Scientists Invent Underwater Robots To Help Predict Indian Monsoons Better

Scientists Invent Underwater Robots To Help Predict Indian Monsoons Better

Nothing makes Indian farmers more anxious than the anticipation of the monsoon. Despite having a meteorological department in place to give us regular updates about the weather conditions, their rate of accuracy can be doubted and has been proved wrong on multiple occasions.

Of course, this is understandable given that weather predictive models are incredibly complex and need to take multiple variables into account when making their calculations. It’s a problem scientists have been working towards solving however, and more recently India even invested over 60 million dollars in a supercomputer that would heighten this accuracy. Now, a group of scientists from India and the United Kingdom might have found a solution to ease us of the apprehension.

The Bay of Bengal Boundary Layer Experiment (BoBBLE) is led by UEA scientists in collaboration with the University of Reading and the National Oceanography Centre (NOC) in Southampton. They have built yellow-coloured missile-shaped underwater robots that will help predict rainfall with high precision by studying the ocean processes in the Bay of Bengal.
With the help of an Indian research ship ‘Chenna,’ the operation commenced on June 24th.

Through testing factors such as salinity, current and temperature, scientists are then able to predict the patterns of rainfall. The results are then beamed back to scientists via satellite signals and information collected will be represented through models of the ocean to determine how it affects weather and rainfall over India

Indian crops thrive on annual rains and only a certain privileged share relies on farm irrigation. This project will help Indian farmers understand the intensity of rains and help them to plant their crops accordingly. Indians will also be more equipped to battle floods and other disasters caused by the monsoon.

In a report led by researcher Prof Adrian Matthews, from the University of East Anglia’s School of Environmental Sciences said, “The Indian monsoon is notoriously hard to predict. It is a very complicated weather system and the processes are not understood or recorded in science.

We will be combining oceanic and atmospheric measurements to monitor weather systems as they are generated. We also hope to better understand how the southern Asian monsoon affects the whole world’s climate.”

In 2009, India suffered the worst drought despite the meteorological department’s predictions of a normal monsoon. Hopefully, with this project India will be at a better position to combat problems in the future.
The project is funded by the Natural Environment Research Council, the Newton Fund, the Indian Ministry of Earth Sciences and the UK’s Met Office.