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Global warming threat: Kochi could sink within 100 years

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

“A large part of the coastal areas in Kochi could sink within 100 years,” said the scientists of the National Institute of Oceanography.

A recent study by the institution showed that the rise of water level due to global warming could submerge a large part of the coastal areas in Kochi within 100 years.

The research was conducted by scientists R. Mani Murali and P.K. Dinesh Kumar of National Institute of Oceanography.

The scientists also claimed that the rapid growth of the coastal city could create a huge problem regarding coastal environment and would severely impact fishing.

The study showed that the water level is on a rise at 1-2 meters against the globally accepted rise of sea level of 0.5 meters over the coming century.

‘For the sea level rise scenarios of 1m and 2m, the total inundation zones were estimated to be 169.11 km per square and 598.83 km per square respectively using Geographic Information System (GIS). The losses of urban areas were estimated at 43 km per square and 187 km per square for the 1m and 2m sea level rise respectively, which is alarming information for the most densely populated state of India,’ said the research paper published earlier this year.

‘The results obtained conclusively point that sea level rise scenarios will bring profound effects on the land use and land cover classes as well as on coastal landforms in the study region. Coastal inundation would leave ocean front and inland properties vulnerable,’ the study further said.

According to the report the city ranks top in environmental violation issues and if this trend continues it will be submerged in coming years..

‘With the projected inundation of this magnitude, the coastal zone would be at risk of flooding, where several near shore settlements will be impacted severely. Damages to this coastal city cannot be observed in isolation as it is linked with other regions through economic and cultural ties. Changes will affect the hinterlands too, and chain reactions may follow. Urban planning will be confronted with a number of anticipatory issues, including adaptation strategies,’ the report warned.

The report adviced the government to amend its policies and to set up alternative agricultural practice in this area to save Kochi from this fatal disaster.

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Diesel Exhaust Converted Into Ink by Indian Innovators To Battle Air Pollution

Supervised by young engineers, workers at the start-up company Chakr Innovation in New Delhi cut and weld sheets of metal to make devices that will capture black plumes of smoke from diesel generators and convert it into ink.

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representational image. VOA

Supervised by young engineers, workers at the start-up company Chakr Innovation in New Delhi cut and weld sheets of metal to make devices that will capture black plumes of smoke from diesel generators and convert it into ink.

In a cabin, young engineers pore over drawings and hunch over computers as they explore more applications of the technology that they hope will aid progress in cleaning up the Indian capital’s toxic air – among the world’s dirtiest.

While the millions of cars that ply Delhi’s streets are usually blamed for the city’s deadly air pollution, another big culprit is the massive diesel generators used by industries and buildings to light up homes and offices during outages when power from the grid switches off – a frequent occurrence in summer. Installed in backyards and basements, they stay away from the public eye.

“Although vehicular emissions are the show stoppers, they are the ones which get the media attention, the silent polluters are the diesel generators,” says Arpit Dhupar, one of the three engineers who co-founded the start up.

The idea that this polluting smoke needs attention struck Dhupar three years ago as he sipped a glass of sugarcane juice at a roadside vendor and saw a wall blackened with the fumes of a diesel generator he was using.

It jolted him into joining with two others who co-founded the start-up to find a solution. Dhupar had experienced first hand the deadly impact of this pollution as he developed respiratory problems growing up in Delhi.

An Indian girls holds a banner during a protest against air pollution in New Delhi, India, Nov. 6, 2016.
An Indian girls holds a banner during a protest against air pollution in New Delhi, India, Nov. 6, 2016.

A new business

As the city’s dirty air becomes a serious health hazard for many citizens, it has turned into both a calling and a business opportunity for entrepreneurs looking at ways to improve air quality.

According to estimates, vehicles contribute 22 percent of the deadly PM 2.5 emissions in Delhi, while the share of diesel generators is about 15 percent. These emissions settle deep into the lungs, causing a host of respiratory problems.

After over two years of research and development, Chakr has begun selling devices to tap the diesel exhaust. They have been installed in 50 places, include public sector and private companies.

The technology involves cooling the exhaust in a “heat exchanger” where the tiny soot particles come together. These are then funneled into another chamber that captures 70 to 90 percent of the particulate matter. The carbon is isolated and converted into ink.

Among their first clients was one of the city’s top law firms, Jyoti Sagar Associates, which is housed in a building in Delhi’s business hub Gurgaon.

Making a contribution to minimizing the carbon footprint is a subject that is close to Sagar’s heart – his 32-year-old daughter has long suffered from the harmful effects of Delhi’s toxic air.

Motorists drive surrounded by smog, in New Delhi, India, Nov. 8, 2017.
Motorists drive surrounded by smog, in New Delhi, India, Nov. 8, 2017.

“This appealed to us straightaway, the technology is very impactful but is beautifully simple,” says Sagar. Since it could be retrofitted, it did not disrupt the day-to-day activities at the buzzing office. “Let’s be responsible. Let’s at least not leave behind a larger footprint of carbon. And if we can afford to control it, why not, it’s good for all,” he says.

At Chakr Innovation, cups, diaries and paper bags printed with the ink made from the exhaust serve as constant reminders of the amount of carbon emissions that would have escaped into the atmosphere.

There has been a lot of focus on improving Delhi’s air by reducing vehicular pollution and making more stringent norms for manufacturers, but the same has not happened for diesel generators. Although there are efforts to penalize businesses that dirty the atmosphere, this often prompts them to find ways to get around the norms.

Also Read: Exposure to Traffic-Related Pollution Poses Threat of Asthma in Kids

Tushar Mathur who joined the start up after working for ten years in the corporate sector feels converting smoke into ink is a viable solution. “Here is a technology which is completely sustainable, a win-win between businesses and environment,” says Mathur. (VOA)