Get subscribed to our newsletter
Get interesting updates to your email inbox.
Eerie wails, explosive trumpets, and ghostly moans. The sounds from the underwater recorders had a story to tell, even without a single intelligible word: the whales had stayed put.
The recordings gathered during the 2018-2019 winter in the freezing cold Arctic waters of Canada proved that a population of bowhead whales had skipped their usual migration south.
Scientists believe this behavior — never previously detected — could be driven by the effects of climate change and be a potential harbinger of shifting dynamics across the region’s ecosystem.
Follow NewsGram on Quora Space to get answers to all your questions.
Ordinarily, the approximately 20,000 bowheads that make up the Bering-Chukchi-Beaufort (BCB) population around Canada have a fairly predictable migration pattern spanning 6,000 kilometers (3,700 miles).
They spend the winter in part of the Bering Sea, which lies between Russia and Alaska, and head north then east to the Beaufort Sea and Canada’s Amundsen Gulf in the summer, before returning in the autumn.
But in winter 2018-2019, something different happened. Residents in the Canadian region reported seeing bowheads long after they would normally have disappeared south.
A team of scientists decided to comb through hours of audio recorded by underwater devices that are dotted around the region for regular data collection, listening for unusual sounds.
They found them: the distinctive calls of bowhead whales that should have been in their southern winter grounds but had stayed put.
Assisted by a trained computer program, they even found recordings of bowheads singing, a behavior believed to be associated with mating, which has never been recorded in the summer grounds before.
The whale noises appeared in between 0.5 to 3.0 percent of recording files collected between October to April at four summer spots.
The finding was highly unusual: recordings from some of the same and separate sites in the summer grounds in previous years picked up no whale sounds after October or December, depending on the location.
“The evidence is clear that BCB bowheads overwintered in their summer foraging region in the eastern Beaufort Sea and the Amundsen Gulf during the 2018-2019 winter and as far as we know, this is the first time it has been reported,” says the study published Wednesday in the Royal Society Open Science journal.
Ecosystem shift underway
Less clear however is why this happened, with the authors positing various theories mostly linked to climate change.
One possible factor could be shifting ice cover, with less ice than usual seen in the summer grounds during the 2018-2019 winter season.
But the record minimum ice concentration actually came in 2015-2016.
That suggests “ice, and particularly timing and locations, is important but not the only factor,” said Stephen Insley of the Wildlife Conservation Society Canada, who helped lead the study.
Another possible explanation is “predator avoidance,” with the bowheads steering clear of orca whales that are more frequently seen in some areas as warming seas lead to decreased ice cover.
Other phenomena linked to climate change could also be at play, like the increasingly erratic and early summer plankton bloom — whales could be spending winter in their summer grounds to ensure they catch the key food source, the scientists suggest.
Insley suspects water temperature is playing a key role in the unusual behavior, with bowheads are known to avoid water outside a narrow range of around -0.5 to 2 degrees centigrade.
If the bowheads are responding to the effects of climate change, they would be far from alone, Insley told AFP.
“The whole region is undergoing dramatic change and we’re just seeing the beginning of it. Many sub-Arctic species are moving north,” he said.
“It’s a complete ecosystem shift underway and there will be winners and losers.”
The team is continuing to record in the region and hopes to correlate its data with information about ocean temperatures to determine any link.
“If the avoidance of warm ocean temperatures were the primary driver of this anomalous behavior, it may be a significant warning sign for bowhead whales,” the study cautions. (VOA/KB)
One of Indias fast growing Direct To Consumer (DTC) beauty and personal care brands, MyGlamm, launches its national TVC around the message 'All Natural #NoNasties today with actress Shraddha Kapoor, who is also an investor in the brand.
Kapoor who has a great millennial and Gen Z connect introduces 'My SUPERFOODS Kajal' which has No Parabens, No Mineral Oils, No Nasties while still being long-lasting and smudge-free and made with the goodness of nature. This is followed by many girls trying applying the kajal with confidence and while highlighting the ingredients Avocado Oil, Goji Berries, Vitamin E and Sunflower Seed Oil.
