Posts Tagged 'monsoon'

baya weavers nesting

Posted by on 04 Sep 2016 | Category: photography, prakriti

It is nesting season for the baya weavers!

Baya weaver birds are small, sparrow-size birds which resemble the sparrows during the non-breeding season. During May-June, as the breeding season approaches, their gonads (sexual glands) become active and the adult males develop yellow and black color plumage on head, breast and throat; and their bills also darken. By the time the monsoon starts, the males are in bright yellow summer colors, and ready for breeding through the monsoon season (June-September).

baya weaver nest building

Why do they breed during the summer monsoon? Obviously, the grass is green during this side of the monsoon! Baya weavers forage in flocks for seeds on wild grass like these below, which are plenty after the monsoon rains. This is also the time when insects are plenty, especially to feed their young. How many bayas can you count in the image below?!

a group of baya weaver birds feeding on grass seeds

Nesting success? Baya weaver nests are exclusively built by the males and then displayed to the females. What are the factors on which the female makes it selection? Among birds, elaborate nests and decorations built by males may help females to assess a male’s quality. One of the most popular architectural attributes of the weaver nest is the entrance tube, which can get as long as 90 cm. Female birds are also selective in choosing nests which provides safety (in terms of nest height and location). So what does the baya weaver base their selection on? Is it the architecture or the location?

baya weaver nest building at Pune, Maharashtra

Safer on thorny trees: Observation shows that the female weavers are inclined towards nests which are safely located in thorny trees, farther away from the trunk and situated high above the ground. Thornless trees have higher rates of snake predation than thorny trees. Nesting success also increases with with thickness of the supporting branch and for nests which are woven with fine fiber.  Thick branches may stabilize nests during strong monsoon winds, and may also be less likely to break.

baya weaver and a garden lizard against the blue sky

Despite these precautions, garden lizards like the one above, and tree mouse do occasionally raid these nests.

Some history: Baya weavers and their unique nesting nature were first recorded in Ain-i-Akbari, the 16th-century document recording the administration of Akbar’s empire, and which is part of the a much larger document, the Akbarnama. The Volume III translation by Colonel H. S. Jarret talks about wild/domesticated bayas: “The baya is like a wild sparrow but yellow. It is extremely intelligent, obedient and docile. It will take small coins from the hand and bring them to its master, and will come to a call from a long distance. Its nests are so ingeniously constructed as to defy the rivalry of clever artificers.”

Species: Ploceus philippinus
English: Baya weaver
Location: IITM colony, Pune, Maharashtra
Date: 3 Sep 2016

1. Balasubramanian, K. S., & Saxena, R. N. (1973). Effect of pinealectomy and photoperiodism in the reproduction of Indian weaver birds, Ploceus philippinus. Journal of Experimental Zoology, 185(3), 333-340.
2. Fazl, A., & Jarrett, H. S. (1983). The Ain-i-Akbari:. Royal Asiatic Society of Bengal. (No. 61).

3. Quader, S. (2006). What makes a good nest? Benefits of nest choice to female Baya Weavers (Ploceus philippinus). The Auk, 123(2), 475-486.

pied paddy skimmer

Posted by on 08 Sep 2011 | Category: photography, prakriti

The pied paddy skimmers, with their white-banded black coloured wings, are one of my favorite dragonflies. They bring back all the nostalgic childhood days, as I remember them from the time since when I was a kid – when I used to play out in the fields.

pied paddy skimmer, neurothemis tullia on a water lily

The pied colors and the habitat give them the name pied paddy skimmer. It is the males which have the black colored wings as above, while the females have golden yellow wings with dark spots/tips. These paddy skimmers are often found around ponds, fields, and all kind of pools of water. Their flight is also conspicuous, undulating and floating in the air, much like a butterfly.
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Roxy’s Resume

Posted by on 16 Dec 2005 | Category: Uncategorized

Roxy Mathew's visiting card QR
Dr. Roxy Mathew Koll
Climate Scientist
Centre for Climate Change Research | Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology
Pashan, Pune 411008, India | Off: +91 20 25904200 Cell: +91 9405015676


Life: Seek thine own truth. Live life.
Career: To understand how the oceans and the atmosphere work together.

