Research Themes

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Major Research Fields of CCCDM

The range of research activities at CCCDM is broad and deep. Research scholars conduct in research in almost every field, and seek to expand human knowledge through analysis, innovation, and insight. Research is supported by research funds each year, and it is carried out both in the departments of the CCCDM and the Anna University for Advanced Study, and they collaborate with colleagues across the nation and abroad, at affiliated institutions, and at other research institutions.

Centre for Climate Change and Disaster Management (CCCDM) is the first ever initiative across the country which has multidisciplinary approach to address the issues of climate change. The two high-priority questions that focus the Centre for Climate Change and Disaster Management are

  • What are the likely consequences of climate change natural and human systems?
  • What are all the adaptation measures to combat climate change at cadastral level of rural and urban area of India?

To answer these questions, the centre has seven interconnected strategic focus areas to meet the requirement of India’s National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC). The seven strategic focus areas are as follows:

  • Climate and Climate Modeling
  • WhatClimate Change Impact Assessment
  • Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment
  • Climate Change Adaptation
  • Climate Change Policies and Frameworks
  • Climate Change Education and Outreach
  • Knowledge Management System

A key to CCCDM’s strategy and success is the program’s ongoing commitment to integration among the seven strategic focus areas, in an effort to accelerate a system-level understanding of climate change causes and consequences. To address this, unlike other disciplines CCCDM requires multidisciplinary approach integrating various fields such as Disaster Mitigation and Management, Urban Development, Natural Resource Management, Coastal Management, Social Studies etc.

Climate Modelling

Priorities for climate change research have moved beyond determining if earth's climate is changing and if there is a human cause. The focus is now on understanding how quickly the climate is changing, where the key changes will occur, and what their impacts might be. Climate models are the best available tools for projecting likely climate changes. Rapid model development, testing, and optimization will be critical to providing decision makers with the timely, and accurate, information they need.

Ultimately, Earth system models (ESMs)-the next-generation climate change models that incorporate biogeochemistry, atmospheric chemistry, and dynamic vegetation into coupled models of the atmosphere, ocean, sea ice, and land surface-must provide improved simulations of temperature, precipitation, and extreme weather events, all at much finer scales, to help the public understand climate change and to provide the inputs necessary for assessments of the consequences of climate change. Because many effects of climate change will be realized at the regional scale, it will be necessary, but not sufficient, to increase the spatial resolution of climate models and to accelerate computational throughput with a combination of software and hardware advances. Inclusion of the latest data from satellites and other modern observation platforms, such as automated weather stations, ground-based remote sensing techniques, and ocean data buoys has to be strengthened for long-term strategy of building up a self-reliant climate data bank. This will require incorporation into climate models of results from diverse research activities, and results from research at other agencies and internationally.

In this regard, Centre for Climate Change and Disaster Management has already collaborated with the Met Office, Hardley's Centre for Climate Change, United Kingdom and looking forward for effective progress.

PRECIS Regional Climate Modelling System

The Met Office Hadley Centre's regional climate modelling system (PRECIS) can be easily applied anywhere on Earth.The aim of PRECIS (Providing REgional Climates for Impacts Studies) is to allow developing countries, or groups of developing countries, to generate their own national scenarios of climate change for use in impact studies. It is used to generate detailed regional climate change projections at either 50 km or 25 km horizontal resolution. It is an ideal tool for capacity building in developing countries as it contains a simple user interface that enables inexperienced users without the relevant wide-ranging technical expertise to set up and run a regional climate model. It also includes a visualization and data processing package that allows users to display and process the model output for use in their impacts models. The high resolution of the regional climate model provides a level of detail relevant to many impact and vulnerability studies.

