Feature Service | Centre for Science and Environment

Feature Service


Centre to study endosulfan effect

By: Savvy Soumya Misra

The Union environment ministry has proposed a five member expert committee to study the ill-effects of endosulfan. Union minister of state for environment, Jairam Ramesh, announced the panel after meeting Kerala forest minister Benoy Viswam on November 1.

Rivers at risk

By: Bharat Lal Seth

Securing water for people does not have to be at the cost of biodiversity

Look what’s swelling the sea

By:  Bharat Lal Seth

Use of groundwater accounts for 0.8 mm sea level rise

Groundwater is becoming important to sustain agriculture, industry and drinking water. But as we exploit aquifers, more water becomes part of the hydrological cycle. A recent study shows evaporation and precipitation of groundwater is responsible for a fourth of the annual sea level rise of 3.1 mm.

Briefs

Oxygen therapy for oil spill

Oil spill, like the one off Mumbai coast in August, leaves crude oil on shores for years. Scientists have devised a way to expedite biodegradation of oil.

Dangerous liaisons

By: Hemantha Withanage

Sri Lanka is flirting with nuclear power

Sri Lanka is becoming a power hungry nation. Several coal power plants with a total generation capacity of 3,200 MW are on the anvil. The country’s new energy minister, Champika Ranawaka, wants a nuclear power plant by 2025. That’s a sure sign of change To be fair Ranawaka is not the first proponent of nuclear power.

How climate ready are we?

By: Sunita Narain

The world can shape the debate on climate link in two ways. One, it can argue endlessly about the scientific veracity of the link between human-induced climate change and the floods in Pakistan. Two, the world can agree that even if a single event—like the Pakistan floods that drowned a fifth of the country— cannot be ascribed to climate change, there is no doubt that a link exists between such events and climate change. The Pakistan meteorological department’s data shows the country received 200 to 700 per cent more rainfall than average. Rains came in cloudbursts in ecologically fragile mountainous areas and led to natural dam bursts and floods downstream. Rains were incessant leading to more floods and greater devastation.

How government is subverting forest right act

By: Richard Mahapatra, Kumar Sambhav Shrivastava, Sumana Narayanan, Aparna Pallavi

Two tribal villages in Gadchiroli district of Maharashtra—Mendha Lekha and Marda— savoured victory when they won community rights over their forest resources in August last year. The rights conferred under the Forest Rights Act of 2006 include the right to collect and sell minor forest produce (MFP). These include tendu leaves used in beedis, and bamboo that have high commercial value and were under the forest department’s control. Winning the right to manage these resources meant economic liberation to the two villages.

Cloud view clears up

By: Smriti Sharma

Origin of aerosols dictates cloud shape

How cloudy is it outside? The answers may depend on the level of atmospheric pollution in one’s region. Cloud-forming microscopic particles, called aerosols, absorb and reflect solar radiation. These particles have the ability to modify cloud formation and encourage or suppress precipitation. They can be released from manmade sources like vehicles, industry, agriculture, and natural sources like sea salt, volcanic dust, sulphates from biogenic gases.

Butterflies heal themselves

Insects too believe in self-medication. Monarch butterflies can cure themselves and their offspring using medicinal plants. Researchers found that certain species of milkweed, which the larvae feed on, can reduce the threat of a deadly parasite. They also found that parasite-infected female monarch butterflies prefer to lay eggs on plants that will protect their offspring from illness. This behaviour in butterflies is trans-generational. The study is one of the best evidence to date of insects using medication.
 

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