Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Global warming could cast chill on India’s growth story: UK report

This story was carried by indian express on oct 31st. hold your breath and read on......

NEW DELHI, OCTOBER 30: Global warming and climate change could affect India’s growth story unless a range of steps are taken to address the effects of increased surface temperature and its effect on monsoon pattern and river flows.
Meet to set up roadmap for saving ozone layerIndia Inc tops charts with 53% of global carbon credits demandMarket for greenExplainedGreen to black: India Inc tops carbon trading, firms cash in
This is according to a report released in London today commissioned by UK Chancellor Gordon Brown and authored by Nicholas Stern, former chief economist of the World Bank. In his 700-page report, Stern calls for an urgent shift to a low-carbon economy in countries like India which could translate into huge business opportunities for the developed world.
UK Prime Minister Tony Blair called the report the “final word’’ on why the world must act now. “The case for action is the final piece of the jigsaw to convince every single political leader, including those in America, China and India, that this must be top of their agenda,” he said.
There is a wealth of evidence quantifying the economic costs of climate change in India. Experts from the University of Reading have estimated that mean summer rainfall in India will increase by 10% — along with rainfall intensity — and this will be accompanied by more regional variations. This is likely to affect agriculture and, therefore, GDP growth.
The review identifies three elements of policy required for an effective response: carbon pricing, through tax, trading or regulation, so that people pay the full social cost of their actions; policy to support innovation and deployment of low-carbon technologies and removal of barriers to energy efficiency and measures to inform, educate and persuade.
Some of the key predictions, according to the Stern report, of changes over the next 100 years:
• Regional climate models suggest 2.5-5 degrees Celsius rise in mean surface temperature. Regionally within India, northern India will be warmer.
• 20% rise in summer monsoon rainfall. Extreme temperatures and precipitations are expected to increase.
• All states will have increased rainfall except Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu where it will decrease. Extreme precipitation will increase, particularly along the western coast and west central India.
• Hydrological cycle is likely to be altered. Drought and flood intensity will increase. Krishna, Narmada, Cauvery, Tapi river basins will experience severe water stress and drought condition and Mahanadi, Godavari, Brahmani will experience enhanced flood.
• Crop yield decrease with temperature and rise with precipitation. Prediction of loss of wheat is more. Rabi crops will be worse hit which threatens food security.
• Economic loss due to temperature rise estimated between 9-25%. GDP loss may be to the tune of 0.67%. Coastal agriculture suffers most (Gujarat, Maharashtra, Karnataka), Punjab, Haryana, Western UP will face reduction in yield; West Bengal, Orissa, Andhra Pradesh will gain marginally.
• 100-cm sea level rise can lead to welfare loss of $1259 million in India equivalent to 0.36% of GNP.
• Frequencies and intensities of tropical cyclones in Bay of Bengal will increase particularly in the post-monsoon period and flooding will increase in low-lying coastal areas.
• Malaria will continue to be endemic in current malaria-prone states (Orissa, West Bengal and southern parts of Assam north of West Bengal). It may shift from the central Indian region to the south-western coastal states of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala. New regions (Himachal Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur and Mizoram) will become malaria prone and transmission duration window will widen in northern and western states and shorten in southern states.


Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Diwali, Crackers, Chemicals and the Ozone Layer

The festival of lights Deepawali is again with us. I have this feeling deep down within me that we should seriously look at renaming this festival. It should now be called Patekeawali(with the number of crackers that are exploded) or Paiseawali(with the amount of money which is spend, some wisely and a lot unwisely), or it could be called Daruawali or Kharidawali with the amount of liquor which is consumed or the amount of purchases an average family makes.

In Deepawali it is the crackers which affect me the most. They affect me both at a physically as well as the emotionally level. Every time a cracker is lit I think of the money going up in smoke. Money that could be utilized for a poor child’s education. Besides the money it is the environment and the health angle that disturbs me a lot. Here’s why …….

Chemicals Found in Crackers and their affect on Health

Causes increased blood pressure and a disease “Itai – Itai” which makes bones brittle and lead to multiple fractures.
Can damage kidneys and cause anemia

Affects central nervous system
Cancer of lungs and kidneys
Young children can suffer mental retardation and semi permanent brain damage.

