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Notable Activities of M/o Earth Sciences During 2014

Year End Review 2014

Following are the notable activity of M/o Earth Science during the year 2014;

INSAT 3D METEOROLOGICAL DATA PROCESSING SYSTEM DEDICATED TO THE NATION ON 139TH FOUNDATION DAY OF INDIA METEOROLOGICAL DEPARTMENT (IMD) 

The INSAT 3D Meteorological Data Processing System was dedicated to the Nation on 15th January, 2014 the 139th Foundation Day of India Meteorological Department (IMD) here in New Delhi by the then Union Minister of Science and Technology & Earth Sciences Sh. S. Jaipal Reddy. Dr. Shailesh Nayak, Secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences  and Dr. L. S. Rathore Director General of Meteorology was present on this occasion. A website INDIA WEATHER was also launched on the occasion.
With significant improvements in spatial resolution, number of spectral channels and functionality, INSAT-3D will provide information on various parameters which will lead to significant improvement in weather forecasting in the following areas:
Onset of Monsoon over Kerala; Tracking and prediction of Tropical Cyclones; Western Disturbances, Night time FOG, Snow Cover Mapping; and Detection of High impact weather events such as Heavy rainfall, thunderstorms, dust storms etc.
 
INSAT 3D Meteorological Data Processing System (IMDPS) has been set up at National Satellite Meteorological Centre (NSMC), IMD, New Delhi to receive and process the satellite data on a real time basis. The system is capable to process and generate images and products on 24X7 basis.
 
IMPLEMENTATION OF HIGH PERFORMANCE COMPUTING SYSTEM FOR IMPROVED WEATHER AND CLIMATE PREDICTIONS 

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs approved the implementation of the High Performance Computing (HPC) system during the XII plan period at a total estimated cost of Rs.567.16 crore (Rs. 500 crore non-recurring and Rs. 67.16 crore recurring). 
The establishment of the HPC system and the enhanced computing infrastructure will enable simulations for improved weather, climate and ocean forecast and will help in providing reliable weather and climate services to the end users such as farmers, fishermen and other stakeholders in the government and neighbouring countries. 
The salient features of the HPC system are: 
(i) Setting up of petaflops-scale HPC facility along with sustained supporting infrastructure such as UPS, cooling system, power and generator backup at the Earth System Science Organisation-Ministry of Earth Sciences (ESSO-MoES) units, to enable simulations for improved weather and climate predictions. 

(ii) The HPC facility will be available to the academic and research community of the country to undertake developmental work for improving the skill of forecasting. 

(iii) The facility will also be set up at the Indo-Africa Center for Medium Range Weather Forecasting, Mauritius as part of India’s commitment for running an end-to-end medium range weather forecasting system for the African Union and extend support to the neighbouring Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) countries and the African Union. 

The HPC system will be implemented in two phases during the XII Plan. The entire computational facility will be maintained at the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (ESSO-IITM) and the National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (ESSO-NCMRWF) with access to other ESSO units through the dedicated National Knowledge Network (NKN) linkage. 
LONG RANGE FORECAST FOR THE 2014 SOUTHWEST MONSOON SEASON RAINFALL RELEASED BY IMD
The India Meteorological Department and Earth System Science Organization (ESSO) under the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) on 24th April 2014 released the Long Range Forecast for the 2014 Southwest Monsoon Season Rainfall. 
Accordingly, the experimental ensemble forecast based on IMD SFM indicates that the rainfall during the 2014 monsoon season (June to September) averaged over the country as a whole is likely to be 88% 5% of long period average (LPA).

IMD 2ND STAGE LONG RANGE FORECAST FOR THE 2014 SOUTHWEST MONSOON SEASON RAINFALL WAS RELEASED BY DR. JITENDRA SINGH, MOS SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY & EARTH SCIENCES (I/C)
SAID ADEQUATE AND TIMELY ARRANGEMENTS WILL BE MADE TO COUNTER THE EMERGING ADVERSE EFFECTS, IF ANY

Dr. Jitendra Singh,  Union Minister of State for Science & Technology and Earth Sciences (Independent Charge) on 09 -06-2014 released  the 2nd stage Long range  forecast for the 2014 Southwest Monsoon here in the Prithvi Bhawan, Ministry of Earth Sciences headquarters, New Delhi.  He said though Rainfall over the country as a whole for the 2014 southwest monsoon season (June to September) is likely to be below normal (90-96% of LPA) however adequate and timely arrangements will be made to counter the emerging  adverse effect, if any.

