Earth Science

UNESCO adds 15 new Geoparks, not a single from India

Fifteen new areas have been designated as the Global Unesco Geoparks. Out of 161 geoparks in the world, not a single belongs to India. Despite having several astoundingly beautiful geoheritage sites, India lacks a proper conservation mechanism to help place them on the world map.

Technology

Electric Mobility: Government Accelerates Its Efforts

The Indian government has been looking to step up the electric vehicle (EV) market to enable greater adoption of this sustainable mobility solution. Although governmental efforts are yielding positive results--an encouraging sign for this nascent sector, there are complex obstacles ahead that require indigenous technological and infrastructural solutions.

Science # Weather n Climate

Healing ozone layer has paused shifting jet stream, says study

Abstract: Ozone depleting substances were shifting jet streams southward. Now a study by a group of scientists has observed that the southward shifting of air currents has paused or even reversed, heralding atmospheric changes.

Weather n Climate

NW India’s Unusual Rainfall and Western Disturbances in Early 2020

The capital of Delhi along with north-western plains of India witnessed heavy showers in the months of February and March 2020. These regions had also witnessed unusually cold months in November-December 2019. The anomaly comes further to light when the overall rainfall figures for the month of March 2020 is seen to be the highest on record. For the country as a whole, cumulative rainfall during this year's pre-monsoon season (up to March 11, 2020) was above long period average (LPA) by 82 per cent. For central India, it was above LPA by as much as 212 per cent (Table-1). This year’s frequent weather disturbances, as seen in February-March 2020 are in continuation of the record breaking chilly weather witnessed in December 2020. 

Energy

India’s highly-praised solar energy plan unlikely to benefit the vulnerable

India has made admirable leaps in bringing cheap and efficient solar power to thousands of households across the country, securing its place as a leader within the international community. But we are far from building a self-sustaining renewable energy system that is equitable for all populations. The push towards cutting consumer tariffs for renewable energy has resulted in its unviable production for private companies, with infrequent and insufficient government subsidies unable to stop driving up the cost for individuals who choose to go green – therefore restricting access to low-income communities.

Weather n Climate

What is the Arctic Haze?

During winter, the atmosphere surrounding the Arctic region astonishingly becomes a storehouse of large concentrations of pollutants. This polluted air mass, almost as large as the African continent, covers the whole of the atmospheric region above the Arctic as well as extend down over Eurasia and North America (Shaw 1995). This ‘accumulation of visibility-reducing aerosols’ in the Arctic is known as the Arctic haze. The term was first used in 1956 by J. Murray Mitchell, a US Air Force officer stationed in Alaska, to describe “the haze encountered during the Ptarmigan (bird) reconnaissance flights” (Raatz 1983).

Technology

Polar Regions | Remote Sensing Approach

Remote sensing is a space-based satellite technique preferred for its repetitive coverage of inaccessible and rugged terrain for surface characterisation. This paper showcases climate change in the vulnerable polar realms by adapting different algorithms to the satellite technology to infer surface signatures.

Oceans

Minimising Shipborne Emissions Along the Indian Coast

The 7,500 kms long Indian coastline is dotted with many major and minor ports. The temporal increase in the volume of cargo is also indicative of the rising emissions by ships which NIOT is trying to minimise using innovative strategies.

Science # Technology

Extended Range Forecast

Predicting wet or dry spells on a large scale, three to four weeks prior to its onset, is essential for agriculture and hydrology. Improved understanding of ocean and atmospheric interactions and innovation in forecast models in recent years have led to better predictions.

Science # Technology

AI Research in India

Research on Artificial Intelligence (AI) in India started in the 1960s. Since then, the scene has changed dramatically as far as AI and machine learning are concerned. The article outlines six recommendations for nurturing AI research ecosystem to develop national level capabilities in India.