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Surface and Groundwater Degradation


Surface and Ground Water Degradation

Surface and Groundwater Degradation

India consists 1/25th of world’s water resources. The total utilizable water resources of the country are assessed as 1086 km3. A brief description of surface and groundwater water resources of India is given below.
Surface Water Resource
• India’s average annual surface run-off generated by rainfall and snowmelt is estimated to be about 1869 Billion Cubic Meter (BCM). However, it is estimated that only about 690 BCM or 37 per cent of the surface water resources can actually be mobilised.
• This is because:
– Over 90 per cent of the annual flow of the Himalayas rivers occur over a four month period and
– Potential to capture such resources is complicated by limited suitable storage reservoir sites.
• The main source of surface water is precipitation.
• About 20 percent part of the precipitation evaporates and mixes with the environment.
• The large part of surface water is found in rivers, riverlets, ponds and lakes. Remaining water flows into the seas, oceans. Water found on the surface is called surface water.
• About two–third of the total surface water flows into three major rivers of the country – Indus, Ganges and Brahmaputra’s. The water storage capacity of reservoirs constructed in India so far is about 17,400 billion cubic metres.
• The storage capacity of usable water in the Ganges basin is the maximum, but in spite of maximum annual flow, the storage capacity of usable water is the least in Brahmaputra’s basin.
• The storage capacity in Godavari, Krishna, Mahanadi and Indus is sufficient.
• If storage capacity of usable water is seen in terms of ratio, then of Tapi river basin is 97 percent.

