Atmospheric Research Testbed in Central India (ART-CI) and Coastal Research Laboratory (CRL)

News Excerpt: 

The Minister of Earth Sciences launched the Atmospheric Research Testbed in Central India (ART-CI) in the Sehore district in Madhya Pradesh to track monsoons, he also inaugurated the Coastal Research Laboratory (CRL) in Visakhapatnam to monitor seawater quality.

Atmospheric Research Testbed in Central India (ART-CI):

  • Pune-based Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM) is spearheading the research activities at this first-of-its-kind testbed facility in Silkheda (Sehore), Madhya Pradesh.
  • The testbed, works of which began in early 2018, is equipped with high-end instruments to record several vital parameters that will be fed into improving the weather models besides facilitating advanced studies on the Indian monsoons.
    • India receives nearly 70% of its annual rainfall during the June to September southwest monsoon season.
    • The rainfall in the core monsoon zone is sustained by the interactions between southwest monsoon winds and westward-moving low-pressure systems or depressions.
    • Agriculture in the rain-fed regions spanning from Gujarat to West Bengal across central India depends heavily on the monsoon rains.
    • Silkheda in Sehore lies directly in the path of rain-bearing systems originating in the Bay of Bengal.
    • This makes Silkheda an ideal area for studying the characteristics of these systems and the properties of the clouds embedded within them.
  • It is a unique observational facility and will help better understand the cloud systems, land-atmospheric systems, and tracking of the low-pressure systems and depressions. 
    • Approximately 25 high-end instruments, including the aethalometer for aerosol studies, cloud condensation nuclei counter, laser ceilometer for measuring cloud sizes, and micro rain radar for calculating raindrop size and distribution, have been installed.
    • Additionally, a Ka-band cloud radar and a C-band Doppler weather radar have been set up to monitor the movement of rain-bearing systems over this zone.
  • With climate change, rainfall associated with these systems during the monsoon season has been becoming erratic. 
  • Data obtained from the testbed facility will be assimilated and used to improve the forecasts.

Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM):

  • The Institute of Tropical Meteorology was established in 1962 at Pune as a distinct unit of the India Meteorological Department (IMD). 
  • Later, the Institute was transformed into an autonomous organization in 1971 under the name Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM)
  • Since 2006, IITM has been under the administrative control of the specially formed Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES).
  • It is a premiere research institute to generate scientific knowledge in the field of meteorology and atmospheric sciences that has potential application in various fields such as agriculture, economics, health, water resources, transportation, communications, etc. 
  • The institute functions as a national center for basic and applied research in monsoon meteorology. 

Coastal Research Laboratory (CRL):

  • Coastal Research Laboratory (CRL) was inaugurated in Visakhapatnam’s Dolphin’s Nose area.
  • Chennai-based National Centre for Coastal Research (NCCR) will host and co-ordinate activities at CRL.
  • The CRL focuses on addressing issues such as coastal erosion, marine pollution, storms, sea level rise, seawater quality testing, and mangrove health.
  • The lab is equipped with facilities to carry out multidisciplinary research encompassing coastal water quality monitoring, marine ecology, ecotoxicology, molecular biology, and climate change studies. 
  • It will also serve as a unique resource hub for stakeholders, enhancing coastal literacy among citizens, besides training the next generation of researchers in coastal and atmospheric sciences. 
  • Water quality monitoring is key in tracking the health of the seas. With India’s Blue Economy taking shape, CRL will have a key role to play in the future.

National Centre for Coastal Research (NCCR)

  • Based in Chennai, the National Centre for Coastal Research (NCCR) is an attached office of MoES. 
  • It is envisaged to develop and improve the country's capabilities in addressing the challenging problems prevailing in the coastal zone, which have societal, economic, and environmental implications.
  • It focuses on various aspects such as coastal dynamics, erosion, pollution, climate change impacts, and the sustainable utilization of coastal resources.
  • NCCR plays a crucial role in providing scientific insights and recommendations to support policy-making and coastal management efforts in the country.

Way Forward:

As the blue economy and climate change are emerging as significant topics of discussion, Indian scientists are pioneering advancements in these fields, marking crucial progress. Given India's vast size and diverse needs, the establishment of such testbeds and research centers is critical.

Book A Free Counseling Session