The PRECIS Regional Climate Modelling System(http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/precis/)
PRECIS at Centre for Climate Change and Adaptation Reasearch

The Centre for Climate Change and Disaster Management is equipped with High performance computing system and large volume of storage capacity to run PRECIS which will be a significant component of all the research activities taken up at the centre. The Met Office Hadley centre provides boundary data from 17-member perturbed-physics ensemble (HadCM3Q0-Q16, known as 'QUMP') for use with PRECIS in order to allow users to generate an ensemble of high-resolution regional simulations. At our centre, we utilize six members ensemble based on the model performance. Our Centre is the forerunner in generating exclusive primary data of future climate projection from PRECIS at high resolution of 25km from 1950 to 2100 continuously

CLIMSYSTEMS

Climate change is increasingly recognized as a factor to be considered across sectors such as infrastructure, agriculture, water resources, conservation, biodiversity and disaster risk management. CLIMsystems position the knowledge, capability and climate-proofing capacity in hands for conducting climate change risk and adaptation assessments. CLIMsystems Ltd designs, develops and markets advanced, user-friendly software systems for assessing impacts and adaptation to climate variability and change. The products are fourth Assessment-compatible and include spatial scenario generators for temperature, precipitation, sea level rise, solar radiation and wind. The models can be linked with globally significant sectoral models. Vulnerability and resilience can both be assessed through the application of CLIMsystems tools and methods including extreme event analysis.

CLIMSystems(http://www.climsystems.com/)
SimCLIM at Centre for Climate Change and Adaptation Reasearch

Our centre uses SimCLIM, which is an integrated modeling system from CLIMSYSTEMS for assessing climate change impacts and adaptation. The SimCLIM system simulates the impacts of both climate variability and change in temporal and spatial scales. Amongst a range of applications, it is used to assist in climate proofing across various sectors including: Water, Agriculture, Health, Ecosystems, coastal zone issues.

Impact Assessment

Climate change impact assessment refers to research and investigations designed to find out what effect future changes in climate could have on human activities and the natural world. It is also frequently coupled with the identification and assessment of possible adaptive responses to a changing climate. To the extent that adaptation can reduce impacts, the assessment of adaptation measures is a part of impact studies. Thus impacts may be described as "gross" or unmodified impacts and as "net" impacts after adaptation has been taken into account. Climate change impact studies cannot be experimentally confirmed or verified. Clearly it is not possible to conduct a controlled experiment by changing the global atmosphere to test the effects of changes on human and natural systems. Therefore Impact assessment selects a particular environmental stress of concern (i.e., climate change) and seeks to identify its most important consequences for a variety of social or ecosystem properties that are depicted through impact assessment models and modules that differ for each sector. In practice, impact studies have been the most helpful to focus on a single stress that dominates system response. It is becoming clear, however, that some of the greatest challenges arising from human- environment interactions entail complex system responses to multiple and interacting stresses originating in both social and environmental realms.

Since climate change is a global problem, decisions with respect to both mitigation and adaptation involve actions or choices at all levels of decision-making, from the most local and community level (including families and individuals) to the broadest international levels, involving all national governments and many transnational bodies as well. The intended target audience or client for impact studies therefore is also very wide ranging, and this will affect the design. Centre for Climate Change and Disaster Management recognizes that the Impact Assessment has a key role to play in assisting in the Govt. efforts to minimize green house gas emissions and adapt to our changing climate. The goal is to meet this challenge relevant to climate change in various sectors as Agriculture, Forestry, Health ,Water and Urban Natural Resources.

Vulnerability Assessment

Vulnerability (and resilience) studies represent an important development for understanding how climate change interacts with society, and for identifying and developing adaptation interventions. According to IPCC,vulnerability is a measure of the susceptibility to harm in a system in response to a stimulus, and can be visualized as a function of exposure and sensitivity to climate change and adaptive capacity . Exposure refers to the nature of climate-related (direct or indirect) risks. Sensitivity concerns the organization and structure of human systems relative to climate-related risks and determines the pathways through which exposure is manifest. Adaptive capacity reflects the ability to address, plan for, or adapt to climate-related risks and to take advantage of new opportunities.

