NEW DELHI: Amid growing evidence of connection between the Arctic and the Indian Ocean, which modulates the monsoon, India has decided to deploy ‘open ocean mooring’ in the Arctic for long-term monitoring of upper ocean variables and marine meteorological parameters. The model will help in understanding the impact of Arctic ice melt on the Indian summer monsoon.
This will be in addition to what the country has been doing in collaboration with the US on the launch of the NASA-ISRO Synthetic Aperture Radar (NISER) satellite mission which aims to conduct global measurements of the cause and consequences of land surface changes using advanced radar imaging.
The issue of India’s contributions to the Sustained Arctic Observational Network (SAON) was discussed on the inaugural day of the third Arctic Science Ministerial (ASM3) meeting on Saturday. The two-day ASM3 is being jointly organised by Iceland and Japan.
“India would continue to play a positive role in deepening shared understanding of the Arctic through observation, research, capacity building, as well in promoting sustainable development of the region through international cooperation,” said the minister of earth sciences and health, Harsh Vardhan.
Addressing the virtual meeting, he also proposed that India may be given an opportunity to host the next or future ASM. The first two meetings – ASM1 and ASM2 – were held in the USA in 2016 and Germany in 2018, respectively.
India has had a permanent research station in the Arctic called Himadri at Ny-Alesund, Svalbard area in Norway since July, 2008. The country has also deployed a multi-sensor moored observatory called IndARC in the Kongsfjorden in the region since July 2014.
Arctic warming and its ice melt are global concerns as they play a pivotal role in regulating climate, sea levels, and maintaining biodiversity. Since there is growing evidence of connection between the Arctic and the Indian Ocean, improving the understanding of physical processes and quantifying the impact of Arctic ice melt on the Indian summer monsoon is considered very important.
The research in the Arctic region from India is coordinated, conducted, and promoted by the National Centre for Polar and Ocean Research (NCPOR), Goa.