BHUBANESWAR:THE effects of long-term climate change are immense as the global population has been facing a wide range of hazards including tropical cyclone, heavy rain, heat wave and drought which require measures to protect lives and livelihood from weather related events, opined experts at the launching ceremony of Centre for Environment and Climate (CEC) at SOA University here.
Addressing meteorologists, scientists, researchers and environmental activists, Professor Emeritus at IIT-Bhubaneswar Prof UC Mohanty said the intensity of weather events will increase further. “We may have the same number of cyclones, but they would be more destructive. The monsoon has already become erratic and it is not possible to stop the process. The need is to understand it, forewarn people before natural hazards and save lives and property,” he said.
Prof Mohanty hailed Odisha Government for successfully initiating measures prior to cyclone Phailin that struck with 220 kmph wind force in 2013. Three factors - correct prediction, quick dissemination of information and efforts to evacuate people contributed towards reducing the impact, he said.The State has also been facing the hazard of lightning deaths, particularly during monsoon (June-August) when mostly farmers, who work in open fields, fall victim. Such deaths can be reduced substantially with the help of technology and forecast system, he informed.
Agriculture Secretary Saurav Garg inaugurated the new research centre on environment and climate. The focus has been on climate change for nearly two decades. Climate experts must throw light on what needs to be done to reduce loss of lives and property, he said.This is the 13th research centre set up by SOA, which was recently included in an elite list of 52 universities given special status and autonomy by UGC.
The event, which coincided with the World Meteorological Day on Friday, also included a two-day workshop on Regional Environment and Climate in Odisha (RECO-2018) with the theme - ‘Lightning, Thunderstorm and Heat Wave.’ Director of IMD, Bhubaneswar SC Sahu said 2000 to 2500 people die in lightning in the country every year with Odisha recording more than 300 deaths. The casualty is less in developed countries as they use better forecast systems, he said.
Among others, Special Relief Commissioner Bishnupada Sethi, Additional Director General at IMD, New Delhi, Mrutyunjay Mohapatra, Vice-Chancellor of SOA Prof Amit Banerjee and Dean (Research) Prof PK Nanda also spoke.