Climate Change

Antarctic’s Weddell Sea loses sea-ice twice the size of Spain

Due to intense storms and the appearance of polynya (open water within the sea ice), the summer sea ice in the Weddell Sea sector of Antarctica has decreased by roughly one million square kilometres. Scientists point out that this will adversely impact the Antarctic ecosystem.

Climate Change

Mercury levels spike in Svalbard polar bears

Polar bears (Ursus maritimus)-classified as a marine mammal, roam the arctic sheets and swim in the region’s coastal waters. As these bears depend on sea ice for their existence and are directly impacted by global warming and climate change, it makes them a significant indicator species (Ramsay M., 1998). Polar bears are also on the top of the very long Arctic marine food chain and by measuring the levels of contaminants in their tissues; scientists get an idea of the degree of contamination of the Arctic...

Pollution

COVID-19: Challenges of Human Health and Environmental Costs

Litter generated from disposable single-use masks and latex gloves is among the many downsides of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. These discarded personal medical clothing items are now seen strewn on the roads, sidewalks, and other public places. Besides being medically dangerous for humans who may come in contact with these discards and trigger another surge in virus cases, this infectious waste has trickled into the seas. It has rung alarm bells among people prompting #TheGloveChallenge on Instagram...

Environment

Massive Oil Spill in The Arctic Region – Russia Declares A Federal Emergency

A national-level state of emergency has been declared by the Russian President Vladimir Putin in the regions of Norilsk and Taimyr, northern Siberia. The declared state of emergency in these Arctic regions is to bring in the ‘federal resources’ to assist the arduous clean-up efforts following a spill of more than 20,000 tonnes of diesel into the Ambarnaya river near the city of Norilsk on May 29, 2020 (Nechepurenko 2020). The unprecedented diesel spill into the vast stretches of the waterways...

Environment

The Last Sigh of a Marsh | Jammu’s Gharana: A dying wetland

The article details the author’s experience during a visit to a remote and dying wetland nestled between the India-Pakistan border in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. The status of the conservation efforts and the unique social challenges associated with the effort is detailed from the accounts of the author’s field experience in the wetland.

Climate Change # Environment

Top 10 Climate Change Indicators : Reliable Yardsticks

Climate change indicators are observations that can be used to track the current state of climate and its trends. In order to bring objectivity in monitoring climate change, scientists have developed climate change indicators. The indicators are quantified and objective, based on data collected by countries all over the world. These demonstrate considerable change of climate over time.

Pollution

Rising Green and Golden Seaweed Tides: A Menace or a Resource

There has been a sudden increase of incidents of abrupt beaching of large seaweed mounds that choke coastlines and form decaying piles on the shore in hitherto unreported areas worldwide. These ‘seaweed tides’ can disrupt tourism based economies, stunt aquaculture operations or halt traditional artisanal fisheries. Coastal eutrophication is the most likely explanation for the increase in seaweed biomass but the local processes responsible for individual beaching events are complex and require dedicated analysis to develop effective mitigation strategies. Harvesting the macroalgae, a prized raw material, before they beach could be an effective solution.

Environment

A primer to UN’s global biodiversity outlook 5 mechanisms to protect nature, ecosystem and humankind

The Global Biodiversity Outlook is the flagship publication of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). The CBD known informally as the Biodiversity Convention, was opened for signature at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro on 5 June 1992 and entered into force on 29 December 1993, 90 days after the 30th ratification, as stated in its article 36. It has now been ratified by 196 parties (195 countries and the European Community). All UN member states—with the exception of the United States—have...

Climate Change # Environment

Ice as an Agent of Sculpting Land

The glaciers have sculpted various landforms transforming the geomorphology of earth. These landforms are the result of processes of weathering, erosion and deposition under harsh climatic regimes.

Environment

The Uncharted Waters Beneath the Ice

Antarctica, a vast expanse of ice and land, harbours one of the most intriguing features under its ice—the subglacial lakes. These isolated lakes form a part of the basal hydrological system and conceal unique biological ecosystems and climate records,thus prompting more scientific missions along with numerous challenges.