Friday, November 14, 2008

Choking To Death

A study conducted by the team drawn from research centres in Asia including India and China, Europe and the United States, announced their latest and most detailed assessment of the phenomenon.

Asian cities from New Delhi to Beijing are getting darker, glaciers on the mighty Himalayas are melting faster and weather system is getting more extreme, a United Nations study has warned.

Brown clouds of pollution are hanging over Asia, making "cities from Beijing to New Delhi" darker, melting glaciers in ranges like the Himalayas faster and turning weather systems more extreme, the UN said today.

Formed as a result of burning of fossil fuels and biomass, the Atmospheric Brown Clouds (ABCs), made of soot and other manmade particles, are more than three km-thick, said a new report by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP).

The layer that stretches from the Arabian Peninsula to China and the western Pacific Ocean, are in some cases and regions aggravating the impacts of greenhouse gas-induced climate change, a team of experts drawn from research centres in Asia, including China and India, said.

Achim Steiner, UN Under-Secretary General and Executive Director, UNEP, said: "I expect the Atmospheric Brown Cloud to be now firmly on the international community's radar as a result of today's report".

The five regional hotspots for ABCs identified in the report includes the Indo-Gangetic plains in South Asia from the northwest and northeast regions of eastern Pakistan across India to Bangladesh and Myanmar, the UNEP said in a press statement.

New Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai feature in the list of 13 megacities where ABCs are reducing the sunlight hitting the Earth's surface, making the cities "darker or dimmer".

In her private communication with me Anjuli Pandit, Project Manager, The Climate Project India, was kind enough to send me one of the most commonly used images when discussing Climate Change's impacts on the Tibetan and Himalayan glaciers. It shows the rapid decline of the Gongotri since 1935 especially.” We can say that on average Himalayan glaciers are receding at the rate of 10-15 meters per year. “

"The rapid melting of the Himalayan glaciers will first increase the volume of water in rivers, causing widespread flooding. But in a few decades this situation will change and the water level in riverls will declie, meaning massive eco and environmental problems for people in Western China, Nepal and Northern India." - Jennifer Morgan Director of WWF Global Climate Change Programme. .

We have reasons to be alarmed. Glacial Lake Outburst floods (GLOF) is common in many parts of the Himalaya region, because the glaciers are melting and form a lake. At some point the lakes outburst and create huge floods which have devastating results on the human, flora and fauna lives as well as the ecosystem.

Global warming is not a myth. Nor is it a myth that climate change is not going to affect all areas in the world especially wherever there are mountains the most. India and China are high risk aeras.

We have to act immediately. We cannot change the damage that has already been done by first world countries. We can only arrest further distruction of earth, its life and the beautify around.

We need to act NOW!

Source: http://www.outlookindia.com/pti_news.asp?id=632885

http://www.outlookindia.com/pti_news.asp?id=633116


Good News: ‘Air New Zealand to trial biofuel in December
Wellington, Nov 14 (AFP) Air New Zealand said it will conduct its first trial of biofuel on one of its Boeing 747 aircraft on a flight next month.

The airline said this week the biofuel will include 50 per cent standard jet fuel and synthetic fuel made from the oil from seeds of the jatropha plant.

Air New Zealand's chief pilot David Morgan said the two-hour test flight would be held on December 3 with the jatropha blend fuelling one of the four engines.

"Various procedures will be carried out during the test flight to confirm and measure the performance of the engine being operated with this fuel," Morgan said in a statement.
Rolls-Royce fuels specialist Chris Lewis said the properties of the fuel would be virtually indistinguishable from conventional fuel.

The jatropha oil will come from plants grown in east Africa and Air New Zealand said they could be grown in a range of difficult conditions, including arid and otherwise non-arable areas.
The test flight is a joint venture between Air New Zealand, Boeing, Rolls-Royce and UOP, a Honeywell company, and the airline said it was part of efforts to make commercial aviation more sustainable, amid climate change fears.

British-based Virgin Atlantic became the first airline to trial a biofuel in February on a flight between London and Amsterdam, using a blend including coconut oil and babassu nut oil.
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