Oceans impact the weather and the climate. With global warming sea levels rise is an established fact, but there is a dire need to to downscale the predictability to local levels as it has impact on coastal communities, said Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) Director T. Srinivasa Kumar on Monday.
“There are broad-based predictions about the sea levels rise as a whole like the Indian Ocean rises by 3-4 mm each year due to warming, however, we need local climate advisories which we are planning to do under the ‘Deep Ocean Mission’ in the next five years,” he explained.
“We will be launching lot of observation systems to downscale the high resolution dynamical and statistical models to come out with climate change advisories in the coastal areas,” said Dr. Kumar. This is to be done through deep sea argo floats which can go upto 5 km deep to measure temperatures, salinity, currents, etc., and the gliders which can move from East Coast till the Andaman & Nicobar Islands recording the observations in the Bay of Bengal,” said the director.
INCOIS has done 3-D inundation mapping of the 3,600 km of the country’s vulnerable coastal line and this data level will be used extensively for measuring the quantum of sea level rise, storm surges, tsunami impact, tidal waves and so on. Participating in an online interaction organised by the Ministry Of Earth Sciences on ‘Ocean Information & Advisory for the Blue Economy’, he said research and observational activities will be scaled up in collaboration with other institutions like the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) and pitched in for emerging tech start-ups to make use of the data for analysis and improve communications set up.
“New technology is available and has to made accessible to the stakeholders like we need more receivers for ‘Gagan’ and ‘NAVIC’ which provide ocean state forecasts way beyond the mobile phone reach,” the director pointed out. Giving an example, he said 12 lakh SMS messages were sent to people along the West Coast during the Cyclone Tauktae in May earlier this year with the help of 16 wave rider buoys. “We keep track of our predictions based on the observations made by our platforms on the ocean,” he said.
Accurate predictions are a big help as it can save precious lives. When Cyclone Phailin occurred in 2013, ₹3,500 crore was spent to evacuate people to safer places and lives were saved. There is scope for industry to come in for developing sensors, observing platforms, deep data mining, applications, apps and communication systems for providing the last mile connection, added Dr. Kumar.