IIT-B working with US scientists to predict storm surge

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Bhubaneswar: Researchers in climate science are studying coastal inundation for developing a Land-Ocean-Atmospheric Modeling System to make prediction in case of extreme weather events, Prof UC Mohanty, Professor of Earth, Ocean and Climate Sciences at IIT, Bhubaneswar said.

As climate change and global warming had been triggering erratic and extreme weather events, the coastal states in India had been found vulnerable, he said on the sidelines of the four-day National Symposium on Tropical Meteorology (TROPMET-2016) which concluded at SOA University on Wednesday.

“The IIT-Bhubaneswar has been working with a group of US-based scientists to develop such a model. This modeling will help improve the prediction on coastal inundation which is a major cause of loss of life and property in the coastal states,” Prof. Mohanty, an acknowledged expert in climate science, said.

The symposium had been organized by the Indian Meteorological Society in collaboration with the SOA University, Odisha government and Ministry of Earth Sciences.

Mohanty said the endeavor to develop the modeling system with the group of US-based scientists was crucial as climate change had altered the rainfall pattern. “We now receive a huge amount of rainfall within a short window of time followed by long dry spells. Besides, the rainfall and storm surge during tropical cyclones seriously affect large shoreline populations causing destruction,” he said.

Asked about future projections, he said though the number of tropical cyclones in a season could remain the same, their category or intensity would be higher.

With global warming leading to sea level rise, inundation in a state like Odisha had to be studied, Mohanty said, adding the storm surge on the southern coastline of the state from Ganjam district up to Visakhapatnam could be of 2-3 meters while a cyclone of the same intensity could whip up waves of 10-12 meters in the Balasore coast in the north.

“It is because, the sea is very shallow off the Balasore coast while it is deep along the southern coastline,” he said.

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