Bengaluru gets Karnataka’s first climate change lab

Environmental Management and Policy Research Institute (EMPRI) has been designated as the state nodal agency for Climate Change in Karnataka to provide technical support in conducting research, training and capacity building in climate change programs. To strengthen state climate change cell in Karnataka, Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India has sanctioned a project, “Establishing/Strengthening the state climate change centre/cell under NMSKCC (State Climate Change Centre-National Mission for Strategic Knowledge on Climate Change) in the state of Karnataka”to EMPRI at a cost of Rs. 2.83 Crores, says a press note from Information Department, Karnataka.

The project started in October, 2016. The objective of the project is to establish a Karnataka strategic knowledge center for climate change (KSKCCC) with advanced research capabilities to take up research studies on climate change issues. One of the major activities under the project is creation of a state- of- art Climate Change Laboratory.

EMPRI has established Climate Change Laboratory and procured about 35 instruments with all infrastructural facilities including air conditioning, epoxy flooring, gas vents, fume hoods, led lighting, emergency shower/eye wash etc. The laboratory will facilitate the analysis of various parameters related to climate change viz., soil, plant and microbiological studies.

For long term monitoring of climate change, permanent preservation plots (PPP) are established in Bannerghatta National park (BNP). Study on Permanent Preservation Plots (PPPs) play a significant role in assessing the impact of climate change. PPPs would help to observe and record the changes in species diversity, composition and growth pattern due to climate change over a period of time. For this, the soil analysis, studies on plant distribution and photosynthetic rate/potential, biomass assessment etc.will be conducted throughout the year.

Various instruments housed in the laboratory will assist in all the analytical studies. For soil studies, moisture meter, pH meter, conductivity meter and weighing balances etc. are available. Using Infrared Gas Analyser, the photosynthetic activities in the major tree species will be assessed on a seasonal basis. Soil and plant samples collected would be analysed for carbon, macronutrients (N-Nitrogen,P-Phosphorus,K-Potassium,Ca-Calcium, Mg-Magnesium) and micronutrients(Fe-Iron,Cu-Copper,Zn-Zinc,Mn-Manganese) by using CHNS analyser, Flame photometer etc.

Microbes which are indicators of soil health (Vesicular Mycorrhizal (VAM) fungi, Plant Growth Promoting Rhizobacteria (PGPR)) will be studied using microbiological equipments(Autoclave, BOD Incubator, Hot air oven, Laminar air flow, Rotary shaker and Microscope). Leaf samples would be estimated for Specific Leaf Area (SLA) using leaf area meter. To monitor the weather parameters such as rainfall, temperature, humidity, solar radiation and wind speed, two telemetric Weather Stations are installed near Bugarikallu Forest station (BNP) and in EMPRI campus.

EMPRI has already established a water analysis laboratory and microbiology laboratory which are ISO 9001 and OHSAS 18001 certified in 2017. These laboratories analyse 23 parameters related to water quality. The climate change laboratory will strengthen the research facilities for analysis of about 40 parameters related to climate change studies. This laboratory will also cater to the needs of other agencies to generate analytical data for research/other investigation, says the press note.

This press note was shared by Information Department, Karnataka, and published here with minimal edits.

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