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Information on Symposia per Science Theme

Theme No.

Theme Title

Number of Symposia proposed

Symposia Title

Symposia Conveners

Biographical sketch of the Conveners




Earth Observation System – Climate Variables, Proxies and Modelling

Dr. K. J. Ramesh


Dr. A. P. Dimri



Altering Biogeochemical Cycles in Changing Climate

Rajesh Agnihotri


Mark A. Altabet (USA)

1. Rajesh Agnihotri is expert of stable isotope geochemistry with strong research interests in short term to long term changes in the climate system and associated biogeochemical changes.

2. Prof. Mark A. Altabet is an expert in stable isotope biogeochemistry with particular research interests in ocean nitrogen cycling present and past and its alteration by human impacts and climate change.

3. Dr. V.V.S.S. Sarma is an expert in trace gases emission and food web dynamics using stable isotopes of carbon and nitrogen and estuarine biogeochemistry

Climate change, Carbon cycle, Nitrogen cycle, Anthropocene, Holocene

Global climate change (anthropogenic warming) may induce glacial retreats in high-altitude environments and expose new landscapes that were usually under snow-cover and remained barren for several thousands of years. Enhancing vegetation/ greenery in the form of mosses, lichens, grasslands could be seen over the peripheral regions of polar icecaps, high-altitude environments of western Himalaya and Peruvian Andes. This effect could significantly alter Carbon and Nitrogen biogeochemical cycles and impact regional ecology. Likewise, enhanced (N based) fertilizer usage in agricultural lands worldwide, modified soil erosion, and other anthropogenic processes could significantly change C and N inventories to the coastal oceans. Demand for bio-utilizable N is increasing at the rate of ~2% annum globally to meet out world agriculture demand. This may significantly change greenhouse gas budgets on global scale. In addition, inter-linking rivers and construction of more dams are expected to modify estuarine and coastal biogeochemistry. For instance, deglaciated terrains may increase cyanobacterial diversity and activity with enhanced photosynthetic rates. In addition, enhancing air pollution in densely populated cites can increase anthropogenic aerosols loading and coastal ocean biogeochemistry with reference to primary production and acidification.

Taken together, multi-disciplinary approaches including stable isotopes of C and N are needed to characterize aforesaid effects and glean this in sedimentary records. These anthropogenically modified geological imprints from natural repositories are needed to understand and quantify rates of changing ecosystems in an anthropogenic induced climate era. This symposium invites contributions on various aspects of climate change effect on biogeochemical cycles.

Climate Proxy Records: a Tool for Future Climate Modelling

Anupam Sharma


Liviu Giosan


1. A trained Geochemist using textural, mineralogical and geochemical data for deducing palaeoclimate, provenance and earth surface processes.

2. Having expertise in Sedimentary Systems, Climate-Landscapes-Civilizations, Tertiary-Quaternary geology and paleoceanography, Coastal morphodynamics

Sediments, Ice core, Tree rings, Stable isotopes, Climate proxies

The climate change is one of the most important topics of the ‘Assessment Reports’ of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The major concern is the increasing atmospheric CO2 levels causing environmental warming and associated sea level rise during the 21st Century. There is no doubt that some such changes are now adequately known having small uncertainties, however, there are a number of areas where our understanding is poor such as pattern and flux of future precipitation, El Nino and Southern Oscillation (ENSO) as components of climate system, changes in ice-sheets and sea level, and so on. The poor knowledge over these aspects limits our ability to plan adaption and mitigation strategies to meet the challenges of future climate change. An important aspect towards this is the lack of observations of relevant changes and associated processes as our instrumental record is very short. However, the limitation of short climatic instrumental records may be overcome by palaeoclimate studies employing range of tools that have the capability of meeting uncertainty of future predictions. Physical, chemical, and biological proxies respond to environmental conditions that help in palaeoclimate reconstruction for periods before instrumental records. These proxies such as sediments, ice cores, tree ring, etc. can provide information on climate variability that cannot be provided by direct observation of the modern climate. Some of the important key research approaches are i. Proxies used for palaeoclimate reconstruction need to be better calibrated emphasizing the uncertainty in their use and involve the forward modeling of proxies in climate models; ii. Comparing the Model-data with palaeoclimate data retrieved using different tools; and iii. Testing models against the wide range of climate behavior observed in the past. All these will help us to minimize the uncertainties and make the future climate predictions more reliable. Contributions on these topics are invited under this symposium.

