Meet for paper on environment

SIVAGANGA: The south zone Vice-Chancellors conference on “Climate Change, Energy, Environment and Global Impact – Role of Higher Education Institutions” held at Alagappa University with the Association of Indian Universities has recommended that a paper on environment should be taught in Under Graduate programmes in order to create more awareness among the people.

One unit could be on energy and climate change and three units could be on environment and one could be on disaster management, the resolution added. Energy consumption and wastage should be reduced. The students should be sensitized so as to disseminate to the people the need to reduce energy consumption and avoid wastage of energy.

The Vice-Chancellors said that energy consumption was essential to maximize the production so as to enable India become a super power by 2020. Research should be undertaken to find ways to reduce the cost of producing power from solar energy and hydrogen fuel cells so that it becomes cost effective. Scientific research could also be undertaken to find out new bio-diesel resources and solar cells research could also be pursued. Research on production of hydrogen from water and aqueous solutions in presence of catalyst and solar radiation should be undertaken.

They urged the higher education institutions and others should carry out extensive research on Solar Energy Induced Photo-catalytic Reactions. The conference also urged the government and other agencies to reduce the cost of production so as to encourage the people to take to producing electricity through non-conventional energy sources.

The conference felt that climate change was caused by emission of green gas while producing energy. Higher consumption of energy was directly related to higher emission of these green gases. However, higher consumption was also an indicator for growth of economy and of well-being of a society. Thus, energy should be provided controlling the emission of the green gases, preferably by alternate sources of energy.

From THE HINDU

‘Plant two saplings in front of shops’

Collector instructs PDS shop salesmen in Dharmapuri

DHARMAPURI: Salesmen across the district were instructed to plant two saplings in front of their shops. A decision to this effect was taken at a consultative meeting held under the chairmanship of Collector P. Amutha.

It was also decided to keep complaint box at all ration shops and maintain a register.

Quality should be maintained while supplying essential items to the consumers. Ration items should be distributed in all days.

With a view to prevent bogus ration cards, ration card holders were asked to sign the food items distribution register.

The public were asked to be vigilant to prevent malpractice in the PDS shops.

If they come across any such activities they can inform the same to the PDS Advisory Committee.

If any of the salesmen are found using the conventional weighing machine instead of the electronic machine, public can make a complaint over phone 04342-265141.

The kerosene supply for the beneficiaries of the free gas connection (single cylinder) given by the government would be withdrawn, Ms. Amutha said.

From THE HINDU

Chennai or Ennore port may go for carbon footprinting

“Carbon footprint of a port will reveal the amount of GHG emissions released”

The shipping industry could gain from the Maritime Emissions Trading Scheme

Chennai: Soon, either Chennai or Ennore port may go for carbon footprinting as a pilot project. It is planned to determine Green House Gas (GHG) emission sources, track emission trends and generate information needed to take steps for reduction.

The Mercantile Marine Department of the Ministry of Shipping and Energi Services, a carbon footprint consulting company, organised a seminar on Saturday to impart understanding on the concept of carbon footprint of ports and ships, international regulations and work out reduction strategies.

“The idea is to prepare the country’s shipping industry to adapt itself to the regulations of International Maritime Organisation (IMO) in future,” said R. Kannan, Chief Consultant, Energi Services. The shipping industry could gain from the Maritime Emissions Trading Scheme, a system for CO2 emissions trading in international shipping, and International Compensation Fund for GHG emissions from ships, he says.

The International Association of Ports and Harbours has formed a consortium called World Port Climate Initiative as the CO2 emissions of world fleet of merchant vessels could climb to 6 per cent in 2020 from 2.7 per cent in 2009 if actions are not taken.

“A carbon footprint of the port will reveal the amount of GHG emissions directly and indirectly released over a measured period providing valuable information on emission reduction strategies. There is a need to evolve strategies on GHG emission reduction on a localised basis,” Mr. Kannan said.

At the seminar, delegates representing all types of businesses related to shipping and logistics were informed of the increasing demand for carbon footprint or products and services and methods to identify carbon hotspots and where to focus carbon reduction strategies.

From THE HINDU

Treatment for pollution from fire-fighting foam

Melbourne: An Australian team led by a scientist of Indian origin claims to have developed a groundbreaking solution for treating water and soil pollution from the toxic remnants of fire-fighting foam.

Breakthrough

This breakthrough comes at a time of growing global concerns over cancer and environmental risks of long-lasting chemicals found in the foams that have been used for half a century.

The team from the CRC CARE (Cooperative Research Centre for Contamination Assessment and Remediation of the Environment) has developed a new substance called MatCARETM to treat waste-water remnants at a fire site or practice area that has been hosed down.

According to lead scientist of CRC CARE Ravi Naidu, the advance is based on the use of modified natural materials that break down the foam’s chemicals into harmless substances.

“There are over 49, 000 airports around the world, including 450 civilian and military airports in Australia alone. Many of these have used foam in fire-fighting exercises for many years, as well as in actual aircraft fires, and the chemicals have been subsequently detected in nearby groundwater and streams.

Practical, cost-effective

“It is the first practical, cost-effective clean-up solution to the large-scale water and soil pollution caused by decades of foam use all over the world,” said Professor Naidu.