Ground Water Resources
A lot of the Earth’s water is found underground in soil or under rock structures called aquifers. Groundwater pollution is often caused by pesticide contamination from the soil, this can infect the drinking water and cause huge problems.
The total Annual Replenishable ground water resources of the Country have been estimated as 431 Billion Cubic Meter (BCM).
Keeping 35 BCM for natural discharge, the net annual ground water availability for the entire Country is 396 BCM. The Annual ground water draft is 243 BCM out of which 221 BCM is for irrigation use and 22 BCM is for domestic & industrial use.
DATA:
• Water is an easy solvent, enabling most pollutants to dissolve in it easily and contaminate it. The most basic effect of water pollution is directly suffered by the organisms and vegetation that survive in water, including amphibians.
• Each day over 1000 children die of diarrheal sickness in India and the numbers have only increased alarming in the last five years. Water is polluted by both natural as well as man-made activities. Volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, Tsunamis etc are known to alter water and contaminate it, also affecting ecosystems that survive under water.
• The abuse of lakes, ponds, oceans, rivers, reservoirs etc. is water pollution. Pollution of water occurs when substances that will modify the water in negative fashion are discharged in it. This discharge of pollutants can be direct as well as indirect.
• The groundwater utilisation is very high in the states of Punjab, Haryana, Rajasthan, and Tamil Nadu.
• However, there are States like Chhattisgarh, Odisha, Kerala, etc., which utilise only a small proportion of their groundwater potentials. States like Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Tripura and Maharashtra are utilising their ground water resources at a moderate rate.
• If the present trend continues, the demands for water would need the supplies. And such situation, will be detrimental to development, and can cause social upheaval and disruptions
SOURCES OF WATER POLLUTION
There are various classifications of water pollution. The two chief sources of water pollution can be seen as Point and Non Point:
• Point refers to the pollutants that belong to a single source. An example of this would be emissions from factories into the water.
• Non Point on the other hand means pollutants emitted from multiple sources. Contaminated water after rains that has traveled through several regions may also be considered as a Non point source of pollution.
Causes of Water Pollution
• Industrial waste: Industries produce huge amount of waste which contains toxic chemicals and pollutants which can cause air pollution and damage to us and our environment. They contain pollutants such as lead, mercury, sulphur, asbestos, nitrates and many other harmful chemicals. Many industries do not have proper waste management system and drain the waste in the fresh water which goes into rivers, canals and later in to sea. The toxic chemicals have the capability to change the color of water, increase the amount of minerals, also known as Eutrophication, change the temperature of water and pose serious hazard to water organisms.
• Sewage and waste water: The sewage and waste water that is produced by each household is chemically treated and released in to sea with fresh water. The sewage water carries harmful bacteria and chemicals that can cause serious health problems. Domestic households, industrial and agricultural practices produce wastewater that can cause pollution of many lakes and rivers.
Pathogens are known as a common water pollutant; the sewers of cities house several pathogens and thereby diseases. Microorganisms in water are known to be causes of some very deadly diseases and become the breeding grounds for other creatures that act like carriers. These carriers inflict these diseases via various forms of contact onto an individual. A very common example of this process would be Malaria.
• Religious and Social Practices: Religious faith and social practices also add to pollution of Indian River waters. Carcasses of cattle and other animals are disposed in the rivers. Dead bodies are cremated on the river banks. Partially burnt bodies are also flung into the river. All this is done as a matter of religious faith and in keeping with ancient rituals. These practices pollute the river water and adversely affect the water quality.
Mass bathing in a river during religious festivals is another environmentally harmful practice. The biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) goes up drastically when thousands of people simultaneously take a ‘holy dip’. Religious practices also demand that offerings from a puja be immersed in a river. It is now common to see people immersing offerings in plastic bags. Plastic bags are very dangerous and further add to the pollution load of the river.
• Mining activities: Mining is the process of crushing the rock and extracting coal and other minerals from underground. These elements when extracted in the raw form contain harmful chemicals and can increase the amount of toxic elements when mixed up with water which may result in health problems. Mining activities emit several metal waste and sulphides from the rocks and is harmful for the water.
• Marine dumping: The garbage produce by each household in the form of paper, aluminum, rubber, glass, plastic, food if collected and deposited into the sea in some countries. These items take from 2 weeks to 200 years to decompose. When such items enter the sea, they not only cause water pollution but also harm animals in the sea.
