Wednesday November 21, 2018
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Dusshera In Delhi Casts A Dark Blanket, Air Quality Worsens

System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR) labelled NCR's air quality as toxic

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Delhi's air quality drastically dipped during Diwali. Wikimedia Commons
Delhi's air quality drastically dipped during Diwali. Wikimedia Commons
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The National Capital and the regions around it continue to suffer a “very-poor” air quality on Friday, which according to experts, may worsen due to combined effects of Dussehra and meteorological reasons such as low winds in Delhi.

Between 6pm to 8pm, over 48 areas across the National Capital Region — 36 from Delhi alone — suffered ‘very poor air-quality’ with pollutants registering over four times the national safety standards.

Weather analysts say this may worsen as Delhi currently has very light variable winds with no definite directions, which is likely to help in aggregating the pollutants.

Air Quality
In New Delhi, levels of the most dangerous particles in the air are sometimes 10 times higher than the safe limit, the survey noted. wikimedia commons

“Delhi has a negligible wind speed and morning temperatures are low. Also, many effigies were burnt across the region on Dussehera. This will push up the pollution levels,” said Mahesh Palawat, director private weather forecasting group, Skymet.

The air-quality was already ‘severe’ at Anand Vihar in east Delhi and Rohini in north Delhi, Bawana in northwest Delhi, Mundaka in West Delhi and Bhiwadi in Rajasthan, acoording to the real-time monitoring taken up around 8pm by Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB).

The average presence of major pollutant PM2.5 or particle with diametre less than 2.5mm, was 129 unit across Delhi-NCR and 133 units in Delhi, which is more than twice the national safe limits. Rohini was the most polluted with PM2.5 concentration at 166 units, about three times the safe limits.

Air Quality
Air pollution can also damage your kidneys. wikimedia commons

The permissible range or PM2.5 is 60 as per national standards and 25 by the international standards.

At 4pm, the Air Quality Index (AQI) of Delhi was 276 marked ‘poor’ against ‘moderate’ mere 48 hours back.

Also Read: The Farmer;s Protest In Delhi Makes The Indian Police Take Severe Steps

Meanwhile, System of Air Quality and Weather Forecasting And Research (SAFAR) labelled NCR’s air quality as toxic and recommended keeping relief medicine handy. SAFAR advised everyone to avoid tiring outdoor physical activity. (IANS)

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Climate Change To Get Worse In The Future: Study

The real change to mitigate climate change through gradual cutting of emissions will come from the public.

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Drought, Climate change
A farmer stands on cracked earth that three weeks earlier created the bottom of a reservoir on his farm, in Groot Marico, South Africa. VOA

A new report has taken the results of thousands of papers on the impacts of climate change and put them together into a giant assessment detailing the multiple ways that climate change will impact humanity in the coming century.

Lead researcher Camilo Mora says the report shows what he calls a “massive domino effect” of bad news as climate change intensifies in the coming century if the world doesn’t mitigate the amount of carbon we are pumping into the atmosphere.

In the report being published Monday in Nature Climate Change, Mora says there is literally no place on the planet that’s safe.

Putting all the data in one place

The study is unique in that it doesn’t produce any new information, but is basically a mother of all spreadsheets that takes all of the predicted effects of climate change and puts them into one place.

Hurricane, climate change
Floodwaters from Tropical Storm Harvey overflow from Buffalo Bayou in downtown Houston, Texas, VOA

Mora told VOA he and his team of dozens of researchers spent six months gathering and inputting data on climate change into their system and watching how all of these impacts would affect individual sites around the world.

What they came up with was exactly 467 ways that climate change is going to negatively impact the weather, from localized changes like more droughts, heatwaves, wildfires, and storms, to the global changes like sea level rise, and changes in ocean chemistry.

Mora also looked at how climate change is expected to impact everything from food supplies, to increased susceptibility to disease, as well as more difficult to gauge effects like climate insecurity’s impact on mental health.

What he found was surprising, “I couldn’t stop being mind blown every single day,” he told VOA, mainly by the fact that the dangerous and damaging effects of climate change are already impacting humans all over the globe. “We think this is going to happen later,” he says, “but we found that this is already happening.”

“Last year, for instance, Florida recorded extreme drought, record high temperatures, over 100 wildfires, and the strongest ever recorded hurricane in its Panhandle: the category 4 Hurricane Michael,” Mora says. “Likewise, California is currently experiencing ferocious wild fires and one of the longest droughts, plus extreme heatwaves this past summer.”

Australia, Meat free,Hurricane, climate change
Tire tracks left by a truck can be seen in a drought-stricken paddock on Kahmoo Station property, located on the outskirts of the southwestern Queensland town of Cunnamulla in outback Australia, Aug. 10, 2017. (VOA)

And he says if carbon levels in the atmosphere continue to increase on pace there will no place on earth that isn’t affected.

Take New York, for instance. Mora lays out a future scenario in which in 2100 New York will be constantly dealing with the potentially devastating effects of four different climate hazards, including extreme weather and sea level rise.

All of these effects are measurable and in the future a city like Miami might be dealing with drought, extreme heat, sea level rise and more numerous and more powerful hurricanes. “Any coastal area in the tropics is going to be on fire” Mora says. Sydney, Los Angeles, Brazil and Mexico City are all at risk as the effects of climate change stack up.”

Mora’s study is impressive in its detail, noting, “Planes can’t fly during heat waves … wires short circuit during heat waves,” Mora says. And for people who work outdoors it can literally get too hot and “their livelihoods depend on their job ability to work out doors.”

All of these impacts add up and have a profound economic effect. Mora says they create stressed communities that have less economic ability to deal with change, plus higher financial costs thanks to the infrastructure damage and repair associated with predicted extreme weather events.

Australia, Meat free,Hurricane, climate change
A tree art installation made up of individual trees and Hydrangeas is seen in front of the U.S. Capitol building on Capitol Hill in Washington, April 22, 2018, to celebrate Earth Day and promote the planting of trees in an effort to combat climate change. VOA

Is it too late?

But despite all of the bad news in this assessment, Mora is bullish on our ability to head off the effects of climate change.

“This is not game over,” he says. “We are not too late to turn this around and we have pathways to reduce emissions what we need to do is implement them.”

Mora says the solution to the world’s carbon problem will not come from the world’s leaders, despite agreements like the Paris Accord for which hundreds of the world’s leaders came together to commit to cutting their greenhouse gas emissions.

Also Read: Australia’s PM Abandons Plan To Enshrine Carbon Emission Cuts

He says the real change to mitigate climate change through gradual cutting of emissions will come from the public, and he points to efforts like Hawaii’s decision to become a carbon neutral state by 2045 and to shift to 100 percent renewable energy.

Mora is also involved with tree planting efforts in Hawaii that he says if done worldwide could help the planet actually remove carbon from the atmosphere, not just stop putting it in. He calls it one of “many simple steps to clean our footprint all together.” (VOA)