Ministry of Earth Sciences Current Affairs

4 ISRO teams join 36th Indian Scientific Expedition to Antarctica

The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has joined the 36th Indian Scientific Expedition to Antarctica (36-ISEA) organised by the National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research (NCAOR).

It has send four teams-one team each from Space Applications Centre (SAC), National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC), Indian Institute of Remote Sensing (IIRS) and and Space Physics Laboratory(SPL). 

Key Facts
  • The main objective of this expedition is to install stakes on ice for Differential Global Positioning System (DGPS) measurements around two Indian bases Bharati and Maitri in Antartica.
  • It will validate glacier surface velocity derived from satellite data to estimate thickness of snow over land and sea ice using Ground Penetrating Radars (GPR’s). It will also verify conditions of snow over sea and land ice.
  • ISRO teams will also study of snow melt and freeze dynamics in Antarctica using space-based and ground-based observations.
  • It will also study measurements of Atmospheric Black Carbon (BC), greenhouse gases and solar radiation fluxes at Antarctica on a long-term basis.

About Indian Scientific Expedition to Antarctica (ISEA)

  • ISEA is a multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional program conducted every year by the Union Ministry of Earth Sciences. It was started in 1981.
  • It has gained global acceptance after India signed Antarctic Treaty. Subsequently, India had constructed Dakshin Gangotri Antarctic research base in 1983. It was superseded by the Maitri base from 1990,
  • India’s newest base in Antarctica, Bharati, was commissioned in 2015. It is constructed out of 134 shipping containers.

Tags:

Ministry of Earth Sciences commissions Higher Resolution Weather Prediction Model

The Union Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) has commissioned a very high resolution (12 km) global deterministic weather prediction model for generating operational weather forecasts.

The model has been on trial since September 2016. It has shown significant improvements in skill of daily weather forecasts. It was made operational from January 2017.

Key Facts
  • This model replaces the earlier version which had a horizontal resolution of 25 km which was very helpful, in predicting track and intensity of recent Cyclonic Storm Vardah and cold wave over northern India.
  • MoES’s operational Ensemble Prediction System (EPS) was upgraded to 12 km. For this, High Performance Computing (HPC) system resources were augmented to 10 Peta Flops (PFs) from current 1.2 PFs.
  • The EPS was adopted to overcome problem of uncertainties in the forecasts. It involves the generation of multiple forecasts using slightly varying initial conditions.
  • The EPS also help generate probabilistic forecasts and quantify the uncertainties. The latest model replaces the earlier version that had a horizontal resolution of 25 km.

Note: MoES provides climate, weather and hydrological services to various users round the year and 24/7. Both operational and research aspects for these services are implemented through India Meteorological Department (IMD), Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (NCMRWF), and Indian National Centre for Ocean Information System (INCOIS).

Tags:

123