Hyderabad: As the neighbouring Andhra Pradesh prepares for the landfall of Cyclone Gulab and Telangana prepares for heavy rains, State governments and the National Disaster Management Authority are making all preparations to save lives.
But ever wondered how they are able to prepare in advance against such a force of nature? That is where the Ministry of Earth Sciences comes in, and guess how many Gigabytes of satellite data the MoES uses every day to save precious lives?
According to Madhavan Nair Rajeevan, Former Secretary with the MoES, India uses a whopping 430 GB of satellite data every day to help the India Meteorological Department (IMD) prepare weather prediction models apart from for other services.
Dr. Rajeevan made this revelation while talking in a recent podcast with Narayan Prasad of NewSpace India on how the MoES provides the nation with ‘best possible services in forecasting the monsoon and other weather/climate parameters, ocean state, earthquakes, tsunamis and other phenomena related to earth systems’.
“Satellite data is what the MoES survives on, mostly for weather forecasts. From atmospheric data to ocean data and land surface data, 90 percent of data used for weather prediction models is satellite data. This comes from Indian satellites and also from satellites of the European Union and some like the NOVA,” he said.
“From the 430 GB used every day, around 100 GB is from Indian satellites and the remaining 300-odd from NOVA and others,” he said, adding that with this huge cache of data every day, the IMD was able to make accurate forecasts, helping State governments to save lives.
The difference is there to be seen. The 1999 Odisha Cyclone claimed about 10,000 lives, while subsequent cyclones have seen very little loss of life, thanks to the advance notice State governments and the NDMA got, mostly at least one week in advance, helping them alert people and district administrations and thereby, save lives, Dr. Rajeevan added.
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