Application of EVE (Environmentally Viable Engineering Estimates) Based on ADAM (Accretion of Data and Modulation) for Studying Environment-Climate Change Synergies and Policy Interventions
Addressing today's complex and intertwined environmental issues requires strong scientific support. Many of the environmental pollutants have toxic properties and some of them even resist degradation in the environment. Moreover, they have the ability to bio-accumulate, bio-magnify and bio-concentrate through the ecological food chain and can, therefore, be transported long distances through air, water and land. At the same time, it is pertinent to note that the processes like their (pollutants') dispersion, diffusion, bio-accumulation, bio-magnification and bio-concentration are highly dependent on the changing climate - mainly as a function of temperature and humidity. Thus, long range transport as well as the toxicity of pollutants is very significantly influenced by the climate change. Subsequently, ecosystem and human health also get affected due to their altered exposure.
So the most important scientific challenge at the moment is to protect ecosystems and human health from the synergistic impacts of climate change and various air, water and soil pollutants. The first step in this direction should be to study closely the coupled dynamics between climate regulating processes and pollutants so that uncertainties and knowledge gaps are reduced. This will help policy formulation, regulation and decision making and improve our ability to reduce the risks due to climate change and environmental pollutants. What is ultimately, therefore, needed is an improved understanding of the synergistic impacts of climate change on pollutants' dynamics, their exposure and toxicity, and how these three factors finally affect ecosystem and human health. This understanding would help scientific community and decision makers to develop appropriate policy responses and frameworks at local, regional and global levels.
Thus, newer ecological-economic indicators and tools are needed to quantify and track the synergistic (climatic plus environmental) impact on the surrounding environment. They can subsequently be applied for evaluating a product, a process, a technology and the performance of a corporate sector. However, when one starts analyzing the spatial (space-dependent) and temporal (time-dependent) dimensions of environment and climate change synergies, all sets of data required may not always be available in the desired form. Appropriate Data Acquisition (Accretion) and Modulation (ADAM), therefore becomes the crux of the problem. Subsequently, the solution lies in applying environmentally viable engineering estimates (EVE). Various kinds of models have been used for such estimations. However, many of these models have huge data requirements and constraints, which are difficult to obtain. On the other hand, recent literature suggests that one can alternatively and more suitably adopt relatively simpler models with fewer data requirements without losing much in terms of actual precision and utility.
Summary of the Methodology Being Followed :
Importance of the Work :
The programme will lead to understanding of causes, magnitudes and impacts of changing environment over IGP and Himalayan regions which have great importance for the country as the IGP is the main bread-basket of the country and Himalayan region provides invaluable ecosystem services to the country. Proper understanding will help in mitigation of adverse impacts of changing atmosphere in the region thus, inter alia, ensuring food security and sustainable development.
A Case Study of Indo-Gangetic Plain
In order to develop and refine our understanding of synergies between climate change and environmental pollution (air, water and soil) and for quantifying process-inter-linkages amongst different compartments viz. atmosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere and lithosphere, we are presently trying to assess ecosystem and human health impacts around Indo-Gangetic Biomes. Environmental Water Demand (EWD) has been taken as one EVE-Index to investigate atmospheric and bio-spheric interactions. Terrestrial ecosystem has been chosen as the ecosystem to start with. And initially, a case study of Uttarakhand has been taken up for studying perturbations in EWD through appropriate calibration curves and models based on the available data and information through ADMAM's approach.
Activities Being Pursued
Key Questions Being Addressed