With their weather predictions improving, a confident Union earth sciences ministry is now set to launch the ‘decadal forecasts’ which would enable government to plan well in advance in case of poor monsoon, drought or excess rainfall.
Decadal forecasts in simple terms means climate predictions – mainly temperature and rainfall – for a decade ahead. These forecasts predict fluctuations that could happen in climatic conditions over the next 10 years.
“We have developed a model for giving decadal forecast. It will give predictions for a very large area. It will start in another couple of months. It is going to be a big thing for India,” secretary of the ministry of earth sciences (MoES) Shailesh Nayak told dna.
The project was part of India’s ongoing programme on climate change and its development took around 3-4 years.
“Rainfall and temperature would be two main and important factors that this model will be able to predict. It took scientists around 3-4 years to fully develop the model as part of ongoing commitment on climate change,” said Nayak.
At present, India’s meteorological department gives one number while predicting monsoon at the start of the season like it gave average forecast of 93% (below normal) monsoon rains in 2014.
“Similarly, this model will give an average for the next 10 years,” Nayak explained while adding that they would validate the predictions with the past climatic data.
Also the forecast would be updated after proper intervals taking into account new factors.
The model developed for making this forecast would take into account natural change in climate, human factor (like greenhouse gases) amidst other influencing factors.
Asked what benefits would the this new model provide, the earth sciences ministry secretary said it would enable the government and authorities to plan long term and prepare well in advance for years that could be difficult (less rain or even drought).
So for example if less rainfall is expected government can plan steps to improve irrigation facilities and focus on crops that do not require much water among other steps. Also government can take proper precautions in case excess rainfall is expected.
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