• Accidental Oil leakage: Oil spill pose a huge concern as large amount of oil enters into the sea and does not dissolve with water; there by opens problem for local marine wildlife such as fish, birds and sea otters. For e.g. a ship carrying large quantity of oil may spill oil if met with an accident and can cause varying damage to species in the ocean depending on the quantity of oil spill, size of ocean, toxicity of pollutant.
• Burning of fossil fuels: Fossil fuels like coal and oil when burnt produce substantial amount of ash in the atmosphere. The particles which contain toxic chemicals when mixed with water vapor result in acid rain. Also, carbon dioxide is released from burning of fossil fuels which result in global warming.
• Chemical fertilizers and pesticides: Chemical fertilizers and pesticides are used by farmers to protect crops from insects and bacteria’s. They are useful for the plants growth. However, when these chemicals are mixed up with water produce harmful for plants and animals. Also, when it rains, the chemicals mixes up with rainwater and flow down into rivers and canals which pose serious damages for aquatic animals.
• Leakage from sewer lines: A small leakage from the sewer lines can contaminate the underground water and make it unfit for the people to drink. Also, when not repaired on time, the leaking water can come on to the surface and become a breeding ground for insects and mosquitoes.
• Global warming: An increase in earth’s temperature due to greenhouse effect results in global warming. It increases the water temperature and result in death of aquatic animals and marine species which later results in water pollution.
• Radioactive waste: Nuclear energy is produced using nuclear fission or fusion. The element that is used in production of nuclear energy is Uranium which is highly toxic chemical. The nuclear waste that is produced by radioactive material needs to be disposed off to prevent any nuclear accident. Nuclear waste can have serious environmental hazards if not disposed off properly. Few major accidents have already taken place in Russia and Japan.
• Urban development: As population has grown, so has the demand for housing, food and cloth. As more cities and towns are developed, they have resulted in increased use of fertilizers to produce more food, soil erosion due to deforestation, increase in construction activities, inadequate sewer collection and treatment, landfills as more garbage is produced, increase in chemicals from industries to produce more materials.
• Leakage from the landfills: Landfills are nothing but huge pile of garbage that produces awful smell and can be seen across the city. When it rains, the landfills may leak and the leaking landfills can pollute the underground water with large variety of contaminants.
• Animal waste: The waste produce by animals is washed away into the rivers when it rains. It gets mixed up with other harmful chemicals and causes various water borne diseases like cholera, diarrhea, jaundice, dysentery and typhoid.
• Underground storage leakage: Transportation of coal and other petroleum products through underground pipes is well known. Accidentals leakage may happen anytime and may cause damage to environment and result in soil erosion.
Water pollutants also include both organic and inorganic factors. Organic factors include volatile organic compounds, fuels, waste from trees, plants etc. Inorganic factors include ammonia, chemical waste from factories, discarded cosmetics etc.
The water that travels via fields is usually contaminated with all forms of waste inclusive of fertilizers that it swept along the way. This infected water makes its way to our water bodies and sometimes to the seas endangering the flora, fauna and humans that use it along its path.
The current scenario has led to a consciousness about water preservation and efforts are being made on several levels to redeem our water resources. Industries and factory set-up’s are restricted from contaminating the water bodies and are advised to treat their contaminated waste through filtration methods. People are investing in rain water harvesting projects to collect rainwater and preserve it in wells below ground level.
WATER RESOURCES MANAGEMENT– CHALLENGES/ISSUES IN THE COUNTRY
The major challenges/issues associated with the water resources management and development in the country is varied and complex and could be categorized as follows:
• Natural situation (Tropical Monsoon climate) – Causes large scale spatial and temporal variation in water availability, recurring droughts and frequent floods.
• Human, Managerial and Developmental challenges – These is increasing water demand and falling per capita availability, water use and energy efficiency, deterioration of water quality, reduction or deterioration of available resources (loss of surface storage), increasing competition/conflict within sectors, under and inefficient utilization of irrigation potential, over exploitation and depletion of ground water resources, water-logging and soil salinity in irrigated lands, fragmentation of management of water/ management of shared resources, lack of spatial inventory for large number of water infrastructure in the country, currently used water resources potential estimates are old, significant change in land use / land cover, demographic and utilization pattern in past few decades.
• Climate change impact – Addressing the impact of climate change on water availability and economy. Analysis of scenarios for impacts on resources and use is required to evaluate water policies.
Water Pollution is common, and is an area of high alert. Water needs to be preserved undermining the sustainable development as concerns.


