Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Government’s indigenous climate model to study climate’s impact on monsoon

The Government has developed an indigenous climate model that will predict the impact of climate change on monsoon in the country, informed Dr. Jitendra Singh, the Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) Earth Sciences.

The model, Earth System Model or IITM-ESM has been developed at the Centre for Climate Change Research (CCCR), Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) under the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES).

IITM-ESM, to study the impact of climate change on India’s monsoon

Earth System Model is developed by the scientists at IITM, Pune in collaboration with the international research community. It is the first climate model from South Asia that has contributed to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) sixth assessment report (AR6) and participated in the Coupled Model Inter-comparison Project –Phase 6 (CMIP6) experiments.

It is basically a numerical model that expresses the earth’s processes as sets of mathematical equations. Other features of the model include a radiatively balanced framework and an improved simulation of time-mean to study South Asia’s monsoon precipitation. Further, it also incorporates interactive ocean biogeochemistry and ecosystem processes which allow investigating the impacts of climate change and climate variability on the ocean.

How will it predict the impact?

The IITM-ESM has capabilities to address key questions concerning the science of climate change, including reliable projections of the global and regional climate, Indian monsoon, hydrological cycle, sea-level changes, tropical ocean atmosphere processes in a changing climate. Further, it has capabilities to address the effects of land use and land cover changes on the climate system.

Impact of climate change on India’s monsoon

Indian monsoon, also known as the South Asian monsoon is the lifeline of regional socio-economic activities. Agriculture to rivers flow, all depend on monsoon to continue the life process. Human beings have now also started harvesting rainwater to meet their various needs.

However, according to studies, climate change has had an adverse impact on India’s monsoon. It has made the Indian monsoon wetter and stronger. More wet years in the future years can potentially mean a disturbance to the economy, early monsoon can damage crops and agriculture, and affect the socio-economic well-being of the Indian subcontinent.

The IITM-ESM model will facilitate in better studying and understanding the rain and may help in devising a mitigation plan to reduce the impact of climate change. The framework will help in addressing the science of climate change, including detection, attribution, and future projections of global climate, with a major focus on the South Asian Monsoon.

Benefits of IITM-ESM:

The development of the IITM-ESM model is advantageous to scientists and researchers studying the impact of climate change on the environment. It is an important tool in the understanding of the physical, chemical, and biological mechanisms that govern the rate of change of elements of Earth’s system. Furthermore, this development will help in enhancing the fundamentals of the climate system, its multi-scale variability, global and regional climatic phenomena, and making projections of future climate change.

To facilitate land studies: The Model will be useful in studying the major changes the Asian region has undergone in terms of forest cover, agricultural land, and vegetation types since the pre-industrial times. Further, it will also help in studying the role of land use and land cover changes on the regional monsoon precipitation pattern.

Long-term investigation: The IITM ESM can facilitate long-term analysis and study of the earth’s system. It is a long term climate model simulation, meaning, it can help in interpreting the observed global-mean surface temperature trends during the post-1950s as well as the influence of human activities on the climate system.

Studies Indian monsoon: The model has been specially designed to assess the changes in the Indian monsoon precipitation under climate change. It is focused on refining the representations of both the global climate and the regional monsoon phenomenon.

In addition to this, in the next 5 years, the next generation of the IITM ESM model is also planned which will include interactive aerosols and chemistry and improved physical processes.

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