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Science Express train to create awareness on climate change

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Allahabad: The Indian Railways has brought out a special train called the ‘Science Express Climate Action Special’ (SECAS) to educate and create awareness among people about the environment. The train will roll into the station on Monday and remain there for four days.

The train was launched with combined efforts from the ministry of railways, the department of science and technology, the ministry of forest and climate change (MoEFCC), and the ministry of environment, according to a TOI report.

The train has 16 coaches in total, each of which is based on a particular theme based on climate change and its impacts, adaptation to these changes, mitigation on these grounds, emission reduction, and international negotiations on climate change. The themes also emphasize the role played by government institutions, organisations, schools and students in restoring environmental balance.

The Centre for Environment and Education (CEE) has set up an exhibition on eight coaches of the train on behalf of the MoEFCC.

The first coach describes climate as a system and shows how the current changes in nature is caused by humans. It deals with the greenhouse gas effect and the reasons for climate change.

The second coach shows the effects of climate change— the effect of temperature rise causing rise in sea level and variations in monsoon.

The third and fourth coaches depict the concept of adaptation to deal with climate change with examples from daily life. Strategies for adaptation are showcased along with field-work stories. The adaptation actions taken by India and the varying options for adaptation in urban and rural settings are also shown.

The fifth and sixth coaches discuss mitigation strategies which can lessen the climate change effects.

The seventh coach will introduce visitors to the international negotiations on climate change, including information on the Paris Agreement, the role of the United Nations, the work by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and international roadmaps to deal with climate change.

The eighth coach deals with carbon handprint, which refers to the positive things one does towards reducing the effect their carbon footprint. It gives information on the changes a person can make in their lifestyle at home, school or in their workplace, towards this end. The key message it holds is ‘Increase you Handprint, decrease your footprint.’

The Science Express Climate Action Special was jointly inaugurated at the New Delhi Safdarjung Station on October 15, by railways minister Suresh Prabhu, minister of science and technology and earth sciences Harsh Vardhan and minister of state for environment Prakash Javadekar.

The Science Express is scheduled to travel across the country for seven months, halting at 64 locations in 30 states covering 19,800 kms.

(image: sciencexpressphase7.wordpress)

 

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Americans ‘Alarmed’ by Climate Change Double in Just 5 Years

Twenty-nine percent of respondents to the poll conducted last December by Yale and George Mason universities.

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Paris Climate Meet, Global Warming
A woman displays a placard during a demonstration in New York on June 1, 2017, to protest U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to pull out of the 195-nation Paris climate accord deal. VOA

The proportion of Americans found to be “alarmed” by climate change has doubled in just five years, the pollsters behind a nationwide survey revealed on Tuesday.

Twenty-nine percent of respondents to the poll conducted last December by Yale and George Mason universities were in the alarmed category — an all-time high — and twice the percentage of those surveyed in 2013.

More than 1,100 adults across the United States were asked about their beliefs, attitudes and behaviors toward climate change.

The answers were then used to classify respondents into six groups, from dismissive, or least worried about climate change, to alarmed, for those most worried.

US, New York
FILE – People cool off at the Unisphere in Queens, New York, July 2, 2018. VOA

Those deemed dismissive of global warming represented 9 percent of respondents, a drop of five points compared to 2013.

‘Green New Deal’

The findings come amid a growing polarization of the political debate over the issue of global warming in the United States.

The decision by U.S. President Donald Trump to pull out of the Paris climate deal has fired up his base, while opponents have championed a “Green New Deal” that seeks to eliminate the nation’s heat-trapping greenhouse gas emissions within a decade.

The 2015 Paris accord, agreed by nearly 200 nations, seeks to wean the global economy off fossil fuels in the second half of this century, limiting the rise in average temperatures to “well below” 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial times.

The increased visibility of global warming such debates generate could explain Americans’ rising concern, said Kenneth Sherrill, a political science professor emeritus at Hunter College in New York City.

New York, Climate
The climate in New York City in 60 years could feel like Arkansas now. Pixabay

“The more information you get there more interested that you are,” he said.

Academic research has further shown that growing exposure to bouts of extreme weather may also change minds, he added. “And it results in higher concern.”

Climate change influences economy

Climate change will cost the U.S. economy hundreds of billions of dollars by the end of the century, hitting everything from health to infrastructure, according to a 2018 government report, the Fourth National Climate Assessment Volume II.

ALSO READ: Global Warming Could Change US Cities’ Climate by 2080- Study

Meanwhile, three of the five costliest hurricanes in the United States — Harvey, Maria and Irma — occurred in 2017, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, part of the U.S. Commerce Department. (VOA)