Work/Research Experience
Scientist, Centre for Climate Change Research, Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorolgy, Ministry of Earth Sciences.
Apr 2010 – Present

Adjunct Faculty, Centre for Advanced Training in Earth System Science and Climate, IITM/MoES.
Aug 2011 – Present

Adjunct Professor, University of Pune, India.
Aug 2013 – Present

Visiting Scientist, National Centers for Environmental Prediction, NOAA, Maryland, USA.
Mar 2012 – May 2012

Postdoctoral Research Associate, Euro-Mediterranean Centre for Climate Change, Italy.
Feb 2008 – Mar 2010

Research Assistant (Japanese Govt. Center of Excellence) at Hokkaido University, Japan.
Apr 2004 – Jul 2007

Junior Research Fellow (CSIR), National Institute of Oceanography, India.
Feb 2003- Feb 2004.

Academic Qualifications
PhD in Ocean & Atmospheric Sciences, Hokkaido University, Sapporo, Japan. Jun 2007.

MSc Physical Oceanography, Cochin University of Science & Technology, Kochi, India with 2nd rank. Feb 2003.

Publications   [Google Scholar citations] Roxy M., 2013: Sensitivity of precipitation to sea surface temperature over the tropical summer monsoon region—and its quantification. Climate Dynamics, DOI: 10.1007/s00382-013-1881-y [pdf]

Sharmila S., P. A. Pillai, S. Joseph, M. Roxy, R. P. M. Krishna, R. Chattopadhyay, S. Abhilash, A. K. Sahai and B. N. Goswami, 2013: Role of ocean-atmosphere interaction on northward propagation of Indian summer monsoon intraseasonal oscillations. Climate Dynamics, 41, 1651–1669, DOI: 10.1007/s00382-013-1854-1 [pdf]

Valsala V., Y. K. Tiwari, P. Pillai, M. Roxy, S. Maksyutov and R. Murtugudde, 2013: Intraseasonal variability of terrestrial biospheric CO2 fluxes over India during summer monsoons. JGR – Biogeosciences, 118, 2, 752–769, DOI: 10.1002/jgrg.20037 [pdf]

Roxy M., N. Patil, K. Aparna and K. Ashok, 2013: Revisiting the Indian summer monsoon-ENSO links in the IPCC AR4 projections: A cautionary outlook. Global & Planetary Change, 104, 51-60, DOI: 10.1016/j.gloplacha.2013.02.003 [pdf]

Sahai A. K., S. Sharmila, S. Abhilash, R. Chattopadhyay, N. Borah, R. P. M. Krishna, S. Joseph, M. Roxy, S. De, S. Pattnaik and P. A. Pillai, 2013: Simulation and extended range prediction of monsoon intraseasonal oscillations in NCEP CFS/GFS version 2 framework. Current Science, 104 (10), 1394-1408 [pdf]

Roxy M., Y. Tanimoto, B. Preethi, P. Terray and R. Krishnan, 2012: Intraseasonal SST-precipitation relationship and its spatial variability over the tropical summer monsoon region. Climate Dynamics, 41 (1), 45-61, DOI: 10.1007/s00382-012-1547-1 [pdf]

Samala B. K., R. Krishnan and M. Roxy, 2012: Assessment of 1 month forecasts of weak Indian monsoons based on the NCEP Climate Forecast System (CFS). Meteorological Applications, 19 (2), 189-199, DOI: 10.1002/met.1331 [pdf]

Roxy M. and Y. Tanimoto, 2011: Influence of sea surface temperature on the intraseasonal variability of the South China Sea summer monsoon. Climate Dynamics, 39 (5), 1209-1218, DOI: 10.1007/s00382-011-1118-x [pdf]

Roxy M., S. Gualdi, H-K L. Drbohlav and A. Navarra, 2010: Seasonality in the relationship between El Nino and Indian Ocean Dipole. Climate Dynamics, 37 (1), 221-236, DOI: 10.1007/s00382-010-0876-1 [pdf]

Roxy M., S. Gualdi and E. Scoccimarro, 2010: The influence of the Indian Ocean Dipole on the Eastern Mediterranean climate variability, as simulated by a coupled general circulation model. Under Revision.

