Volcanoes have kept Earth’s surface temperatures balanced out

The specialists, working alongside others at the University of Sydney, Australian National University (ANU), University of Ottawa and the University of Leeds, investigated the consolidated effect of cycles in the strong Earth, seas and air in the course of the last 400 million years.

The normal separate and disintegration of rocks at Earth’s surface is called substance enduring. It is basically significant on the grounds that the results of enduring (components like calcium and magnesium) are flushed by means of waterways to the seas, where they structure minerals that lock up CO2.

This input system controls barometrical CO2 levels, and thusly worldwide environment, throughout geographical time, a news discharge clarifies.

“In this regard, enduring of the Earth’s surface fills in as a geographical indoor regulator,” Tom Gernon, academic partner in geology at the University of Southampton, and an individual of the Turing Institute clarifies in the delivery.

“In any case, the hidden controls have demonstrated hard to decide because of the intricacy of the Earth framework,” added Gernon, who is additionally the lead creator of the investigation.

“Many Earth measures are interlinked, and there are some significant delays among measures and their belongings,” Eelco Rohling, teacher in sea and environmental change at ANU and the investigation’s co-creator clarifies. “Understanding the general impact of explicit cycles inside the Earth framework reaction has in this manner been a recalcitrant issue,” Rohling adds.

To comprehend the intricacy, the group developed a book “Earth organization”, fusing AI calculations and plate structural recreations. This empowered the specialists to distinguish the predominant communications inside the Earth framework, and how they advanced through time, the delivery clarifies.

The group tracked down that mainland volcanic bends were the main driver of enduring force in the course of the last 400 million years. Today, mainland circular segments involve chains of volcanoes in, for instance, the Andes in South America, and the Cascades in the US. These volcanoes are probably the most elevated and quickest dissolving highlights on Earth. Since the volcanic rocks are divided and artificially receptive, they are quickly endured and flushed into the seas.

Martin Palmer, educator of geochemistry at the University of Southampton and a co-creator of the examination said: “It’s a difficult exercise. On one hand, these volcanoes siphoned out a lot of CO2 that expanded barometrical CO2 levels. Then again, these equivalent volcanoes helped eliminate that carbon by means of fast enduring responses.”

The examination additionally provides reason to feel ambiguous about a since a long time ago held idea that Earth’s environment dependability more than tens to countless years mirrors a harmony between enduring of the ocean bottom and mainland insides. “The possibility of a particularly geographical back-and-forth between the landmasses and the ocean bottom as a prevailing driver of Earth surface enduring isn’t upheld by the information,” Gernon clarifies in the delivery. “Lamentably, the outcomes don’t imply that nature will save us from environmental change,” Gernon adds.

Today, air CO2 levels are higher than whenever in the previous 3 million years, and human-driven emanations are multiple times bigger than volcanic CO2 discharges,” clarifies Gernon. “The mainland circular segments that seem to have saved the planet in the profound past are just not present at the scale expected to assist with balancing present-day CO2 discharges.”

In any case, the group’s discoveries actually gave basic bits of knowledge into how society may deal with the current environment emergency.

Small Steps to Help the Earth

In today’s time of climate change and environmental degradation, it is of utmost importance to rein in the damage done to the environment before it crosses a point of no return. The major portion of environmental damage caused can only be worked towards reducing if the various governments, organizations and corporations work towards solving the various issues and the sources causing these issues. But that doesn’t mean that normal people cannot do anything. We each can, in our own way, change certain habits and follow a certain way of lifestyle which can be more efficient and reduce environmental strain. One person, or a small group of people’s efforts will not do anything. However, if all of us on the Earth try and make an effort to our best abilities, then our small steps will give rise to a large positive impact on the environment.

By regulating the way we manage certain things in our life and by following certain practices, right from within our home itself, each one of us can contribute to reducing environmental damage and making the Earth a better place.

A few ways you can make a difference in the health of the environment and planet:

Practice the 3Rs: The 3Rs stand for Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. Reduce means to limit and decrease the use of something. Reuse is using a used item again. Recycling is to make a new object from an old one.

3Rs
3Rs

Both plastic as well as glass bottles can either be reused or recycled. However, not all types of plastic can be recycled, only certain types of plastic can. This recyclable plastic is taken to factories and used in the automobile industry to make plastic parts for cars. Glass bottles get taken to factories and recycled by crushing and then melting them to eventually form new bottles and the like. Both glass and plastic bottles can be reused. They can be reused normally or be used to grow small plants in.

