22 Jan 2014

ESSO - Providing Scientific and Technical Support

By all measures, 2013-14 has been the most challenging, eventful and productive years for various endeavors of the Earth System Science Organization (ESSO) in the recent past.  One of the important milestones accomplished during year is commencement of full-fledged operations at the 3rd Antarctic Station “ Bharati”.  India has been accorded observed status in the Arctic Council in recognition of India’s scientific contribution and endeavour in Polar research. 
 During the year, the country witnessed a number of natural disasters such as tropical cyclones Thane, Phailin, and Helen and extreme events like landslides in Uttarakhand and floods in Andhra, Gujarat due to intense precipitations, and earthquakes besides strongest southwest monsoon of the recent years. It was a daunting task to issue timely and reliable information on rainfall, winds, storm surges, high waves which have been successfully performed. This has received an overwhelming appreciation from a wide range user community. 
 The improvement in forecasting of various events has been accomplished primarily due to coordinated effort of all the entities of ESSO and strengthening of observations networks of ocean and atmospheric sectors, assimilation of data, implementation of high resolution global and regional ocean atmospheric models. 
 The high performance computing system has been upgraded from the existing 70 Teraflop to storage archival capacity of one Petabyte, which is ranked at 36th position in the world’s top 500 and first in the country.  The Agro-Meterelogical advisories have been extended to all the 600 districts of the country and sub-district services are being done on pilot scale in selected districts. Currently, over 4.2 million farmers have subscribed to the agro-advisory services. 
For the first time in India, an indigenous climate model has been employed for studying variability and predictability of monsoon on seasonal, interannual and decadal time scale. The long range forecast for the season (June-September) rainfall for the country as a whole was 104-108% against actual rainfall of 106% of LPA for the year 2013.
With regard to ocean mineral survey and exploration, the work was productive. A series of seven major research cruises of 30 days each have been conducted in the central Indian Ocean Basin for acquisition of marine geophysical data, where the newly developed deep-see mining technologies were tested and made operational on experimental basis. 
These include testing of ROSUB at the mining site for exploitation of hydrothermal sulfides, which transmitted real-time data from the Indian Ridge in the Indian Ocean to oversee monitoring the operations from Chennai.  India’s filed the application for allotment of a site for exploration of Polymetallic Sulphides in the Indian Ocean during meeting of the International Seabed Authority, Kingston, Jamaica, held from 8-19 July 2013. 
Towards providing improved earthquake information, a set of 75 Broadband seismic and GPS receivers have been established. The state of the art Indian tsunami early warning system is now capable of issue advisories on tsunamis occurred not only due to earthquakes anywhere in the Indian Ocean but also landslides as demonstrated during the recent Pakistan earthquake.   
As per India’s commitment to the UNESCO, the International Training Centre of Operational Oceanography was established and made operational for promotion of capacity building and training activities for the countries of the Indian Ocean Region. Under the outreach programs, the ESSO had organized Earth Science Olympaid in September 2013.  
The economic benefits of various services being rendered by ESSO across the sectors are well recognized, which contributes sustainably to the GDP. Lastly, the ESSO’s participation of various activities emerged from the Result Framework Document effort. Viz., preparation of Action Plans for ISO 9001:2008, and effort should be made for improve Innovations and Citizen’s charters have been rated as one of the best. The evaluation of performance of the RFD of ESSO has secured 94% consistently for the 3rd year. 

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