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We all know about the famous Sahara desert. It is the largest hot desert in the world. The Sahara is one of the hottest regions of the world, with temperatures that can soar to 47 degrees Celsius.

But it looks like Global Warming is conducting a beautiful experiment with this hot desert.  The snowfall in the Sahara Deseret is evidence of the much talked about global warming trend, just like the unusually warm winters in Russia, bitter cold spells in the US and floods in Europe.

Snowfall in Sahara desert is unusual but not unheard of. On Monday the desert town was hit by a freak snowstorm — the first in the Sahara in almost 40 years. Snow could be seen not only on the tops of the surrounding Atlas Mountains, but also in the red dunes of the desert.

The last significant snowfall to hit the region fell in 1979, when a 30-minute snowfall stopped traffic. Although the temperature in winter can dip below the freezing point, snow is rare because the area is one of the driest on earth.

The fusion of desert with snow is undoubtedly breath taking. However, the reason behind this rare event, Global Warming and Climate Change, may be worrisome.

Jeff Masters, founder of Weather Underground, stated that “as Earth is getting warmer and more moisture gets absorbed into the atmosphere, we will steadily have more extreme storms during all seasons. These storms could be capable of causing greater impacts on society. If our climate continues to get warmer, we should expect heavy snow to increase for a few decades until the climate becomes so warm that we will pass the point where it’s too warm for it to snow.”

Snow is melting in the Antarctic and Arctic because of global warming, and what are not reported as much are the glaciers that are melting in Himalayan. If the trends continue, global warming will soon impact people all over the world. The Himalaya glaciers are the Third Pole. They give water to the giant rivers of Asia, and support half of the humanity. The glaciers melting are a huge concern, and it’s something we need to pay attention too.

The unusual snowfall in the Sahara Desert is just the beginning of the chapter called Global Warming. There is so much more to come if we do not take initiative to protect our Earth.

At International Centre for Culture and Education, we are fighting against climate change and global warming. Join us in this battle. Be a part of Green (R)evolution and take initiatives to save Earth.

The post A BEAUTIFUL FUSION OF BROWN WITH WHITE appeared first on ICCE Blog.

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If any of you feel horrible for disturbing your diet and eating fatty deep fried food, don’t feel so! You are actually helping to curb climate change in a small way.

Fatty acids released into the air from cooking may contribute to the formation of clouds that cool the climate, say scientists.

Fried, fatty and utterly delicious food may have an adverse impact on your waistline, but it is defiantly assisting in reducing global warming.

A new study shows that the fatty acids released into the air while frying food may help clouds that cool the atmosphere to form.

The goal of the research is to determine the effect cooking fats have on the climate. Current atmospheric models don’t include these fatty molecules, the scientists say.

According to the scientists, fatty molecules in the air form complex structures that endure longer than most molecules, allowing moisture to gather and form into clouds, which in turn cool the air.

“Cooking fats in the atmosphere may affect climate more than previously thought,” researchers from the UK’s University of Reading, one of the universities involved in the study, says in a statement.

“Scientists demonstrated for the first time that fatty acid molecules emitted during cooking can spontaneously form complex 3-D structures in atmospheric aerosol droplets.”

Researchers say the fatty acid molecules persist longer, allowing them to travel farther in the atmosphere and assist with seed cloud formation.

Still, scientists are quick to point out cooking fatty foods isn’t the way to save the planet.

“I’m not saying we should cook more meat to solve global warming, because obviously (there are) other implications of meat cooking that might have a negative impact,” lead author Dr. Christian Pfrang of the University of Reading says via CNN.

“Deep frying obviously has many implications, and it is very likely that the negative impact on human health from high-fat foods vastly outweighs any potential benefit these fatty acids may have on cloud formation and cooling.” Dr. Pfrang stresses the results spring from laboratory testing and further, real-life research is required.

“It looks as if certain molecules can survive much longer in the atmosphere than previously thought,” Dr. Pfrang said.

“So it’s urgently needed that more research is done in this area.”

