94 percent of Indian business decision-makers are concerned about negative impact of climate change on their business, reports The Weather Company, an IBM business

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New Delhi: IBM (NYSE: IBM) and its subsidiary The Weather Company today unveiled a first-of-its-kind Climate Change Perceptions in India study that sheds light on how climate change relates to severe weather.

IBM (NYSE: IBM) and its subsidiary The Weather Company today unveiled a first-of-its-kind Climate Change Perceptions in India study that sheds light on how climate change relates to severe weather. The study also examines Indians’ perception of the economic and business impact of severe weather along with confidence in local weather forecasts.

The study, fielded by IBM in partnership with Morning Consult, found that 72% Indians believe that the local economy has been disrupted by a severe weather event in the past year. Additionally, 89% of Indians expressed concern that climate change could have a negative impact on the economy. Further emphasizing climate change apprehension, seven in 10 Indians (66%) believe that severe weather events are much more common now than they used to be.

According to the study findings, those in India are nearly twice as likely than those in the U.S. to state they are not confident in their local weather forecast. Emerging technology like IBM GRAF, the new Global High-Resolution Atmospheric Forecasting system, helps to bridge the gap. The supercomputer-powered system provides fresher, higher-quality forecasts for nations like India that have never before had access to state-of-the-art weather data. The global rollout of IBM GRAF helps the region prepare for and respond to climate change.

“As weather conditions become increasingly more severe across the globe, it’s crucial that businesses across India have access to timely and accurate weather data to help stay prepared,” said Cameron Clayton, General Manager, IBM Watson Media and Weather. “The launch of IBM GRAF is an inflection point in forecasting science, where technology democratizes weather data for the good of society. Enhanced global forecasts are revolutionary in areas of the world like India, where we are committed to delivering improved weather insights to businesses and consumers to help save time, money and lives.”

IBM GRAF

IBM GRAF runs on an IBM Power Systems supercomputer and can predict conditions up to 12 hours in advance with detail and frequency previously unavailable at this global scale. IBM GRAF will provide many finer-grained predictions of the atmosphere and update its forecasts six to 12 times more frequently than conventional global modelling systems.

In India, current global weather models cover 9-13 kilometres (5.6-8.1 miles) and are updated every 6 hours. By contrast, IBM GRAF forecasts down to 3 kilometres (1.9 miles) and is updated hourly. With 12 trillion pieces of forecast information issued per day by IBM GRAF, IBM aims to improve forecast quality in India.

Leveraging weather models like IBM GRAF along with emerging technology like AI, cloud and analytics creates superior decision support capabilities for the general public in addition to energy companies and consumer brands. IBM GRAF outputs are included in The Weather Company’s large-scale forecasting engine, including The Weather Channel app and weather.com operating on the IBM Cloud. These outputs leverage AI to surface the best forecast for consumers and businesses, bringing cutting-edge weather predictions to mobile phones worldwide.

The launch of IBM GRAF in India was welcomed by leading organizations across the country. M.B. Ganapathy, Head of Plantations, Tata Coffee said, “Tata Coffee is one of the largest integrated coffee cultivation and processing companies in the world. We are leveraging the IBM Watson Decision Platform for Agriculture to receive accurate weather forecast, soil moisture and soil temperature information at our coffee estates to amplify the agricultural process of coffee crop cultivation in India. Having access to a scientifically proven and reliable weather forecasting system will allow us to take proactive measures, not only to safeguard crops and manage precision irrigation but also ensure the safety of our workforce.”

Prateep Basu, Founder and CEO of SatSure, added, “At SatSure, we combine satellite imagery, proprietary algorithms, weather data, drone imagery, social and economic datasets and cadastral maps with additional problem-centric datasets to generate near real-time location-specific decision intelligence. With IBM GRAF, the granularity of insights offered will be an important factor whether it’s helping maximize crop production on agricultural lands or using satellite imagery to guide rescue efforts during a natural disaster.”

Study Methodology

This poll was conducted Morning Consult on behalf of IBM from October 29 -November 04, 2019, among a national sample of 4816 adults in India and the U.S., including 2,000 general population adults in India, 2,000 U.S. adults in the general population, including 400 Indian small business owners and 195 U.S. small business owners. The interviews were conducted online and the general population datasets were weighted to approximate a target sample of adults based on age, race/ethnicity, gender, educational attainment, and region. Results among the general population in each country have a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.

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