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India Facing Drought Nation Wide Drought Crisis

Narendra Modi had begun his first regime in 2014 on a drought note.

It was followed by another drought in 2015. This was said to be the first instance in a hundred years when India faced back-to-back drought years.

Narendra Modi won a bigger mandate in 2019 and India is staring at another spell of drought if the current trend of rainfall shortage continues.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) data fuels this fear.

In the pre-monsoon season or between March 1 and May 31, the rainfall deficiency was 25 per cent. It has been increasing since then.

Between May 30 and June 6, the IMD data says, the rainfall deficiency increased to 40 per cent.

According to the Drought Early Warning System, 43 per cent of India is currently under the spell of drought. Situation in Maharashtra, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu is grim.

It is not much better in Gujarat, Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh.

About half of Maharashtra – including the districts of Latur, Beed and Osmanabad in Marathwada region – comprising nearly three-fourth of 36 districts of the state are facing severe drought situation.

In Karnataka, two dozen of its 30 districts – nearly 80 per cent – are reeling under drought.

News reports suggest that over 80 lakh farmers in the two states are affected by drought.

Monsoon is weak and delayed. It reached Kerala on Saturday after a delay of a week.

In its forecast, the IMD said monsoon is likely to be below normal – 96 per cent of the long period average (LPA) with 41 per cent possibility of a normal monsoon.

The long period average for India from 1951-2000 is 89 centimetres. Anything between 96-104 per cent of the LPA is normal, and below normal if it is 90-96 per cent.

The IMD said El-Nino phenomenon (heating) of the Pacific Ocean will impact early phases of monsoon before going neutral in the latter part of the rainy season.

Prediction of a below normal monsoon came with a possible variation of eight per cent. And, this holds true, 2019 may be the fourth drought season since 2014.

In 2014, India had 12 per cent monsoon rainfall deficiency leading to severe drought in many states. In 2015, deficiency was 14 per cent that aggravated farm crisis and protests were seen at many places.

Last year, even though Kerala floods dominated the news cycle, the large parts of the nation faced drought. June to September monsoon season was deficient by 9 per cent in 2018.

The drought situation became critical in South Indian states, which recorded a 44 per cent deficit in northeast monsoon – the main rainy season in the region. It was the sixth biggest shortfall since 1901. Overall annual rainfall was 15 per cent less in 2018.

Sensing the urgency to address the drought and water deficiency crisis, Prime Minister Narendra Modi created a new ministry – Jal Shahkti as he had promised at a public rally in Tamil Nadu during the Lok Sabha election. But PM Modi’s date with rain god has remained sour till date.

The Central Water Commission (CWC) earlier this week said water storage in most reservoirs in west and south has dipped to less than the average of last 10 years indicating a worsening water crisis.

It said, “The water storage available in 91 major reservoirs of the country for the week ending on May 30, 2019, was 31.65 billion cubic metres, which is 20 per cent of total storage capacity of these reservoirs. This percentage was at 21 per cent for the week ending on May 23, 2019.”

Surprisingly, resolving water crisis and fighting drought were not among top election issues. But these could cause severe headache for the Modi government if left unaddressed.

According to Lokniti-CSDS survey, 47 per cent of farmers voted for the BJP saying that despite lingering farm crisis, PM Modi should get another chance.

Prabhash K Dutta
India Today

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Planet Earth

“Huge anomalies” at the edge of the earth’s core

At the edge of the Earth’s core lie two gigantic blobs of ultrahot rock — and that’s about the extent to which geologists agree about them.

NASA PHYSICAL OCEANOGRAPHY. DISTRIBUTED ACTIVE ARCHIVE CENTER

The mysterious blobs are on opposite sides of the planet, one hidden beneath Africa, the other in the middle of the Pacific Ocean – the Quanta Magazine compared the ‘massive anomalies’ to Princess Leia’s iconic hairstyle (Star Wars).

Scientists discovered the blobs decades ago by mapping the interior of the planet, but have not learned much since.

Some ideas

There are two main schools of thought regarding the blobs, according to Quanta. The first camp holds that they’re merely massive clusters of hot plumes.

