India’s India Meteorological Department (IMD) is to establish a regional climate centre in the Himalayan region. The regional climate centre will provide weather related services to India. India also to its neighbours. Similar centre is being built by China on its side of the Himalayas.
Indian hilly terrain includes the Western Ghats, Eastern Ghats, the Myanmar hills in the North East and the Himalayas. Of all these, the Himalayas has greater role in hydrology, disaster management, meteorology, eco system and many other activities. Due to this, the Himalayas are addressed as the “Third Pole of the World”. It will help in understanding the physical processes that are occurring in the Himalayas.
Himalayan melting glaciers is a major concern. This will impact food, agriculture and health in the region. The changes in glaciers will bring upon devastating effects on the fragile biodiversity of the Himalayas. It will also monitor the glaciers in the Himalayas.
Regional climate centre will collect information about precipitation in the Himalayas. It had been observed in the past that the north western Himalayas get more precipitation during the winters. The rest of the Himalayas get precipitation during monsoon. The pattern is facing changes as this region is warming at faster rate as compared to that of the rest of the world. Heavy rainfall in the region is leading to cloud bursts and also several other phenomena affect the local industry, local agriculture, local bio-system and local loves. Therefore, regional climate centre will help to make required resilient measures to slow down these changes.
Establishment of the regional climate centre is important as the Himalayas is data sparse region.
Apart from this centre, the high altitude research station in Himalaya, Himansh is already undertaking weather research activities in the Himalayan region.
Other efforts by IMD
IMD and Union Ministry of Earth Science have already taken lot of initiatives to augment the observational network in Himalayan region. This includes automated weather stations, deployment of radars, development of region-specific numerical models.
Also, surface instruments such as snow gauges, automatic weather stations are also being installed.