Ravi Nanjundiah, the newly-appointed director of Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), has said that the second phase of ‘Monsoon Mission’ would focus on studying the effects on clouds over monsoon, which is one of the key factors influencing the rainfall over the Indian region. He spoke on the sidelines of a three-day workshop, the first of the Indo-US Climate Resillience workshop series, held in the city on Tuesday.
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The first phase will conclude in June this year while the background work for the subsequent phase, expected to kickstart sometime in 2018, is underway.
Asked about the current status of climate models, used in weather predictions, Nanjundiah said, “Predicting monsoon has always been tough for the tropical region, given the number of factors influencing it. However, our aim in the second phase will mainly be to scale down the resolution to 12kms, which is presently at 50kms range.”
In addition, the institution is also augmentating its High Performance Computing (HPC) systems from 700 teraflops to 4 to 5 petaflops, which will help improve the overall data holding capacity, thereby improving the models used for predictions.
One of the objectives of the collaborative work is to help design a climate summary for every Indian state, similar to what is issued in the US.
According to David Easterling , chief from the scientific services division of National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), “In order to achieve local weather predictions, efforts will have to be taken in running a global model in a downscaled-manner, enabling to issue area-specific weather predictions.”
Weather experts are also concerned about the increasing frequencies of extreme weather events, be it soaring temperatures or excess rainfall over certain areas.
“This is also one of the areas of interest whereby we are attempting to understand the triggers behind extreme events which will in turn help design suitable infrastructure,” informed Ken Kuknel from the North Carolina Institute for Climate Studies. The Indian government is still mulling over strengthening its national climate action plan, for which the experts from NOAA will be sharing their expertise.