Well, they can do all the research they want but for now we can eat our favorite meals without feeling guilty towards our diet and calm our conscience in the name of global warming.

The post YUMMY SOLUTION TO STOP GLOBAL WARMING appeared first on ICCE Blog.

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The evidence that humans are causing global warming is strong, but the question of what to do about it remains controversial. Economics, sociology, and politics are all important factors in planning for the future.

Even if we stopped emitting greenhouse gases (GHGs) today, the Earth would still warm by another degree Fahrenheit or so. But what we do from today forward makes a big difference. Depending on our choices, scientists predict that the Earth could eventually warm by as little as 2.5 degrees or as much as 10 degrees Fahrenheit.

Scientists have rather major plans to keep the earth surface cool.

Experts are considering ploughing sulphate aerosols into the upper atmosphere which would cause some of the sun’s rays to be reflected back out into space.

This could potentially cool the Earth down and help counter the effects of climate change, scientists say.

The move would also help reduce coral bleaching and help calm powerful storms.

However, the move could affect seasonal weather patterns which some people rely on for livelihood.

Rob Bellamy of the Institute for Science, Innovation, and Society at the University of Oxford, said: “One of the main concerns with solar radiation management is not necessarily its effectiveness, but its side effects.

The idea behind solar geo engineering is simple. For the last four decades, humanity has struggled to reduce the amount of greenhouse gas entering the atmosphere. We have decommissioned nuclear plants, introduced millions of new gasoline-burning cars to the roadway, and dawdled through treaty after treaty. Meanwhile, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has only risen.

It sure seems like we’ll need some more time to get our act together. So maybe we should toy with another variable: While we try to reduce the planet’s heat-trapping gas, maybe we can also try to reduce the amount of heat entering the atmosphere in the first place.

Interest in the technique has spiked recently. An administration hostile to climate mitigation has taken power in the United States, and some countries risk falling short of the promises they made under the Paris Agreement. It seems suddenly plausible that the industrialized world will not succeed in staving off two degrees of temperature rise.

There are several ways of holding off that warmth. They all involve bouncing sunlight back into space before it penetrates too far into the lower atmosphere. Over the past decade, scientists have discussed some different ways to do this: by brightening clouds over the ocean; by pushing cirrus clouds to form in the high atmosphere; or by spraying a reflective gas into the sky at high altitudes and mimicking the effect of a large volcanic eruption.

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The old saying out of sight, out of mind definitely does not apply when it comes to getting rid of personal waste.

Garbage, though unseen, can have real impacts on the environment when it is not properly disposed of. Burying rubbish as a means of disposal is one the oldest and most common forms of waste management, but unfortunately, the impact that landfill sites have on the environment are huge.

The environmental problems caused by landfills are numerous. There are no arguments over the assertion that there are many things that contribute to the environmental problem of landfills. The negative effects are most commonly placed into two distinct categories: atmospheric effects and hydrological effects. While these effects are both of equal importance, the specific factors that drive them are important to understand on an individual basis.

The mixture of chemicals like bleach and ammonia in landfills can produce toxic gases and odor that can significantly impact the quality of air in the vicinity of the landfill. Hydrogen sulphide produced in landfills smells similar to rotten eggs.

Travelling from central Delhi towards Ghazipur in the city’s east, the first warning that you get of the approaching landfill is the sight of circling birds of prey. The mound of waste itself becomes visible much before one is assaulted by its stench. Smoke rises steadily from the pile, as the decomposing waste generates highly combustible methane gas. Three of the four stinking waste mountains (landfills) are long overdue for closure and there are no fresh landfills available to take in the current daily discard of 9,000 tonnes. By 2020, the Capital needs an additional area of 28 sqkm, more than the entire spread of Lutyen’s Bungalow Zone, to dump 15,000 tonnes of garbage daily.

Aside from the various types of gases that can be created by these landfills, dust and other forms of non-chemical contaminants can make their way into the atmosphere. This contributes further to the air quality issue which plagues modern landfills.