“Both PFOS (perfluorooctane sulfonate) and PFOA (perfluorooctanoic acid) increase effectiveness of the foam as a fire quencher. However, both are highly toxic chemicals and if they enter local water sources, they can accumulate in the food chain and in humans.

— PTI. From THE HINDU

Impact of climate change on India

Here are the main potential effects of climate change on a country, which is the world’s seventh largest in area and is home to 1.1 billion people, a sixth of humanity.

Reflection due to climate change in INDIA

Monsoon

Various studies show that surface air temperatures in India are going up at the rate of 0.4 degrees Celsius every 100 years, particularly during the post-monsoon and winter seasons. While mean winter temperatures could increase by as much as 3.2 degrees Celsius in the 2050s, summer temperatures could go up by 2.2 degrees Celsius in the 2050s, spurring climate variability.

Extreme temperatures and heat spells could alter patterns of monsoon rains, vital for India’s agriculture and water needs. Scientists warn that India will experience a decline in summer rainfall by 2050. The monsoon accounts for almost 70 percent of the country’s total annual rainfall. Winter rains are also predicted to fall by 10-20 percent. Higher temperatures also mean faster melting of Himalayan glaciers and as the melting season coincides with the monsoon season, any intensification of the monsoon is likely to contribute to flood disasters in the Himalayan catchment.

Agriculture

Agriculture will be adversely affected not only by an increase or decrease in the overall amounts of rainfall, but also by shifts in the timing of the rainfall. Higher temperatures reduce the total duration of a crop cycle, leading to a lower yield per unit area, especially for India’s wheat and paddy crops.

Soil erosion, increased numbers of pests and weeds brought by climate change will also affect agriculture in India. For instance, the amount of moisture in the soil will be affected by changes in factors such as rainfall, runoff and evaporation.

Rising seas

A 10-year study in and around the Bay of Bengal points to the sea rising 3.14 mm a year in the mangrove swamps of the Sunderbans delta against a global average of 2 mm, threatening the low-lying area which is home to about 4 million people.

A trend of sea level rise of 1 cm per decade has been recorded along the Indian coast. The major delta area of the Ganga, Brahmaputra and Indus rivers, which have large populations reliant on riverine resources, will be affected by changes in water regimes, salt water intrusions and land loss.

Health

Rise in temperature and change in humidity will adversely affect human health in India. Heat stress could result in heat cramps, heat exhaustion, heat stroke and weaken immune systems. Increased temperatures can increase the range of vector-borne diseases such as malaria, particularly in regions where minimum temperatures currently limited the spread of such diseases.

(Sources: Greenpeace, UNDP, Centre for Science and Environment, ibnlive)

Global Warming Impacts

1.) Local climate change: Regional effects of global warming vary in nature. Some are the result of a generalised global change, such as rising temperature, resulting in local effects, such as melting ice. In other cases, a change may be related to a change in a particular ocean current or weather system. In such cases, the regional effect may be disproportionate and will not necessarily follow the global trend.

2.) Water crisis: Semi-arid and arid areas are particularly exposed to the impacts of climate change on freshwater. With very high confidence, it was judged that many of these areas, e.g., the Mediterranean basin, western USA, southern Africa, and north-eastern Brazil, would suffer a decrease in water resources due to climate change.

3.)Spread of disease: As northern countries warm, disease carrying insects migrate north, bringing plague and disease with them. Indeed some scientists believe that in some countries thanks to global warming, malaria has not been fully eradicated.

4.)Sea level is rising: During the 20th century, sea level rose about 15 cm (6 inches) due to melting glacier ice and expansion of warmer seawater. Models predict that sea level may rise as much as 59 cm (23 inches) during the 21st Century, threatening coastal communities, wetlands, and coral reefs.

5.)Economic consequences: All these effects spell one thing for the countries of the world: economic consequences. Hurricanes causes do billions of dollars in damage, diseases cost money to treat and control and conflicts exacerbate all of these.

Two-day meet on climate change begins today

60 Vice-Chancellors from various universities will take part

SIVAGANGA: The two-day conference on “Climate change, energy, environment and global impact and the role of higher education institutions” organised by the Alagappa University, Karaikudi, in association with the Association of Indian Universities, New Delhi, will begin at Karaikudi on Wednesday.

Speaking to reporters here, P. Ramasamy, Vice-Chancellor, said 60 Vice-Chancellors from various universities of the country, particularly South Zone Universities, would participate in the conference.

They would discuss and disseminate the causes and effects of climatic change and remedies.

Effects to be driven home.

The Alagappa University was taking strenuous efforts to guide the public to take suitable steps themselves for managing the effects of the climate change.

The Vice-Chancellors’ Conference would pave the way to express the relationship between energy use, climate change and global warming.

He said that the Minister for Higher Education, K. Ponmudi, would inaugurate the conference and declare open science block constructed at a cost of Rs.30 crore.

The Controller of Examinations building, Department of English and Foreign Languages block and first floor of the guest house would also be inaugurated.

K.R. Periakaruppan, Minister for Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowment, K. Ganesan, Higher Education Secretary, and others would participate.

The second leg of the mini-marathon torch run of Alagappa University on the eve of World Classical Tamil Conference, which started from Ramanathapuram, would also be flagged off by Mr. Ponmudy and Mr. Periakaruppan.

Beena Shah, Secretary-General, Association of Indian Universities, and others took part in the press conference.

From THE HINDU