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World Rivers Day highlights sorry state of Indian rivers

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

Agra/Mathura: With people of Braj Mandal expressing solidarity with millions around the world to highlight environmental degradation and pollution in rivers, the maladies of the Indian rivers including Yamuna which have cradled life and culture for eons, came into the fore on the World Rivers Day on Sunday.

World Rivers Day, a celebration of the contribution of the rivers in human life, highlights the many values of rivers and strives to increase public awareness and encourages the improved stewardship of rivers around the world.

 

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Activists in Agra, Mathura and Vrindavan celebrated the day by holding a plethora of programmes including group discussions, visits to the river and rallies.

Anand Rai, an ex-NASA scientist, irked over the atrocious condition of rivers, and said, “pathetic is the condition of the river which has been reduced to a sewage canal.”

Coinciding with the Ganesh idol immersion ceremonies at the Yamuna ghats in Agra, Mathura and Vrindavan, environmentalists pointed out the failure of the administration to prevent pollution of the river.

“Though the local authorities had dug up pits for immersion, many devotees bypassed the law and moved to obscure places to immerse the idols in Yamuna,” regretted river activist Shravan Kumar Singh.

At a discussion organised by ‘Braj Mandal Heritage Conservation Society’, speakers highlighted the grave threat a dry Yamuna posed to the 17th century monument of love, the Taj Mahal. The society’s president Surendra Sharma said: “Even before the monsoon officially withdraws, the Yamuna is already dry in the Taj city, which is facing an acute water crisis.”

(With inputs from IANS)

 

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River Ice Cover Declines Rapidly due to Global Warming: Study

Global warming behind river ice cover loss, said a recent study by environmentalists

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Ice cover global warming
River ice cover will decline by about six days for every one degree Celsius increase in global temperatures, leading to economic and environmental consequences. Pixabay

River ice cover will decline by about six days for every one degree Celsius increase in global temperatures, leading to economic and environmental consequences, says a new study.

According to the study, published in the journal Nature, more than half of Earth’s rivers freeze over every year. These frozen rivers support important transportation networks for communities and industries located at high latitudes.

Ice cover also regulates the amount of greenhouse gasses released from rivers into Earth’s atmosphere, the study added.

“We used more than 400,000 satellite images taken over 34 years to measure which rivers seasonally freeze over worldwide, which is about 56 per cent of all large rivers,” said the study’s lead author Xiao Yang from the University of North Carolina, US.

“We detected widespread declines in monthly river ice coverage. And the predicted trend of future ice loss is likely to lead to economic challenges for people and industries along these rivers, and shifting seasonal patterns in greenhouse gas emissions from the ice-affected rivers,” Yang said.

River ice cover
Ice cover regulates the amount of greenhouse gasses released from rivers into Earth’s atmosphere. Pixabay

The researchers also looked at changes to river ice cover in the past and modelled predicted changes for the future.

Comparing river ice cover from 2008-2018 and 1984-1994, the team found a monthly global decline ranging from 0.3 to 4.3 percentage points.

According to the researchers, the greatest declines were found in the Tibetan Plateau, eastern Europe and Alaska.

“The observed decline in river ice is likely to continue with predicted global warming,” the study explained.

For the future, the research team compared expected river ice cover through 2009-2029 and 2080-2100.

the study’s findings showed monthly declines in the Northern Hemisphere ranging from 9-15 per cent in the winter months and 12-68 per cent during the spring and fall.

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The Rocky Mountains, northeastern US, eastern Europe and Tibetan Plateau are expected to take the heaviest impact, the study said.

“Ultimately, what this study shows is the power of combining massive amounts of satellite imagery with climate models to help better project how our planet will change,” said study researcher Tamlin Pavelsky. (IANS)