IMD evolving a model for accurate climate forecast

P. Venugopal

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: With the problem of climate change now turning into an increasing reality, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) is working on the development of a model that can forecast the subtleties of the phenomenon with a fair degree of accuracy into the next five or 10 years, according to Secretary to the Ministry of Earth Sciences Shailesh Naik.

Addressing a session on ‘Science Programme for the Country,’at the 97th Indian Science Congress here on Sunday, Dr. Naik said this would help India plan ahead in agriculture, which depended a lot on weather and climate. Forecast now had to go beyond the weather, which was immediate, to the climate, which was spread over time.

He said weather forecast had to improve in accuracy, especially in the forecast of the summer monsoon. Not all the models the IMD had evolved showed the consistency in accuracy expected of them. In each bulletin, weather forecasts were now being given covering five days and a system was now falling in place for extending the period of the forecast. District-level weather forecast too would become possible soon, he said.

S.K. Brahmachari, Director-General of the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research and Secretary to the Department of Scientific and Industrial Research, said the concern now was on how to take the benefit of science and technology to a large majority of the country’s population that was in a far away orbit from its glow. He said to address this concern, the government worked out a strategy aiming to increase the per capita income at the lowest level by Rs.15 a day.

Director of Indian Council for Medical Research (ICMR) V.M. Katoch, stressed the need for the States taking the help of the ICMR in setting up their own medical research institutions to overcome the difficulties associated with disease outbreaks frequently. The ICMR had only around 200 medical scientists distributed among all its institutions and the demand on their services was heavy.

T. Ramaswamy, Secretary to the Department of Science and Technology, said that one lacunae he had noticed in the functioning of various research institutions was that the fruits of the toil in one institution were not spreading ‘horizontally’ to the areas served by the other institutions. The department had it as a challenge to ensure the horizontal merging of science and technology research results.

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