Category: Media Centre (page 2 of 2)

Talking about Climate Data

It’s been a quiet few days at the Know Your Climate blog, but there will be more content coming your way very soon.

In the mean time, I’m glad to share that the good folks at HasGeek (& @nigelbabu in particular) had taken it upon themselves to edit videos of all talks at the Open Data Camp that took place back in March and put them up on youtube.

I had shared the slides in the introductory post here, and you can access them on slideshare. Here’s the video.

This is also a good opportunity for me to correct some of the small mistakes I made while presenting.

First up, around 2:30, I talk about how the Indian Meteorological Department is 170-180 years old. Actually, the met department is a little bit younger, at 137 years old. The department was set up after a major cyclone and famines in the 1860s and 70s, to have one agency that looked at all the meteorological data. However, the instrumental record of climate data in India goes back to the late 1700s and early 1800s, around when the British started setting up weather stations around the country.

Second, around 3:20 I talk about rain gauges maintained by various state departments, which are completely manual. While this is mostly true, I’m happy to say that things are looking up. The Karnataka State Disaster Monitoring Cell, I’m delighted to learn, has set up several hundred fully automated weather stations across Karnataka over the past decade or so. This is a huge leap forward, and from what I gather, this hasn’t been sufficiently acknowledged by the IMD either. However, their rich data remains far from open.

After I start talking about the ‘Joy of daily rainfall data’ (~ 11:30), I’ve unfortunately used the words ‘drought period’ to describe what is essentially a 2-week dry period that occurs in Bangalore around the end of June. Unfortunately in India, we use the word ‘drought’ a little too much. A drought is an extended is an extended period of months or years when a region notes a deficiency in its water supply whether surface or underground water. As per the IMD, a region suffers from ‘meteorological drought’ when it receives 25% less rain than usual in a year (with 50% less rain for a severe drought). While that reduction in rainfall does significantly impact a region, it doesn’t necessarily mean that drought has occurred. We need deeper discussions on what drought is, and I’m afraid my loose usage of the words ‘drought period’ did not help. All I was referring to was a recurrent dry period that occurs in Bangalore after the monsoon has already started.

Written by Pavan Srinath.

Welcome.

We’re delighted to launch the Know Your Climate Blog with a presentation made by Pavan Srinath at the Open Data Camp that took place in Bangalore on March 24th, 2012.

Public Affairs Centre is a non-profit organisation in Bangalore promoting good governance since 1994through research, advocacy and action. In 2010, we formed a new group called the Environmental Governance Group, focusing on trying to develop governance solutions to environmental issues in India, including climate change adaptation. In the struggle for assessing climate change impacts, exploring robust adaptation options, and trying to work with both community knowledge & climate science, we thought that it was worthwhile to take a stepback, and try to learn more about our local climate first. This started an initiative called Know Your Climate.

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