Reuse of bottles
Reuse of bottles

Paper can also be recycled to make new paper and cardboard. Recently, notebooks made from recycled paper have shown a rise in popularity.

Old clothes can either be sent to charity organizations, where they are given to the needy or sent to textile mills where they get recycled.

Vegetable waste like fruit peelings, tea leaves and even paper to a certain extent can be used to make compost. This compost is very nutrient rich and can be used for keeping plants grown at home healthy.

Carrier bags should be reused. It is better to use cloth bags, as they are not only eco-friendly, but also can be reused multiple times and repaired and washable if they get spoiled.

Electrical and energy consuming appliances should be switched of when not in use. Water taps should be checked to ensure that no water gets wasted due to dripping.

Apart from all this, it is necessary to spread awareness too. Educate and encourage your family, neighbors, friends and acquaintances. Students can form ‘Green Clubs’.

At first glance, these may seem insignificant, but with everyone doing it, it will make a difference.

Spiritual person

The Mindful World

The first thing that caught my eye about The Mindful World is just how beautiful their site design is. This is one good looking mindfulness blog.

It takes more than just good looks to be included in this list of the best spiritual blogs, though. And, indeed, The Mindful World has a lot of depth behind that pretty exterior.

The Mindful World is a group of individuals who are passionate about spreading mindfulness around the world. Their articles are very in-depth and some of the most professionally written pieces on any spiritual website.

Excerpt from CONFRONTING REALITY: The lie of Evidence-Based Treatment and how it affects psychological therapy for abused children

“The scientific process is supposed to be the golden standard for the pursuit of knowledge and truth. When asked to think of a scientist, many people will imagine a somewhat “nerdish” individual who’s often more comfortable with numbers than people.

We imagine these scientists as being wholly dedicated to their research and unwavering in their pursuit of the truth. The idea that many published scientists are heavily influenced by politics, that scientific journals often compromise their standards for publications, and that many universities look the other way to secure federal funding, often comes as a shock to most people.”

Change Your Energy

Change Your Energy is a spiritual healing blog. It reads like a self improvement blog, packed full of excellent advice on articles on all manner of self development topics. Every article is full of spiritual guidance and offers inspiration for developing your spiritual life. Change Your Energy is is also one of the most professionally presented spiritual blogs.

My favourite excerpt : From the article “Sing As If Speaking, Dance As If Walking”

“Do you pick up your smartphone, look for people to chat with, or go to the TV or Internet because time alone is lonely, strange, or difficult? You can be a wonderful friend to yourself, incomparably better than any person or any machine.

Here is a suggestion for enjoying spending time with yourself: Sing and dance for 30 minutes every day. Try to sing as if speaking and to dance as if walking.

Enjoy being immersed in yourself, regardless of what other people think. The time you enjoy spending with yourself is time for changing your energy and for accumulating energy. You can encounter your soul as you sing and dance.

Mom On A Spiritual Journey:
Mom on a Spiritual Journey is the blog of Sarah Lawrence Hinson. Sarah gives spiritual coaching sessions and writes articles about both her personal life and about spiritual energy.
My favourite excerpt:
From “6 tips for driving your car as a spiritual practice”
“MAKE YOUR CAR A NO PHONE ZONE LIKE OPRAH SAYS.  I’ll be the first to admit that I am useless at using a phone and driving, in fact I’m a downright danger so don’t do it at all.  Just because you might be better than me doesn’t mean you should do it too though.  If the phone rings and I am alone, I pull over if I know I’m waiting for an important call.  If you work a lot on your phone, get hands free…it’s not the greatest idea but it could save your life.  If I have the girls in the car then they answer the phone for me.  When it’s their turn to learn to drive, texting and driving will not be acceptable because I DON’T DO IT

Spiritual Awakening Process:

Spiritual Awakening Process discusses many aspects of spirituality and offers practical advice to improve your spiritual life. The best part of Spiritual Awakening Process is the one hour sessions that can be booked and which offer help for you on your spiritual journey. Definitely a great spiritual blog.

