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India developing a new Earth system model to improve forecasts, track climate crisis impacts

By, New Delhi
Feb 10, 2024 06:12 AM IST

The Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology is developing a first-for-India Earth System Model to improve climate forecasts and predict climate impacts. The model is expected to be completed by 2025 and will provide reliable future projections of global and regional climate, including Indian monsoon rainfall. The model will integrate various components of the Earth system, such as the atmosphere, ocean, land, ice, and biosphere, to estimate climate under different conditions. The development of the model is part of the government's focus on addressing climate change issues.

The Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology along with the Centre for Climate Change Research (CCCR), is developing a first-for-India Earth System Model to improve its forecasts, facilitate long-term climate studies, and predict climate impacts in the coming years, Union minister of earth sciences Kiren Rijiju said.

The model will also generate reliable future projections of the global and regional climate, and particularly the Indian monsoon rainfall. (PTI)
The model will also generate reliable future projections of the global and regional climate, and particularly the Indian monsoon rainfall. (PTI)

“An amount of 192.28 crores has been sanctioned under the Monsoon Convection, Clouds and Climate Change (MC4) sub scheme to develop the climate forecasting system,” Rijiju said.

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Earth system model (ESM) is an open-source software that is designed to integrate the interactions of atmosphere, ocean, land, ice, and biosphere to estimate the state of regional and global climate under a wide variety of conditions. Since it is based on numerical weather prediction and data assimilation, it can be used for accurate climate change predictions, officials from the ministry of earth sciences explained.

A senior official from the ministry said that the “state-of-the-art climate model” will not only facilitate long-term climate studies but will also generate reliable future projections of the global and regional climate, and particularly the Indian monsoon rainfall. The work on the model is currently underway and is expected to be completed by 2025, he added.

“IITM-ESM incorporates earth system components in the Climate Forecast System (CFS) from National Center for Environmental Prediction (NCEP, USA), and transforms the CFS seasonal prediction model to a long-term climate mode,” the official added, asking not to be named.

The official said that over the last few years the government has been focusing on the development of new climate modelling capabilities in the country to address issues concerning the science of climate change.

“We have also generated an ensemble of high resolution dynamically downscaled future projections of regional climate over South Asia and Indian monsoon, which will be useful for impact assessment studies and for quantifying uncertainties in the regional projections,” he said.

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) assessment reports do provide a global perspective on climate change, the focus on regional climate change aspects is considerably limited, officials said.

“The effects of climate change over the Indian subcontinent involve complex physical processes on different space and time scales, especially given that the mean climate of this region is generally shaped by the Indian monsoon and the unique high-elevation geographical features such as the Himalayas, the Western Ghats, the Tibetan Plateau and the adjoining Indian Ocean, Arabian Sea, and Bay of Bengal. We also aim to present policy-relevant information based on robust scientific analysis and assessments of the observed and projected future climate change over the Indian region,” a ministry of earth sciences report read.

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  • ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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    Soumya Pillai covers environment and traffic in Delhi. A journalist for three years, she has grown up in and with Delhi, which is often reflected in the stories she does about life in the city. She also enjoys writing on social innovations.

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