Commenting on the campaign, Apratim Majumder, CMO, MyGlamm says "Women have been telling us about what they want from their beauty products for a while now. Wikimedia Commons
The brand focuses on creating quality products that are high efficacy made with all-natural and no chemicals in the formulae. his campaign follows the #TellMyGlammWhatYouWant campaign where women logged in to tell the company what they wanted from their beauty products. It aims to establish a beauty democracy by giving consumers the power to tell the brand what they want thus changing the entire experience of how women buy beauty products in India.
Commenting on the campaign, Apratim Majumder, CMO, MyGlamm says "Women have been telling us about what they want from their beauty products for a while now. We have been innovating to serve those needs with products. When they told us that they want a kajal that is not only long-lasting and smudge-proof but also takes care of their eyes, we knew we had to do this. The campaign is about telling everyone out there who told us they need a kajal that cares, MyGlamm Superfoods Kajal is here for you! The campaign debued on MyGlamm's social channels- YouTube & Instagram on September 16. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: India, Direct beauty brands, My Glamm national, girls, kajal, confidence ingredients, Avocado Oil, Shraddha Kapoor
Phishing attacks targeting organisations rose up considerably during the pandemic, as millions of employees working from home became a prime target for cybercriminals. A large majority (83 per cent) of IT teams in India said the number of phishing emails targeting their employees increased during 2020, according to a report by UK-based cybersecurity firm Sophos on Monday.
"It can be tempting for organisations to see phishing attacks as a relatively low-level threat, but that underestimates their power. Phishing is often the first step in a complex, multi-stage attack. According to Sophos Rapid Response, attackers frequently use phishing emails to trick users into installing malware or sharing credentials that provide access to the corporate network," Sophos' Principal Research Scientist, Chester Wisniewski said in a statement. The findings also reveal that there is a lack of common understanding about the definition of phishing. For instance, 67 per cent of IT teams in India associate phishing with emails that falsely claim to be from a legitimate organisation, and which are usually combined with a threat or request for information.
The findings also reveal that there is a lack of common understanding about the definition of phishing. | Pixabay
As many as 61 per cent consider Business Email Compromise (BEC) attacks to be phishing, and half of the respondents (50 per cent) think threadjacking - when attackers insert themselves into a legitimate email thread as part of an attack - is phishing. Most of the organisations in India (98 per cent) have implemented cybersecurity awareness programmes to combat phishing. Respondents said they use computer-based training programmes (67 per cent), human-led training programmes (60 per cent), and phishing simulations (51 per cent).
Four-fifths of Indian organisations assess the impact of their awareness programme through the number of phishing-related tickets raised with IT, followed by the level of reporting of phishing emails by users (77 per cent) and click rates on phishing emails (60 per cent). All the organisations surveyed (100 per cent) in Delhi, Hyderabad, and Kolkata say they have a cybersecurity awareness programme in place. This was followed by Chennai where 97 per cent have such programmes, and then, Bengaluru and Mumbai at 96 per cent each. (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: programmes, organisation, emails, phishing
Former cricketers have questioned the timing of Virat Kohli's announcement that he will step down as Royal Challengers Bangalore captain at the end of the IPL 2021 season, saying "if you want to do that, you probably do it after the tournament". Three days back, Kohli had also dropped a bombshell -- just a month before the ICC World T20 to begin -- that he will stand down from Team India T20 captaincy after the mega sporting spectacle in UAE and Oman.
On Sunday night, he shared the news on Twitter - just hours before their first game in the resumed IPL 2021 on Monday -- that he will quit RCB captaincy as well. The timings of both the announcements have left the former cricketers a bit "surprised". They believe that Kohli has "unsettled" his RCB side.
The timings of both the announcements have left the former cricketers a bit "surprised" | Wikimedia Commons
The match against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the United Arab Emirates will be'Kohli's 200th for Bangalore. Former India opener Gautam Gambhir said Kohli's timing had surprised him and would not help Bangalore's quest for a first IPL title. "If you want to do that, you probably do it after the tourn"ment," Gambhir said on Star Sp"rts. "Because it makes the team unsettled and emotional as well." Whereas, former batsman Sanjay Manjrekar said, "I am just curious about both the announcements as to why he had to do it before the tournaments," Manjrekar was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.
Kohli was made Bangalore's captain in 2013, but despite his superstar status, the team's best finish was losing in 2016 final. Kohli insisted his decision had been "well thought (out) and in the best interest of this wonderful franchise". (IANS/ MBI)
Keywords: Kohli, RCB, captain, KKR, India