The world is definitely getting hotter, thanks to climate change – the topic that is hottest at the moment! What responsibilities do scientific institutes and businesses have, to make this world a cooler place, quite literally? Who can explain this better than Ms. Gilbert, Head of Policy at the Grantham Institute - Climate Change and Environment at Imperial College London! Ms. Gilbert is engaged in connecting relevant research across universities with policy-makers and businesses. In a candid interview during her visit to the Divecha Centre for Climate Change at the Indian Institute of Science, she opens up on her role and its challenges, the opportunities this situation presents, and her opinions on actions that need to be taken in tackling climate change.
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Divecha Centre for Climate Change
In 2013, melting of the Chorabari glacier led to heavy floods in Uttarakhand and Himachal Pradesh, causing massive loss of life and property. Glacier lake outburst floods (GLOF) like this, have become a major safety concern in the Himalayas and other mountainous regions across the world. A group of researchers from the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru has now developed a unique model that can help prevent massive damages. Led by Prof. Anil Kulkarni at the Divecha Centre for Climate Change, the model serves as a tool for safe planning and timely monitoring of glaciers.
A recent collaborative study between the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, and the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur, has employed machine-learning techniques to reveal newpredictors for the Indian Monsoon, making monsoon predictions more reliable. The team consisted of Ms. Moumita Saha and Prof. Pabitra Mitra from the Department of Computer Science, IIT–Kharagpur; and Prof. Ravi S. Nanjundiah from the Centre for Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences as well as Divecha Centre for Climate Change, IISc. Using global climate data from 1948-2000 and machine learning algorithms, the team derived a set of reliable predictors for monsoon rainfall of the sub-continent.
To most of us, the Himalayas is a snow clad, dry and cold mountain range. But trained eyes see through this apparent homogeneity and interpret the observed variations to understand the local climate and its implications. As a testimony to this, scientists from the Snow & Avalanche Study Establishment (SASE), Him Parisar, Chandigarh and the Divecha Center for Climate Change, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, have recently published a study on the variations in the 'whiteness of snow' across the Himalayas and its relationship with the mean winter air temperature and glacial stability.
Climate is one of the most complex and extensively studied systems and yet one of the most difficult to predict. It has been known for some time now that greenhouse gases (GHGs), especially Carbon Dioxide (CO2), is a major culprit for the increasing temperatures in the recent decades and that sunlight or solar radiation can warm up the atmosphere but not as much as the GHGs do. Scientists at the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, have now come up with climate models that offer explanations for these differing inefficiencies in the warming caused by two of the main perpetrators of climate change.
Extreme rainfall in India is more influenced by changes in local conditions than by changes in global conditions, a study has found. This result helps us better understand extreme rainfall events that have caused havoc in some of the Indian cities. The study was carried by the researchers from the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru.
Of late, the extreme rainfall events have increased, but the present climate model simulations are not enough to conclusively attribute the trend to human induced climate change, a study has found. This is an important result because it shows that the country needs to fine tune its models to simulate hydroclimatic variables at the regional level. The study was conducted by the researchers from the Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru.
Prof. Prosenjit Ghosh at the Centre for Earth Sciences, Indian Institute of Science finds answers to such and many other questions through his work in the OASIS laboratory (Operation and Application of Stable Isotope Systems).
The Himalayan state of Himachal Pradesh has a significant fraction of area under forest cover. A group of researchers from Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore have ranked the forested districts of this state according to vulnerability of forests to climate change, and identified priority districts for forest adaptive planning in the medium term (2030s). Their analysis showed that such priority districts are Mandi, Solan, Bilaspur, Sirmaur and Shimla under present climate, and Kullu, Shimla, Chamba and Mandi under future climate scenario.
In order to make our fight against climate change more efficient and economical, we need to address particulates like black carbon at the same time as we reduce carbon dioxide, finds a recent theoretical study from IISc.