Distinguished scientists from the country’s top research organisations involved in satellite earth observation including ISRO and other institutions of national importance joined deliberations on the use of satellite earth observation for climate services during a national-level workshop on ‘Earth Observations for Climate Services’ at the University of Kashmir on Thursday.
Vice-Chancellor Prof Nilofer Khan inaugurated the workshop, organised jointly by Department of Geoinformatics, University of Kashmir, in collaboration with National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC), Indian Space Research Organisation, under the supervision of Prof Shakil A Romshoo, Vice-Chancellor, Islamic University of Science and Technology, Kashmir.
In her presidential address, Prof Nilofer said such collaborative endeavors are very important if institutions are to find solutions to pressing environmental problems like climate change. She said universities can longer afford to work in isolation and require engaging people at the grassroots in the fight against the climate crisis.
Saying that University of Kashmir has been on the forefront of doing cutting-edge research in key areas of climate change, Prof Nilofer hoped for holding more such collaborative programmes with ISRO and other national institutes to update faculty and students about the emerging challenges in climate change mitigation.
Director NSRC, ISRO, Dr Prakash Chauhan, who joined the inaugural session in online mode, highlighted the role of Earth Observations in understanding the patterns and impacts of climate change. He said the Himalayan region is facing the brunt of climate change in terms of sustainability and water resources, and the region has seen a temperature rise of 1.5 degree Celsius, as against 1 degree Celsius previously, in the last 50 years or so.
Vice-Chancellor Central University of Kashmir, Prof Ravinder A Nath, who was a guest of honour, called for sensitising the people about impacts of climate change and the mitigation and adaptation strategies. He complimented the University of Kashmir for having achieved the stage of excellence and role of a mentor university in Kashmir today.
In his introductory remarks, Prof Shakil A Romshoo, said KU has been a major contributor to bridging the knowledge gap by way of establishing ground-based observations with regard to various land and atmospheric phenomena related to glaciological, hydrology, and other land surface processes. He said the present workshop has tremendous societal importance, especially in Jammu and Kashmir where climate change indicators are “loud and clear” and is impacting almost every sector of economy.
Earlier, Head, Department of Geoinformatics, Prof Farooq A Mir gave a detailed account of 16 expert talks to be delivered during the workshop, organised as a run-activity to the main Y20 Consultation being held in KU on May 11.
Dr Rajshree V Bothale, Deputy Director, NRSC, highlighted the importance of ISRO initiatives like National Information System for Climate and Environment Studies (NICES) concerning database generation for climate change.
The inaugural session was attended by senior academics and officers from KU, IUST, CUK, besides a large number of students and research scholars from the University of Kashmir.
The VCs and other dignitaries later inaugurated a poster-exhibition and various sensors installed in the University by the ISRO. Mr Mahesh P from NRSC delivered the vote of thanks.