South Asian Precipitation: A Seamless Assessment: SAPRISE

Lead Research Organisation: University of Exeter
Department Name: Engineering Computer Science and Maths


The Indian summer monsoon provides about 80% of annual rainfall to around a billion people in South Asia. Variations in its timing, intensity and duration have a dramatic impact on society. The weather and climate in the South Asian region is influenced by the weather and climate in the Indian and remote ocean basins via what are known as teleconnections (remote connections). Teleconnections emerge from phenomena such as El Nino - a kind of gigantic ocean weather system that occurs every 2-8 years in the tropical Pacific. Tiny aerosol particles are also key component of the South Asian atmosphere due to the prevalence of cooking fires over the Indo-Gangetic Plain and dust blown from local and remote deserts.

It remains a considerable challenge to predict seasonal, decadal and longer-term changes in the South Asian monsoon. This proposal brings together UK and Indian scientists to make progress in understanding what affects the South Asian monsoon on different time scales. Key tools are new climate models that simulate the interactions between the different teleconnections and aerosols and new observations, especially those from satellites. The ultimate goal of the project is to improve predictive capability and to therefore potentially improve the lives of those people affected by monsoon rains.

Planned Impact

The main strategy to increase the impact of the work will be to feed information to bodies that have direct links to the relevant impact community, whether that is the wider scientific community, policy makers, or the public. The following activities are proposed.
1. Wider scientific community: We will publish papers, attend meetings and organise sessions at the Asia Oceania Geophysical Society, and the European Geophysical Union towards the end of the project to publicise the findings. We will also engage with the CLIVAR Pacific, CLIVAR Indian Ocean and CLIVAR Asian-Australian Monsoon panels (see academic beneficiaries).
2. Policy makers: The Met Office Hadley Centre, a leading partner in the project, has strong links to the UK government (it is largely funded by them) and provides regular briefing material for ministers. We will also provide updates on the project for the Ministry of Earth Sciences in India.
3. General public: During key points e.g. in the workshops and publication of papers we will produce press releases for the UK and Indian media to engage journalists (i.e. the professionals) in communicating the results of the project to the general public, as well as engaging with popular science outlets such as NERC's Planet Earth magazine and use social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Youtube.


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Description We have investigated observations and models of the S. Asian monsoon system.
Exploitation Route Too early to say
Sectors Environment