Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology Current Affairs - 2019

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South Asian Nitrogen Hub

The British government has announced a research project, South Asian Nitrogen Hub to study nitrogen pollution in India and South Asia. The project led by UK’s Centre for Ecology and Hydrology will partner with 50 organisations from the UK and South Asia. The Indian Institutions partnering the study are:

  • National Institute of Oceanography
  • Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University
  • Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology
  • Jawaharlal Nehru University
  • Aligarh Muslim University
  • National Physical Laboratory
  • TERI University

The project aims to study the impact of different forms of nitrogen pollution, particularly looking at nitrogen in agriculture in eight countries of South Asia which includes India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Bhutan and Maldives.

Nitrogen Pollution

Pollutant Gases like ammonia (NH3) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) are produced from chemical fertilizers, livestock manure, and burning fossil fuels and is connected to air pollution, biodiversity loss, the pollution of rivers and seas, ozone depletion, health, economy and livelihoods.

Gases like Ammonia and nitrogen dioxide can aggravate respiratory and heart conditions. Nitrous oxide is a greenhouse gas that depletes the ozone layer. Nitrate from chemical fertilisers, manure and industry pollutes rivers and seas, poses a health risk for humans, fish, coral and plant life.

Ensemble Prediction Systems (EPS): IMD’s new forecast model

The Ministry of Earth Science (MoES) has launched a new system to generate more accurate and area specific forecast of extreme weather events including rains, heat wave and cold wave. The new Ensemble Prediction System (EPS) has been touted as best available model after such a system available in Europe.

Ensemble Prediction Systems (EPS): Key Facts

  • The new EPS system has been developed by three bodies under Ministry of Earth Sciences viz. Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (NCMRWF) and Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology.
  • The most salient feature of new EPS is its high resolution for short-medium range weather forecasts. Under the new system, the area of spatial resolution (currently 23 km grid scale) will come down to 12 km. This would help sending out district level warning and forecast extreme weather events as before as five days.
  • In its calculations, the system will use a newly procured 8 petaflops high-power computing system. The system was recently procured for Rs. 450 crore.

Potential Advantages

The new system will generate more accurate and better area specific forecast of extreme weather events in comparison to current models by quantifying the uncertainties in the weather forecast. The probabilistic forecasts of severe weather events at 12 km grid scale would greatly help the disaster management authorities and other users in making better emergency response decisions. The accurate weather forecasts would help farmers to damage crops and also support administration to take disasters prevention steps beforehand.