Earth Science

Record warmest year third time in a row

NASA has declared this year to be the hottest year yet recorded. September turned out to be the warmest in modern temperature monitoring of 137 years. The recent findings follow record-breaking monthly anomalies throughout this year, leading the agency to believe that because of the highs reported so far. The first nine months of 2016, as reported by NASA, were characterized by much-warmer-than-average conditions across most of the globe's surface, resulting in the warmest January–September...

Earth Science | VOL. 13, ISSUE 76, January-February 2013

Why didn’t the human race end by year 2012?

Many people were worried about the possibility of a natural calamity towards the end of 2012 leading the human race to perish. Perhaps the first predictions rose from Mayan astrology – chalked out in a calendar built out of stones indicating an abrupt end of the world on 21 December 2012. But, mass extinction on Earth needs to take clues from a geological perspective to be anywhere near the truth.

Earth Science | VOL. 13, ISSUE 76, January-February 2013

The Glacial Lake Outburst Prone Regions of the Himalaya

Glaciers work as a water tower, sustaining the lives of millions downstream. The volumes of these glaciers vary - remaining sensitive to global temperature conditions. The glaciers have embedded within it many lakes which follow a seasonal pattern of freeze and thaw. With continuing warming trends, many glaciers are melting rapidly, giving birth to a large number of glacial lakes. These ‘moraine dammed’ lakes are comparatively feeble and its unexpected outburst is a threat to life, asset and infrastructure, downstream.

Earth Science | Vol. 12, Issue 72, May-June 2012

Preserving the Perishing Paradises

Antarctic, the cold oceans surrounding it and the greater parts of Arctic are often conceptualised as the 'common heritage of mankind' - most enchanting, picturesque and pristine - sustaining the complex ocean-atmosphere coupled system of our planet and thereby ensuring the sustenance of life itself. While appreciating the need for development, it is argued by environmentalists that the Earth has physical and biological limits and it is of utmost importance that these limits are honoured.

Earth Science | VOL. 12, ISSUE 70, January-February 2012

Mysteries of the Ancient Waters

Penetrating Lake Vostok in Antarctica, without mitigating the potential sources of contamination is likely to jeopardise the pristine nature of the Lake which makes it unique. The lubricants and anti-freeze used to bore a hole through the ice to reach the waters below may taint the very microorganisms that scientists are trying to discover.

Earth Science | VOL.11, ISSUE 69, November-December 2011

Indian Plate Movement: Earthquake and Tsunami Risk Zones

The Indian plate, separated from the Antarctic, started moving to the north northeast about 180 million years ago. The present day movement of the Indian plate from the Carlsberg spreading ridge results in collision in the Himalaya and subduction in the Andaman-Sumatra. These plate margins, therefore, are the major seismic belts of the moving Indian plate.

Earth Science | VOL. 11, ISSUE 69, November-December 2011

Molten Earth

Volcanic activities frequently occur along plate boundaries where pressure underneath the crust is released through cracks - pushing out magma and sometimes water and steam. The process of volcanism denotes eruption of molten rocks at the earth’s surface, often accompanied by rock fragments and explosive gases. Volcanism can take various forms, one being the creation of new crust along some 50,000 kms of ocean floor fissures where molten rock penetrates the surface and begins its divergent movement at the mid oceanic spreading ridges. In fact about 75 per cent of the world’s volcanoes are on the seafloor.

Earth Science | VOL. 11, ISSUE 69, November-December 2011

CONTINENTAL DRIFT: The Geological Jigsaw

The jigsaw fit, one of the strongest evidences of Continental Drift Theory was propagated by A Wegener in 1912. Although remarked upon way back in 1620, with several scientists believing that the present day continents were the fragmented pieces of preexisting larger landmasses (supercontinents), it was only in the 1920s that the Theory gained prominence.

Earth Science | VOL. 11, ISSUE 69, November-December 2011

Earth Balance: Isostasy

Earth’s crust is relatively lighter as compared to the denser mantle over which it lies and therefore behaves as if it is floating. Areas of the earth’s crust rise or subside to accommodate added load so that the forces that elevate landmasses balance the forces that depress them.

Earth Science | VOL. 9, ISSUE 56, September-October 2009

Integrated Coastal and Marine Area Management: The ICMAM Programme

ICMAM is entrusted with the development of expertise in specialised areas relating to adoption of the concept of integrated coastal zone management to analyse problems prevalent along coastal marine areas and develop integrated management solutions.