Health | COVID-19 Research Task Team | Activities



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Statement on COVID-19, Meteorological, and Air Quality Factors 

!! Technical Review Now Open for Comment !!

See instructions for how to participate below:



See slides from REVIEW WEBINAR January 12, 2021

About the Statements:

The WMO COVID-19 Research Task Team was established in July 2020 to respond to the real-time challenge of providing COVID-19 decision relevant knowledge about weather, solar radiation, and air pollution. The Task Team has been charged with several activities, including the provision of periodic assessments of the state of knowledge of meteorological and air quality (MAQ) factors influencing COVID-19. Statements will be updated periodically in 2021 to address additional questions and evolving knowledge.

These statements aim to:

  1. Clearly and rapidly synthesize evidence on the rapidly published science on meteorological, solar radiation, and air quality (MAQ) drivers related to SARS-COV-2/COVID-19, for the World Health Organization, policy makers and the media, state of science.
  2. Support WMO members with sound information on the linkages and mechanisms between SARS-COV-2/COVID-19 and key variables in an effort to orient the appropriate use of MAQ variables for supporting multi-disciplinary efforts related to SARS-CoV-2/COVID-19 such as disease prediction, population dynamics, behavioral studies, transmission studies, infection control and public health interventions, etc.
  3. Identify and clearly articulate knowledge gaps and uncertainties. 

As a matter of focus and scope, these statements do not consider how the global pandemic has influenced air quality, climate, and the environment. 

Principal Audiences for Statements:

    • National Meteorological and Hydrological Services and WMO Regional Climate Centers
    • World Health Organization, and Collaborating centers
    • National Governments, including public health agencies, regional and sub-regional organizations, other relevant policy makers
    • Researchers and scientific community
    • Media
    • General public (executive summary to include public focused key messages)  

Scope of Knowledge Review and Statements:

The statements will consider the state-of-the-art knowledge about the influence of meteorological, solar radiation, and air quality drivers and predictability on the incidence and severity of SARS-COV-2/COVID19, specifically:

    • Critically appraise studies on the role of MAQ factors (Temperature, Humidity, Solar radiation, Air Quality, etc) on the spatial and temporal variability of COVID-19 incidence and severity across climate zones, including clear interrogation of uncertainties.
    • Assess the role of changing seasons on the trajectory of the pandemic at a range of time and space scales, including seasonal effects of human behaviour and ecological aspects of the pandemic.
    • Assess the appropriate methods and applications of meteorological and climate related tools and information products in the management of COVID-19 and similar epidemics.
    • Identify research gaps for further investigation of the relationship between the MAQ factors and SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19, including work to inform preparedness for future pandemics.
    • Identify data and operational issues which can improve good practices in research and climate and environmental services.

Participate in the Open Technical Review!

Please read the following text instructions regarding the open review process of the WMO Research Board Task Team report.

Please submit comments using the provided online survey formif possible.

In the case you cannot access the survey in Google Forms, please complete the Template Microsoft Excel spreadsheet and submit by email to 

Please indicate your country of residence. Providing other personal information (name, email address, title and affiliation) is optional.

You can choose fields for general/specific comments and suggestions that you prefer to answer. There is no requirement to submit answers to all fields.

For specific comments, please add line numbers to your answers.

Please declare any competing interests.

All comments should be submitted by January 22, 2021. Comments received after this date will be considered in future iterations of the report. 

A webinar for reviewers took place January 12, 2021, 14h00- 15h00 CET / 8H00-9H00 EST. See slides presented here.






This document is a "draft for technical review purposes only" by the scientific community and the information contained herein is subject to change. information contained in this draft report should not be used by the media, governments or others for decision-making or other purposes until release of the report in its final form following completion of the technical review process in early 2021.

Where reference to the existing review may be appropriate, please contact the authors at for appropriate citation. Do not copy, or cite without permission of the authors. 

This draft for review document is not an official publication of WMO and has been issued without formal editing. The views expressed herein do not necessarily have the endorsement of WMO or its Members. The findings, interpretations and conclusions expressed in WMO publications with named authors are those of the authors alone and do not necessarily reflect those of WMO or its Members.

The designations employed in WMO publications and the presentation of material in this publication do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of WMO concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area, or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers or boundaries.  The mention of specific companies or products does not imply that they are endorsed or recommended by WMO in preference to others of a similar nature which are not mentioned or advertised.


Further information on Statement Drafting Process: 

The WMO task team comprised of 16 experts was established in July 2020. Experts selected to the Task Team members by the WMO Research Board reflect a range of scientific, technical and socio-economic expertise, with a good balance in terms of gender and geographical representation. 

Scoping occurred between July and September 2020. As part of the scoping process, an international e-symposium was convened to identify key issues and the scope and findings of current research during the first half of 2020. It helped identify methodological and data issues impacting quality of studies and its application.   

A stakeholder validation exercise was conducted between September 15-22nd to confirm relevant key questions to guide the structure of the review to be policy and decision-relevant. 

A single stage open review will be conducted from Dec 15 - Jan 15 2021, with a final publication in early 2021. Periodic updates are planned in 2021.   

See methods section of the Statement Draft for further information




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