An Analysis of Knowledge Gaps in Climate Change Research

Ghulam Rasul

Abstract


Climate change has posed a serious threat to whole humanity en masse, and an effective and collaborative effort by all communities is required to address this serious challenge. Organizations, at regional and
global scale, are striving to unify the scientific community for ollaborative and synergetic efforts to deal with the issue of global warming and climate change. Such cooperation, based on sharing of knowledge
and expertise among the scientific community, is need worthy to tackle the issues related to global warming and climate change. Pakistan, in pursuit of solutions regarding climate change, has also given a
serious attention by making an apex body “The Task Force on Climate Change”. The said has been established by the Prime Minister, which assembles quarterly and semi-annually to discuss the issues
related to climate change and their ramifications. These meeting are chaired by the Prime Minister himself. Its mandate includes organization of climate change based research, assemblage of research
groups, identification of the knowledge gaps, and assessment of the capacity and compilation of unified research results for the guidance of planners and policy makers.

Initially, the eminent organizations of Pakistan working on climate change, impact assessment and adaptation were Pakistan Meteorological Department (PMD), Pakistan Agriculture Research Council (PARC), Pakistan Council of Research in Water Resources (PCRWR), and Pakistan Forest Institute (PFI), etc. But, as the situation went more grave many new organization were set up to contemplate on
this issue dedicatedly. For instance, Global Change Impact Study Centre (GCISC) that was established in 2002, meanwhile Water and Power Development Authority (WAPDA), Pakistan Institute of Nuclear
Science and Technology (PINSTECH), and Pakistan Institute of Engineering and Applied Sciences (PIEAS) also set up limited capacity for addressing issues of hazard mitigation, climate change and global
warming in their own respective realms.

Climate change is a common challenge for humanity and a joint effort by different communities may yield desirable results to avert its adverse effects. Many global and regional organizations have been trying to bring the scientific community together for collaborative efforts to deal with the issues related to climate. Such cooperation will develop the exchange of knowledge and experience among the scientists to tackle the climate related issues at national and local scales. In Pakistan, climate change has attained the serious attention by higher command realizing its sensitivities and vulnerabilities. An apex body, The Task Force on Climate Change has been established by the Prime Minister which meets quarterly and six monthly meeting is chaired by the Prime Minister himself. Its mandate includes organization of climate change based research, assemblage of research groups, identification of the knowledge gaps, and assessment of the capacity and compilation of unified research results for the guidance of planners and policy makers. Although, all the organizations are quite competent to undertake such tasks effectively but lack training on new techniques, limitations of resources, limited access to data sources and poor coordination could not yield desired results. Furthermore, Universities have mandate to conduct research on different fragment of climate change, its ramifications and development of adaptation and mitigation strategies, but, among more than 60 national universities, there is only one institution which offers Master Degree in Meteorology; and none of them is available to educate the young generation on modeling the climate system dynamics and global change.

In the situation, where, said organizations are striving hard to meet the challenges posed by climate change and global warming, but they are experiencing, limitation of resources, access to advance datasets
and capacity building, and poor inter-organization communication, as well, this manuscript is aimed to highlight analysis of gaps in knowledge, skills and capacity of concerning organization, that must be abridged to attain optimal results.


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