When it comes to waste management in India, little is the way it’s meant to be. Mumbai literally raised a stink recently when a fire broke out at the Deonar landfill, severely compromising air quality in the city. The national capital too is fast becoming one huge garbage dump with civic body sanitation workers on a strike to protest against non-payment of salaries.

Delhi has miserably failed to manage its waste load. Only 15 per cent of R1,350 crore that the three corporations spend on waste management and sanitation is spent on actual disposal. The rest goes into collection and transportation.

The authorities must ensure segregation and promote composting and recycling. They must quantify waste generation for setting effective reduction targets. But don’t wait for the authorities to do everything. From segregation, recycling to composting — you can make a difference. And, yes, consume and waste less. Now is the time.

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According to the United Nations Population Fund, human population grew from 1.6 billion to 6.1 billion people during the course of the 20th century. (Think about it: It took all of time for population to reach 1.6 billion; then it shot to 6.1 billion over just 100 years.) During that time emissions of CO2, the leading greenhouse gas, grew 12-fold. And with worldwide population expected to surpass nine billion over the next 50 years, environmentalists and others are worried about the ability of the planet to withstand the added load of greenhouse gases entering the atmosphere and wreaking havoc on ecosystems down below.

In 1970, when worldwide greenhouse gas emissions had just begun to transgress the sustainable capacity of the atmosphere, the world population was about 3.7 billion; today it’s about 6.1 billion — an increase of 86 percent.

In that same period, worldwide emissions from fossil fuels rose from about 14 billion tons to an estimated 29 billion tons — an increase of 107 percent.

Population growth is not the direct cause of global warming, burning fossil fuels is.

Where some of the confusion comes from is that CO2 emissions are reasonably well correlated to population.

It’s not a one-to-one relationship, but there is a solid relationship. For a couple of centuries, more people meant a great deal more CO2 which more closely tracked gross domestic product on a one-to-one ratio. As countries became richer, that was reflected in their GDP and also in their reduction in fertility. More GDP equals flattening population but still increasing CO2 emissions.

“Population, global warming and consumption patterns are inextricably linked in their collective global environmental impact,” reports the Global Population and Environment Program at the non-profit Sierra Club. “As developing countries’ contribution to global emissions grows, population size and growth rates will become significant factors in magnifying the impacts of global warming.”

According to the Worldwatch Institute, a nonprofit environmental think tank, the overriding challenges facing our global civilization are to curtail climate change and slow population growth. “Success on these two fronts would make other challenges, such as reversing the deforestation of Earth, stabilizing water tables, and protecting plant and animal diversity, much more manageable,” reports the group. “If we cannot stabilize climate and we cannot stabilize population, there is not an ecosystem on Earth that we can save.”

Many population experts believe the answer lies in improving the health of women and children in developing nations. By reducing poverty and infant mortality, increasing women’s and girls’ access to basic human rights (health care, education, economic opportunity), educating women about birth control options and ensuring access to voluntary family planning services, women will choose to limit family size.

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ICCE Blog - Global Warming by Dimple Kantawala - 11M ago

Climate Change isn’t the only consequence of carbon pollution from fossil fuels. If driving global temperature rise wasn’t enough, increased carbon in our atmosphere is also behind the rapid acidification of our world’s oceans.

But what exactly is ocean acidification?

When carbon dioxide (CO2) is absorbed by seawater, chemical reactions occur that reduce seawater pH, carbonate ion concentration, and saturation states of biologically important calcium carbonate minerals. These chemical reactions are termed “Ocean Acidification” or “OA” for short.

Oceans becoming more acidic after the Industrial Revolution are no accident. As humans burn more and more fossil fuels, the concentration of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere continues to rise, driving climate change and making both air and sea temperatures hotter and hotter.

Ocean acidification is expected to impact ocean species to varying degrees. Photosynthetic algae and sea grasses may benefit from higher CO2 conditions in the ocean, as they require CO2 to live just like plants on land. On the other hand, studies have shown that a more acidic environment has a dramatic effect on some calcifying species, including oysters, clams, sea urchins, shallow water corals, deep sea corals, and calcareous plankton. When shelled organisms are at risk, the entire food web may also be at risk. Today, more than a billion people worldwide rely on food from the ocean as their primary source of protein. Many jobs and economies in the U.S. and around the world depend on the fish and shellfish in our oceans.