Major Dynasties of North India/Feudalism


Major Dynasties of North India (7500-1200)Indian Feudalism

Major Dynasties of North India

• The period between AD 750 and AD 1200 is referred to as an early medieval period of Indian History.
• It was earlier treated by historians as a ‘dark phase’ because during this time the whole country was divided into numerous regional states which were busy fighting with each other.
• But recent studies have indicated that, though politically divided, India witnessed a growth of new and rich cultural activities in the fields of art, literature and language.
• In fact, some best specimens of temple architecture and Indian literature belong to this period.
• Thus, far from being ‘dark’ it may be treated as a bright and vibrant phase of Indian history.
• There were Gurjara Pratiharas in north India, Palas in eastern India and Rashtrakutas in South India. These powers were constantly fighting with each other with an aim to set up their control on Gangetic region in northern India.
• This armed conflict among these three powers is known as ‘Tripartite struggle’.
• Later on, the breakup of these powers resulted in the rise of many smaller kingdoms all over the country.

Major Dynasties of North India

The Pratiharas (8th to 10th Century)
• The Pratihars were also called Gurjar-Pratihars because they originated from Gurjarat or Southwest Rajasthan.
• It is believed that originally they were a branch of the Gurjaras, which was one of the nomadic central Asian tribes that poured into India along with the Hunas following the disintegration of the Gupta Empire.
• As rulers, the Pratiharas came into prominence in the middle of the eight century when their King Nagabhatta I, defended western India form the Arab incursions from Sindh into Rajasthan. He was able to leave to his successors a powerful principality comprising of Malwa and parts of Rajputana and Gujarat.
• After the Nagabhatta I reign, the Pratiharas suffered a series of defeats mostly at the hands of the Rashtrakutas.
• The Pratihara power regained its lost glory only after the succession of Mihirbhoja, popularly known as Bhoja.
• Bhoja had a long reign of 46 years and his eventful career drew the attention of the Arab traveller, Sulaiman. He re-established the supremacy of his family in Bundelkhand and subjugated Jodhpur.
• The Daulatpura copper plate of Bhoja shows that the Pratihara king had succeeded in reasserting his authority over central and eastern Rajputana.
• Mihirbhoja was succeeded by his son Mahendrapala I whose most notable achievement was the conquest of Magadha and northern Bengal.
• Mahehdrapala I was a liberal patron of literature. The most brilliant writer in his court was Rajasekhara who has to his credit a number of literary works- Karpuramanjari, Bala Ramayana, Bala and Bharta, Kavyamimamsa.
• Mahendrapala’s death was followed by a scramble for the possession of the throne.
• Bhoja II seized the throne, but half brother, Mahipala soon usurped the throne.
• The Rashtrakutas again challenged the strength of the Pratihara empire and its ruler, Indra III, completely devastated the city of Kanauj.
• However, the withdrawal of Indra III to the Deccan enabled Mahipala to recover from the fatal blow.
• Mahendrapala II, son and successor of Mahipala, was able to keep his empire intact, but it received a shattering blow during the reign of Devapala, when the Chandalas become virtually independent.
• The process of decline of the Pratihara Empire which had begun with Devapal accelerated during the reign of Vijayapala.
• The Arab traveler Al-Masudi, who visited India in the year 915-16, also refers to the power and resources of the King of Kanauj whose kingdom extended up to Sind in the west and touched the Rashtrakuta kingdom in the south.
The Palas (8th to 11th Century)
• Sulaiman, an Arab merchant who visited India in the 9th century has termed the Pala empire as Rhumi.
• The Pala Empire was founded by Gopal in 750.
• He was elected as the king by the notable men of the area to end the anarchy prevailing there after the death of Sasanka of Bengal.
• Gopala was an ardent Buddhist and is supposed to have built the monastery at Odantapuri (Sharif district of Bihar).
• Gopala was succeeded by his son Bharmapla who raised the Pala kingdom to greatness.
• The kingdom expanded under him and it comprised the whole of Bengal and Bihar.
• The kindom of Kanauj was a dependency, ruled by Dharmapal’s own nominee.
• Beyond Kanuja, there were a large number of vassal states in the Punjab, Rajputana, Malwa and Berar whose rulers acknowledged Dharmapala as their overlord.
• After a reign of 32 years Dharmapal died, leaving his extensive dominions unimpaired to his son Devapala.
• Devapala ascended the throne in 810 and ruled for 40 years. He extended his control over Pragjyotishpur (Assam), parts of Orissa and parts of Modern Nepal.
• Devapal was a great patron of Buddhism and his fame spread to many Buddhist countries outside India. As a Buddhist, he founded the famous Mahavihara of Vikramaúîla near Bhagalpur. He also credited with the construction of a vihara at Somapura (Paharpur). He also patronised one of the great Buddhist authors Haribhadra.
