Special PEER-PIRE Cycle (June 2012 Deadline)
NSF-PIRE collaboration: developing low-carbon cities in India: focus on urban infrastructures, climate risks, and vulnerability
PI: Sachchida Nand Tripathi, Indian Institute of Technology-Kanpur (IIT-K)
U.S. Partner: Anu Ramaswami, University of Minnesota
Project Dates: January 2013 - December 2015
This project addresses climate change, renewable and sustainable energy interventions, water sustainability, human development co-benefits and climate risks, and environmental engineering solutions in cities in India, covering several key USAID priorities. The PI and his team will conduct field research on human development risks and climate risks associated with current and future infrastructure trajectories in Indian cities. The proposal explores the extent to which low carbon infrastructures in India can improve human well-being in cities, thereby motivating low-carbon development trajectories. To address this issue, the research will develop analytic tools to help quantify human co-benefits of low-carbon interventions in Indian cities. The tools include: (1) using satellite data to estimate airborne Particulate Matter (PM) concentrations in Indian cities and relating these to fossil energy use and human development impacts; (2) quantifying the Wastewater-Energy-Greenhouse Gas (GHG) nexus to assess GHG and human well-being co-benefits of improved sanitation and wastewater treatment in Indian cities; and (3) downscaling climate models to incorporate human development impacts from extreme climate events in cities related to flooding, extreme heat, or cold. The research team will also help the U.S. and Indian student cohorts involved to conduct the above field research in Indian cities. IIT-K will further host the International Summer School on Sustainable Cities in 2013 and will send a team of three faculty and students for training and reciprocal experiences in the United States. Finally, IIT-K will host a professional workshop to enhance science capacity in air pollution modeling, climate modeling, and human development impact assessment.
Summary of Recent Activities
The research team completed the collection of air pollution samples in Delhi and Hyderabad on July 26, 2013. The students continued quality analysis regarding the data collected by the E-BAM instrument, an automated device for measuring airborne particulates. The instrument’s pump has been replaced due to technical failure. Prof. S.N. Tripathi has also been preparing for the visit of one of his students, Mr. Amit Sharma, to Georgia Tech during the winter of 2014 to conduct simulations for current (2010) and future (2050) climates using the WRF/Chem model incorporating spectral downscaling. The PI and his U.S. partner are also working on preparing a memorandum of understanding between their institutions. During the next months, the Indian and U.S. teams will continue analyzing the data collected and will discuss the details via e-mail and Skype. In addition, visiting student Michael McKenzie from Georgia Tech will be conducting experimental work at IIT Kanpur from October 8 to December 20, 2013.