Press Releases

  • Norwegian Government collaborates with TERI to promote climate and ocean research

    3 February 2009

    At a high level stakeholder’s discussion the Norwegian government has committed to collaborate with The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) to promote climate and ocean research in India.

    In the workshop "Scientific Cooperation in Climate Change Research: An Indo-Norwegian Initiative" on the sidelines of the Delhi Sustainable Development Summit 2009 experts from India and Norway discussed the way forward for joint Indo-Norwegian cooperation in climate and ocean research and explored bilaterally the competence, strategies and plans with a focus on regional climate change modeling and associated operational requirements.

    The Norwegian envoy to India HE Ambassador Ann Ollestad, said "Climate changes observed over the last several decades are mostly due to human activities, but significant change is also a reflection of natural variability of the climate system. The economic stresses are likely to increase vulnerability therefore for a clear understanding of the present and past climate variability, fine resolution weather and climate data is highly required. We are very happy to collaborate with India, especially TERI to promote climate and ocean research."

    While emphasizing on the immediate need for climate and ocean research Dr R K Pachauri, Director General TERI said, “Developing countries should take leadership in the science of climate change; climate modeling and projections as discussed in the IPCC's Working Group-I report. India is a large developing country with nearly two-thirds of the population depending directly on the climate sensitive sectors such as agriculture, fisheries and forests. The projected climate change under various scenarios is likely to have implications on food production, water supply, biodiversity and livelihoods. Thus, India has a significant stake in scientific and climate modeling advancement as well as an international understanding to promote mitigation and adaptation"

    Expressing an urgency for India to have climate and ocean modeling, Dr Prodipto Ghosh, Distinguished Fellow TERI and Former Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forests while discussing India's National Action Plan on Climate Change furthered Dr Pachauri's point and said, "Major issues like availability of weather and climate data, atmospheric ocean general circulation modeling, regional climate modeling and computer grid establishment/High performance computing etc need to be discussed so that India arms itself with the capability of having state-of-the-art climate modeling tools, rather than relying on models developed by countries such as US and UK"

    The workshop deliberated on the two major challenges of reliable regional climate modeling and role of ocean dynamics in the climate change perspectives. adequate adaptation and mitigation strategies depend on improved regional climate change scenarios. The IPCC AR4 utilizes 20 global scale models in their assessment, yet there are major discrepancies between models in terms of model projections for key regions and phenomena, e.g. with respect to the monsoon, to future water supply, as well as for many of the key climate patterns that connect regions. Improved downscaling and interpretations of regional model simulations are needed based on the expertise of the regional climate regimes and their observational foundation. Norway has developed global climate model simulations with the Bergen Climate Model and is further developing downscaling and applications of regional models. India has initiated activities developing the institutional capacities to promote regional climate modelling, and there is scope for collaboration on developing these activities in a bilateral partnership.

    On the ocean dynamics and their role in the climate change perspectives, it has been pointed out that both India and Norway are countries with extensive maritime activities and ocean areas under their jurisdiction. India is developing its operational services at Indian National Centre for Ocean Information System (INCOIS) using state of the art ocean observations, Indian and international satellite remote sensing, data assimilation techniques and operational ocean modeling tools at INCOIS. In Norway and Europe these are research and operational topics that have significant focus. India and Norway face common challenges in developing their operational oceanographic services to a level of maturity that is required to respond to climate challenges. The assimilation techniques used in operational forecasting is also of high relevance for improving regional climate predictions, thus there is clear synergy with regional climate modeling activities.