LINK: SPIRITUAL AWAKENING

Favourite Except: From “Awakening”

“Life inside the awakening is a whole other beast. Many people focus on the singular point of awakening, that amazing “Ah-ha!” moment. However, while that is a critical piece of the awakening process, so is the transition from sleep-mode to every moment awakeness. The awakening ushers in a time of transition that is unsettled, unstable, and unique. It is a time of embracing new and amazing parts of you and then trying to crawl right back into bed. It is a time of expansion and contraction as you grow and then shrink back to the core issues that are still unresolved and holding you back.”

Spiritual Awakening Process:

Spiritual Awakening Process discusses many aspects of spirituality and offers practical advice to improve your spiritual life. The best part of Spiritual Awakening Process is the one hour sessions that can be booked and which offer help for you on your spiritual journey. Definitely a great spiritual blog.

LINK: SPIRITUAL AWAKENING

Favourite Except: From “Awakening”

“Life inside the awakening is a whole other beast. Many people focus on the singular point of awakening, that amazing “Ah-ha!” moment. However, while that is a critical piece of the awakening process, so is the transition from sleep-mode to every moment awakeness. The awakening ushers in a time of transition that is unsettled, unstable, and unique. It is a time of embracing new and amazing parts of you and then trying to crawl right back into bed. It is a time of expansion and contraction as you grow and then shrink back to the core issues that are still unresolved and holding you back.”

Tiny Buddha

Tiny Buddha is an absolutely wonderful spiritual blog that is mostly a mindfulness blog. It matches cuteness and fun with insight and wisdom. It’s also got more Facebook followers than anyone else on this list, partly because it was a pioneer of the whole spiritual blogging movement.

Excerpt from : Boost Your Happiness: 10 Mindfulness Tips for Busy People

“Do you ever feel as though you would be happy if only things were a little different?

You know that happiness is important, but you keep putting it on the backburner because there simply isn’t enough time to prioritize your own inner joy.

And at the same time, you know that meditation would help, but you can’t even imagine where you’re going to get the spare time you need to sit still and meditate.

In an ideal world, we would schedule moments every day in which to cater to our health needs, because health and well-being are paramount. Yet despite our best efforts we will inevitably face those times when we’re busy every minute of the day. I know I’ve been there.”

INDIA’S CRIPPLING TROPICAL FORESTS EPITOMIZE CARBON SINKS

By the year 2050, the world’s tropical forest supply may be severely depleted. Scientists expect that by 2050, sea levels will have risen to the point where most major cities will be flooded. In the last two decades, neglecting our biodiversity has resulted in four disease outbreaks. Can the human race afford another global epidemic that makes it impossible to breathe?

Carbon sinks are natural processes that absorb and store carbon dioxide from the atmosphere; the oceans and forests are the two largest carbon sinks on the planet. Oceans are the world’s main carbon sinks. Plants and soil are the two carbon sinks found in forests. Plants absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere for photosynthesis, and some carbon dioxide is released by the soil as plants die and decompose. In the event of a forest fire, forests will change from carbon sink to carbon source. If forests remain intact, with no leakages such as erosion and deforestation, this trade-off between sink and source can be balanced. Forests’ ability to function as a carbon sink or source is dependent on the balance of photosynthesis and respiration. If you believe it or not, forest soil has sequestered a significant amount of carbon.

When a tree dies and the microbes finish the decomposition process, some of the accumulated carbon is released back into the atmosphere. This method does not result in the complete loss of carbon. A sizable portion of it has remained in the soil. A large area of forest is an excellent example of a carbon sink. “Basically half of the carbon dioxide emissions are consumed by the Earth’s land and ocean,” says Paul Fraser of the Commonwealth Scientific and Research Organization.

The titan Amazon basin, which predominantly serves as the largest carbon sink of all of the forests, and benefits us by generating over 20% of the total oxygen production for the earth, is an example of the world’s largest tropical forest, holding up to 40 thousand plant species, 2.5 million insect species, and a myriad variety of wildlife. The Amazon is used to demonstrate how tropical forests can function as a carbon sink. “We have already lost 20% of the Amazon in 2019, and scientists worry that if we lose yet another 5%, the Amazon will hit its tipping point,” says Mike Barrett, WWF Director of Science and Conservation.

India is ranked 9th among the world’s megadiverse countries, with nearly 40,000 plant species and 90,000 animal species living through diverse geographical environments in all four directions. The Northeast (NE), once one of India’s greenest areas, has been slowly losing forest cover for the past 20 years.