• Balaputradeva, a king of the Buddhist Sailendras, ruling Java, sent an ambassador to Devapala, asking for a grant of five villages in order to endow a monastery at Nalanda.
• Devapala granted the request and appointed Viradeva, as head of Nalanda Monastery.
• Devapala’s court was adorned with the Buddhist poet Vijrakatta, the author of Lokesvarasataka.
• The rule of Devapala’s successors was marked by a steady process of disintegration.
• A series of invasions led by the Chandellas and the Kalachuris dismembered the Pala Empire.
The Senas (11th to 12th century)
• The Sena dynasty ruled Bengal after the Palas and its founder was Samantasena described as a ‘Brahmakshatriya’.
• The title Brahmakshatriya shows that Samantasena was a brahmin, but his successors called themselves simply Kshatriyas.
• Samantasena’s son Hemantasena took advantage of the unstable political situation of Bengal and carved out an independent principality.
• Vijayasena, son of Hemantasena, brought the family into the limelight by conquering nearly the whole of Bengal.
• Vijayasena assumed several imperial titles like Paramesvara, Paramabhattaraka, and Maharajadhiraja.
• Vijayasena had two capitals, which was one, at Vijaypuri of Bangladesh.
• The famous poet Sriharasha composed the Vijayaprasasti in memory of Vijayasena.
• Vijayasena was succeeded by his son, Ballalasena, who was a great scholar.
• Ballalasena wrote four works of which two are extant, the Banasagara and the Adbhutasagara. The first is an extensive work on omens and portents, and the second on astronomy.
• Lakshmanasena, who succeeded Ballalasena in 1179, reign was remarkable for patronizing literature.
• Lakshmanasena was a devout Vaishnava and, Jayadeva, the famous Vaishnava poet of Bengal and author of the Gita Govinda lived at his court.
• Lakshmanasena’s reign saw the decline of the Sena power because of internal rebellions.
• The invasion of Bakhtiya Khalji gave it a crushing blow. A detailed account of the invasion of Bakhtiya Khalji has been given in Tabakat-i-Nasiri.
The Rajaputa’s Origin
• The anarchy and confusion which followed Harsha’s death is the transitional period of Indian history.
• This period was marked by the rise of the Rajput clans who began to play a significant part in the history of northern and western India from the 8th century AD onwards.
• The term Rajput denotes a tribe or clan, the members of which claimed themselves as Kshatriyas belonging to the ‘solar’ or lunar’ dynasties.
• According to some scholars the origin of the Rajputs is connected with that of the Gurjaras.
• In the early years of the 6th century AD, a tribe known as the Khazars poured into India along with the Hunas.
• These Khazars were known as Gurjaras. According to the bardic tales, the Pratiharas (Pariharas), the Chalukyas (Solankis), the Paramaras (Pawars) and the Chahamanas (Chauhans) are ‘fire-born’ (Agnikula), originating from a sacrificial fire-pit at Mount Abu in southern Rajputana.
• The Hunas, Gurjaras and the other allied tribes who entered India during the 5th and 6th centuries merged themselves with the Indians, just as their predecessors, the Greeks, the Kushanas and the Sakas had done.
• In the southern group, the principal clans are the Chandels, Kalachuris or Haihayas and Gaharwars. They apparently descended from the so called aboriginal tribes like the Gonds, and the Bhars.
• The evidence of a close connection between the Chandels and the Gonds is particularly strong. The Chandel Rajputs were originally Hinduised Bhars or Gonds or both, who became Kshatriyas on attaining political power.
• The Gaharwars similarly are associated with the Bhars; the Bundelas and the northern Rathors are offshoots of the Gaharwars.
• As a general rule, the Rajputs formed by the social promotion of aborigines were inimical to the Rajputs descended from foreigners.
Chandellas
• After the break-up of the Pratihara empire, the Chandellas rose and established their rule over Bundelkhand.
• Like most medieval dynasties, the Chandellas claim their descent from Chandratreya, a descendant of the ‘Moon dynasty’.
• The earliest capital of the Chandella kings was Khajuraho, the splendour of which reached its zenith in the 10th century.
• Yasovarman, also known as Lakshavarman was the greatest of Chandella rulers.
• The decline of the Pratihara power made Yasovarman free to defy the former and to launch the Chandellas to aggressive militarism.
• The Khajuraho inscription describes with obvious exaggeration the extensive conquests made by Yasovarman.
• Though an element of doubt attaches to the achievements of Yasovarman, there is no doubt that he made extensive conquests in north India and made the Chandellas a formidable power.
• Yasovarman built a magnificent temple at Khajuraho, identified with the Chaturbhuja temple, in which he installed the image of Vishnu.
Chahamanas
• There were several branches of the Chahamana dynasty annd the main branch ruled in Sakambhari, modern Sambhar, in Jaipur and the others ruling in different places, were collateral.
• Some of these were unquestionably the feudatories of the Pratiharas.
