Development of a large-scale software model to examine the impact of climate change in Kerala is part of a forthcoming scientific study that will formulate an integrated climate change database and information system for the State.

The proposal, estimated at Rs.80 crore, will map the impact of climate change on agriculture, fisheries, industries, transport, tourism, bio-diversity and forestry sectors in Kerala.

CSIR’s (Council of Scientific and Industrial Research) National Institute of Science Communication and Information Resources (NISCAIR) is the nodal agency for the project while the Kerala State Council for Science Technology and Environment (KSCSTE) will be the facilitating organisation. The institutions partnering in developing the software model include Department of Future Studies, University of Kerala; Centre for Socio-Economic and Environmental Studies, Kochi; and Department of Statistics, Cochin University of Science and Technology (Cusat).

Experts associated with the project pointed out that the model could be used by leading scientific agencies involved in monitoring and analysis of weather across the country, including the India Meteorological Department and its regional centres.

According to the project proposal, one aspect of the work is the adaptation of existing open working models to the Kerala scenario.

It will serve as an evolving platform integrating scientific knowledge and data for purposes of supporting policy and planning in the context of climate change and variability.

Kerala scenario

Recent advances in integrated assessment methods, adaptation analysis and economic evaluation are also proposed to be carried out for the Kerala scenario.

These models can be scaled down to district or panchayat levels. Large-scale simulations will be carried out to depict future scenarios as well as their impact on relevant socio-economic parameters.

Experts at the partnering institutions have plans to develop a framework and decision-support tool to assess climate change and its impacts on livelihood and developmental processes.

Livelihood pattern

They will examine the present livelihood pattern of coastal areas (most vulnerable to climate change) through a sample survey.

Assessment of livelihood changes under different scenarios of climate change, especially rise in sea levels, using the results of primary survey and the available secondary data, will be undertaken. The study will also help provide suggestions to decision makers to prepare the local population to possible vulnerabilities of climate change.

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