COMSATS organized a webinar on “Modeling and Simulation on Climate Change and Environmental Pollution: Strengthening Resilience in the Global South”, on 12th January 2021. Co-organized by COMSATS Centre of Excellence in Nigeria – National Mathematical Centre (NMC) – and COMSATS Centre for Climate and Sustainability (CCCS), the webinar gathered scientists, researchers and policy makers to exchange information, share knowledge and good practices to strengthen climate actions in the Global South, as well as highlight the role of modelling and simulations for evidence-based knowledge to help formulate policies and legislation for climate action.
The webinar was moderated by Mr. Bilal Anwar, General Manager, Commonwealth Climate Finance Hub, and included following speakers: Dr. Daniel Tutu Benefoh, Deputy Director, Climate Change Unit, Environmental Protection Agency, Ghana; Prof. Dr. Ghasem Azizi, Department of Physical Geography, University of Tehran, Iran; Prof. B. O. Oyelami, Head of Mathematical Modeling and Simulation Research Group, National Mathematical Centre (NMC), Nigeria; Dr. Zia Ur Rehman Hashmi, Head of Water Research Section, Global Change Impact Studies Centre, Ministry of Climate Change, Pakistan; and Prof. Hüseyin Toros, Professor of Climate Change, Air Quality and Modeling, Istanbul Technical University (ITÜ), Turkey.
Welcoming the participants, Ambassador Shahid Kamal, Head of CCCS, stated that the past decade was the hottest with record increase in the level of carbon emissions. He considered climate change as one of the biggest challenges of all time and deemed mathematical modeling and simulation important for decision making relating to climate mitigation and adaptation within the framework of Paris Climate Agreement and 2030 Development Agenda. Speaking on the occasion, Dr. Stephen Onah, Director of NMC, Nigeria, opined that mathematical modeling is the most efficient way to predict and mitigate adverse impacts of climate change.
Dr. Benefoh discussed the KUMASI emission and LEAP IBC model used for the prediction of climate change impacts, and interaction of air quality and climate change, respectively. He stated that black carbon which is the major contributor of air pollution leads to alteration in meteorological patterns. Further, he mentioned that Ghana is quite vulnerable to effects of climate change due to its geographic location, though the levels of carbon emissions in the country are low. In view of this, he added, the country is investing more in research relating to air quality monitoring, climate change, and health.
Prof. Azizi discussed water crises in the context of global warming. He opined that change in atmospheric composition leads to global warming which further alters weather patterns, changes land cover, and causes imbalance in energy. He also shared the cases of Parishman Lake, Hamoon Lake, and Urmia Lake of Iran.
Prof. Oyelami talked about the importance of modelling and simulation for climate change, atmospheric pollution, ground water management, oil spillage, flooding, glacial melts, and other climate change related phenomenon. He was of the view that meteorological patterns, emissions, pollutant interactions can be best predicted by mathematical simulations which can play a significant role for adaptation and mitigation of climate change.
Dr. Hashmi from MoCC, Pakistan discussed Pakistan Climate Change Policy that is centered upon adaptations, mitigations, transboundary water management, glaciers as protected areas, and enhancing R&D activities. He also shared Pakistan Safety Agenda which focuses on the safety and well-being of people, sustainable economic growth, and fulfilling international commitments. Further, he discussed the case of Kabul and Indus river basins which are being severely impacted by climate change.
Prof. Toros discussed climate change situation of Turkey. He stated that temperature in the country is steadily increasing every year with 2019 the hottest year since 1971. He opined that atmospheric pollutants alter the atmospheric patterns, therefore, air pollution is one of the primary drivers of climate change.
The webinar concluded with the closing remarks of Dr. M. Sharif, Advisor Science and Technology Sector, Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ICESCO), Morocco who underscored the importance of integrating mathematical modeling and simulations in research for effective policy making.