Roxy M. and Y. Tanimoto, 2007: Role of SST over the Indian Ocean in influencing the intraseasonal variability of the Indian summer monsoon. J. Met. Soc. Japan, 85(3), 349-358, DOI: 10.2151/jmsj.85.349 [pdf]

S.S.C. Shenoi, M. Roxy, and co-authors, 2005: Hydrography and water masses in the southeastern Arabian Sea during March-June 2003, Journal of Earth System Science, 114(5), 475-491, DOI: 10.1007/BF02702024 [pdf]

Roxy M. and S. R. Shetye, 2003: Evolution of thermocline off Kochi: a test of the role of local wind-forcing in driving of the coastal circulation. Proc. ARMEX Workshop on Data Analysis and Initial Scientific Results. NIOT, India.

S.S.C. Shenoi, M. Roxy, and co-authors, 2003: Temperature-salinity structure in the southeastern Arabian Sea during ARMEX Phase II. Proc. ARMEX Workshop on Data Analysis and Initial Scientific Results. NIOT, India.

Conference Presentations
Roxy M., SST-precipitation relationship over the tropical monsoon region,  in a changing climate. CORDEX 2013Brussels, Belgium, Nov 2013. [pdf]

Roxy M., A new paradigm for SST-convection relationship, and its relevance to climate. Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) National workshop on Climate Change, New Delhi, Oct 2013.

Roxy M., Spatial and temporal dimensions of SST-precipitation relationship during the Asian summer monsoon. AOGS 2013, Brisbane, Australia, Jun 2013.

Roxy M., Y. Tanimoto, B. Preethi, P. Terray, R. Krishnan and V. Valsala, Spatial variability of intraseasonal SST-precipitation relationship over the Indian Ocean and South China Sea during the Asian summer monsoon, PORSEC 2012, Kochi, India, Nov 2012.

Roxy M., Y. Tanimoto, B. Preethi, P. Terray, R. Krishnan, V. Valsala and R. Murtugudde, Spatial variability of intraseasonal SST-precipitation relationship over the Indian Ocean and South China Sea during the Asian summer monsoon. CFSv2 Evaluation Workshop, Maryland, USA, May 2012.

Roxy M., Earth System Model development using the Climate Forecast System, CFSv2. NCEP Lecture Series, Maryland, USA, Apr 2012.

Roxy M., Y. Tanimoto, B. Preethi, P. Terray and R. Krishnan, Intraseasonal SST-precipitation relationship and its variability over the tropical summer monsoon region, as in observations and the Climate Forecast System v2. OCHAMP, Pune, India, Feb 2012. [ppt]

Roxy M. and S. Gualdi, The influence of the Indian Ocean Dipole on the Eastern Mediterranean climate variability, as simulated by a coupled general circulation model. Alpine Workshop on Monsoon VariabilityVale D’Aosta, Italy, June 2009.

Roxy M. and S. Gualdi, Teleconnections between the Indian Monsoon and the Mediterranean Sea as simulated by a coupled General Circulation Model (INGV-SXG). European Conference on Applied Climatology, EMS, Amsterdam, Netherlands, Oct 2008.

Roxy M. and S. Gualdi, Teleconnections affecting the Mediterranean Sea, as observed in a coupled General Circulation Model. MedCLIVAR-ESF Workshop on Climate variability over the Mediterranean area: atmospheric and oceanic components, Rhodes, Greece, September 2008.

Roxy M. and Y. Tanimoto, Intraseasonal variability of air sea interaction over the Indian Ocean and its influence on regional and intraseasonal variability of the Indian monsoon. AOGS 2006, Singapore, July 2006.

Roxy M. and S. R. Shetye, Evolution of thermocline off Kochi: a test of the role of local wind-forcing in driving of the coastal circulation. ARMEX Workshop, NIOT, India, 2003.

Invited Talks
Roxy M., Climate model data analysis and visualization, IIT-DST Workshop on Climate Modelling: Simulations and AnalysisIIT Delhi, Dec 2013.

Roxy M., Interaction between the Indian ocean and the Atmosphere during the summer monsoon, Indo-EU Workshop on Monsoon and Ocean Variability, Climate Change and Sea Level VariationsKochi, Nov 2013 [pdf]

Roxy M., Modeling the Monsoon in a Changing Climate, DBT Invited Lecture Series, Assam Agriculture University, Jorhat, Assam, Mar 2013.

Roxy M., CCCR/IITM Activities using the Climate Forecast System, CFSv2. COLA Invited Lecture Series, Maryland, USA, Apr 2012.

