3-day AGM of INSA begins with lectures on climate change

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Panaji, Dec 21 (UNI) A series of seven lectures by eminent scientists on climate change, its status and future, marked the beginning of the three-day 73rd annual general meeting of the Indian National Science Academy, hosted by the National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) here today.

In the opening presentation, Prof Victor Smetacek, a scientist of Indian origin settled in Germany with Alfred Wegener institute, described an experiment of fertilisation of the Southern Ocean with iron to sequester about a third of the current increase in atmospheric carbondioxide.

The scientist had also indicated that the NIO would be participating in the carbondioxide sequestration experiment in due course with significant ramifications on climate change.

Dr A K Sangvi of Physical Research Laboratory (PRL), Ahmedabad, had highlighted the usefulness of luminiscence dating, which had emerged as a powerful alternative to all other numerical dating methods including radiocarbon dating to track paleoclimate.

Dr Anil Kulkarni, Space Applications Centre, Ahmedabad, reviewed the observations of climate change on Himalayan glaciers and seasonal snow. The glacial retreat due to lack of formation of new ice, early melting of seasonal snow cover and increase in stream run off during winter, according to him, suggest an influence of climate change on the Himalayan cryosphere.

In another presentation, Dr.B.N.Goswamy, Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune, said Indian monsoon was influenced by the Sea Surface Temperature (SST) of the North Atlantic.

Past climate records indicated the droughts for decades were noticed in India when the North Atnlantic SST was reduced. In the event of climate change, if the Arctic ice melts and flows into the North Atlantic, India was likely to experience a mega drought.

But, studies indicated, this would start showing its impact only after 60 to 70 years.

Dr J.Srinivasan, IISc, Bangalore, compared the predictions made on the basis of different models, saying one did not agree with the other because of various reasons.

More than 200 top scientists including the INSA president and former CSIR director general Dr R A Mashelkar are participating.

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