Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Some disturbing news has been doing the rounds here in India about one of the biggest Himalayan glaciers, 'Gangotri' being rapidly disintegrating. Indians concerned about global warming have been sent into a tizzy after shocking reports about Gangotri crumbling at an alarming rate emerged in a leading newspaper, the Hindu, which is regarded as one of the most widely read newspapers in the country. A team from G.B. Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment and Development, based in Almora, has come out with a report stating that the 'Gangotri' glacier has been rapidly disintegrating.

Gangotri, one of the largest Himalayan glaciers is the Uttarkashi district. Originating at about 7,100 meters(m) above sea level, the glacier is 30.2 km long and has a width that varies between 0.5 and 2.5 km. The Bhagirathi river, which is one of the main tributaries of the Ganga, originates from the glacier.

The beauty of Gangotri glacier is on the wane. (picture: indiamike)

Here are some takeaways from the report:

1) The team of the institute, which has been monitoring the Himalayan glaciers, especially the Gangotri, since 1999, visited the glacier between June and October this year.

2) Since the last 3 years, The Glacial Study Centre of the institute has been observing disintegration in the snout of the glacier. However, this time the disintegration on the right side of the snout has been taken place at a rapid rate,

3) As per Dr Kumar, a scientist at the institute, the reason behind this heavy disintegration can be attributed to the rapid melting of the Raktvarn, Chaturangi and Thelu - the tributory glaciers of the Gangotri, which are placed at a higher altitude than the Gangotri and are towards its right.

A 2008 research report published in the Current Science titled 'Estimation of retreat rate of Gangotri glacier using rapid static and kinematics GPS survey, stated, 'The Gangotri glacier is retreating like other glaciers in the Himalayas and its volume and size are shrinking as well.'

The glacier has retreated more than 1,500 m in the last 70 years. Post 1971, the rate of retreat of the glacier has declined. As per Dr Kumar, the latest data projects that post 2000, the average rate of retreat of the glacier per year has been about 12 to 13 m.

Dr Kumar said that global warming isn't not the only factor, but it is one of the major factors contributing to the glacial retreat.

Yet another slap on the face for the 'non-believers' and the sycophants.


Sunday, October 26, 2014

We know dogs are man's best friend but have you heard of a dog who trusts his human friend so much that he 'base-jumps' with him? Yes, you heard that right... base-jumping is what this wondrous dog enjoys with his friend, not his master mind you. How is this related to global warming? I can go on and on about how we should protect animals from all sorts of pollution spread throughout our cities or how the warming plant has shrunk their size. Or how global warming could ruin our experience of base-jumping if the ozone layer contracts any further exposing jumpers to potentially fatal direct rays of the sun or if a freak thundershower turns a captivating adventure into a horrific nightmare. Anyway, let's leave global warming and climate change aside for a bit. Let's just enjoy this spellbinding video of man's best friend enjoying the adventure of its life.

source: Dean Potter

Saturday, October 25, 2014

We have already seen the extent to which the precarious menace called global warming can go to stake its claim on the world. It is like an epidemic which doesn't afflict humans alone, us humans, who are the perpetrators of this preposterous outbreak. Poor and hapless animals too aren't being spared as yet another species of animals faces an existential threat. Mountain Goats, who can give a new born child a run for its money when it comes to cuteness, are facing a severe threat of extinction if we don't act now. While some of our celebrities spew crap on their blogs and social network fan pages, exuding their ignorance about global warming and climate and encouraging their devotees to follow suit, the men who matter, the scientists, who have been studying this adorable class of animals have come out with a staggering find.

Let's look at the major findings:

1) Wild mountain goats in the Italian Alps have got significantly smaller over the past few decades in response to a warming climate, scientists reported on Tuesday.

2) The decrease in size is being attributed to the warming climate, which the scientists believe could have far reaching effects on the natural environment, animals in particular.

3) Young Alpine chamois mountain goats now weigh about 25% less than animals of the same age 30 years ago, as per scientists at Durham University in the U.K.