• Vasudadeva founded the main line in the middle of the 6th century AD with Ahichchhatra as the seat of his power.
• Taking advantage of the weakness of the Patiharas consequent to their struggle with the Rashtrakutas, the next important ruler Vakpatiraja defied the authority of the Pratiharas.
• During the reign of Vakpatiraja the Chahamana family acquired a distinctly higher status as is revealed by his assumption of the title Maharaja. He built at Pushkara a temple for Siva.
• Vakpati had three sons—Simharaja, Vatsaraja and Lakshmana.
• Simharaja was the first prince of the family who assumed the title Maharajadhiraja. This indicates that he made himself independent of the imperial Pratiharas.
• Simharaja’s son and successor Vigraharaja II was the real founder of the future greatness of the family. He overran Gujarat, forced the Chalukya Mularaja to take refuge at Kanthakot in Kutch. He extended his conquests as far south as the Narmada.
• Prithviraja I is reputed to have killed a body of 700 Chalukyas who had come to Pushkara to rob the Brahmins.
Prithviraja III
• One of the early exploits of Prithviraja III was to suppress the revolt of his cousin, Nagarjuna.
• He invaded the Chandella kingdom and defeated its King Paramardi.
• Thereafter, he invaded the Chalukya kingdom of Gujarat and forced Chalukya, Bhima II to conclude a treaty.
• Prithviraja III also entered into hostility with Jayachandra, Gahadvala ruler of Kanauj. It is said that Jayachandra organised a svayamvara ceremony for the marriage of his beautiful daughter Samyukta. Prithviraja was not invited. Prithviraja succeeded in carrying off the Gahadvala princess by force.
• It was not till the capture of the strong fort of Tabarhindah, identified with Sirhind, by Muhammad Ghori that Prithviraja became conscious of the gravity of the situation.
• Prithviraja met the enemy at the fateful field of Tarain in 1190-91.
• The first battle of Tarain was disastrous for the Sultan Muhammad Ghori.
• Despite this victory, Prithviraja III did not take adequate steps to guard the north-western frontier of his empire and allowed himself to dissipate his energy in fighting the Gahadvala king Jayachandra.
• Meanwhile, Muhammad Ghori came to Tarain in 1192 practically unopposed by passing through Multan and Lahore. One lakh soldiers were killed in the battle, including Govindaraja, chief of Delhi. Prithviraja himself was taken prisoner and executed thereafter.
• Many a distinguished scholar and poet from different parts of the country gathered round the court of king Prithviraja III who himself became the theme of two great poems, viz. Prithvirajavijaya and Prithviraj Rasa, written by his court poets Jayanaka and Chanda (Chandbardai) respectively.
Gahadvalas
• The emergence of the Gahadvalas in Kanauj in the latter part of the 11th century is so sudden that it is difficult to determine their origin.
• The well-known theory of their connection with the dynasties of the Sun and the Moon cannot be accepted as true, although traditions trace them back to an obscure descendant of Yayati.
Early Rulers
• The Gahadvala dynasty was founded by Yasovigraha.
• Yasovigraha’s son Mahichandra, also called Mahindra and Mahitala, was a ruler of some consequence who ruled in some part of Uttar Pradesh.
• Mahichandra’s son, Chandradeva, took hold of the opportunity afforded by the departure of Mahmud from northern India and inflicted a crushing defeat upon the Rashtrakuta ruler, Gopala, on the banks of the Yamuna.
• Chandradeva conquered all the territory from Allahabad to Banaras and made Banaras the second capital of the Gahadvalas.
• Chandradeva imposed a tax called turushkadanda possibly to defray the expenses of war against Muslim invasions or to make annual payments to the latter.
• Chandradeva was succeeded by his son Madanachandra, also known as Madanapala.
Jayachandra
• Vijayachandra’s son and successor, he came to the throne in 1170.
• His career and achievements, known from his copper-plates and the panegyrics of the Prithviraja Raso, are illumined by the Muslim chronicles and other independent sources.
• Jayachandra was the last great monarch of Kanauj whose power and resources must have impressed the Muslim historians.
• Jayachandra’s peaceful reign was seriously menaced by Muhammad Ghori, who, after conquering Delhi and Ajmer from the Chahamanas, advanced with a large force against Kanauj in 1193.
• Jayachandra met him on the plain between Chandwar and Etawah, and fell fighting.
• Jayachandra’s name is associated with the history of Sanskrit literature for the liberal patronage extended by him to Sriharsha, who wrote the well-known Naisadhaeharita, Khandana-khanda-khadya, the latter being the most famous and important of those Vedanta treatises which emphasise the negative or skeptical side of the system.
• The defeat and death of Jayachandra did not lead to the annexation of the kingdom of Kanauj by the Muslims.
• Harishchandra, son of Jayachandra, was allowed to rule as a vassal to Muhammad Ghori.
• Harishchandra’s successor, was deprived of his ancestral kingdom by Iltutmish which ended the glory of imperial Kanauj after six centuries of political domination in northern India.

