SOA to set up Centre for Environment and Climate for focussed research

Bhubaneswar, December 14, 2017: The SOA (Deemed to be
University) here is all set to launch a separate integrated centre for research
on environment and climate to study and address issues concerning major changes
in weather pattern with far-reaching implications.

SOA’s newest research centre, the Centre for Environment and
Climate (CEC), will have the mandate to study environment and climate change
and help build the capability to adapt to such changes, a SOA press release
here said on Thursday.

The proposal to set up the centre, conceived a year ago when
SOA hosted the four-day national symposium on Tropical Meteorology (TROPMET)
conference in collaboration with the Indian Meteorological Society (IMS) and
Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), has garnered wide support from the
academic and scientific community. IMS would also be supporting the
establishment of the centre.
The proposed centre was discussed at a brain storming
session on Thursday which was attended, among others, by Dr. K.J.Ramesh,
Director General of Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), Dr. Frank Marks,
Director of the Hurricane Research Division (HRD) of the National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), USA, Dr. Gopal Krishnan, Head, Modeling
Group of HRD, Dr. Allen S.Jason, Scientist of HRD, Prof. Dev Neogy of Purdue
University, USA, Prof. U.C.Mohanty, Professor Emeritus at the School of Earth,
Ocean and Climate Sciences, IIT, Bhubaneswar and Dr. S.C.Sahu, Director of IMD,
Bhubaneswar. Prof. Manojranjan Nayak, Founder President of SOA and Prof. Amit
Banerjee, Vice-Chancellor of SOA were present.
Hailing the move, Dr. Ramesh said it would not only benefit
the society but help train and equip young scientists and environmental
engineers to deal with increasing weather hazards.
Dr. Marks said large scale changes in environment were being
noticed at frequent intervals even as man was trying to adapt to climate
change. “In Miami recently, we have observed the rise in sea level and flooding
of urban areas,” he said.
“This new research facility”, Dr. Marks said, “would help us
think and cope with climate change and help us take a holistic view of all
factors in a focused manner.”
Prof. Mohanty said the proposed centre should be a
multi-disciplinary hub of experts from a plethora of disciplines including
civil engineering, electrical engineering, medicine, agriculture and computer
Pointing out that weather conditions varied hugely in India,
he referred to the Ockhi cyclone that hit Kerala coast recently while snowfall
paralysed life in Jammu and Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh. “The whole idea
should be to conduct research and take the benefit of science to the society
through application,” he said.
“We are experiencing extreme conditions,” Dr. Sahu said
while referring to frequent cyclones and heat wave conditions affecting the
coastal region. ‘Ockhi’ was a peculiar cyclone, he said emphasizing the need to
study such phenomenon.

Prof. P.K.Nanda, Dean (Research) of SOA, said the proposed
centre would focus on inter-disciplinary research in which the faculty members
and students would have to contribute. SOA had so far set up 12 research
centres having identified 18 thrust areas and 35 research labs were presently
functioning, he said.

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