Year-End- Review-2021- Ministry of  Earth Sciences

  • IASbaba
  • December 30, 2021
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Year-End- Review-2021- Ministry of  Earth Sciences

Part of: Prelims and Mains GS-III: Space and Technology

  • The Deep Ocean Mission, India’s ambitious plan to explore and harness deep-oceanic resources and support the Blue Economy Initiatives of the Government of India was approved by the Cabinet. SAMUDRYAAN, Indian Manned Ocean Mission under Deep Ocean Mission was thus launched in November 2021.
    • The underwater mining system was deployed from ORV Sagar Nidhi and Seabed locomotion trials of the experimental undercarriage system of underwater mining system (Varaha-I and II) was successfully undertaken over a distance of 120m on water-saturated soft soil at 5270 m depth in the Central Indian Ocean (CIO).
    • Two gliders were deployed in the Bay of Bengal to monitor the deep ocean physical and biogeochemical parameters with special emphasis to understand the temporal and spatial variability of the Oxygen Minimum Zone (OMZ). 
  • An Earth System Science Data Portal (ESSDP) of MoES was launched The ESSDP hosts about 1050 metadata records of data collected and maintained underdifferent programs implemented by MoES over the years and link them to the respective data centres. 
  • Accurate and timely prediction of tropical cyclones Tautkae, Yaas, Gulab and Shaheen combined with fieldwork by disaster management agencies, which helped save thousands of precious lives of countrymen.
    • Significant improvements in forecasting accuracy with respect to severe weather events including tropical cyclones, heavy rainfall, fog, heat wave, cold wave, thunder storm-20 to 40 percent improvement 
    • Three Doppler Weather Radars were commissioned at Mukteshwar, Uttarakhand and Kufri, Shimla, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu. 
    • Atmospheric Research Testbed is an open field observatory spread over 100 acres of land (50 km northwest of Bhopal in Sehore District of Madhya Pradesh) for better understanding on the processes governing monsoon convection and land-atmosphere interactions over the core monsoon region using the state-of-the-art observational systems such as Radars, Wind Profilers, UAVs etc. This Atmospheric Research Testbed will be a unique facility in the Tropical region. A Dual-polarimetric C-band Doppler Weather Radar was commissioned in the above facility recently for detailed precipitation process studies in the core monsoon zone.
    • Under Lightning Location Network, 83 sensors across the country have been established. 
    • IITM has developed indigenous Decision Support System for advanced air quality management for Delhi NCR region. 

The Data Assimilation (DA) system at National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (NCMRWF), has been updated to assimilate more new satellite observations. A High-Resolution Rapid Refresh (HRRR) system was also implemented to support nowcasting activities of IMD.

  • The High Resolution Rapid Refresh (HRRR) model has been developed to generate forecasts for next 12 hours. 
  • A Virtual Centre on Artificial Intelligence (AI) / Machine Learning (ML)/ Deep Learning (DL) is established at IITM Pune in order to expand the domain through multidisciplinary programs in the field of Earth System Sciences.
  • During the year, several advisories (88 nos.) on possible coral bleaching were provided comprising of the locations of Hot Spots (HS) and Degree of Heating Weeks (DHWs) estimated using SST anomalies derived from satellite data on a bi-weekly basis.
  • A water quality buoy has been deployed by National Centre for Coastal Research (NCCR) in the coastal water off Puducherry at 10m depth (~1.5 km from the coast). This is an automated water quality buoy fitted with sensors to monitor the variations in the water quality and productivity of the coastal waters. 
  • Under the Resource Exploration and Inventorization System (REIS) programme taxonomic studies of samples collected on-board FORV Sagar Sampada within the Indian Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) yielded six new species of decapod crustaceansone new species of polycheate and two species of deeps eels.
  • The Joint OMNI-RAMA Indian Ocean Data Portal developed by INCOIS jointly with NIOT and PMEL-NOAA will showcase the large inventory of meteorological and oceanographic data sets with direct access for data display and delivery.
  • The existing National Seismological Network has now been strengthened to 150 stations with the addition of 35 new seismic observatories to improve the operational capability to detect any earthquake of M:3.0 or above in most parts of the country
    • The seismic microzonation work has been started and various Geophysical & Geotechnical surveys are in progress.
    • Under the Scientific Deep Drilling project in the Koyna Intraplate Seismic Zone, Maharashtra, the evidence of deep-water percolation in the Koyna Seismogenic Zone has been established with several damage zones being delineated between 2 and 3 km in the Koyna pilot borehole based on the physical and mechanical properties of the rock formations. 
  • Under the national network project, Submarine Ground Water Discharge (SGD), National Centre for Earth Science Studies (NCESS) has estimated SGD flux from three coastal catchments of southwest coastal zone of India through aquifer modelling technique. There are nine critical zones with a total shore length of 106.5 km, out of 640km surveyed, in the SW coastal zone having SGD signatures
  • The 40th Indian Scientific Expedition to Antarctica (40-ISEA) and 41st Indian Scientific Expedition to Antarctica launched from National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research (NCPOR), Goa in 2021.
    • The 41st expedition has two major programs. The first program encompasses geological exploration of the Amery ice shelf at Bharati station. This will help explore the link between India and Antarctica in the past. 
    • The second program involves reconnaissance surveys and preparatory work for drilling of 500 meters of ice core near Maitri in collaboration with the British Antarctic Survey and the Norwegian Polar Institute. It will help in improving the understanding of Antarctic climate, westerly winds, sea-ice and greenhouse gases from a single climate archive for past 10,000 years.
  • The International Training Centre for Operational Oceanography (ITCOocean) established at INCOIS, Hyderabad a UNESCO Category 2 Centre, had trainees from 95 countriestill date. The online training mode due to the pandemic has enabled increased participation from Indian Ocean Rim countries in the training programmes. 
  • The Implementation Agreement on “Technical Cooperation in Development of the Research moored Array for African-Asian-Australian Monsoon Analysis and prediction (RAMA) and the Ocean Moored buoy Network in the northern Indian ocean (OMNI) for Improving Weather and Monsoon Forecasts” was signed 
  • India and Vietnam signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) towards promoting scientific and technical cooperation in marine science and ecology 
  • The innovative technologies developed by National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT) on “Recombinant Ectoine Deep Sea Bacteria for Skin Care And Cosmetic Application” And Biosurfactant From Marine Bacteria For Environmental Cleanup And Waste Management 
  • The seventh edition of the India International Science Festival (IISF 2021) organized by the Ministry of Earth Sciences, Ministry of Science and Technology and Vijnana Bharati along with Government of Goa was held in Goa during 10-13, December 2021. The National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research (NCPOR), MoES was the nodal agency for organizing the IISF 2021. The theme of IISF 2021 was ‘Celebrating Creativity in Science’. 

News Source: PIB

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