4) While it is believed decline in the availability of food or deteriorating of its quality is the reason behind shrinking of other species, that doesn't seem to be the reason in the case of mountain goats as satellite data shows no decline of vegetable in the Italian Alps in the last few decades.

5) Changes in the behavioral pattern has been observed among this species, who now spend more time resting than hunting during the summer which in turn reduces their weight.

6) While studies have shown that almost all species, right from mammals to birds tend to shrink as the climate warms, scientists are shocked at such a significant change among the Alpine goals in such a short period.

7) Reports show that temperatures where goats live have increased by 3 to 4 degree Celsius.

8) As per Stephen Willis, a study co-author and professor of biology at Durham University,
even though it is unclear as to how these animals are affected by extreme climates, continued warming could pose a threat to their survival in the future.

The graph below reflects how a similar species of sheep have been shrinking with time due to the warming planet.

Shrinking sheep(source: Phenomena/National Geographic)

This news which has even taken the scientists by surprise should come as an eye opener for animal rights activists and animal lovers alike. If care isn't taken to keep the temperatures at bay, we could very well lose this cute and adorable species for good. This might sound to be an overreaction but haven't we been reacting the same way since decades? Wake up!


Thursday, October 23, 2014

One of the world's leading meteorologists, Mr John Coleman, the co-founder of the Weather Channel, has made incredulous claims about climate change proving to be a LIE. He bases his conclusion on what he claims to be a serious research which he had undertaken for many years. His tall and almost ludicrous claims rubbishing global warming and climate change to be nothing but a figment of one's imagination leaves a lot to be desired. We all know how easy it is to hog the limelight by making claims contrary to what is internationally believed and based on facts. To have a rebellious attitude and a point of view distinct from the masses is taken to be a new form of elitism by the attention seeking nerds of the modern era. By making claims which are misleading and perilous, 'experts' like Mr Coleman are jeopardising the interests of the global community at large just to score a few brownie points with the multinational corporations and conglomerates by being the ultimate sycophants.

Mr Coleman has made some startling claims.

Here are some of his shocking claims:

1) The theory of man-made climate change is no longer credible.

2) What 'little evidence' there is of rising global temperatures points to a 'natural phenomenon' within a developing eco-system.

3) The ocean level is not rising significantly.

4) The polar ice rising, not melting away. Polar bears are increasing in number.

5) Heat waves have diminished, not increased, so have the storms.

Let us now look at some compelling evidence for rapid climate change:

1) Rising Sea Level.

Global sea level rose about 17 centimeters(6.7 inches) in the last century. The rate in the last decade,however, is nearly double that of the last century. Greenland's rapid loss of ice means we are in for a rise of at least 1 metre by 2100 and possibly much more.

Rising sea level as per data collected by NASA.

2) Global Temperature Rise.

All three major global temperature reconstructions show that the Earth has warmed since 1880. Most of the warming has occurred since the 1970s, with the 20 warmest years having occurred since 1981 and with all 10 of the warmest years occurring in the last 12 years. Even though the 2000s witnessed a solar output decline, resulting in an unusually deep solar minimum in 2007-2009, surface temperature continues to increase.

The impact of rising temperature on the Earth.(source: iSGTW)

3) Warming Oceans.

The oceans have absorbed much of this increased heat, with the top 700 meters(about 2,300 feat) of ocean showing warming of 0.302 degrees Fahrenheit since 1969.

Chart showing the rise in temperature of oceans.(source: GO3 project)

 4) Shrinking Ice Sheets.

The Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets have decreased in mass. Data from NASA's Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment show Greenland lost 150 to 250 kilometers of ice per year between 2002 and 2006, while Antarctica lost 152 cubic kilometers of ice between 2002 to 2005. As per latest IPCC reports in 2014, the thick Arctic ice was not expected to melt until the end of the century. However, if current trends continue, summer ice could be gone in a decade or two.