Roxy M., R. Krishnan, K. Ashok, K. Aparna, P. Swapna, B. Preethi, G. Pandithurai, and R. Rajesh, Earth System Modeling for improving Monsoon Projections under a Changing Climate, Indo-Italian Workshop on Impact of Climate Change and Anthropogenic Activities on Soil and Water Resources, IIT Roorkee, October 2010.

Roxy M., R. Krishnan, K. Ashok, K. Aparna, P. Swapna, B. Preethi, G. Pandithurai, and R. Rajesh, Climate Change and Earth System Modeling – from a Kerala perspective, National workshop on natural resource management and human development paradigms in Climate Change perspective, Kerala, December 2010.

Research Interests
Climate Change/Variability Research and Earth System Modeling, Ocean Atmospheric Dynamics and Interaction, Tropical Intraseasonal Variability, Indian Ocean and the Asian monsoon, SST – Convection Feedback.

Joint Principal Investigator, Ministry of Earth Sciences – National Monsoon Mission project on “Impacts of ocean-atmosphere coupling and SST high-frequency variability on the coupled simulation of the mean state of the Indian summer monsoon”.

Administrator and Co-founder, Oceanographers Net, largest online oceanographic community,

Convener and chair at the Atmospheric Science Section AS17 on “Ocean-Atmospheric Processes in the Dynamics of the Asian Monsoon”, AOGS 2013, Australia.

Convener and chair at the Ocean Science Section OS07 on “Climate variability in the Asia-Oceania region”, AOGS 2010, Hyderabad.

Reviewer of scientific journals: J.Climate, Climate Dynamics, Mon.Wea.Rev., J.Met.Soc.Japan, Atmopheric Research, Int.J.Climatology, Tellus

Editor, Ocean Section, Asia Oceania Geosciences Society (AOGS) Newsletter, 2006-’07.

Executive Member, Co-founder and Web Administrator, Hokkaido University International Students Association, 2005-’07.

Cruise/Observational Experience
Kuroshio Extension System Study (KESS) cruise, 15 June – 18 July, 2005 on US R/V Roger Revelle.

Arabian Sea Monsoon Experiment (ARMEX) cruise, 13 March – 10 April, 2003 on R/V Sagar Kanya.

On board Oceanographic skills: Radio Sonde, SODAR, CTD operation, LADP.

Numerical Modeling
Experience in Earth System Model (ESM) development. Expertise in utilizing coupled atmosphere ocean sea-ice general circulation models such as NCEP Climate Forecast System v2 (CFSv2) and INGV-SXG (SINTEX).

Experience in using IBM P6/NEC SX-8 supercomputers for climate modeling.

Scientific/Computational Skills
Processing: MatLab, CDO (Climate Data Operators), NCL (NCAR)

Visualization: Ferret, GRaDS, GMT

Shell scripting on Unix/Linux platforms.

Lecture on Data Analysis and Visualization using CDO and Ferret [pdf]

Other Computing Skills
Higher Diploma in Software Engineering (1998-2001), APTECH Computer Education (ISO), India.

Operating Systems: Unix/Linux/Aix/Solaris/Windows

Languages: C++, Visual Basic 6.0, FORTRAN 95/77, PHP, HTML, novice in PERL.

Database: SQL, MS Access, Oracle 9.0.

Office tools: MS Office, Website designing, Adobe Photoshop & Illustrator.

Best Poster Award (out of 48 scientific posters), International Symposium on “Sustainable Development”, Hokkaido University, August 2006

Research Assistantship under 21st Century Center of Excellence (COE), Japanese Government, 2003 – ’07
JGC Corporation – Saneyoshi Scholarship, 2006 – ’07
Hokkaido University International Student Center Scholarship, 2006 – ’07

Council of Scientific and Industrial Research, India – Junior Research Fellowship (National Level), 2002 – 04
UGC – National Eligibility Test, 2002 (Science Lectureship in Universities and colleges across India.)