Asian Monsoons and their Drivers from Mid-Holocene through Current Period

Karumuri Ashok


Mat Collins


1. Prof. Ashok is an expert tropical Indo-pacific variability and teleconnections, earthsystem modelling, and seamless prediction. His other interests include weather & climate prediction applications, past and future climate simulations, and understanding long term changes in the links of Indian summer monsoons with its driver

2. Prof. Mat Collins is a renowned expert on ENSO variability, and yDynamics of the Indian Monsoon. His interests include climate modelling, climate variability and change, and quantifying uncertainty in climate projections

Monsoons, Holocene, climate change, ENSO, climate simulations

The Asian monsoons sustain life and economy of many nations. Studies based on observations show that the monsoons vary through diurnal and multi-centennial time scales. The ENSO, Indian Ocean Dipole, Eurasian snow cover, Mascarene High, etc. are some of the documented drivers of the monsoon variability. Interestingly, recent studies suggest a changing driver such as the ENSO. While the role of anthropogenic climate change has been suggested to be a factor for these recent changes as well as global warming in the last 3-4 decades, notably, changes such as continental scale warming have been also documented during the medieval warm period, through proxy-data analysis (IPCC, 2013).

In this symposium, simulation studies addressing the Asian monsoons variability and their teleconnections to various drivers from Mid-Holocene through the current period are invited. The ENSO variability is suggested to be relatively weak during mid-Holocene period, and the last millennium period is analogous to the historical climate period in terms of external forcing. Therefore, studies on these two periods and those which compare such simulations with proxy data and with present day climate simulations are welcome. Studies which explore other important aspects relevant to monsoons or their drivers will also be considered.

Air Quality, Environment and Public Health Impacts in Asia

Prabir K. Patra


A P Dimri


1. Prabir Patra is an expert of greenhouse gases modelling with strong research interests in short-lived air pollutants and their controls through hydroxyl (OH) radical chemistry. He

2. A. P. Dimri is climate model experts and work on science of climate change.

Ozone, PM2.5, NOx, SOx, aerosols

As per the World Health Organisation (WHO), an estimated 4.2 million premature deaths globally are linked to ambient air pollution. Ambient air pollutants for public health concern are particulate matter of less than 2.5 microns in diameter (PM2.5), ozone (O3), nitrogen oxides (NOX) and sulphur oxides (SOX). The air pollutants promote heart disease, stroke, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, lung cancer, acute respiratory infections in children, and may harm cognitive intelligence.

Studies suggest about two-thirds of all air pollution related deaths occur in Asia, which is home to all of the top 20 World’s most polluted cities. Fourteen among 20 of them are located in India (; 2 May 2018). The sources of air pollution are linked to infrastructure developments, power generation technologies, agricultural waste management and cooking with polluting fuels in the developing countries.

The atmosphere near the Earth’s surface plays a major role in processing the gas phase species (NOx, SOx, volatile organic compounds) into the particulate phase (e.g., PM2.5), which affects human health and visibility that bear huge economic implications for both land and air transport sectors. Amount of air pollutants in the cities can be transported hundreds of kilometers to the rural areas and vice versa depending on the winds direction and speed, and stability of the atmosphere (boundary layer meteorology).

The interactions between the sources of air pollutants, air chemistry and atmospheric transport will be addressed in this symposium. Based on the Asia specific deliberations in the presence of international experts, we hope to come up with South Asia-specific solution to mitigate air pollution.

Aerosol-Cloud-Radiation-Land Surface Interactions and Feedbacks: Consequences to Water Cycle During India Summer Monsoon

Sachchida (Sachi) N Tripathi (India)

Ilan Koren


1. Dr. Tripathi is an expert on aerosol direct and indirect effects, and has been working in this field for more than two decades now. He has investigated in depth, several aspects of aerosol-cloud-radiation-surface interactions during Indian monsoons, especially for the Indo-Gangetic Plains. Other than these, his research interests also include aerosol effects in regional climate-chemistry models, as well as developing new techniques for aerosol absorption.

2. Dr. Koren Explores clouds and rain and their links to processes in the oceans. Focuses his research on problems related to aerosol-cloud interactions, complex systems, self-organization, and emergent behavior in cloud fields. In parallel he explores links and feedbacks between marine ecology, air-sea exchange and clouds.

Aerosol, cloud, rainfall, land use land cover, cloud invigoration

Aerosol, is a key component of the lithosphere-hydrosphere system, and thus implicates sustenance of life. Ambient aerosols modulate atmospheric stability, land-sea thermal contrast, water availability etc. through effects on radiation, snow albedo, cloud properties, etc. These processes in turn feedback aerosol distribution. Nonetheless, surface properties and environmental variability also affect the aerosol-processes and feedbacks. The goal of this symposium is to explore interactions among aerosols, cloud, land, radiation and human activities from regional to global scales. We invite abstracts of observational and modeling studies exploring: (1) aerosol-radiation interaction, the role of aerosols in exchanging heat and water masses at the earth surface including energy flux partitioning, snow-ice darkening effects, impacts on lower troposphere, and associated feedbacks, (2) aerosol-cloud interaction and their impacts on monsoon hydrological cycle, (3) impact of atmospheric circulation and monsoon convection on the aerosol emission, transport, deposition, and atmospheric haze over the earth’s major continents . Other topics related to aerosol impacts on the regional climate system and weather are also welcome.

