May 06, 2011
"Most glaciers are melting, they are retreating; some glaciers, like the Siachen glacier, are advancing. But overall one can say incontrovertibly that the debris on our glaciers is very high, the snow balance is very low. We have to be very cautious because
of the water security, particularly in north India, which depends on the health of the Himalayan glaciers," says Jairam Ramesh, Minister for Environment, India.
The new National Institute of Himalayan Glaciology is based in Dehradun, in Uttarakhand, and will monitor glacial changes and compare results with those from glaciers in Pakistan, Nepal and Bhutan.
India has launched the Indian Network on Comprehensive Climate Change Assessment (INCCA)," the Minister said. It will bring together 125 research institutions throughout India, work with international bodies and operate as a "sort of Indian IPCC," he added.
The body will publish its own climate assessment in November, 2011, with reports on the Himalayas, India's long coastline, the Western Ghat highlands, and the north-eastern region close to the borders with Bangladesh, Burma, China and Nepal.
April 29, 2011
Mountaintop removal coal mining is changing the American landscape on a scale that is hard to comprehend unless you see it from the air. Anyone who has ever flown in a small aircraft over southern West Virginia or eastern Kentucky will never forget the experience
of seeing the massive scale of destruction - mountain after mountain blown up and dumped into valleys as far as the eye can see. Mountaintop removal affects more than mountains and streams, however; it is threatening to displace and destroy a distinctly American
culture that has persisted in the Appalachian Mountains for generations. Appalachian people working to save their communities have long dreamed of ways to fly reporters, decision-makers, and thousands of other Americans over the Appalachian coalfields to see
this destruction first hand - and then to visit their communities to hear stories of people who endure the consequences of what some have called "cheap energy."
Read more at the Link
April 05, 2011
The Jacaranda tree is in full bloom
Spring is here with cool mornings and evenings. What we call, beautiful weather. When spring comes with a tinge of cold, rather than an abrupt change from cold to hot, the colours are vivid and rare beauties bloom. The month of March, with cricket in every
one's mind and can the blues be far behind?
The above flower is called bachelor button and it is mostly blue in colour.
More bachelors among pink flocks. The iris lily forgot to bloom last year as the summer came swift and strong. But this year one eagerly awaited the blooms hiding inside wrinkled leaves of the lily.
But the highlight of the early spring is always the appearance of Common jay butterfly, feeding on the nectar of "Curry Leaves" flowers.
The Blue pansy also appears sucking in wet mud and taking a break on the Ashoka leaves.
The crowning glory of the season this year, was of course our own blue cricket team who lifted the world cup after 28 years!
March 27, 2011
Cancer: Normal cells in the body multiply only when the body needs and die when body does not need them. Cancer appears when the growth of the cells became out of control and cells divide non stop again and again. The cancerous cells (which are also known
as malignant cells) forgot how to die. Besides human, animals and other living organisms can get cancer. Cancer can develop almost in every organ or tissue such as colon, breast, lung, skin, bones, or nerve tissues. The various causes of cancer include-1.
drinking excess alcohol. 2. genetic problem. 3. obesity. 4. radiation. 5. viruses. 6. excessive sunlight exposure.
But the cause of many cancers remain unknown. Lung cancer is the most common of all cancer- related death. Most of the cancers are diagnosed by biopsy.
Cataracts: Clouding of the lens in eye is referred to cataracts. It affects vision and are very commonly found in older people. cataracts generally grow slowly. some symptoms of cataracts are- 1. Blurry or/and double vision. 2. colors seems faded. 3. Vision
not so well at night. 4. glare.
At first stage, some protection measures can help, like- using anti- glare glasses, use of sun glasses, brighter light. Surgery is also done by removing the cloudy lens by replacing it with artificial lens.
March 25, 2011
laakh koshish karne ke bad bhi hamari sarkarain aur log jungalon aur tiger ko bachane me asafal ho rahe he,,,kyonki kuch log apne matlab ke liye jungal kaatne me lage huain hain..wo log bhavushya ki us tasveer ko nahin dekh paa rahain jab charon taraf viraan
aur banjar dharti ka nazara hoga jaise koi vidhwa aurat dikhti hain,,isliye har nagrik ko apna kartavya samajh kar is vishya par gambhir vichar karna chaiye...jaldi bahut jaldi kyonki abhi hamare paas samay aur sampada dono he.......save trees and tigers..
