Environment

Black Carbon as an Important Climate Change Challenge

Black carbon is a substance responsible for up to 40 per cent of the effects of global warming till date (Philadelphia Tribune, 2017), most of it made up of soot. Black carbon is a form of particulate matter that can be airborne and can be suspended in the atmosphere and travel thus. When this particulate matter gets deposited on frozen surfaces such as in the Arctic or in Himalayan glaciers and snow, its high absorption of the Sun’s heat causes the frozen material to melt and liquefy. The US Environmental...

Environment

The Environment and Atomic Policy of the UN

Changes in Global Atomic Policy The 2005 Nobel Peace Prize was awarded jointly to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Mohamed El Baradei in lieu of their work in preventing military use of nuclear energy and for their efforts towards the safest possible standards of the use of nuclear for peaceful purposes. The United Nations (UN) is aware that the UN came to fore at the dawn of the nuclear age late into the 1940s. The environment and atomic policy of the UN as such was greatly...

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The Koppen Climate Classification System

The Koppen climate classification system is a widely-utilized vegetation-based climate classification system that was created by the German botanist and climatologist Wladimir Koppen. The Koppen climate classification system is an attempt to come up with a formula to delineate climatic boundaries in correspondence with vegetation zones or biomes across the globe. These biomes were in the process of being formulated and mapped for the first time during the time Koppen formulated his climate classification...

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Why Environmentalists Fear Increase in Nuclear Energy Production

The Science of Nuclear Energy Nuclear energy represents the energy released during a chain reaction in a nuclear reactor. The process involved in this is called nuclear fission of nuclear fuel, usually uranium, in the reactor. In power plants run using fossil fuel, coal, oil or natural gas is burned to produce heat. Heat is generated in a nuclear reaction however, by the splitting of atoms in a process called nuclear fission. The splitting of the nuclear fuel nuclei during nuclear fission releases...

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The Albedo Effect and the Reflectance of Solar Heat

A measure of the reflectivity of a surface is called albedo, and when applied in Earth-sciences, albedo is a measure of the reflectivity of the Earth’s surface in relation to Sun’s energy. When some of the Sun’s energy is reflected back into space by surfaces on Earth, it has an overall cooling effect on the Earth (G.P. Wayne, 2016). This phenomenon is called the albedo effect. High albedo of a surface implies that the surface reflects a lot of light, and low albedo implies that it absorbs...

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The Yamuna Biodiversity Park | Example of Wasteland Restoration

Backdrop of Wasteland Restoration Wastelands are degraded lands where the soil might have low productive capacity. Wastelands include areas that are affected by erosion, shifting cultivation, high salinity or alkalinity, riverine lands, or lands that are affected by water logging, or moisture deficiency. Such areas can be ecologically unstable, with displacement of top soil, and are thus also unsuitable for agricultural activity. However, such lands can be restored. There are several examples...

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Animal Attacks | Signifying a Larger Need for Habitat Conservation

The animal attacks trajectory An elephant on the loose has in the past few months trampled to death about 15 people in Jharkhand. Animal attacks such as these are not isolated incidents. As urbanization extends and encroaches upon animal habitats, such incidents are likely to become more and more common. In Uttar Pradesh’s Pilibhit Tiger reserve, deaths due to tiger attacks are fairly regular - with 3 deaths in the last few weeks. Since October last year, more than 16 people are estimated...

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Fire in Greenland Has Perplexed Observers Worldwide

On July 31, 2017, satellites noticed a large column of smoke arising out of Greenland's permafrost areas, which after being imaged by an Operational Land Imager (OLI), gave data that identified the phenomenon as a fire over the course of the week (NASA, 2017). With data revealing that the source of the smoke could be coming from multiple sources, the fire in Greenland is among the biggest ones so far in recent history. The baffling part is that the fire in Greenland is happening in a place almost...

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Anthropocene Epoch | Geological Periods and Climate Change

Upcoming geological periods With climate change ruling the environment discourse, the sudden warming of the Earth in contemporary times prompted an official expert group to present a recommendation to the International Geological Congress to declare the geological period beginning since 1950 as the Anthropocene epoch. Since 2009, the Working Group on the Anthropocene (WHA) has been working to set up a working model for the Anthropocene Epoch. The epoch would be said to mark the impact of modern...

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Acid in Rivers | Corroding the Ecology of areas near Mining Sites

Water is considered mining’s biggest casualty of all time given the huge scale at which mining of different types are advancing in today’s world. Acid mine drainage (AMD) is one of the largest repercussions of mining on water resources. It is a risk associated with all kinds of hardrock mines for extraction of useful metals and a significant number of coal mines suffer from acid mine drainage. What is acid mine drainage? As the name suggests, it is the outflow of acidic water from mining areas....