenous data necessary for monitoring climate change.

EUMETSAT is a key partner in the EU’s Copernicus Earth observation programme. It operates the Copernicus Sentinel-3 and -6 ocean-monitoring missions, and will operate the upcoming CO2M mission, to monitor carbon dioxide emissions.

Eoin Moran has been a member of Ireland’s delegation to EUMETSAT since 2016, and council vice-chairman since 2018.

He has been Director of Met Éireann since 2016 and has been a member of its senior management team since 2007. He has also been a member of Ireland’s Climate Change Advisory Council since 2021.

He takes over the position of chair from Gerard van der Steenhoven, of the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute, who held the post for four years.

Published in Weather
Lorna Siggins

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Lorna Siggins

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Lorna Siggins is a print and radio reporter, and a former Irish Times western correspondent. She is the author of Search and Rescue: True stories of Irish Air-Sea Rescues and the Loss of R116 (2022); Everest Callling (1994) on the first Irish Everest expedition; Mayday! Mayday! (2004); and Once Upon a Time in the West: the Corrib gas controversy (2010). She is also co-producer with Sarah Blake of the Doc on One "Miracle in Galway Bay" which recently won a Celtic Media Award

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