FIRST INDIAN SUB-SURFACE OCEAN MOORED OBSERVATORY DEPLOYED IN THE ARCTIC 

A major milestone in Indias scientific endeavors in the Arctic region was achieved on the 23rd July, 2014 when a team of scientists from the ESSO-National Centre for Antarctic and Ocean Research (NCAOR) and the ESSO-National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT) successfully deployed IndARC, the countrys first multi-sensor moored observatory in the Kongsfjorden fjord of the Arctic, roughly half way between Norway and the North Pole. This moored observatory, designed and developed by ESSO-NIOT and ESSO-NCAOR with ESSO-Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) was deployed from the Norwegian Polar Institute’s research vessel R.V. Lance during its annual MOSJ-ICE cruise to the Kongsfjorden area. The observatory is presently anchored (7857 N 1201E), about 1100 km away from the North Pole at a depth of 192 m and has an array of ten state-of-the-art oceanographic sensors strategically positioned at discrete depths in the water column. These sensors are programmed to collect real-time data on seawater temperature, salinity, current and other vital parameters of the fjord. 

MEMORANDUM OF UNDERSTANDING SIGNED BETWEEN ESSO-MOES AND UCAR, USA FOR COOPERATION IN THE FIELD OF EARTH SYSTEM SCIENCE 

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Earth System Science Organization-Ministry of Earth Sciences (ESSO-MoES) and the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR), USA was signed on 07 October 2014 in New Delhi for cooperation in Earth System Sciences. 

Dr Shailesh Nayak Secretary M/o Earth Sciences said on the occasion that since Weather and climate affects all our activities, this collaboration will act as a step to bring together academia and application scientists to come together. He was joined by UCAR president Thomas Bogdan saying If we can help advance their forecast skill, it will save lives in India as well as improve our own forecasts for similar events at home, and also there are some important synergies that can benefit both countries. 

The present MoU will provide a mechanism to jointly undertake research and developmental work to address Earth System Science issues of common concern through exchange of excellent scientific knowledge and technological know how existing in the two countries.

CYCLONIC STORM, HUDHUD OVER NORTH ANDAMAN SEA & ADJOINING SOUTHEAST BAY OF BENGAL, CYCLONE WARNING GIVEN FOR ANDAMAN & NICOBAR ISLANDS AND CYCLONE ALERT FOR NORTH COASTAL ANDHRA PRADESH & SOUTH ODISHA COASTS 

A low pressure area lay over north Andaman Sea on 6th October, 2014. It concentrated into a depression in the morning of 7th October and intensified into a deep depression in the evening of 7thOctober 2014 over the same region. It moved west northwestwards, intensified into a Cyclonic Storm HUDHUD in the morning of 8th October 2014 over north Andaman Sea and crossed Andaman & Nicobar Islands close to Long island between 0830 and 0930 hrs IST of today. Moving northwestwards, it lay centered at 1130 hrs IST of 8th October 2014 near latitude 12.5N and longitude 92.5E about 1100 km southeast of Gopalpur and 1150 km east-southeast of Visakhapatnam. The system would continue to move west-northwestwards, intensify further into a severe cyclonic storm during next 24 hours and into a very severe cyclonic storm during subsequent 36 hours. The system would cross north Andhra Pradesh and south Odisha coasts between Visakhapatnam and Gopalpur around noon of 12th October 2014. 

ACQUISITION OF A POLAR RESEARCH VESSEL 

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs, chaired by the Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, has approved the acquisition of Polar Research Vessel (Ice-breaker, Research cum Supply Vessel) by the Ministry of Earth Sciences at a total cost of Rs. 1051.13 crore within a period of 34 months. 

The Ministry of Earth Sciences felt necessary to have the country’s own polar research vessel considering the need to sustain two Indian research bases in Antarctica (Maitri and Bharti); dovetailing research initiatives in the Southern Ocean domain with those in the proximal regions of the Antarctic continent; widen the thrust on Arctic research disciplines undertaken through Indian Station Himadri, and to provide a suitable research platform for other tropical sea programmes. Such a vessel, it is envisaged, can not only perform dual functions, research and logistics, in the polar region but can also serve as a research platform for scientists to undertake scientific research in the ocean realm including the Southern Ocean. In the context of India having expanded its scientific presence to the Arctic as well and the country’s growing strategic interests in the polar and ocean domain, a polar research vessel would certainly serve as the perfect vehicle for building up on Indias sustained presence and increased visibility in the ocean sector. 