According to data mapped by the Global Forest Watch, a repository for global forest data, the rate has doubled. According to a report published by the Deccan Herald in 2018, over 70 percent of the forest cover in the Northeastern states was lost due to deforestation between 2001 and 2018. Infrastructure is essential for the economy, but not at the expense of our aid recipients. The Northeast has been facing a significant threat to its forests for the past two decades as a result of deforestation for coal mining, cement manufacturing, and illegal logging. Deforestation has already wreaked havoc on the Garo Hills of Meghalaya and the Karbi Anglong Hills of Assam. As a result of the Etalin Hydroelectricity Project, the Dibang valley in Arunachal Pradesh is on the verge of losing 2.7 lakh trees. The Northeast is already feeling the heat of forest depletion, with some states experiencing the highest temperature increase in the last two decades. In Karnataka, a similar incident occurred when the long-delayed Hubballi-Ankola railway line was finally approved. This 164-kilometer railway line would cut through the Kali Tiger Reserve and the Bedti Conservation Reserve, destroying more than 80% of the forest cover in the Western Ghats, one of India’s most ecologically sensitive areas. There are fears that the Bannerghatta National Park, which is located in the ESZ (eco-sensitive zone), Bangalore’s only remaining lung space, would lose about 100 square kilometres. The loss of trees would increase carbon emissions, and these forests are home to more than 250 species of plants, birds, animals, and insects that are listed on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species and protected by the Wildlife Protection Act of 197.

Mining and various agricultural and commercial growth projects in India generate at least 1,000 million tonnes of carbon. With the pace at which trees are being cut down, India will experience many stages of ecological cancer. India’s average reported temperature has already increased. Even Antarctica experienced the hottest temperature increase in 141 years, not to mention the July 2019 Heat Wave. According to the World Bank, nearly 1.3 million sq/km of land cover was destroyed between 1990 and 2016, an area greater than South Africa. What are the warning signs if these aren’t them? Tropical woods, unlike the Notre Dame Cathedral, cannot be rebuilt.

As a result, I implore everyone to take responsibility for raising consciousness about these issues and not allowing them to go unnoticed. Begin to shoulder some of the world’s responsibilities. It has been far too long since we have felt a sense of awe for the natural world. In this sense, President John F. Kennedy said, “If not us, who?” When, if not now, would it be?”

Earth

Earth is the only planet in our Solar System where life exists. Approximately 4.5 billion years ago, Earth formed from the particles left over from the creation of our Sun. Gravity pulled swirling gas and dust in together to form the Earth. It is the third planet in our Solar System.


29% surface on Earth is land ( i.e continents and islands ) and the rest 71% is water mostly oceans but also lakes, rivers and other fresh water bodies. Out of this 71% water, 97% is saline water(water in oceans) and the availability of freshwater is only 3%. Earth’s polar region is covered with ice.

Earth’s atmosphere contains 78% nitrogen, 21% oxygen and 1% other gases such as carbon dioxide, argon and neon. The atmosphere acts as a shield and protect us from the harmful radiation coming from the Sun. It also protects us from meteoroids which burn up in the atmosphere before they can hit the surface.

Earth is the only planet that was not named after a Greek or Roman god. Its alternative names are Gaia, Gaea, Terra, Tellus, The World, The Globe.

The journey of life on Earth started in oceans. The earliest forms of life were microscopic organisms (microbes) that left signals of their presence in rocks about 3.7 billion years old. These microbes are known as Prokaryotes that fed on carbon compounds that were accumulating in Earth’s early oceans. Slowly, many other organisms evolved that used the Sun’s energy, along with compounds such as sulfides, to generate their own energy.


Earth is composed of four main layers.
The inner core is a solid sphere made of iron and nickel metals about 759 miles (1,221 kilometers) in radius. The temperature there is as high as 9,800 degrees Fahrenheit (5,400 degrees Celsius). Surrounding the inner core is the outer core. This layer is about 1,400 miles (2,300 kilometers) thick, made of iron and nickel fluids.In between the outer core and crust is the mantle, the thickest layer. This hot, viscous mixture of molten rock is about 1,800 miles (2,900 kilometers) thick and has the consistency of caramel. The outermost layer, Earth’s crust, goes about 19 miles (30 kilometers) deep on average on land. At the bottom of the ocean, the crust is thinner and extends about 3 miles (5 kilometers) from the sea floor to the top of the mantle.