March 18, 2011
Radioactivepollution is very important environmental problem. The effects o radioactivepollution may represent significant health risk to
human and other organisms.
Ultraviolet(UV) light is actually electromagnetic radiation with very short wave length(i.e; shorter than that of visible light). UV ray damages
the cells of corneaand ultimately results to blindness. It also causes blisters and redness o theskin (skin cancer) by damaging the cells of the skin.
The effectsof radioactivity generate damage to the gene pool, the genetics of all livingspecies. Genetic damage from radiation effects over
life time and generations.
The firsteffect of radioactive pollution was noted in the early twentieth century(1909). The miner who were working in uranium mines, suffered
from skin burnand cancer. Some of the major biomedical effects of radiation are well known inhistory. During Second World War in Japan (1945), many people were died due toradioactivity of the atom (atomic explosion). Another prominent radioactivedisaster was
1984, Chernobyl, where an atomic power station was met with anaccident.
March 13, 2011
Thesubstances which have adverse effects on living organisms and environment, asknown as toxic substances. A toxicsubstance has the ability to cause
systemic damage to living organism. Toxic substancesare resent in air, soil, water and in other living things. They can enterinside body in many ways, like; - through ingestion- by eating or drinking,through inhalation- by breathing, through contact with the
skin- by absorption,through injection- from syringe or from other poisonous insect or snake bite.
Toxic substancesare mainly of three categories. Chemical, biological and physical. Chemical toxicsubstances include (a) inorganic substances like
lead, mercury, asbestos, hydrofluoricacid, chlorine (gas) and (b) organic substances like methyl alcohol, medicineand poison from living things.
The dosageor concentration of the toxic substances is very important. Or properfunctioning of organism, many substances may be essential at low doses,
butthat particular substance can be dangerous at higher doses. For example,manganese is so important for an pregnant woman, that a deficiency of manganeseduring pregnancy reduce growth and can cause mortality of the offspring, whereas workers exposed to high
levels of manganese (manganese mines) sufferingbrain damage that causes memory impairment, disorientation and acute anxiety.
March 05, 2011
The French Birder was very sure when he remarked "Sal forest are not good for birding!". They (Pure Sal Forests) are not good for tigers and wildlife safaris as well. But then Kanha Tiger reserve is an amazing diversity. Varied ecosystems abound and the
habitats are well preserved.
In birding tours to new places a proper guide is always required. For one should know where to go bird watching. If you know the tiger reserves well then you know the bird habitats as well. So instead spending time in pure Sal belts one can explore other habitats.
The tiger reserves in Central India are finest birding destinations that have been over shadowed by tiger safaris. MY recent trip with a British client was highly succesful. We could sight much more tan hundred bird species in three days with lot of time spent
on tiger chase as well.
Visit my birding blog for
birds of Kanha....
Pallas Fish Eagle, Grey Headed Fish Eagle, Grey Bushchat and Ultramarine Flycatcher found in North India visit Kanha National Park in winters. Along with Osprey they are a rare sight. There may be more in store.
Making a bird trip in Madhya Pradesh tiger reserve is a good decision. The tiger reserve are excellent for forest
birds. Wetlands in MP are scattered and none equal Bharatpur. Nevertheless wetland species here can surprise many keen bird watchers.
Birding in Central India if properly organized has a larger scope than imagined. Kanha, Pench, Bandhavgarh, Satpura, Bori, Noradehi, Pachmarhi abound in forest birds and their wintering cousins. Have a go....
March 03, 2011
Ten thousand years ago,their habitat ranged from the Mediterannean to the wilds of India.They now cling precariously to theirmodern habitat,an impossibly small domain Gir National Park.A rough census at the time of independence shows about 250 lions,the 2010
census quotes 411.This may sound like good news but this large number is ironically the main cause for concern.It may be odd to think of the Asiatic lion as endangered,but the truth is that Gir is way overpopulated and needs quite a few of its lions relocated
urgently.Ignorance and false pride from the state goverment's part can have disastrous consequences as the sanctuary is proving to small for the big cats.With the shortage of territory to command,lions are fast moving out of the sanctuary.Some of them have
even taken to the beach!.To survive the lions have to put up with factors such as acute inbreeding given that the 400 plus population has been said to have been derived from around a dozen individuals.
