Cycle 1 (2011 Deadline)
Intra-seasonal climate predictions for Sri Lanka and Maldives for water resources management
PI: Lareef Zubair, Foundation for Environment, Climate and Technology, Mahaweli Authority of Sri Lanka
U.S. Partner: Adam H. Sobel, Columbia University
Project Dates: May 2012 - April 2015
Sewwandhi Chandrasekera gives a talk called "Meteorology and Predictability of Tropical Storm ARB-04 (TC5) in the Indian Ocean during November 2011" at the Sri Lanka Water Convention.
Climate fluctuations at intra-seasonal time scales (beyond a few days to a few months) have profound influences on management of water resources to generate hydroelectricity and irrigate agricultural lands. Any ability to anticipate these fluctuations is valuable. Recent, improvements in understanding of intra-seasonal (IS) climate variability and the availability of real-time satellite based observations have led to the emergence of methodologies for IS climate predictions from a few days up to a month. This project aims to bring to bear climate variability insights from a National Science Foundation-sponsored program called DYNAMO focused on the Western Equatorial Indian Ocean. Specifically, the researchers will test IS climate predictions and assess their use for water management in Sri Lanka.
The overall goal of the project is to promote better understanding of IS variability of rainfall around Sri Lanka and Maldives, refine prediction schemes, translate this information to support water management, and upgrade local capcity for climate science and climate services. Even modest improvements in IS predictions can lead significant social and economic consequences from anticipatory water management. Because of the principal investigator's affiliation with the Mahaweli Authority of Sri Lanka, which is the nation's coordinating agency for water management, the project has potential for near-term impact as improved prediction models are developed and tested.
Summary of Recent Activities
During the past three months, the team continued to progress significantly on training, awareness programs, and operational climate monitoring and predictions for Sri Lanka and the Maldives. The PI was able to make use of the resources of the U.S. partner’s institute and meet some collaborators during a visit to Columbia University in September 2013. The team also continued its climate monitoring and predictions activities. Twelve weekly climate reports for Sri Lanka, including intra-seasonal predictions, have been produced and made available at http://fectsl.blogspot.com. Two monthly climate reports for the Maldives were produced and are available at http://fectmv.blogspot.com. Research staff member Ms.Sewwandhi Chandraskera presented on the team’s climate bulletin at the Institute of Fundamental Studies, Kandy, as part of the Sri Lanka Program on Improved Technologies for Agricultural Professionals. The PI provided a course on climate change for the third cohort of students in the Sustainable Development Practice Program at the University of Peradeniya in Sri Lanka. First cohort student K. Wijeratne, who visited the Maldives with sponsorship from the PEER Science project for his internship in the previous quarter, presented his work on surveying communities in assessing water scarcity and mitigation options.
| During World Environment Day activities at |
Azhar Central School, schoolchildren put
together a drama on community
responses to Dengue fever.
| Lareef Zubair gives his workshop on |
mainstreaming climate information applications
for enhancement of agroecosystem services
and functions in the Nilwala Basin.
During World Environment Day activities,
Akurana Balika Vidyalaya students
staged a production on the importance
of the Pinga Oya River.
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