Ocean acidification is an emerging global problem. Over the last decade, there has been much focus in the ocean science community on studying the potential impacts of ocean acidification. Since sustained efforts to monitor ocean acidification worldwide are only beginning, it is currently impossible to predict exactly how ocean acidification impacts will cascade throughout the marine food chain and affect the overall structure of marine ecosystems. With the pace of ocean acidification accelerating, scientists, resource managers, and policymakers recognize the urgent need to strengthen the science as a basis for sound decision making and action.

Future predictions indicate that the oceans will continue to absorb carbon dioxide and become even more acidic. Estimates of future carbon dioxide levels, based on business as usual emission scenarios, indicate that by the end of this century the surface waters of the ocean could be nearly 150 percent more acidic, resulting in a pH that the oceans haven’t experienced for more than 20 million years.

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The global population is skyrocketing, the climate is changing, and diets are shifting. So how do you tackle the problem of feeding 9 billion people by 2050?

It’s only 2017 and we produce enough food for 10 billion people, so why are we defaulting to a scientific solution? Science can address the technical aspects of food production — yields, shelf life, etc. — but the technical aspects of food production aren’t the problems when it comes to feeding nine billion people, or dealing with the agricultural impact of climate change, or accommodating shifting diets. These problems are, almost exclusively, social and political.

“Twenty-first-century challenges require 21st century approaches,” said Sally Rockey, executive director of FFAR. While many people tend to view agriculture as a tradition-bound system, “it really is a cutting-edge science.”

This may be true, but nowhere is it written that a 21st century approach MUST involve advanced technology, precision-everything, and patching together a broken food system with duct tape made out of patents.

We have an intractable food problem because it’s a people problem, not a technological one. Its solution will involve deliberate choices to do with less quantity and fewer options in a world where the supermarket and its infinite bounty and instant gratification are regarded as a global ideal.

“Revolution” is agriculture oriented toward locality, diversity, redundancy, seasonality, mass participation, and ecological integration. Revolution is farms, and the technologies for distributing food, focused on producing food for a community or region instead of the gaping maw of a global marketplace. Revolution is communities around the world largely independent of food products, methods, and technologies owned outside of those communities.

A Green Revolution would be a fundamental re-engineering of the way food is produced and consumed around the world.

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For three decades, environmentalists have been claiming that if we don’t do something to fight global warming, we’ll all turn into pumpkins by the end of the century or so. Yet they’ve made very little headway in getting humanity to act on their suggested remedies.

The amount of Global Warming is often measured relative to the late 19th century even though this is about 100 years after the start of the industrial revolution, when humans started burning large amounts of fossil fuels.

According to the Paris Agreement on climate change, the world should try to limit global warming to as close to 1.5C as possible to avoid its worst effects, such as deadly heat waves, sea level rise that threatens coastal cities and more violent storms.

One of the researchers, Professor Michael Mann, said the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) had been using a definition of pre-industrial “that is likely underestimating the warming that has already taken place”.

“That means we have less carbon to burn than we previously thought, if we are to avert the most dangerous changes in climate,” he said.

“When the IPCC says that we’ve warmed 1C relative to pre-industrial, that’s probably incorrect. It’s likely as much as 1.2C.”

Meeting a 1.° C target is obviously more difficult if the change already experienced is 1.2 degrees rather than the 1.0 that had been broadly accepted. The new information doesn’t make the world any warmer, but it could have an effect on programs designed to meet the 1.5 degree goal. Either the total change allowed under agreements needs to go up to adjust for this early change, the definition of the allowed change needs to be redefined to make it clear it’s relative to 1880, or programs will have to be rapidly accelerated to try and hold off that final bit of change.

The study, described in the journal Natural Climate Change, found that anything from 0.02C to 0.21C of warming could already have taken place before the late 19th century.

