Wednesday November 20, 2019
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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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Climate Change Would Affect Health Of Indian Children: Lancet

Climate change would hit health of Indian children hard, says study by Lancet

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Children in India will be particularly vulnerable to the ill effects of climate change. Pixabay

Children in India will be particularly vulnerable to the ill effects of climate change such as worsening air quality, higher food prices and rise in infectious diseases, warns a new study published in the journal The Lancet.

Climatic suitability for the Vibrio bacteria that cause cholera is rising three per cent a year in India since the early 1980s, said the report.

“With its huge population and high rates of healthcare inequality, poverty, and malnutrition, few countries are likely to suffer from the health effects of climate change as much as India,” said study co-author Poornima Prabhakaran from the Public Health Foundation of India.

“Diarrhoeal infections, a major cause of child mortality, will spread into new areas, whilst deadly heatwaves, similar to the one in 2015 that killed thousands of people in India, could soon become the norm,” Prabhakaran said.

Through adolescence and into adulthood, a child born today will be breathing more toxic air, driven by the fossil fuels and made worse by rising temperatures.

This is especially damaging to young people as their lungs are still developing, so polluted air takes a great toll, contributing to reduced lung function, worsening asthma, and increasing the risk of heart attacks and stroke.

Later in life, a child born today will face increased risk from severe floods, prolonged droughts, and wildfires.

 

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Children in India breathe toxic air and may develop lung diseases. Pixabay

Most countries have experienced an increase in people exposed to wildfires since 2001-2004 with a financial toll per person 48 times larger than flooding.

India alone saw an increase of more than 21 million exposures, and China around 17 million, resulting in direct deaths and respiratory illness as well as loss of homes, said the report.

“Over the past two decades, the Government of India has launched many initiatives and programmes to address a variety of diseases and risk factors. But this report shows that the public health gains achieved over the past 50 years could soon be reversed by the changing climate,” Prabhakaran said.

The “Lancet Countdown on Health and Climate Change” is a yearly analysis tracking progress across 41 key indicators, demonstrating what action to meet Paris Agreement targets — or business as usual — means for human health.

The project is a collaboration between 120 experts from 35 institutions including the World Health Organisation (WHO), World Bank, University College London, and Tsinghua University.

For the world to meet its UN climate goals and protect the health of the next generation, the energy landscape will have to change drastically, the report warns.

Also Read- Prince Charles Talks Climate Change in India

Nothing short of a 7.4 per cent year-on-year cut in fossil CO2 emissions from 2019 to 2050 will limit global warming to the more ambitious goal of 1.5 degree Celsius, said the report. If the world follows a business-as-usual pathway, with high carbon emissions and climate change continuing at the current rate, a child born today will face a world on average over 4 degree Celsius warmer by their 71st birthday, threatening their health at every stage of their lives. (IANS)