M Rajeevan, secretary of the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES). (File)
A new research programme to study the feasibility of issuing decadal climate predictions over the country will be launched soon, said M Rajeevan, secretary of the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES), in Pune on Tuesday.
He was speaking on the sidelines of the sixth edition of the International Conference on Climate Services (ICCS), organised at Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM). This is the first time India is hosting ICCS.
This will a maiden attempt for India in working on decadal predictions, but several countries, like the United Kingdom, have developed expertise in such predictions.
"Works on climate change projections till 2070 or 2080 are complete. But now, there is an increasing focus on decadal predictions, which is done for 10 years or for 20 years. Besides being vital inputs for climate projections, decadal time scale predictions have been found to be relevant with many societal applications. India, too, shall focus on decadal time scale predictions," said Rajeevan.
All required research for this soon-to-be-launched programme will be carried out by scientists at IITM while later works will also be shared by India Meteorological Department (IMD) and National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecast (NCMRWF).
The Centre for Climate Change Research (CCCS), led by R Krishnan, already has climate predictions till 2100.
Elaborating on the new research, Rajeevan said, "The existing coupled-climate model can be utilised, it is just that scientists may need to perform some minor tweaking in the present strategy while developing decadal predictions. All weather parameters like temperatures, rainfall will be considered. Since predictions will be done for over 10 years, vital signs are expected to be gathered from the deep oceans rather than the atmosphere." On the chances of these 10-year predictions being made operational, Ravi Nanjundiah, director of IITM, said, "We do have some skill working on this coupled-climate model. However, we will need to do detailed research for the decadal predictions. Depending on the results, it can be later decided whether these predictions need to be made operational."
WMO has established global centres, led by UK, for predicting annual to decadal predictions. Like IMD's seasonal forecasts, the decadal predictions will also be done on a country-wide scale, said the scientists.