The lower end of that range would mean the current use of the late 19th century is reasonably accurate, but the upper end would be a substantial change.

Professor Mann, of Pennsylvania State University, said that either the Paris targets “have to be revised” or the world could simply decide that they only wanted to restrict warming relative to the 19th century.

The new information doesn’t make the world any warmer, but it could have an effect on programs designed to meet the 1.5 degree goal. Either the total change allowed under agreements needs to go up to adjust for this early change, the definition of the allowed change needs to be redefined to make it clear it’s relative to 1880, or programs will have to be rapidly accelerated to try and hold off that final bit of change.

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“A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.”
— Greek proverb

Global warming has increased in vast increments in the last decade. In fact, in the last 50 years, the earth’s global temperature has increased by 3%. Pollution caused by the release of carbon dioxide into the air creates a blanket over the atmosphere. Global warming can cause a whole chain of events to rupture ecosystems, weather patterns, and a variety of other factors. We all play a part in our future.

To save the world, there is no need of any committee or agreement. We can do this by simply altering our lifestyle a little. Take small steps that won’t change our life but make a difference to the world.

Replace Regular Incandescent Light bulb: Replace regular incandescent light bulb with compact fluorescent light (CFL) bulbs. They consume 70% less energy than ordinary bulbs and have longer lifetime.

Go Solar: Many people have caught the energy efficient band wagon of solar energy. Having solar panels installed is something readily possible and available. Incentives and discounts given by government agencies and energy companies make solar energy something to look into.

Reduce Waste: Landfills are the major contributor of methane and other greenhouse gases. When the waste is burnt, it releases toxic gases in the atmosphere which result in global warming. Reusing and recycling old items can significantly reduce your carbon footprint as it takes far less energy to recycle old items than to produce items from scratch.

Use less Hot Water: Buy energy saving geysers and dishwasher for your home. Avoid washing clothes in hot water. Just wash them in cold or warm water. Avoid taking frequent showers and use less hot water. It will help in saving energy require to produce that energy.

Plant a Tree: Planting trees can help much in reducing global warming than any other method. They not only give oxygen but also take in carbon dioxide, during the process of photosynthesis, which is the main source of global warming.

Reuse Towels: Hang towels to dry, instead of popping them back in the wash after a few uses.

Spread the Awareness: Always try your best to educate people about global warming and its causes and after affects. Tell them how they can contribute their part by saving energy that will be good for the environment. Gather opportunities and establish programs that will help you to share information with friends, relatives and neighbors.

By being just a little more mindful, we all can play our part in combating global warming. These easy tips will help preserve the planet for future generations.

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ICCE Blog - Global Warming by Dimple Kantawala - 11M ago

About 71% of earth’s surface consists of water.

The ocean remains one of the most expansive, mysterious and diverse places on Earth. Unfortunately, it is being threatened by pollution from people on land and from natural causes. Marine life is dying, and as a result the whole oceanic ecosystem is threatened simply by various sources of pollution.

One such hazardous pollution is plastic pollution.

More than 8 million tons of plastic are dumped in our oceans every year.

The proliferation of plastic products in the last 70 years or so has been extraordinary; quite simply we cannot now live without them. We are now producing nearly 300 million tons of plastic every year, half of which is for single use.

Plastic is cheap and incredibly versatile with properties that make it ideal for many applications. However, these qualities have also resulted in it becoming an environmental issue. We have developed a “disposable” lifestyle and estimates are that around 50% of plastic is used just once and thrown away.

Plastic is a valuable resource and plastic pollution is an unnecessary and unsustainable waste of that resource.

Plastic is harmful to environment is many ways. It does not break down easily and it is considered as food for marine animals.

But we could prevent this much plastic from ever entering the ocean.

For example, only 14% of plastic packaging is recycled, and it’s the biggest source of plastic pollution in the oceans, according to the report.

If we reused more plastic packaging, and turned it back into other plastic products, the report concludes, we could significantly decrease the amount that goes into the oceans.

If we are to preserve ocean and its natural beauty, drastic measures have to be taken to combat this pollution and keep what we hold most dear.

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