Estimation of melting Arctic ice. (source: ecology.com)

Arctic ice pack comparison (source: Wikipedia)

5) Glacial Retreat.

 Glaciers are retreating almost everywhere around the world including in the Alps, Himalayas, Andes, Rockies, Alaska and Africa.

Contrasting images of Grinnell Glacier over the years.

6)  Extreme events.

In recent times, the number of extreme events around the world has increased on account of climate change. Natural disasters such as storms, droughts, excessive rainfall, heat waves etc. don't pop out our eyeballs any more.

Pictures such as this one continue to perplex meteorologists.

7) Ocean Acidification.

Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, the acidity of surface ocean waters has increased by about 30 percent. This increase is the result of humans emitting more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere and hence more being absorbed into the oceans. The amount of carbon dioxide absorbed by the upper layers of the ocean is increasing by about 2 billion tonnes per year.

Ocean Acidification process. (source: UKOA)

After looking at this irrefutable evidence which nails the propaganda of the so called skeptics, let's go through some interesting news stories doing the rounds with regards to global warming and climate change.

Tens of thousands of walruses mass on Alaska beach due to climate change : Telegraph.

US greenhouse gas emissions rise despite Obama's new climate change push : Guardian.

Recommended: 7 industries at greatest risk from climate change  : CNBC

Just a small fact before closing this post : 97% of the climate scientists agree that climate change is caused due to human activities and most of the scientific organisations and issues statements endorsing the same, Take a look.: Consensus on climate change (source: NASA)


Sunday, August 19, 2012

In yet another evidence of climate change wreaking havoc on marine life, it has been found that the Australian tropical fish are migrating southwards on account of rising temperature which has not spared any part of the world.

Compiled by over 80 of Australia's leading marine experts for the government science body CSIRO, the snapshot of global warming's effects on the island continent's oceans warned of "significant impacts".

"Climate change is already happening; widespread physical changes include rapid warming of the southeast and increasing flow of the east Australia current," the report said.

The report described southeast Australia as a 'global warming hotspot', with the contraction south and strengthening of southern hemisphere winds causing the eastern current to become more intense and also warmer, reports the Daily Mail.

"A range of species including plankton, fish and invertebrates are now found further south because of the enhanced transport of larvae and juveniles in the stronger current and the high rate of regional warming," it said.

Sea snakes were declining and warmer beaches were changing turtle breeding habits and seabird and marine mammal feeding and mating, it added.

In the past 30 years, coral reefs have experienced increasing thermal bleaching and it is projected to become more frequent and severe, "leading to chronic degradation of most coral reefs by the middle to late parts of the century", the report said.

Though the findings raise concerns, project leader Elvira Poloczanska pointed out some positives too. The research suggested that certain tropical fish species were better equipped to adapt to warming than previously thought, Poloczanska said.

This finding should come as a rude shock to those living in denial about this global menace of climate change and while some steps have already been initiated to fight this phenomenon, more needs to be done or else there would come a time when all our marine wealth will become a thing of the past.

Friday, December 17, 2010

'Fox News' foxing it's viewers?

According to 'TechNewsWorld', 'Fox News', one of the world's well known News corporation, has been underplaying the fact of global warming and climate change and been catering to the political class by not asserting that the planet has warmed or cooled in a bid to distort the global warming debate that has been raging worldwide. Critics believe such a view hampers fight against the menace of climate change and mis-characterizes the issue of global warming as an even-sided scientific debate when majority of the researchers accept it's presence.

While almost all of the scientific community accepts that the planet is warming, there are a few members who don't, and Fox uses that to warp the issue in the name of fairness, according to Eileen Claussen, president of the Pew Center on Global Climate Change.

In the name of being fair and balanced, she told TechNewsWorld, Fox "implies that there is an equal number of scientists on all sides of this issue, which is not the case. It's really distorting the facts."

"Fox seems unwilling to accept the facts," she maintained.

