Ministry of Earth Sciences Current Affairs - 2019
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The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has released a bulletin highlighting the important features about the climatic conditions of 2018:
- India’s average mean monthly temperatures were “warmer than the normal” during all the months of the year except December.
- This more than normal mean monthly temperature is attributed to global warming.
- The annual mean surface air temperature averaged over the country in 2018 was +0.41 degree Celsius above (1981-2010 period) average.
- The year 2018 was the sixth warmest year on record since nationwide records commenced in 1901.
The other warmest years on record are 016 (+0.72 degree Celsius), 2009 (+0.56 degree Celsius), 2017 (+0.55 degree Celsius), 2010 (+0.54 degree Celsius) and 2015 (+0.42 degree Celsius), which are all recent years.
- The worrying factor is, 11 out of 15 warmest years were during the recent past 15 years (2004-2018) and overall 2018 was the sixth warmest year on record since nationwide records commenced in 1901.
- India recorded 1,428 deaths in 2018 due to extreme weather events and heavy rains and subsequent flooding, dust storms, thunderstorms and lightning claimed half the lives.
- Cyclones Titli and Gaja killed almost 122 people.
India Meteorological Department (IMD)
India Meteorological Department (IMD) is the chief government agency for meteorological services in the country. Formed in 1875, IMD functions under Ministry of Earth Sciences and is headquartered in New Delhi. It deals with everything related to meteorology, seismology and associated subjects like
- Undertaking meteorological observations and provide current information and forecasting information for most favourable operation of weather-dependent activities such as irrigation, agriculture, aviation, shipping etc.
- Offering warnings against severe weather phenomenon such as tropical cyclones, norwesters, dust storms, heat waves, cold waves, heavy rains, heavy snow, etc.
- Providing met-related statistics needed for agriculture, industries, water resources management, oil exploration, and any other strategically important activities for the country.
- Engaging in research in meteorology and allied subjects.
- Detecting and locating earthquakes and evaluate seismicity in various parts of the country for developmental projects.
From a modest beginning in 1875, IMD has progressively expanded its infrastructure for meteorological observations, forecasting and weather services. IMD was the first organisation in India to adopt a message switching computer to support its global data exchange.
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.
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.
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”.
Tags: ACROSS Scheme • Atmosphere & Climate Research-Modelling Observing Systems & Services scheme • Cabinet Decisions • CCEA • Climate Change • Climate history • Climate modeling • Climatology • Ensemble forecasting • Envrionment • Global Warming • Government Schemes • Meteorology • Ministry of Earth Sciences • National Weather Service • Physical geography • Weather Forecasting