2 ISRO satellites to study climate

Bangalore to be Centres research hub for environmental sciences

Sealing the pact: Union Minister of State for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh greets ISRO Chairman Madhavan Nair in Bangalore on Sunday. DH photo

Sealing the pact Union Minister of State for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh greets ISRO Chairman Madhavan Nair in Bangalore on Sunday. DH photoAddressing a joint press conference in Bangalore, Union Minister of State for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh and ISRO Chairman Madhavan Nair said the National Institute for Climate and Environmental Sciences (NICE) will have a staff of 100 scientists carrying out frontier research on the long term impact of climate change on environment, especially agriculture and water resources.

NICE will be a world class institute doing research and hosting a database on all issues relating to climate change, Ramesh said, adding that a seed grant of Rs 40 crore will be released soon for developing the institute.

ISRO will be launching a microsatellite next year for atmospheric research to measure trace gases like carbon monoxide and methane besides aerosol content, Nair said.
The space agency will also be launching an earth observation satellite in 2011 with dedicated transponders to measure various climate change parameters.

Also, the Centre wants to essentially develop Bangalore into a hub for climate change research. An intensive programme would be launched by ISRO to monitor the snow cover over Himalayan glaciers and its impact on water resources.

Automated stations over the Himalayan range covering Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakand, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh will be put in place for the purpose. The space agency will be expanding its network of monitoring stations for better understanding of absorption of greenhouse gases by the forest cover spread across the country, measuring sea level along coastal zones besides studying specific ecosystems like the Western Ghats and North East.

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