The India Met Department chief KJ Ramesh said Friday that excessive rainfall that led to floods in Kerala was a result of climate change. He also spoke of a new technology that has been developed to assess the rise of water levels in rivers and reservoirs due to rain which can help state government minutely monitor the impact of rainfall.
Termed ‘Impact Based Forecasting Approach’, it shows “pre-event scenario” that can help authorities in taking real-time decisions, he said. Speaking at an event organised by the Centre for Science and Environment, he said: “We should be able to generate a scenario where we can take decisions to release water or not release it. It will be helpful for every state authority to take decision. We can run this system in pre-event scenario. We are now in a position to put this technology into service.”
Ramesh also said that the number of cyclones have increased from 10 to 18 every year as reported in Nature Magazine and also noted that the quantum of precipitation, which was 13 days, has come down to 10 days. He pointed to another technology which would help in identifying warm ocean segments that are contributing to the rapid intensification of the systems. “Cyclone Ockhi’s unpredictability was due to such warm ocean segments, following which the technology was developed in October,” he said.
Heavy downpour had devastating impacts on Kerala in August, which left 500 dead and caused economic damages worth Rs 40,000 crores. Kerala CM Pinarayi Vijayan had said in the state assembly that there were “lapses” on the part of the IMD’s rain forecast.
CSE Director General Sunita Narain stressed on the need to plan “deliberately for drainage” to prevent disasters like Kerala floods. “Every river, pond, paddy field and city should be mapped and protected at all costs. Every home, institution, village and city must be required to do rainwater harvesting so that rain can be channelised and recharged,” she said.