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CCEA approves Atmosphere & Climate Research-Modelling Observing Systems & Services (ACROSS) scheme

Prime Minister Narendra Modi chaired Cabinet Committee of Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved continuation of nine sub-schemes of umbrella scheme “Atmosphere & Climate Research-Modelling Observing Systems & Services (ACROSS)” during 2017-2020. The scheme aims at improving skill of weather and climate forecast through sustained observations, intensive Research & Development.

ACROSS Scheme

The scheme pertains to the atmospheric science programs of the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES). Its objective is to provide reliable weather and climate forecast for betterment of society. It also aims at improving skill of weather and climate forecast through sustained observations, intensive R & D. It consists of nine sub-programmes which are multi-disciplinary and multi institutional in nature and will be implemented in integrated manner. It seeks to addresses different aspects of weather and climate services, which includes warnings for cyclone, storm surges, heat waves, thunderstorms etc. Each of these aspects is incorporated as nine sub-schemes under umbrella scheme ACROSS and is implemented in integrated manners.

Benefits of Scheme

It will provide improved weather, climate and ocean forecast and services, thereby ensuring transfer of commensurate benefits to the various services. It will also provide a sizable number of scientific and technical staff along with requisite administrative support, thereby generating employment. It will generate employment opportunities to many people as large number of agencies like the Krishi Vigyana Kendras of ICAR, Universities and local municipalities are roped to ensure last-mile connectivity of the weather based services to the end –user.

Background

Union Ministry of Earth Sciences has mandate to carry out R&D activities to develop and improve capability to forecast weather, climate and natural hazard related phenomena. Towards this direction, it has undertaken several initiatives to formulate specific schemes like weather and climate modelling, monsoon-research, climate change science & climate services etc. These schemes involve multi-institutes wherein each unit has designated role for accomplishing aforesaid tasks. As result, all these schemes with specific objectives and budget are implemented in an integrated manner and are put together under the umbrella scheme “ACROSS”.

Month: Categories: Environment Current Affairs 2018

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IPCC Special Report on Climate Change: Key Points

United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has released special report on global warming in Incheon, South Korea. The report includes contributions from 91 authors and review editors from 40 countries. It will be key scientific input in upcoming Katowice Climate Change Conference in Poland in December 2018.

Key Points from report

It clearly shows how half degree of warming makes big difference, adversely impacting global population and overall ecosystem through intense heat waves, melting of Arctic, sea level rise, erratic rainfall, reduction of farm yield and vanishing of living species.

It is possible to meet new warming target, provided nations together take rapid and far reaching transitions over next 10 to 20 years in energy, industry, land use, buildings, transport and cities to cut emissions and reach net zero around 2050 — 25 years earlier than planned under earlier 2-degree goal.

It lists four pathways to curb global warming and through which the 1.5 degree target can be achieved. In each of pathways, global average temperature is projected to overshoot 1.5 degrees Celsius target by some amount before returning to that level before the end of this century.

Each of these pathways is also dependent on some amount of Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR), a reference to physical removal of stock of CO2 from atmosphere to reduce its concentrations. Varying amounts between 100 to 1000 gigatons (billion tonnes) of CO2 needs to be removed from atmosphere in these four pathways.

It refers to climate models that project robust differences in regional climate characteristics between present-day and global warming of 1.5 degrees Celsiusand between 1.5 and 2 degrees Celsius. These differences include increase in mean temperatures in both land ocean regions, hot extremes in most inhabited regions, heavy precipitation in several regions and probability of drought and precipitation deficits in some regions.

Advantages of keeping global temperature rise within 1.5 degrees celsius

It also lists several specific advantages of keeping the global temperature rise within 1.5 degrees celsius from pre-industrial levels. By 2100, global sea level rise would be 10 cm lower with global warming of 1.5 degrees compared with 2 degrees Celsius. Arctic Ocean free of sea ice in summer would be once per century with global warming of 1.5 degrees, compared with at least once per decade with 2 degrees Celsius. Coral reefs will decline by 70-90% with global warming of 1.5 degrees, whereas virtually all (over 99%) would be lost with 2 degrees Celsius. It also points out that climate-related risks to health, livelihoods, food security, water supply, human security and economic growth are projected to increase with global warming of 1.5 degrees Celsius and increase further with 2 degrees Celsius.

Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

IPCC is the leading international body for the assessment of climate change. It was established in 1988 by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and World Meteorological Organization (WMO). It is headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland.

Currently 195 countries are its members. It comprises a group of several hundred scientists of different nationality who assess climate change science. Every 5 or 6 years, IPCC comes out with comprehensive periodic reports on Climate Change called Assessment Reports (AR).

Functions: IPCC neither monitors climate related parameters or data nor does it conduct any research work. It merely assesses the most recent scientific, socio-economic and technical information produced worldwide relevant to the understanding of climate change.

Awards: IPCC’s 4th AR had helped them to win Nobel Peace Prize in 2007. During this time R.K. Pachauri was its Chairman.

Month: Categories: Environment Current Affairs 2018

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