"Most media outlets try to have some factual basis," she added. "I think Fox prefers fantasy to facts."

Full article: TechNewsWorld

Monday, February 1, 2010

13 countries come together to save tigers...

HUA HIN, Thailand - A dozen Asian nations and Russia vowed Friday to work to double the number of wild tigers by 2022, crack down on poaching that has devastated the big cats and prohibit the building of roads and bridges that could harm their habitats.

However, the historic declaration adopted by the 13 countries that have wild tigers includes no new money to finance the conservation efforts. The agreement only includes plans to approach international institutions like the World Bank for money and to develop programs to tap money from ecotourism, carbon financing and infrastructure projects to pay for tiger programs.

"This is a historic meeting. Before this, not many people paid attention to tigers," Thailand's Minister of Natural Resources and Environment Suwit Khunkitti said after the three-day meeting in Hua Hin. "Stopping the depletion of tigers is a very important issue for all of us."

source: Msnbc

This is a welcome step and it's time words are transformed into action... tigers, who are on the verge of being extinct need comprehensive protection and such initiatives and mass awareness can help save them. Governments should not act stingy in financing such efforts and the support from ordinary citizens is very much needed.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

As the world bears the brunt of climate change, here's something that comes as an encouragement for those who are really concerned about the environment. "Lighting a billion lives campaign" initiated by the Indian people is one movement that will go a long way in fighting climate change and creating awareness among the rural masses which constitute of millions of Indians. Recently, California governer Arnold Schwarzeneger has lauded the people of India for initiating this project and urged other nations to follow suit. So... what is the campaign about and what does it intend to achieve? Here's all you want to know about this ambitious project:

Over 1.6 billion people in the world lack access to electricity; roughly 25% are in India alone. For these people, life comes to a standstill after dusk. Inadequate lighting is not only an impediment to progress and development opportunities, but also has a direct impact on the health, environment, and safety of millions of people, as they are forced to light their homes with kerosene lamps, dung cakes, firewood, and crop residue after sunset.

Recognizing the need to change the existing scenario, TERI, with its vision to work for global sustainable development and its commitment towards creating innovative solutions for a better tomorrow, has undertaken an initiative of 'Lighting a Billion Lives' (LaBL) through the use of solar lighting devices.

The Campaign aims to bring light into the lives of one billion rural people by replacing the kerosene and paraffin lanterns with solar lighting devices. This will facilitate education of children; provide better illumination and kerosene-smoke-free indoor environment for women to do household chores; and provide opportunities for livelihoods both at the individual level and at village level. In terms of physical targets, it translates into 200,000,000 solar lanterns in use, assuming that each solar lantern benefits five members of a family.

At the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Annual Meeting in 2007, TERI committed to bringing light into the lives of one million rural people over four years by displacing kerosene and paraffin lanterns with solar lighting devices, and providing opportunities for livelihoods both at the individual and village level.

This since has been expanded to the ‘Lighting a Billion Lives’ Campaign to benefit many more people in India and around the world. The campaign was formally inaugurated by the Prime Minister of India, Dr Manmohan Singh, on 7 February 2008 during DSDS (Delhi Sustainable Development Summit).

What are the benefits?

-The Campaign offers local and global environmental benefits. Each solar lantern in its useful life of 10 years displaces the use of about 500-600 litres of kerosene, thereby mitigating about 1.5 tonnes of CO2.

-Each Solar lantern saves:
40-60 liters of kerosene/year
100 Billion Rupees burned each year in kerosene and wick lamps

-There are several social benefits too. The Campaign benefits both the user and the supplier of services. The rural entrepreneurs are trained to manage and run a central solar lantern charging/distribution centre where lanterns are rented. This creates financial opportunities for the entrepreneur. Thus apart from providing reliable and ensured lighting to households at an affordable rate, the Campaign also facilitates entrepreneurial development among rural communities.

To know more about this project and to be a part of it visit their site:
Lighting a Billion Lives

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