CUI, PMD sign memorandum of understanding to advance climate research

Islamabad Institute of Meteorology, Comsats University Islamabad (CUI) and Pakistan Meteorological Department signed a memorandum of understanding on Wednesday to advance research into weather patterns, a press release said.

The signing ceremony held at Islamabad campus was presided over by Rector CUI, Prof. Dr. Muhammad Tabassum Afzal, while Prof. Dr. Sajjad A. Madani, Chancellor of CUI, and Mahr Sahibzad Khan, Director General of Pakistan Met Department, signed the document. Senior officials from the Pakistan Met Department and Comsats University Islamabad witnessed the event.

The MoU will enable collaboration between CUI and PMD in implementing forecast-based action programs and will promote an evidence-based early decision support system and extreme weather alerts. The Department of Meteorology, CUI and PMD have maintained a healthy knowledge-sharing relationship since 2005, said Dr. Kalim Ullah, Chairman of the CUI Department of Meteorology. The formalization of the collaboration will allow both institutions to advance the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to improve the country’s socio-economic situation through the sharing of knowledge, forecasts and data services.

Prof. Afzal suggested that CUI and PMD should work closely together in sharing short-range hourly precipitation forecast models for precipitation probability, temperature and humidity. He said the recent floods and smog phenomenon are of great concern to Pakistan. He called on PMD to encourage the use of professional meteorologists to educate the general public about climate change through electronic media. He said CUI will work closely with PMD to secure international partnerships for regional weather modeling and climate change mitigation.

Mahr Sahibzad, who spoke on the occasion, shared that Pakistan has experienced unprecedented glacial failure in 33 locations this year, as opposed to a third of the number in previous years. Similarly, temperature and rain patterns have also been erratic this year, while the Pak-Met division has been successful in forecasting all unprecedented weather events. He said the lack of adoption of green technologies, deforestation, massive urbanization and primitive agricultural practices are factors that have exacerbated changing climate patterns. He said Pakistan’s contribution to greenhouse gas emissions is less than 0.8%, while the US, Russia, India and China are among the major contributors. He called for more climate protection on the part of the international community, especially the highly industrialized nations.

Both PMD and CUI delegations discussed the challenges of climate change and risks to the environment, economy, human health and natural resources. The recent monsoon and subsequent flood disasters in many parts of the country have highlighted the need for an effective early warning system for multiple hazards.

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