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Thursday, 22 February 2018

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Serpentine problem

Down To Earth 1-15 August 2017

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Monday, 26 September 2016

Deflecting the bounce

A new retention system that could reduce pesticide use

Pesticide spraying has a retention problem : only  two per cent of the spray sticks to the plants, while a significant portion bounces off the plants into agricultural lands, and the run off eventually pollutes our water sources .Now a team of researchers from the Massachusetts institute of Technology has found a way which could allow farmers to get the same effects by using just 1/10th of the pesticide .They have developed a combination of two inexpensive additives to the spray -each  prepared with a different polymer  substance. One gives the solution a negative electric charge; the other results in a positive charge. When tow of the oppositely -charged droplets meet on a leaf surface, the form a hydrophilic (water attracting) ‘’ defect” that sticks to the surface and increases the retention. The researchers hope to conduct field trials of the new system in small farms in India.

Down To Earth 16-30 September 2016

Thursday, 28 July 2016

LIghting an early spring

The use of artificial night light is causing spring to come early ,disrupting life cycle of plants and animals

BIOLOGISTS HAVE  have found that the use of artificial night time light is causing spring to come at least a week early .The study ,based on data collected by citizen scientists across the UK ,found that buds were bursting by up to 7.5 days earlier in brighter areas and that the effect was larger  in later budding trees .This has a cascading  effect on other organisms whose life cycles work in tandem with the trees.For instance ,the proliferation of the winter moth, which feeds on fresh emerging oak leaves ,is likely to be affected which may, in turn ,have some effect on birds in the food chain that rely on it for food .The finding is significant as it may enlighten municipal councils to manage light level in a sustainable way . 

Down To Earth 16-31 July 2016

Thursday, 19 May 2016


As one billion people in 192 countries pledge to do their bit to save trees this earth day on April 22 the conflict between human habitats and trees becomes clearer .Tree growth is condusive in wetter and warmer regions, which even humans prefer .As a result trees are now forced to grow in dry regions such as the American West.

Down To Earth 16-30 April ,2016

Friday, 13 May 2016

Thursday, 28 April 2016

Dryland birds in 'wet' Kerala

Birdwatchers in Kerala have noticed a very unusual and disturbing phenomenon.They have otherwise been seen only in the drier parts of India."Our group has been tracking the spread of dry-land birds in Kerala systematically and we are seeing a pattern.Even though we need to do some more work correlating our observation from the field with historical weather and habitat data,our initial findings indicate that bird's that seek drier tracts are moving in to Kerala,"says P O Nameer,head of wildlife research at the college of Forestry ,Kerala Agricultural University,Thrissur,Among the bird species identified are peafowl,the Greater Spotted Eagle and Desert wheatear.
"The fact that these birds a are coming is an indication of changing temperature and also dryness',says Nameer.
Down to earth 16-30April,2016

Wednesday, 9 March 2016


Vanishing cover

BETWEEN 2000 and 2012, the world lost more forest area than it gained -a net loss of 3.76 million sq km of interior forest area .what's worse,core forest areas--- remote interior areas critical for disturbance sensitive wildlife and ecological processes are vanishing even faster. There is also a widespread shift of the remaining global forest to a more fragmented condition . Down To Earth 1-15 March ,2016

Thursday, 3 March 2016

Taxonomists in india have discovered 523 new species.

In 2015,India added 523 new living  species to this ever-expanding inventory . According to the documentations released by the country’s two premier institutes engaged in the exploration of flora and fauna –the Zoological Survey of India (ZIS) and the Botanical Survey of India (BSI) –and nonprofit  World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) scientists and taxonomists have identified 246 animal species and 277 plants species .

Seed plants (118) have accounted for more  than 40% of new plant spices discovered. And as every year,insect (119) have outnumbered other groups of animals.

New plants species

Seed plants  118      Fungi 52     Microbes 36      Lichens 33 

Algae 24       Bryophytes 8         Pteridophytes  7

New animal species

Insect   118       Fish  27     Amphibians 24      Archnidans 19

Cnidaria  16     Crustaceans  14   Collembola  10   Mollusca  7

Nematode 7  Reptiles 3  Birds 2  Trematoda 1  Polycheata 1

Down To Earth  16-31 January 2016

Heat beds

Human -made heat put into oceanshas doubled since 1997

Since 1997, Earth's oceans have absorbed human-made heat energy equivalent 
to Hiroshima-style bomb being exploded every second for 75 straight years .for long, scientists have know that more than 90% of the heat energy from human-made global warming goes into the world's oceans .The researchers used oceans observing data that goes back to the British research ship Challenger in the 1870s,and with the help of high -tech modern underwater  monitors and computer models,they tracked how much human -made heat has been buried in the oceans in the past 150 years.The world's oceans absorbed approximately 150 zettajoules of energy between 1865 and 1997,and then absorbed about another 150 zettajoules in the next 18 years .

Down To Earth -16-29 February 2016

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