Ministry of Earth Sciences Current Affairs - 2019
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National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT) will launch ‘Samudrayaan project by 2021-22 to explore the deep sea region. It is pilot project of Union Ministry of Earth Sciences as part the Rs 6000 crore ‘Deep Ocean’ mission for deep ocean mining of rare minerals.
It proposes to send indigenously developed submersible vehicle with three persons to a depth of about 6000 metres to carry out deep underwater studies. It will be undertaken by the NIOT, Chennai and is in line with ISRO’s ambitious ‘Gaganyaan’ mission of sending an astronaut to space by 2022. It is expected to become a reality by 2021-22. The indigenously developed submersible vehicle developed as part of this project is capable of crawling on sea bed at a depth of 6km for 72 hours. Whereas, currently submarines deployed can only go about 200 metres deep into the sea. The project will go deeper in phases with more trials and ocean mining is expected to commence in 2022. The expenditure of this ambitious project is expected to be around Rs 200 crore.
Significance of Project: If it is successful, India will join selected league of developed nations in the exploration of minerals from deep oceans. Developed countries have already carried out such missions. India could be 1st developing country to undertake such a project.
International Sea Bed Authority (ISBA) has allocated India75,000 sq km site in Central Indian Ocean Basin (CIOB) for exploration of polymetallic nodules from seabed. The estimated resource of polymetallic nodules in this site is about 380 million tonnes, containing 92.59 million tonnes of manganese, 4.29 million tonnes of copper, 4.7 million tonnes of nickel and 0.55 million tonnes of cobalt.
Tags: Deep Ocean Mission • International Sea Bed Authority • Ministry of Earth Sciences • National Institute of Ocean Technology • NIOT
The India Meteorological Department (IMD) predicts near-normal monsoon, at 96% of long period average. IMD in its first stage operational forecast for the southwest monsoon season (June to September) rainfall has made the following predictions:
- The South-west monsoon seasonal (June to September) rainfall over the country as a whole is likely to be near normal.
- The monsoon seasonal (June to September) rainfall is likely to be 96% of the Long Period Average (LPA) with a model error of 5%.
- The LPA of the season rainfall over the country as a whole for the period 1951-2000 was 89 cm.
- Even though weak El Nino conditions are likely to prevail during the monsoon season its intensity is expected to be reduced in the later part of the season.
IMD will issue the second stage Monsoon-2019 Forecast during the first week of June 2019.
Monsoon Predictions are made using a set of algorithms and climate models, both analytical and numerical. Monsoon Mission, an initiative launched by the Ministry of Earth Sciences in 2017 has two state-of-the-art dynamical prediction systems for short range to medium, extended range and seasonal forecasts.
Meteorologists keep a track on five important parameters that can dictate the fate of India monsoon:
- The gradient in the sea surface temperatures between the North Atlantic and North Pacific Oceans.
- The sea surface temperature over the Equatorial Indian Ocean.
- Sea-level pressure in East Asia.
- Air temperature of the land surface in Northwest Europe.
- The heat content over Equatorial Pacific measured by its warm water volume.
Studies have proposed including various other indicators, such as surface pressure over the Arabian Sea, in such forecasting models to eliminate biases and to make the predictions accurate.