To establish monitoring network

Kerala is arming itself in a big way for a war against climate change. The Directorate of Environment and Climate Change has taken the initiative to establish an impact-monitoring network that will provide scientific inputs for adaptation programmes and mitigation strategies.

The Kerala State Council for Science, Technology, and Environment (KSCSTE) is coordinating the interdisciplinary exercise involving more than 20 academic and research institutions. The project has been taken up under the national mission on ‘Strategic knowledge for climate change.' It will consolidate the data generated by various institutions, establish the monitoring network, and formulate an action plan.

The government has constituted working groups on water resources, coastal and fisheries resources, agriculture, forests, local governance and information, education, and communication as part of the project. During the study, scientists will assess the nature and magnitude of climate change, the regional factors driving the changes and resource availability as well as the socio-economic conditions in vulnerable areas.

As the nodal agency for the project, the Centre for Earth Science Studies (CESS) will establish a dedicated unit for climate change equipped for research, monitoring, and modelling for projection of impacts. It will also create a network for the participating institutions and user groups to share the data. The regional network will be interfaced with the Indian Network on Climate Change Assessment.

CESS director N.P. Kurien said the project was the first comprehensive, long-term study on climate change undertaken in Kerala. “It will provide critical inputs for the government and the district administration to respond to climate-induced changes in different sectors.”

Dr. Kurien said focussed climate change studies assumed special significance for a State like Kerala with a long coast and a sizeable population depending on climate sensitive sectors. “Understanding the phenomenon becomes crucial in identifying the vulnerable areas and equipping communities to adapt.” He said a regional model assumed importance because climate change predictions at the global level may not apply to Kerala.

The project also involved strengthening the network of weather stations, observation centres, and tide gauges. “Ten years down the line, with the project generating data continuously, we may be in a position to plot projections accurately and take timely evasive action,” he said.

  • Multi-institutional, interdisciplinary project

  • Data to be used for climate change mitigation

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