A broader look to know what inbreeding actually means-
Inbreeding is the reproduction from the mating of two genetically related parents,which can increase the chances of the offspring being affected by rrecessice traits.This generally leads to a decreased fitness of the population,which is called inbreeding
Results of inbreeding-
1.Increase in genetic disorders
2.lower birth rate
3.slower growth rate
5.Higher infant mortality rate
6.Loss of immune system
7.Small adult size
O'Brien,a renowned genecsist suggested that "If you do a DNA fingerprint,Asiatic lions look like identical twins because they descended from as few as a dozen individuals that was all left at the turn of the century".This makes them specially vulnerable
to diseases.As it is perpetuating the species is a difficult task as the big cats have to copulate no less than 500 times to produce a litter.The most serious threat is the fear of the outbreak of a disease that could wipe out the entire population,bringing
into account the fact that this has already happened once before.In 1994 canine distemper killed more than a third of Africa's serengeti lions.Lets pray our lions dont meet the same fate.
Hopes of a secure future in the Reintroduction Project Plan-
The Asiatic lion Rentroduction project plan aims to establish a second independent population of Asiatic lions at the Kuno Wildlfie santuary in the state of Madhya Pradesh,in an effort to save the lions of Gir which are living under the threat of natural
disasters and epidemics.Wildlife Institute of India researchers confirmed that Palpur-Kuno WLS is the most promising location to re-establish a free ranging population and certified it ready to receive its first batch of translocated lions.Kuno WLS was selected
as the reintroduction site because it is in the former range of the lions before they were hunted to near extinction.Twenty four villages which lived inside the remote core area set aside for the reintroduction of lions have been moved out with adequate compensation
and promise of better facilities and provisions given to each family.However,it was still a controversial case of species preservation via dislocation of human population.
The most shocking thing so far is that,the Chief minister of Gujrat,Narendra Modi has strictly opposed relocation plans arguing that lions were the main tourist attraction of the state saying that the lions are 'Gujrat's pride'.Perhaps he does not want Gujrat
to lose its Status as the only state home to Asiatic lions.It is unclear whether there is any political agenda behind it,but so far the goverment's constant refusal has only underlined its ignorance.Modi continues to put ona resistance despite our Uninion
environment and forest minister,Jairam Ramesh pressuring Gujrat to part with some of its lions with Madhya Pradesh,he has also expressed concern over the fear of inbreeding and a potential epedemic.So lets just keep our fingers crossed and hope that whatever
being done is done with the lions best interests in mind.
The other less damaging but nevertheless serious threats to the lions-
1.Poisoning by farmers as an act of revenge for killing livestock
2.Natural or man made calamities such as floods,forest fires and epedemics(Drought does not count as a threat as the construction of 4 new dams and 300 water points makes sure problems related to water insuffiency for the animals do not arise.
3.Wells dug by the farmers for irrigations act as trap,leading to lions drowning
4.Farmers on the periphery of the Gir forest use crude and electrical fences which are powered from high volatage electricity deom the overhead power lines.This is primarily done to protect their crop from nilgais but are also responsibly for many lion deaths.
5.Habitat decline due to overgrazing.
March 03, 2011
Pollutants (or materials) in the environment are broadly of two types- a. biodegradable ones and b. Non- biodegradable
ones. Biodegradables are subjected to microbial decomposition and thus with no or minimum persistence time in environment, and accordingly follow the regular cyclic material flow. While non-biodegradables are not decomposed by microbes. They have thus long
persistent in environment, and are introduced in the biotic organisms along with nutrients food-stuff. They are neither metabolized nor excreted, but retained in unaltered state in higher concentration in organisms of higher trophic levels in the food-chain
of an ecosystem. Thus they lead to irreversible disease and death of the organisms and misbalancing the ecosystem.
The process where the stable and persistent non-biodegradable pollutants (matters/ chemicals) are accumulated in tissues
of biological organisms in a concentration that is much higher than its environmental concentration, which usually causes irreversible disease and death of organisms, ultimately lead to ecological imbalance is known as biomagnification.
Causes- Usually stable and non-biodegradable pollutants are lipophilic in nature, means they have the attraction towards
lipid. For this lipophilic character, they are partitioned from surrounding water into the lipid or adipose tissues of organisms. Examples are DDT, PCBs (Poly Chlorinated Biphenyls), salts of heavy metals (mercury, lead, cadmium etc.) and so on.