Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Rising CO2 accelerates coral bleaching: study

Rising carbon dioxide levels in the world's oceans due to climate change, combined with rising sea temperatures, could accelerate coral bleaching, destroying some reefs before 2050, says a new Australian study.

The study says earlier research may have significantly understated the likely damage to the world's reefs caused by man-made change to the Earth's atmosphere.

"Previous predictions of coral bleaching have been far too conservative, because they didn't factor in the effect of acidification on the bleaching process and how the two interact," said Professor Ove Hoegh-Guldberg from the ARC Center of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies and Queensland University.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

India on the moon: Chandrayaan-1 successful

Chandrayaan-1, India’s maiden moon spacecraft, was put into Transfer Orbit around the earth by the Polar Launch Vehicle PSLV-C11 after it blasted off from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre.

The 1,380 kg Chandrayaan-1, carrying 11 payloads, was released into a Transfer Orbit 18.2 minutes after the PSLV-C11 blasted off.

full post

Japan launches voluntary CO2 market

Japan on Tuesday launched a voluntary carbon market based on companies' pledged emissions cuts and hopes thousands of firms will sign up to what could become a forerunner of a mandatory cap-and-trade scheme.

The scheme, once it's up and running by next year, is expected to be the nation's broadest emissions market. But some said the scheme still fell short of what Japan needed to make deep emissions cuts and could backfire.

The trial over-the-counter market is aimed at accelerating further cuts in the private sector via new technologies to save energy and reduce or remove emissions from the atmosphere, Environment Minister Tetsuo Saito told reporters.

"It's based on a voluntary (cap) because we'd like to see as many companies as possible joining in as we start. But we're aiming to make it a cap-and-trade scheme eventually," he said.

"We're hoping to accept applications from thousands or even tens of thousands of companies, ranging from big companies to medium to small ones as well as mainstay companies in each region," he added.

Japan, the world's fifth-largest greenhouse gas emitter, has been reluctant to impose a mandatory cap on companies' emissions because of past efforts by industry to clean up and become more efficient.

Japan is one of the world's most energy-efficient countries. But like all rich nations, it has come under increasing pressure from developing nations to pledge deeper cuts to its emissions as part of a broader U.N.-led fight against climate change.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Beluga whales in Alaska listed as endangered

The depleted population of beluga whales that swim off the coast of Alaska’s largest city was listed as endangered on Friday by the federal government.

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the Republican vice-presidential candidate, called the listing “premature” after she had pressed for more time to make beluga population counts.

Environmentalists hailed the listing decision, but criticized the time it took to materialize.

“Hopefully the State of Alaska will now work toward protecting the beluga rather than, as with the polar bear, denying the science and suing to overturn the listing,” Brendan Cummings, oceans program director for the Center for Biological Diversity said in a statement.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said it has determined that belugas in Cook Inlet, the channel that flows from Anchorage to the Gulf of Alaska, are at risk of extinction and deserving of strict protections under the Endangered Species Act.

The population, which fell to a low of 278 in 2005 from 653 in 1994, has yet to rebound from a period of over-harvesting by the region’s Native hunters, officials said.

Hunting of Cook Inlet belugas largely ceased in 1999, but the population continues to struggle, officials said.

“In spite of protections already in place, Cook Inlet beluga whales are not recovering,” James Balsinger, acting assistant administrator for NOAA’s Fisheries Service, said in a statement.


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Ban on commercial use of GPS in Egypt

Technology lovers and modern car owners in Egypt consider themselves unlucky because of a government ban on the usage of Global Positioning System (GPS) technology. 

Telecoms Law 10/2003 outlaws the import of GPS-equipped mobile phones, and retailers found selling them could lead to the confiscation of their entire stock. The same applies to any kind of commercial use of GPS technology, which includes cars equipped with GPS devices.

Mobile phones like the Nokia N95, N82 as well as iPhones and some 3G phones are banned in Egypt, leaving the market deprived of the latest technology and features that are fast becoming standard in the new generation of mobile phones.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Think India Think, Are We Civilized Enough?

India is progressing fast indeed. But, Perhaps we are not civilized enough. It is time to introspect and to contemplate. I have found a very thought provoking post at Amit's Blog.


Mother?! India?!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

CERN unveils computer grid linking 7,000 scientists

CERN, the world's biggest particle physics laboratory and creator of the Worldwide Web, on Friday unveiled a new computer network allowing thousands of scientists around the world to crunch data on its huge experiments.

Some 7,000 scientists in 33 countries are now linked through the computing network at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, to analyze data from its particle-smashing test probing the nature of matter that began last month.

That experiment, which could provide clues about the origins of the universe, began on September 10 and was shut down nine days later because of a helium leak in the 27 km (17 mile) tunnel of CERN's Large Hadron Collider (LHC).