Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS)
The Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services (INCOIS) is an autonomous institution under the Ministry of Earth Sciences, Government of India. Established in 1999, INCOIS serves as a pioneer in oceanographic research, providing critical information and services related to the Indian Ocean and its surrounding regions. The primary focus of INCOIS is to support various stakeholders, including policymakers, scientists, coastal communities, and maritime sectors, by delivering accurate and timely ocean-related data and services.
Objectives of INCOIS
- Ocean Observations: INCOIS is responsible for maintaining and operating a comprehensive network of ocean observation systems, including buoys, sensors, and satellites. These observations help in monitoring various ocean parameters such as sea surface temperature, ocean currents, salinity, and marine biodiversity.
- Ocean Data Management: INCOIS collects, quality controls, and manages vast amounts of oceanographic data, making it accessible to researchers, policymakers, and the public. This data is crucial for understanding ocean processes, climate variability, and marine ecosystems.
- Weather and Climate Services: INCOIS provides weather and climate-related services, including weather forecasts, storm surge predictions, and ocean state forecasts. These services are essential for coastal communities, fishermen, and maritime operations.
- Tsunami Early Warning: One of INCOIS’s primary responsibilities is to issue timely tsunami advisories and warnings for the Indian Ocean region. This early warning system helps protect coastal populations from the devastating impacts of tsunamis.
Key Initiatives and Services
- Integrated Information Dissemination System (IDS): INCOIS operates the IDS, a web-based platform that disseminates real-time data and forecasts on oceanographic and meteorological parameters. It provides a wide range of information, including ocean state forecasts, wave height, sea surface temperature, and potential fishing zones.
- Tsunami Early Warning System: INCOIS operates the Indian Tsunami Early Warning System (ITEWS), which continuously monitors seismic activities and ocean parameters to detect tsunamigenic events. In the event of a potential tsunami, ITEWS issues timely advisories and warnings to relevant authorities and coastal communities.
- Ocean Services for Mariners: INCOIS provides vital ocean information and advisories to support safe and efficient navigation for mariners. This includes information on sea conditions, potential storm tracks, and other relevant oceanographic data.
- Ocean Forecasting: INCOIS conducts numerical modeling and forecasting to provide short-term and long-term ocean state forecasts. This includes forecasts of ocean currents, temperature, and wave height.
INCOIS actively collaborates with several international organizations and initiatives, including the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), and the Indian Ocean Global Ocean Observing System (IOGOOS). These collaborations enhance the exchange of oceanographic data and improve regional and global ocean services.