Earth doesn’t take 24 hours to rotate on its axis
It actually takes 23 hours, 56 minutes and 4 seconds to completely rotate around it’s axis. Also known as sidereal day. Earth’s rotation is slowing slightly with time. Thus, a day was shorter in the past. This is due to the tidal effects the Moon has on Earth’s rotation. Analysis of historical astronomical records shows a slowing trend that the length of a day increased about 2.3 milliseconds per century since the 8th century BCE.

Earth has only one moon. Without the moon, a day on earth would only last six to twelve hours. There could be more than a thousand days in one year. That’s because the Earth’s rotation slows down over time thanks to the gravitational force or pull of the moon and without it days would go by in a blink.

EARTH

ABOUT EARTH:

Our Earth is the most beautiful planet in our solar system. Earth is the planet we live on. The earth is a habitat for millions of species of plants and animals. Earth is an integral part of the solar system. Earth is the third planet from the sun. Earth is the fifth-largest of the planets in the solar system. The alternative names for the earth are Gaia, Gaea, Terra, Tellus, the world, the globe. Earth is a planet of the Sun which is also called Blue Planet because of the availability of water and it looks blue when observed from space. It’s the only planet known to have an atmosphere containing free oxygen, oceans of water on its surface, and, of course, life. Water covers 70 percent of Earth’s surface. Earth has an atmosphere containing 21% oxygen which helps in the survival of living beings. The gases like nitrogen, CO2, and oxygen in the earth’s atmosphere help plants to grow. Our planet Earth is a rotating sphere that orbits the Sun. Earth is made of rocks and came into existence billions of years ago. Along with the movement, Earth also rotates on its axis from east to west and completes a rotation in 24 hours which we call a solar day. The Earth is located approximately 150 million kilometers from the Sun and this distance is known as Astronomical Unit. It takes about 8.3 minutes for sunlight to reach the Earth. The Earth’s Atmosphere Extends to a Distance of 10,000 km. Earth’s atmosphere nourishes life and protects it from harmful UV rays and meteorites. Earth Day is observed every year on 22nd April to protect the environment. Along with human earth is home to millions of species and plants. The presence of water on the surface of the earth and air in the atmosphere makes life possible here. As the only livable planet of the sun, we should respect and protect our earth from our wrong practices.

STRUCTURE OF EARTH:

​​The earth is made up of three different layers. They are,

· THE CRUST:

This is the outside layer of the earth and is made of solid rock, mostly basalt, and granite. There are two types of a crust; oceanic and continental. Oceanic crust is denser and thinner and mainly composed of basalt. Continental crust is less dense, thicker, and mainly composed of granite.

· THE MANTLE:

The mantle is the layer located directly under the sima. It is the largest layer of the Earth, 1800 miles thick. The mantle is composed of very hot, dense rock. This layer of rock even flows like asphalt under a heavyweight.

· THE CORE:

Earth’s core is the very hot, very dense center of our planet. The ball-shaped core lies beneath the cool, brittle crust and the mostly-solid mantle. The core is found about 2,900 kilometers (1,802 miles) below Earth’s surface and has a radius of about 3,485 kilometers (2,165 miles). The core is made of two layers: the outer core, which borders the mantle, and the inner core. The outer core, about 2,200 kilometers (1,367 miles) thick, is mostly composed of liquid iron and nickel. The inner core is a hot, dense ball of (mostly) iron. It has a radius of about 1,220 kilometers (758 miles). The temperature in the inner core is about 5,200° Celsius (9,392° Fahrenheit). The pressure is nearly 3.6 million atmospheres (atm).

World’s Overshoot day!!

