Climate Change

Probably, the worst crisis faced by mankind is climate change. The evidence from a wider range of species and communities in terrestrial ecosystems and substantial new evidence in marine and freshwater systems show that climate change is strongly affecting natural biological systems. The World Health Organisation estimates that the warming and precipitation trends of the past 30 years already claimed over 150,000 lives annually.

The fourth assessment of IPCC showed an average temperature increase of 0.74°C in the last one century. Global average sea level rose at an average rate of 1.8 mm per year over 1961 to 2003. More intense and longer droughts have been observed over wider areas since the 1970s, particularly in the tropics and subtropics. All these observations pointed out an unfavourable global change which largely attributed to the increase in Green House Gas emissions. The global atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide has increased from a pre-industrial value of about 280 ppm to 379 ppm in 2005. Methane also showed a similar tendency from 715 ppb to 1774 ppb during this period.

Carbon assimilation rate (g C/m2/day) in different vegetation types in Western Ghats biodiversity hotspot, India.

Current Projects

1) Assessment of Carbon stock in Indira Gandhi Wildlife Sanctuary, Western Ghats, India
2) Carbon assimilation capacity of tropical plant communities in Western Ghats biodiversity hotspot
3) Comparison of operational algorithms in Carbon assimilation monitoring – an Indian scenario

Carbon assimilation rate (g C/m2/day) in Anamalai hills of Western Ghats, India

Upcoming Projects

1) Susceptibility of Tropical forest types in Western Ghats biodiversity hotspot against climate change (In-house project)
2) Spatio-Temporal Patterns of Agricultural Crop Cover Changes in India Using Multi-resolution Satellite and In-situ Data (submitted to NASA in collaboration with Boston University)

Collaborating Institutes

1) Mahatma Gandhi University (School of Environmental Sciences), Kerala, India
2) Lund University (Department of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Analysis), Lund, Sweden
3) International Institute for Geo-information Science and Earth Observation (Department of Natural Resources), Enschede, The Netherlands
4) University of Southampton (School of Geography), Southampton, United Kingdom
5) National Remote Sensing Centre (Forestry and Ecology Division), Indian Space Research Organization, Hyderabad, India

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