Noida – IIT Madras launches DST Centre of Excellence in Climate Change Impacts on Coastal Infrastructure and Adaptation Strategies
On April 15, 2019, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras has launched ‘DST Centre of Excellence (CoE) in Climate Change Impacts on Coastal Infrastructure and the Adaptation Strategies’ in the institute campus. CoE will play a major role in helping the communities who are living India’s 7,500 km-long coastal line to prepare themselves for the impact of climate change such as rise in sea levels and increased frequency of tropical cyclones.
The CoE will carry out research studies on predicting climate change impact on coastal communities and strategically important coastal infrastructure such as power plants, ports, and major industries. Studies will also be undertaken to evaluate the intensity and frequency of tropical cyclones and extreme rainfall events under futuristic warming scenarios and the corresponding effect on the coastal infrastructure. At ‘DST Centre of Excellence, the overall vulnerability of coastal infrastructure and communities will also be studied to bring out the risk involved and for designing appropriate adaptation measures. Further, climate change and sea level rise impact on the availability of water resources and its quality due to enhanced saltwater intrusion and ineffective waste management will be investigated. This Centre has total 16 Researchers from different disciplines of IIT Madras and they are involved in tackling different issues of climate change impact on coastal infrastructure and coastal communities
The Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India establishing the DST Centre of Excellence (CoE) at IIT Madras under Indo-German Centre for Sustainability (IGCS) centre. The Director of IIT Madras, Prof. Bhaskar Ramamurthi has inaugurated the CoE in the presence of Dr. Akhilesh Gupta, Head, SPLICE division, DST, and researchers from National Institute of Ocean Technology, National Centre for Coastal Research, Regional Centre for Meteorology and IMD besides an inter-disciplinary group of faculty and researchers from IIT Madras and other DST Officials.
Addressing the inauguration function, Dr. Akhilesh Gupta said, “IIT Madras is the most appropriate to take up this kind of challenge. We have a lot of expectations from this Centre and am sure it will meet the expectations. We have 16 Principal Investigators working here. I am very sure the Centre will attain newer heights and have several new achievements. I congratulate all those who are part of his Centre.” He also added, “This is probably the only one of its kind Centre in South Asia on climate change impact in Coastal vulnerability. We need greater collaboration among institutes in Tamil Nadu and their functional linkages with society and policy makers to tackle this huge issue. This Centre’s objectives have been aligned with the National Missions and is working on objectives that are national priorities.”
Prof Bhaskar Ramamurthi Spoke about the importance of this Centre, he said, “The climate change impacts on coastal infrastructure require a multi-disciplinary approach. IIT Madras is happy to host such a very important program of the Government of India. We are able to bring, with a modest investment as this CoE leverages a lot of existing infrastructure, a lot of expertise. I hope this new facility bring together people from many departments and across the world and makes a name for itself by doing great work.”
Topics to be taken up for study in the Centre
The following major topics will be taken up for study in the DST Centre of Excellence (CoE):
- Prognostic climate modelling to evaluate intensity and frequency of tropical cyclones and extreme rainfall events under futuristic warming scenarios in the Bay of Bengal region
- Estimation of extreme waves and the resulting morphological changes to the coast and estuaries
- Storm surge modelling to predict the extent of surge up to rush into the land through estuaries
- Evaluation of risk and vulnerability of coastal infrastructure to climate change. Further, climate change and sea level rise impact on the availability of water resources and its quality due to enhanced saltwater intrusion and ineffective waste management will be investigated
- The socio-economic impact due to the above factors will also be evaluated.
The Governments of India and Germany have established the Indo-German Centre for Sustainability (IGCS) at IIT Madras. The new DST CoE will be part of the IGCS and will benefit from the collaborations with researchers from several well-known institutions in Germany. This Centre will also work closely with other institutions and organizations in Chennai and elsewhere in India, and who are engaged in climate change research to bring about the synergy.