Nausea, vomiting, cyanosis, collapse and coma
Fall in blood pressure, rapid pulse, headaches and visual disturbances

Large amounts lead to dizziness, abdominal cramps, vomiting. bloody diarrhoea, weakness, convulsions and collapse.
Increased cancer incidents

Affects upper respiratory tract and bronchi.
May cause edema of the lungs.
Can produce respiratory paralysis

Particles embedded in the skin can produce gaseous blebs and gas gangrene.
Deterioration in the central nervous system.
Main Symptoms of exposure : Sleepiness, weakness, emotional disturbances and paralysis.

Phosphorous in PO4
Affects central nervous system
Acute effect on liver
Severe eye damage

Irritation in respiratory tract
Excess absorption causes “ Wilson’s disease” where excess copper is deposited in the brain, skin, liver, pancreas and middle muscular layer of the heart.

Skin irritant
Effects pulmonary system
Stimulates the sensation of vomiting.

Suspended particulate matter (SPM) exposure to the level of 100 ppm results in headache and reduced mental acuity. The effects are more pronounced in people with heart, lung or central nervous system diseases. Sulphur dioxide is readily soluble and dissolves in the larger airways of the respiratory system. This stimulates a contraction at 2 to 5 parts per million (ppm). At higher concentrations severe contraction restricts the breathing process.

Noise :High decibel level results in restlessness, anger, fidgetiness, impulsive behaviour and over-reaction to situations. Most crackers used have more than 80 dB noise that can cause temporary or permanent hearing loss, high blood pressure, heart attack and sleep disturbances. Children, pregnant women and those suffering from respiratory problems suffer the most due to excessive noise. It results in making them hyperactive or withdrawn.

To study the chemical composition, particularly of metallic and non-metallic components of crackers, Toxics Link got some samples of sparklers ("phuljari" in Hindi and "mathappu" in Tamil) and pots ("anar" in Hindi and "pusvanam" in Tamil) analysed at the Bombay Natural History Society Laboratory, Mumbai. The following were the chief findings of the laboratory tests.

The results showed presence of highly toxic heavy metals like cadmium and lead in addition to other metals like copper, manganese, zinc, sodium, magnesium and potassium in the fire-crackers.

· Both nitrates and nitrites of few of these metals were present. Both these radicals are oxidising agents that are a ready source of oxygen in the process of combustion.
· Oxides of sulphur in the form of sulphate and phosphorous in the form of phosphate were present in the samples. The mean levels of cadmium in the crackers analysed were 5.2 mg/100g. Anar and wire showed 6 and 8mg/100g, respectively.
· The mean level of lead was 462 mg/100g with a maximum in green sparkle showing 850mg/100g. Magnesium was found in huge quantities when compared to other metals like copper, manganese and zinc. The mean levels of magnesium was 2622mg/100g and of copper was 744mg/100g. Zinc was the least among the various metals detected with a mean level of 324mg/100g.
· Four acidic radicals --nitrate, nitrite, phosphate and sulphate-- were also detected. The proportion of nitrite, phosphate and sulphate in the crackers was almost similar and ranged between 1160 to 1420 mg/100gm, while nitrates which are strong oxidising agents, were found in considerable amounts when compared to the other three. Their mean levels were 1624mg/100g.
· Among these, oxides of sulphur, phosphorous and nitrogen are very corrosive and highly acidic while carbon monoxide, one of the oxides of carbon is an extremely poisonous gas whose presence cannot be detected by our sensory system as it is odorless.
· Carbon monoxide combines more than 200 times as readily as oxygen, so that low concentration levels have adverse health effects.

So guys burn not only your pockets, the ozone layer but also your heart, lungs and kidneys as mine are anyway in smoke.

Happy Deepawali

Friday, October 06, 2006

how to save energy in your own workplace

a mail forwarded which was initiated by one Mayur Shah. Hats off Mayur :) ;)

Here is a chance to make a difference, by devoting JUST 10 seconds a

You don't need to go anywhere, donate money, stage protests or shout slogans.

How? If you use computer to work, just remember to switch off your monitor every time you leave your desk. Very simple, isn't it?

What difference does it make? Roughly, normal monitors consume around 150 W.

Even if your screen remains ON for 1 hour per day without any use, energy wasted per day is 150 W-h (or 0.15 "units").

This is enough to light a small lamp for 10 hours! If you care to switch off your monitor each time you leave your place, you save electricity enough for basic household needs of a small family in a village!

If your monitor remains ON overnight, this figure becomes 10-fold - so you can probably save electricity for 10 families.

And supposing that you leave your seat 5 times a day and it takes 1
second to switch the monitor ON/OFF,you spend only 10 seconds a day for this deed which saves LOTS of energy on a long run!

Energy saved is energy produced !!