Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South (COMSATS)

Webinar on “El-Nino: Understanding the Weather Phenomenon; Opportunities for Resilient Future in the Global South”

Webinar on “El-Nino: Understanding the Weather Phenomenon; Opportunities for Resilient Future in the Global South”

The COMSATS Center for Climate and Sustainability (CCCS) successfully convened a significant virtual gathering on August 8, 2023, titled “El-Nino: Understanding the Weather Phenomenon; Opportunities for Resilient Future in the Global South.” The event brought together a diverse array of experts and stakeholders from around the world to engage in insightful discussions on the intricate dynamics of El-Nino and its implications for the vulnerable regions of the Global South. Valuable insights shared by esteemed experts enriched over 60 participants across the globe.

At the commencement of webinar Mr. Saifullah Khan Dilazak, Program Officer at COMSATS Secretariat, invited, Ambassador Dr. Mohammad Nafees Zakaria, Executive Director of COMSATS Headquarters, for a thought-provoking welcome speech. Ambassador Zakaria underscored the socio-economic ramifications of El-Nino and emphasized the pivotal role of science and technology in addressing the challenges. He highlighted the urgency of the global climate crisis and its acceleration, projecting that the El-Nino episode would likely breach the UNFCCC’s global average temperature limit of 1.5 degrees within the next four years, a milestone initially expected to be reached by 2050. Ambassador Zakaria illuminated the webinar’s objectives, illustrating how the expertise of renowned experts would contribute to fostering mitigation and adaptation strategies for climate change. He reiterated COMSATS’ commitment to advancing science and technology solutions in the face of this critical global challenge.

Dr. Zaheer Ahmed Babar, Director of the National Weather Forecasting Center, Pakistan Meteorological Department, proficiently guided the webinar’s proceedings. The event featured presentations from four esteemed experts representing El-Nino vulnerable nations:

Dr. Ahad Vazifeh, Director of the National Center for Climate Services and Drought Monitoring, Iran National Meteorology Organization, articulately studied into the dynamics of the El-Nino-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) phenomenon, offering valuable insights into simulation-based predictions for the upcoming El-Nino event and its anticipated implications.

Dr. Vanissa Surapipith, Deputy Director of Thailand’s Hub of Talents on Air Pollution and Climate (HTAPC) at the Collaborating Center for Clean Air and Climate Change (CCCACC), illuminated the meteorological interplay between El-Nino and atmospheric pollutants, shedding light on how altered weather patterns interact with aerosols and black carbon to impact air pollution.

Prof. Dr. Dambaru Ballab Kattel, Associate Professor at the Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, provided an enlightening exploration of the hydrological dynamics exacerbated by El-Nino, utilizing simulation models to communicate the profound effects of climate change on precipitation and the amplification of these impacts by El-Nino.

Dr. Sher Muhammad, Remote Sensing Specialist within the Strategic Group: Reducing Climate and Environmental Risk at the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD), offered a comprehensive overview of geoinformatic technologies’ role in monitoring and analyzing past changes and predicting future dynamics. Dr. Muhammad showcased the application of remote sensing to predict hydrological and glaciological shifts in the Indus River Basin amidst the approaching El-Nino episode.

The event culminated in an interactive panel discussion, masterfully moderated by Dr. Zaheer Ahmed Babar, fostering vibrant exchanges between participants and experts. The diverse perspectives and inquiries enriched the discourse, contributing to a holistic understanding of El-Nino’s far-reaching implications.

In her closing remarks, Dr. Mehwish Durani, Head of CCCS, expressed heartfelt gratitude to the esteemed experts and engaged participants. Dr. Durani acknowledged the invaluable insights shared throughout the webinar, emphasizing their pivotal role in advancing our collective understanding of El-Nino’s complex dynamics.

The webinar served as a testament to COMSATS’ unwavering commitment to fostering collaboration, knowledge exchange, and innovative solutions for the challenges posed by El-Nino and climate change. Through the convergence of expertise and the dedication of participants, the event illuminated pathways toward a more resilient and sustainable future for the Global South.