Monsoon Dynamics

Roxy Mathew Koll


Deepti Singh


1. Dr. Roxy Mathew Koll is leading research on climate change and its impact on the monsoon, the rapid warming in Indian Ocean and the marine ecosystem. He is a Co-Chair of the CLIVAR Indian Ocean Region Panel, and a Lead Author of the IPCC Special Report on Oceans and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate. He was named the Kavli Fellow by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the Indian Meteorological Society felicitated him with the Young Scientist Award in 2016.

2. Prof. Deepti Singh is a renowned expert on monsoon variability and climate extremes. Her research explores the physical drivers of climate extremes, and their impacts on agriculture, water availability and human health, particularly in monsoonal climates. She was named the Kavli Fellow by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.

Monsoon, climate change

The monsoon dominates the socio-economic livelihood over Asia, including the water resources, agriculture and power generation. Therefore, the changes and extreme events associated with the global warming is of utmost importance to the lives of over two billion people over the monsoon region. Through observations and modelling, the scientific community has advanced its understanding of the past and future changes of the monsoons. In the global warming scenario, it is found that the rainfall pattern has undergone substantial changes with tendency for more extremes. Most of the studies stick to the “wet getting wetter and the dry getting drier”, though a few research suggest decrease in rainfall over some of the monsoon regions. The IPCC AR5 is also suggestive of the uncertainties looming over the status and fate of the monsoons.

Monsoonal changes are found to be different when the region and time-periods considered are different – and so are the implications. Thus, there is an urgent need to provide more regional-scale information through the use of weather and climate models that could resolve small-scale features. Spatial and temporal changes in temperature, wind and rainfall are vital. This will hopefully provide more information on how climate change will affect the rainfall (monsoon and otherwise), wind and other extreme events, such as warm/cold episodes. In particular, the future decision strategies in the renewal energy world must be designed to consider the uncertainties and probabilities of weather and climate. This symposium is setup to bring forth the uncertainties and new understandings regarding large scale and regional changes over the monsoon regions. All climate change studies, past and future, related to the monsoon and associated extreme events, are invited.

Climate Change and Earth Surface Processes in the Himalaya: Past and Present

Bodo Bookhagen (Germany)

Rajiv Sinha


1. Prof. Bookhagen is an expert on mountain geomorphology and the impact of climate changes on transport processes in mountains. He is an active researcher in the Himalaya with two decades of field experience. He is known for combining field data with remote-sensing measurements.

2. Prof. Sinha is an expert in sediment-transport processes and paleoclimatic reconstruction with more than three decades of experience in the Himalaya. He has worked on the impact of Quaternary and Holocene climate changes on sediment-transport processes and stratigraphic development in various parts of the Himalayan foreland basin.

Quaternary climate change; geomorphology, remote sensing, landscape evolution, sedimentology

Quaternary to present-day climate changes have profoundly altered the Himalayan landscape and have been a key driver for erosional processes. The rates of mass transport have changed throughout the past climate cycles - and with it the pace of landscape evolution. The goal of this symposium is to explore the interactions among climate variability and landscape evolution at a variety of scales: Spatial scales ranging from local studies to assessments encompassing the entire Himalaya, and temporal scales of days, seasons, to millennia at various points during the Quaternary. We solicit abstracts using observational and modeling studies, for example to explore: (1) the impact of (hydro-)climatic extreme events on sediment-transport processes, both in the past and present; (2) geo- and bio-geochemical tracer studies to reconstruct paleoenvironment conditions, sediment dynamics, and rates of transport etc.

Dynamical Downscaling of Climate Projections for Use in Impact Studies at Very High Resolutions

Sushil Kumar Dash (India)

R. Bhatla


Erika Coppola (Italy)

1.Prof.Dash has been teaching and conducting research in Atmospheric Sciences for the last 46yrs. Very good experience in GCM and RCM.

2.Prof.Bhatla has been conducting research using RegCM.

3.Dr.Coppala has been contributing to developments in RegCM and further instrumental in CORDEX.

Dynamical Downscaling, CORDEX, Agricultural productivity, Human health impacts, Climate projections, Uncertainties, Climate services

Although the climate change is a global phenomenon, its impacts are felt at the regional and local levels. So far as the impacts of climate changes on the society are concerned, the crucial issues are water resources, agriculture and human health. The related important climatic parameters are the surface temperature, relative humidity and rainfall. It is very important to have accurate information on the spatio-temporal distribution of these climatic parameters and their future projections in order to be able to estimate the impacts of climate changes on agriculture and human health at any place. This information also helps in appropriate policy formulation and adaptation measures. Both statistical and dynamical downscaling techniques can be judiciously used to get spatio-temporal distribution of relevant climatic parameters at any place which will be eventually useful in the context of global changes.