India Announces High Altitude Cloud Physics Laboratory to Study AEROSOLS and other Weather PhenomenonChemtrail News, Featured Friday, May 25th, 2012
Ministry of Earth Science24-May, 2012 17:58 IST
High Altitude Cloud Physics Laboratry Opened at Mahabaleshwar (Maharashtra)
Following is the text of the speech of Hon. Minister of Science & Technology and Earth Sciences Shri Vilasrao Deshmukh at a function to inaugurate high altitude cloud physics laboratry opened at Mahabaleshwar (Maharashtra)
“It gives me great pleasure to be associated with the Inauguration and foundation stone laying ceremony of this High Altitude Cloud Physics Laboratory, at Mahabaleshwar and I congratulate Dr Shailesh Nayak, Secretary MoES and Director of IITM, Prof. B. N. Goswami for their vision of setting up this world class facility to conduct cutting edge research in the field of Physics and Dynamics of clouds and rain at Mahabaleshwar. I am particularly happy that our own Mahabaleshwar, a favorite tourist place also provides a unique location for studying tropical clouds and rain. We are all familiar with very heavy rainfall in Mahabaleshwar amounting to more than 500 cm of rain in a year while only 30 km away, in Mandhar devi there is hardly any rain! We need to understand what type of clouds bring so much rain over Mahabaleshwar and why there is almost no rain in Mandhar devi? I am told that such understanding will help us to improve the skill of prediction of extreme rain events and droughts. I understand that the Lab will be equipped with a large number of state of the art equipments to measure all the microphysical properties of the clouds and rain as well as environmental conditions such as the aerosols, winds, temperature, humidity etc at high temporal intervals. I also understand that a meteorological radar is also being set up at Mandhar devi that will be looking at the clouds and rain over Mahabaleshwar continuously. I am extremely happy to see that such a comprehensive plan has been put in place to carry out in depth study of clouds and rain over this region.
The weather we observe and feel is a product of the atmospheric heat engine and clouds and rain are fuel for this heat engine. Individual clouds are generally small in size but get organized into bigger systems like tropical cyclones and influence the atmospheric heat engine on a large scale. However, most weather and climate prediction models cannot resolve each and every cloud. How do we then formulate the effect of all the clouds in such a model? This is a very big challenge for all the weather and climate scientists. This they can do if there is a good understanding of how starting from water vapor condensing around tiny aerosol particles clouds grow and die in different environments. However, this understanding is far from complete. Under the guidance and support from the Ministry of Earth Sciences, IITM Pune has been conducting a major experiment called Cloud Aerosol Interaction and Precipitation Enhancement Experiment (CAIPEEX) to study how the aerosols in the atmosphere influence the cloud formation and rain. Under this experiment, instrumented aircrafts have been used to go inside the clouds and make measurements on the cloud properties together with measuring other environmental parameters. However, using aircrafts limits the number of sample that one can study. Therefore, it was necessary to set up a lab where long term continuous measurements of clouds could be made. For this purpose, we must have a station where clouds are found at the ground level. Mahabaleshwar immediately became an ideal choice. Thus, this high altitude cloud physics lab is an extension of the CAIPEEX and part of long term strategy of IITM for comprehensive study of clouds and rain. With the CAIPEEX data and data from this high altitude station for about three years, IITM hopes to come up with a new and more appropriate formulation of clouds and rain in weather and climate prediction models leading to tangible improvement of forecast skills of these models.
The Government of India, through the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES), is committed to provide improved and reliable weather and climate services to the society. While the skill of weather and climate forecasts in most developed countries saw significant improvement during the past three decades, in India it remained low and static for a long time. The MoES has taken several land mark initiatives during the past five years towards improving this situation and the results are already quite visible. With the implementation of a high resolution weather forecast model at IMD, the public perception of IMD forecasts has already shown significant improvement. As weather prediction models need better input for improving forecasts, MoES has taken a major program for Modernization of the Observation Network of the India Meteorology Department (IMD). Advanced supercomputers are also crucial for making reliable weather and climate forecasts. Although a supercomputer was installed in NCMRWF, Noida for weather forecasts in late eighties, this facility did not grow at the required rate. While the supercomputing capacity grew exponentially in USA, Japan and even in China, the growth remained very slow in India. MoES took a major initiative to improve the supercomputing in its Institutions and the first effort led to a total supercomputing capacity of about 120 teraflops. The 70 teraflop facility at IITM is second largest facility in the country and put the weather and climate prediction efforts in India amongst the best in the world. IITM has now operationalized a dynamical high resolution coupled ocean-atmosphere model to provide reliable long range prediction of seasonal mean monsoon rainfall. It is also operationlizing a system to provide reliable forecasts of active and break spells of monsoon rain fall 2 to 3 weeks in advance. These computing facilities need to be upgraded regularly. During the 12th Plan, MoES has made a comprehensive plan to upgrade the supercomputing facility to 2-3 petaflops and make India a world leader in the field.
The prediction models need to be improved on a continuous basis. This can be done by improving the input data that goes into the models and also by improving the models themselves. This requires high end research and training. Weather and climate prediction models are highly complex and improvement of skill of prediction is a slow process requiring involvement of a large pool of experts in a large number of interdisciplinary fields. The operational weather and climate forecasting Centres do not generally have enough expert manpower for this R & D and requires help from the academic community. Traditionally, however, there is a great disconnect between the academic community in the country and the operational weather and climate prediction Centres. Recently, MoES has launched a mission mode project called ‘Monsoon Mission’ to improve the skill of weather and climate prediction systems by forging partnerships between the Academic community and the operational weather and climate prediction community. Such partners will be encouraged to take up specific projects on improving aspects of the operational prediction systems. The partnership will not be limited only to Indian partners, it will be opened up to some international partners as well.
As such trained manpower in this field is limited in our country, a comprehensive program to build R & D manpower in the field of Weather and Climate prediction is also essential. It has always been difficult to attract best of the students to take up a career in this field in particular and Earth Sciences in general. To improve this situation MoES has started a job linked Training program at IITM under the Centre for Advanced Training for Earth System Science and Climate. Under this Program 20-60 Trainees are inducted every year and after one year of rigorous Training and six months of a Project in the Earth System Science and Climate, they are inducted to jobs in one of the Institutions under MoES. The first batch of this Training is completing its first year by June 2012 and the second batch is expected to join in July. The most satisfying aspect of this new initiative is that top students in Science as well as in Engineering are opting for this Program. These Trainees will continue with their Ph.D programs while in job and will certainly give a quantum jump in quality of research in the country in the field of Weather and Climate.
The High Altitude Cloud Physics Laboratory being set up by IITM is an example of India’s resolve that we shall not just follow the developed Nations but come up with new ideas and set up best scientific infrastructure and be leader in the field. My best wishes are with IITM and MoES to fully succeed in this endeavor”.