These three dimensional components must be integrated in the vulnerability assessment ,irrespective of the differences that may exist in the levels or intensities of these three components. Vulnerability assessment is specific for a particular group or unit of concern and aims to determine the risk of specific adverse outcomes for that unit in the face of a variety of stresses and identifies a range of factors that may reduce response capacity and adaptation to stressors. Therefore it is imperative to elucidate the existing local knowledge base of indigenous adaptation strategies within a community as part of the evaluation of adaptive capacity required by the definition for vulnerability, even if there are evidences of exposure and sensitivity of the coupled system. Furthermore, sensitivity and exposure of human and environment components of the coupled system may differ and will require different criteria which must link the coupled system in order to keep it as an integrated whole system. Stakeholders interests (past, present or future interest) also play important roles in vulnerability assessment.

This makes it essential that vulnerability assessments inform and facilitate the decision-making process of specific stakeholders of a sector about their options for adapting to the effects of climate change within the scope of their resources.The centre for climate change aims to develop a wholesome data base to cater to the needs of conducting the vulnerability assessments.

Climate Change Adaptation

The magnitude of climate change impacts estimated from an assessment is often very sensitive to the assumptions made about adaptation. It is difficult to predict exactly how people will respond to climate change. Adaptation is one such significant measure that reduces vulnerability to actual or expected climate change effects. It is therefore important to consider adaptation at the design phase of the assessment and to decide how it is to be brought into the impacts research at an early stage.

There is an urgent need for adaptation assessment in the short-term, as witnessed by the increasingly high costs of extreme weather events, compounded by rising population densities, eroding natural protection systems and aging infrastructure. Further, by understanding, planning for and adapting to a changing climate, individuals and societies can take advantage of opportunities and reduce risks. Thus, adaptation has emerged as a necessary response to and preparation for the unavoidable impacts of global climate change. Where an assessment is being organized sector wise, it can be helpful to select suitable representation from each sectoral group to serve collectively as a cross-cutting group to address adaptation issues.

Policies and Frameworks

The growing sense of urgency surrounds the problem of global warming, as the scientific evidence becomes steadily more ominous and compelling. Indeed, as climate skeptics sink into obscurity, conventional economic analysis is fast replacing them as the leading argument against vigorous, near term climate policy initiatives. A handful of widely cited economic model and analyses are often taken as having proved that climate change mitigation is impossibly expensive and it will be used to estimate the economic and environmental effects of potential domestic climate change mitigation programs and strategies.

To provide an accurate representation of potential climate change mitigation programs and strategies, CCCDM will look for an array of modeling tools, data and also devising a climate economics policy planning. Cynicism about the cost of government initiatives in general feeds in to new economic argument for inaction. As the arguments of debates are shifting, there is a need for development of a progressive economic analysis and policies of climate change. Thus, climate policy presents the highest quality refereed research and analysis on the policy issues rose by climate change, and provides a forum for commentary and debate. It addresses both the mitigation of, and adaptation to, climate change, within and between the different regions of the world. It encourages a trans-disciplinary approach to these issues at regional and sectoral levels. At present planners need quantitative economic and policy analysis for adaptation in water technology, agriculture, disaster and coastal management.

Education and Outreach

The countries that are parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) have accepted certain commitments taking into account their common but differentiated responsibilities and other specific national and regional development priorities. To fulfill these commitments, it is needed to promote and facilitate various education, training and awareness programs at the national and regional levels. Professional training and awareness programs at the national and regional levels as required under education, training and public awareness will facilitate capacity building to enable India to participate fully in and to implement effectively their commitments under the convention. However, education, training and awareness generation will be addressing the specific needs, conditions and reflecting the national sustainable development goals, priorities and strategies. The first and foremost step in this regard is to develop a process nationally and regionally to prepare teaching material to impart education, training and create public awareness. This will be done under a multi-tier approach. National level and regional level workshops and seminars will also be organized at regular intervals for faster dissemination and exchange of information among various groups and categories of people, communities, civil societies etc. Such a process will accelerate the process of education and training for officials and professionals.

The centre integrates research studies in the natural and physical sciences, engineering, socioeconomic and political science to improve humankind's capacity to understand, predict, and respond to climate variability and change

Knowledge Management

The goal of the knowledge management system in Centre for Climate Change and Disaster Management is to develop a "Climate Information System" for conveying scientific information to the general public, research groups and various adaptation and mitigation sectors with easy access.

Main objectives of this programme is:

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