Political news

Climate change may turn carbon sinks into emission source: Study

WASHINGTON: Natural carbon sinks such as oceans and forests – that suck carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere – may soon start emitting the greenhouse gas instead, if climate change remains unchecked, scientists warn. Ecosystems that host a carbon-dioxide rich type of soil called peat, known as peatlands, are the most efficient natural carbon sink on the planet. When undisturbed, ...

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Why farmers still continue to burn stubble in Punjab, Haryana

NEW DELHI: There is a visible reduction in the volume of post-harvest stubble-burning in Punjab and Haryana this year owing to the promotion of farm machinery backed by financial assistance by government and awareness programmes. Yet, a significant chunk of farmers are still reluctant to use the Happy Seeder — which obviates the need for stubble burning — fearing lower ...

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Air pollution may up autism risk in children: Study

BEIJING: Exposure to sources of outdoor pollution such as vehicle exhausts, and industrial emissions can increase a child’s risk of developing autism spectrum disorder by up to 78 per cent, a study has warned. The research followed children in Shanghai from birth to three years to understand the effect of exposure to fine particles (PM2.5). The study included 124 ASD ...

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Why a tiny Pacific island has decided to ban sunscreen lotions

SYDNEY: The Western Pacific nation of Palau has become the first country to ban many kinds of sunscreen, in a move to protect its coral reefs from chemicals that scientists say cause significant damage. Under the ban, which will take effect in 2020, “reef-toxic” sunscreen — defined as containing one of 10 prohibited chemicals, a list that could grow later ...

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German rivers show how warming can trigger chaos

BERLIN: A hot, dry summer has left German rivers and lakes at record low water levels, causing chaos for the inland shipping industry, environmental damage and billions of euros in losses — a scenario that could portend the future as global temperatures rise. The drought-like conditions have hit nearly 90% of the country this year. In Magdeburg, the Elbe River ...

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National lab certifies tech that can clean air at public places

NEW DELHI: Amid an alarming rise in the pollution level in the city, a national laboratory Tuesday certified an air-purifying technology that can turn public spaces into clean air zones. Delhi’s air quality turned severe Tuesday, the worst this season, as stubble burning in neighbouring states intensified, authorities said. Seventeen areas of the national capital have recorded severe air quality, ...

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Nasa set to launch space laser to track Earth’s melting ice

WASHINGTON: Nasa is set to launch the most advanced laser instrument of its kind in to the space next month, to measure the changes in the heights of Earth’s polar ice in unprecedented detail. The Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite-2 (ICESat-2) will measure the average annual elevation change of land ice covering Greenland and Antarctica to within the width ...

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India home to 3 of the largest NO2 emission hotspots: Greenpeace

NEW DELHI: As Delhi continues to battle alarming pollution levels, a new study has found that three of the world’s largest nitrogen dioxide emission hotspots that contribute to formation of finer particulate matter causing air pollution are in India, with one in Delhi-NCR. The study by Greenpeace comes as Delhi’s pollution level climbed to alarming levels. Air quality continued to ...

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Air scrubbed off CO2 could be a reality soon

WASHINGTON: With time running out to avoid dangerous global warming, America’s leading scientific body on Wednesday urged the federal government to begin a research programme focused on developing technologies that can remove vast quantities of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere to help slow climate change. The 369-page report, written by a panel of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and ...

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