TanSat Satellite


TanSat Satellite

TanSat, also known as CarbonSat, is a Chinese Earth observation satellite dedicated to monitoring carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere.
It is the Chinese space program. The mission was formally proposed in 2010, and work began in January 2011.
It is funded by the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) and was built by the Shanghai Institute of Microsystem And Information Technology (SIMIT).
TanSat carries two instruments: the Carbon Dioxide Spectrometer and the Cloud and Aerosol Polarimetry Imager.
The TanSat (CarbonSat) satellite was launched on December 21, 2016
China is the third country after Japan and the United States to monitor greenhouse gases through its own satellite.
The Paris agreement on climate change came into force on November 4, with more than 100 countries committed to reducing their carbon emissions.
The satellite can trace the sources of greenhouse gases and help evaluate whether countries are fulfilling their commitments.
The project includes 4 research topics:
a) A high-resolution Carbon Dioxide Spectrometer for measuring the near-infrared absorption by CO2.
b) CAPI (Cloud and Aerosol Polarimetry Imager) to compensate the CO2 measurement errors by high-resolution measurement of cloud and aerosol.
c) A spacecraft equipped with the two instruments, capable of performing scientific observations in multiple ways as mission required.
d) A ground segment which receives observation data and retrieves the atmosphere column-averaged CO2 dry air mole fraction (XCO2), and performs data validation by ground-based CO2 monitoring.

Greater Mekong Region


Greater Mekong Region

The Greater Mekong Sub region, or just Greater Mekong, is an international region of the Mekong River basin in Southeast Asia.
The region spans Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam and the southern province of Yunnan in China.
In 1992, with assistance from ADB, the six countries entered into a program of sub regional economic cooperation, designed to enhance economic relations among the countries.
The landscapes of this vast area are just as diverse as the countries that it enshrines, from dusty savannahs to dense rainforests and from slow-moving rivers to icy torrents.
Greater Mekong holds irreplaceable natural and cultural riches and is considered one of the world’s most significant biodiversity hotspot. The region is a very important food provider and the site of many large-scale construction projects with social and economic implications.
The unprecedented social and economic development of the Greater Mekong makes conservation work here especially urgent, significant—and hugely challenging. The most pressing current threats are hydropower development, climate change, illegal wildlife trade, and habitat loss.
With support from ADB and other donors, the GMS Program helps the implementation of high priority sub regional projects in transport, energy, telecommunications, environment, human resource development, tourism, trade, private sector investment, and agriculture.
WWF takes a comprehensive approach to seek this balance in the region. WWF recently launched an ambitious project to disrupt the trade by closing down the biggest markets in the Greater Mekong region.

Carbon Neutral District Concept


Carbon Neutral District Concept

Carbon neutrality, or having a net zero carbon footprint, refers to achieving net zero carbon emissions by balancing a measured amount of carbon released with an equivalent amount sequestered or offset, or buying enough carbon credits to make up the difference.
Carbon Neutral District refers to an area, where buildings do not cause net greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. During a certain period, the district may be a net GHG emitter, but during another period it can be a net supplier of carbon neutral energy, thus being net carbon neutral e.g. within a timeframe of one year.
Carbon neutrality can be achieved by enhancing energy efficiency of the buildings as well as purchasing the remaining energy need from carbon neutral sources.
A district can be supplied with bio-energy based district heating, delivered by an energy company. Electricity can be purchased from a renewable energy based power plant outside the area, or the owners or users of the buildings can even invest in renewable power generation facilities in another geographical area.
The approach should not be restricted to onsite generation only.
City planning, construction and operation as well as maintenance of buildings and districts are key areas of improvement, when reducing GHG emissions.
Assam government has initiated a project to make river island Majuli is the country’s first ever Carbon Neutral district by 2020. The project has been initiated to combat climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Sai Praveen

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