Tag Archives: Environment

How can negative emission technologies help us reduce global warming? – Carbon sequestration : natural and artificial

Carbon sequestration is the process of capture of CO2 from the atmosphere, and its long-term storage in plants (through photosynthesis), soil, geologic formations (as calcium carbonate), and ocean. This process can be physical, chemical, or biological (biosequestration) in nature.

Oceans are the largest sink for atmospheric carbon. Carbon dioxide from the atmosphere dissolves into surface water of ocean, where it is utilised by marine plants (phytoplanktons) that turn it into organic matter through the process of photosynthesis. Many organisms in ocean convert CO2 into calcium carbonate – which becomes the building material for their shells and skeletons.

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Ozone Depletion – Vienna Convention, Montreal Protocol – Why does Ozone deplete mainly at the poles ?

Ozone (O3) is a naturally occurring gas found in the stratosphere – in the range of 15 to 35 kilometres above earth’s surface, called the ozone layer or the ozone shield. The ozone layer absorbs around 98 per cent of medium frequency ultraviolet rays coming from the sun, which otherwise can potentially damage life forms on the earth’s surface. Ozone depletion, or thinning of the ozone layer due to conversion of O3 to O2 (oxygen), is a major threat to environment because it increases the harmful UV rays coming to earth’s surface, thereby increasing chances of skin cancer, eye cataracts, and even genetic damage.

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Pollution in North-India – Why do North-Indian cities have more air pollution that the rest of the country?

While common causes of pollution in north India are the smoke from power generators and power plants, vehicles, burning of crop stubble in the region of Punjab and Haryana, etc., the geographic particulars make the north-Indian cities like Delhi more susceptible to air pollution that the rest of the country, to the extent of making it severy unhealthy to breathe and visibility limited to as low as 400 metres on some days in the winter season.

Anti-cyclonic Weather Conditions

The atmospheric circulation over north India happens to be such that the areas surrounding the national capital Delhi come in a zone of Anti-cyclonic weather conditions during winter. This condition keeps the air movement calm, and aggravate building up of pollutant concentration in lower troposphere, as calm surface winds are not able to disperse pollutants over a larger region.

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UNESCO – Biosphere Reserves, World Heritage Sites

UNESCO promotes educational and cultural collaboration between countries. It gives recognition to Biosphere reserves, World Heritage Sites, and Cultural Heritages, in order to promote their conservation and legal protection. Here are the details about major initiatives of UNESCO, and entries from India in their various lists.

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UNFCCC and the Paris Agreement

UNFCCC is a framework treaty which aims to prevent dangerous human interference with the global climate system. Unders its framework Paris Agreement has been signed, which goes into force in 2020, i.e. after the second commitment period of Kyoto Protocol ends. Here is some holistic information about UNFCCC, its various initiatives/activities, members, Kyoto protocol, Paris Agreement, their implementation mechanisms and the latest updates.

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