LETTER OF INTENT SIGNED BETWEEN ESSO-MOES AND UNESCO FOR COOPERATION IN THE FIELD OF REDUCING DISASTER RISKS AND CAPACITY BUILDING IN EARTH SCIENCES

 A Letter of Intent between Ministry of Earth Sciences and UNESCO was signed here in New Delhi on 24 Nov 2014 in the presence of Dr. Harsh Vardhan, Union Minister of Science & Technology and Earth Sciences by Dr. Shailesh Nayak ,Secretary MoES and Ms. Irina Bokova, Director General, UNESCO in the field of Reducing Disaster Risks and Capacity Building In Earth Sciences.

Welcoming the agreement Dr Harsh Vardhan said it is a historic moment and will usher in opening new vistas of cooperation in not only the Ocean related studies but other areas of cooperation in different fields of Scientific Activities. 
The Minister said as a founder member of the International Oceanographic Congress (IOC), India has always been actively associated with the major endeavours of IOC such as Global and Regional Ocean Observing and Capacity Building programs. He said some of the active areas of cooperation are as under: 

India had played a pivotal role in establishing a Regional Alliance in the Indian Ocean (GOOS-IOGOOS) as a part of the Global Ocean Observing System (GOOS). The Secretariat of IOGOOS is currently located at the Earth System Science Organization ESSO-Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (ESSO-INCOIS) Hyderabad. 

The oceanographic Data Centre located at ESSO-INCOIS, Hyderabad, has been recognized as Regional Argo Data Centre as well as Responsible National Oceanographic Data Centre (RNODC) of International Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange (IODE) of IOC. India also serves as a regional node for the Northern Indian Ocean Biogeographic Information System (IndOBIS). 

Indian National Tsunami Warning System has also been recognized as Regional Tsunami Service Provider (RTSP) for the Indian Ocean.

In response to The Ocean Call from Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC)/UNESCO in June 2010 to its Member States for contributions towards the IOCs efforts on capacity building, Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES), Government of India decided to establish an International Training Centre for Operational Oceanography (ITC Ocean) at the Earth System Science Organisation-Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (ESSO-INCOIS), Hyderabad. Subsequent to singing an MOU between IOC and ESSO-INCOIS on 4thCentre for Operational Oceanography (ITCOO) at Hyderabad, India. ITC Ocean started functioning formally by conducting a two week training course on Fundamentals of Ocean Climate Modeling at Global and Regional Scales together with CLIVAR and International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP), Italy during 5-14 August 2013. Thirty participants drawn from the Indian Ocean rim countries attended that training course taught by the faculty participated from India, USA, Australia and Italy. Subsequently, ITCO ocean conducted another four training courses, covering different aspects of operational oceanography, for the trainees from Africa and Indian Ocean rim countries. 

India has also taken responsibility for coordination of activities relating to Celebration for articles for Indian Ocean Bubble-2 has been issued along with a newsletter to now precipitate ideas for the successful execution of IIOE-2. International and national organizing committees have been setup for celebration of IIOE-2

SMS BASED WEATHER INFORMATION AND DISASTER ALERT SYSTEM DEDICATED TO THE NATION 

Union Minister of Science & Technology and Earth Sciences Dr. Harshvardhan dedicated the sms Based Weather Information and Disaster Alert System to the Nation as an observance to the good governance day on 25th December 2014 to mark also the birthday of former Prime Minister Shri Atal Behari Vajpqyee. Dr. Shailesh Nayak, Secretary, Ministry of Earth Sciences and Chairman, ESSO and Dr L.S. Rathore, Director General of Meteorology alongwith the senior officers of the ministry was present on this occasion. 

Addressing media persons here at the India Meteorological Department (IMD) here in New Delhi Dr. Harshvardhan said the sms based weather alert system is a component of the Digital India Programme which is a flagship programme of Government of India with a vision to transform our country into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy. The minister said a provision is being made for issue of SMS alerts to General Public who would be required to register in India Meteorological Department website (www.rsmcnewdelhi@imd.gov.in) for this purpose. 
ST/jk

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