IITM takes up climate study aiming better crop

Pune: Weather scientists at the city based Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) have embarked upon a study – high resolution climate projections over South Asian Monsoon region – which is expected to contribute significantly to future crop and water management and planning in India.

The study undertaken is part of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO)` s Coordinated Regional Climate Downscaling Experiment (CORDEX) for which Centre for Climate Change Research (CCCR) of IITM is acting as a nodal agency for South Asia.

"The futuristic dimension of this project spanning next 20-25 years will help the country in better planning of crop and water resources and also aid more accurate monsoon predictions, resulting from the use of high resolution models," R Krishnan, executive director CCCR told PTI.

Aided by the Union ministry of Earth Sciences which funds IITM, the study, launched in February this year, will facilitate generation of high resolution regional climate projections with involvement of various cliamte modeling and impact assessment groups from India and other countries including Norway, Australia, Japan and Germany.

"Running global climate model is an expensive proposition. This CORDEX project holds importance for us because South Asian countries need more monsoon information on regional scale for their agricultural planning," noted Krishnan, adding that the time frame of the study is tentatively worked out at five years.

The CORDEX study will involve use of high resolution (with every grid area of 30-35 km) aiming accuracy and precision in the Asian monsoon projections.

Since rainfall projections over smaller areas is a complex task, multiple high resolution models to study atmosphere, wind and humidity in the CORDEX experiment assumes importance as they provide greater reliability in respect of regional climate changes , Krishnan observed.

The inputs gathered from high resolution models will also include information about climate extremes such as heat waves, drought, floods and storms that could impact the country`s economy.

Apart from providing a more reliable data on regional climate change, the CORDEX project will also help in quantifying uncertainties in the model projections, thus further aiding the impact assessment studies focusing on agricultural sector and water resource management as the inputs will be fed to Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Changes (IPCC).