Postgraduate merit scholarship for M.Sc Oceanography, Cochin University of Science & Technology, 2000 – ’02

TOEFL: Total score: 273/300 Essay: 6.0/6.0

Trekking along the foothills of the Himalayas 😉
First Prize in English Essay (2000), CMS college, Kottayam
First Prize in English Poetry (1999), CMS college
Second Prize in English Poetry (2000), CMS college
First Prize in Malayalam Poetry (1993), Girideepam Bethany High School , Kottayam
Best actor and first prize in Drama
Prizes in Long Race Competitions, First Prize in Caroms
Gold Medal Award for Science at school level
Prize in Mathematics Project, Prizes in Quiz competitions

arabian sea; armex cruise on sagar kanya

Posted by on 16 Dec 2005 | Category: Uncategorized

ORV Sagar Kanya, 29.03.03, Arabian Sea, beguiling facades: from cruise SK-190.
This I remember, I wrote sitting on a chair in the upper deck of R/V Sagar Kanya. It was night and it was my birthday. hmm.. celebrating one’s birthday on a ship with the endless sea around is something.. The photos are from the same cruise.

soft brushing of the breeze
waves splattering on and softly rocking the ship

the sea is seducing me
endless lifeless meaningless
it seems
never stops looking marvellous
arabian sea armex cruise

blue blue sea; armex cruise
the color
the blue blue color
enticing enthralling
I wish I had a shirt of that color

cumulo nimbus clouds, arabian sea

sagar kanya, arabian sea
sometimes you wish
you say,
go, dive and float on the waves
but u don’t go
u don’t know
whether u cud get back
into the ship

O’ sitting in this chair at nite,
u can make so many wishes

Somebody had told
Wish on a star

no roof over my head
only the sky
lying on this chair
I cud see all those stars
let me wish
on every star
for I have so many wishes
let me wish
on all the stars seen and unseen
I have heard stars are countless
so are my wishes

29 March 2003

monsoon on my desk

Posted by on 16 Dec 2005 | Category: Uncategorized

Posted during my research work at Hokkaido University, 2004-’07  😎

monsoon asterix

Monsoon, oh how thy rule the daily life of petty Indians!!

The minds, the economy, the agriculture, the life and prosperity and happiness of Indian subcontinent heavily depend on the ups and downs of the monsoon. Those rains bring mixed feelings. Oh the picture of the students running with uniforms and school bags drenched in water, the rushing vehicles splashing muddy water on the pedestrians, tiny paper boats sailing thru, these are some of the daily shots from my part of the world in kerala. Everyone but are unanimous in heartily welcoming the first spell of rains, as they bring a relief from the hot summer days. When it rains every day and for long time but it used to give nightmares to daddy cuz if it rained too much, our rubber trees can’t be milked and poor me won’t be able to buy new pants n shirts n shoes hehe. That is how monsoon used to affect me other than the several nights when the power went off for days [when the winds n the rain throw the trees n branches over the electric lines or when the water level in the dams are low], several days when the thunderstorms warned me not to come out, several days when coming from school or college my shoes weighed a ton from the water soaked in. Ya it affected me too as a change of season and daily routine of taking umbrellas but not as much as some other small farmers whose daily bread depended on it. Our part of India was mostly blessed with plenty rain during the monsoons.

Rains all over India, dances in different proportions, giving variabilities in space and time. Some parts of India like western ghats[southwest India] and the ganges mahanadi basin [central east India] receives rain in plenitude while other parts like tamil nadu in the south east and the north western parts of India receive weak rainfall. Droughts, floods happen at the same time at different corners of the subcontinent. Agricultural sector, Indian economy, daily life all listen to the rhythm of rain. The peacock’s dance or the curves of the eyebrows of a farmer on his field used to give signals on the monsoon. Now here lying around on my desk are so many plots and charts and I’m trying to find out such signals and curves which can write out some of the short paragraphs out of the epic called monsoon.

To put it simply, I’m having a look at the subseasonal variability of air sea interaction over the Indian Ocean and how it influences the subseasonal and spatial variability of monsoon over India.

Mathew Roxy and Youichi Tanimoto, 2007: Role of SST over the Indian Ocean in influencing the intraseasonal variability of the Indian summer monsoon. Journal of Meteorological Society of Japan, 85(3) [pdf].

Oceanographer CTD launch at Sagar Kanya, Arabian Sea

Thatz me at the ARMEX (ARabian sea Monsoon EXperiment) cruise on ORV Sagar Kanya, during Mar-Apr 2003. Instrument in view contains Nansen bottles [for water sampling at different depths], CTD [measures conductivity (salinity), temperature, pressure (depth)], ADCP [current profiler] etc. These are lowered to the deep ocean, collecting data all the way and sending it back to a computer terminal.

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