The other argues that the blobs — so big that they would drown the planet’s surface in a lava ocean over 60 miles deep — are their own distinct entity and not just a particularly warm region of the core.

Recent evidence supports the second camp: Quanta reports that scientists found traces of unique, ancient rocks and isotopes in magma that’s flowed upward from the blobs — materials nearly as old as the Earth itself and not found elsewhere on the planet.

Persistent Mystery

Still, great mystery still surrounds the deeply-buried hotspots. One theory is that they could be fragments of a Mars-sized object that crashed into the Earth.

University of Maryland seismologist Vedran Lekić told Quanta

It would be like having an object in the sky, and asking, ‘Is that the moon?’ And people are like, no. ‘Is that the sun?’ No. ‘What is it?’ We don’t know.

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Planet Earth

Global warming is now visible! The sea has swallowed two islands in Indonesia

Two uninhabited islands in the Indonesian South Sumatra province has completely disappeared underwater as a result of rising sea levels caused by global warming. This was reported today by the Straits Times, quoting data from the local environmental forum, TASS reported.

“Betet and Gundul Islands are now 1-3 meters below sea level,” said NGO leader Khairul Sobri.

“Unless emergency action is taken in relation to global warming, four more islands within the province are at risk of extinction,” the expert warned.

He noted that one of these islands, Salah Namao, is still habitable, though since the 1990s, locals have gradually begun to abandon it, main reason being the sea levels rise. According to him, the already extinct Betet Island had previously a national nature reserve, recognized by UNESCO.

Indonesia is located in the world’s largest archipelago with nearly 18 thousand islands.

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Planet Earth

Conservationist Plants Super Grove Of Ancient Redwood Trees Cloned From Ancient Stumps

Archangel Ancient Tree Archive

By Mayukh Saha / Truth Theory

An old-growth Redwood is a sight to behold. The Sequoia sempervirens stands at around 320 feet, whilst covering a trunk width of 27 feet. To add to that, they live for about 2,000 years. Let’s just say, they are the biggest trees on the planet. Also, it would not be amiss to say that some of these giants may have been alive when Caesar was wreaking havoc all across Europe.

Prior to the 19th century, the old-growth redwoods had an area coverage of around 2 million acres which spread along the coast of California. It started at Big Sur and stretched the entire road into the south of Oregon. It is sad to note that while humans co-existed with these trees up to a certain point in time, the Californian Gold Rush led to the deforestation of the Redwoods. Now, only 5% exist, covering a strip of 450 miles. Considering Global Warming is a gradually increasing issue, the future of the Redwoods looks bleak. While animals can move from tundras to temperate regions of the globe, trees can’t.

This is where David Milarch comes in.

Archangel Ancient Tree Archive

Back in 1991, David Milarch’s near-death experience with renal failure gave him a new perspective to look at life. This arborist from Michigan then decided to take care of the genetics of the old-growth redwoods, simply because he wanted to assist them in migration. Milarch mentioned that his sorrow was tremendous when he heard that 95% of the trees had already been uprooted. The fallacy in the entire situation was that humans had no clue how these trees affected our balance with nature and this planet. Milarch believes that it is his job to walk around the trees and convince them, (or maybe himself) that he can let them grow anew. He would be their anchor to take them to a new location, where their genes would safely grow. He declares that he would bring every single human being to this place and prevent it from being a remnant of the past.

His process- cloning. With the process of cloning and planting the trees again, Milarch is going to give these trees a new lease of life. Cloning will not only help increase their population but also help in the overall success ratio of their longevity in different places, which are conducive to their growth. And there are two benefits to saving the old-growth Redwood trees. One, the overall benefit of afforestation that is a chain between saving trees and saving lives. And second, as the Moving the Giants project mention, Redwood trees are very important in sequestering the carbon that will help plan a positive map for humanity to follow. Milarch’s efforts are one with the global efforts to help stabilize the nature and ensure that humanity lives.

If you are interested in knowing more about David Milarch and his work on the old-growth Redwood trees, here is a short film that will give you all the necessary insight into the project.

You can learn more about this project here: Archangel Ancient Tree Archive.

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