Happy World’s Overshoot day!! Today we’ve exhausted all the natural resources generated by Mother Earth last year and as economists say, we are in a deficit, although not financial, but ecological. This could be quite shocking news to many, but interestingly this year World’s Overshoot day has been pushed by 3 weeks. In 2019, World’s Overshoot day was marked on July 29 as opposed to August 22 in 2020. In fact, this day has never been pushed so far since 2005. So, is it an achievement worth celebrating? Apparently not, cause it is not done by design, rather by the disaster. The World’s Overshoot day is calculated by GFN (Global footprint network), an independent think tank established in 2003 with its headquarters located in California, United States. Overshoot is calculated by ecological footprint, which is a measure of how much area of biologically productive land and water an individual, population or activity requires to produce all the resources it consumes and to absorb the waste it generates, using prevailing technology and resource management practices. Researchers estimate that the planet equivalent has grown from 1.5 in 2008 to 1.6 in 2020, i.e. now humans require 1.6 planet Earth to sustain themselves and this doesn’t account for all other species in the world. However, this doesn’t mean that all countries contribute equally to the spectrum. Overshoot day varies from country to country due to the prevailing technologies in different countries. For e.g. a world would be enough for Indonesians to survive, but it would require approximately two worlds to sustain ourselves if we were to live like Qataris. The worst country to perform in this index is Luxembourg, which consumed all its resources by February 16. Even Australia, the biocapacity giant is seeing deficit for the first time in its history due to the devastating fires of 2019-20. This shows how fragile biocapacity can be.
But this year is not an achievement, all though the COVID lockdowns brought down the Ecological Footprint by 9.3% reduction as compared to the same period last year and put a remarkable dent on the global economy. Since this pushed date is a reflection of a lot of sufferings and the reflection of imposed changes to our lives. The irony is that these vast reductions that scientists had always been craving but through sustainable developments rather than sufferings. Now it would be foolish to presume that in order to reduce our carbon footprints and planet equivalent we require such sufferings since such reductions are discriminatory, they disproportionately affect people of color and caste economically. Climate skeptics have used the situation to say that lockdown is what “green campaigners want” and they cannot enjoy things like international travel and economic growth in the future. But it is foolish to fall for such beliefs. The goal should be having better economies and social outcomes with lower emissions.
Researchers reiterate that balance of humanities consumption and Earth”s produce needs to be restored. It would be wise to make such balance intentionally rather than facing such disasters that comes at such high and terrible human cost.

Climate Change

The phenomenon of rising temperatures of the Earth resulting in change of climate, seasons, rainfall patterns etc. is called Global warming. Global warming and its effects are together referred to as Climate Change. While these changes have been seen before but the rate of change has increased rapidly from the middle of the 20th century. Findings from different recognized scientific organizations support these claims. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), “human influence on climate has been the dominant cause of observed warming since the mid-20th century”. The emission of greenhouse gases as a result of human activities have been one of the largest causes for this. Fossil fuels, Chloro-fluro carbons (CFCs), deforestation, rise in different forms of pollution are all behind this.

Photo by Markus Spiske on Pexels.com

Temperature change is also accompanied by loss of snow cover, melting permafrost, frequent natural disasters like cyclones. Land surfaces heat more quickly which have resulted in heat waves, forest fires, increase in desert area. These temperature changes are the highest in the Arctic region. Changes in environmental conditions have led to extinction of several wildlife species in forests, coral reefs etc. Rising carbon dioxide emissions lead to rising sea levels, ocean temperatures and ocean acidification. These changes bring in frequent droughts, extreme weather conditions affecting the equilibrium and natural balance.

Photo by Markus Spiske on Pexels.com

Almost all countries have come together for climate change under the umbrella of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The convention aims to “prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system”. It has instructed policy makers that there is much greater risk to human and natural systems if the warming goes above 1.5 °C compared to pre-industrial levels. Under the Paris Agreement, nations have made climate pledges to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, but even after following those, global warming would still reach about 2.8 °C by 2100. To prevent this from happening and limit the warming to 1.5 °C, methane emissions need to decrease to near-zero levels and carbon dioxide emissions should reach net-zero by the year 2050.

Governments should act immediately and policies should be constructed to reduce fossil fuel emissions, increase reforestation, forest prevention, use of low carbon energy technologies, food preservation. All societies should work together towards dealing with future global warming problems in a scientific way. Development of more resistant crops, better disaster management should also be considered.

Several international movements have taken place like Fridays For Future where school students take time off from school to aware people and demand climate change action from governments. They demand action from political leaders of the world for the fossil fuel industry to convert to renewable energy and take immediate measures for climate change. This movement was publicised after Greta Thunberg started a protest outside the Swedish parliament with a poster saying “School strike for climate”. She is an environmental activist who has spoken at several internationally recognised platforms. She started her journey as an activist from the time when she had convinced her parents to change their lifestyle for reducing their carbon footprint. She is known for her straight forward manner of speaking at public platforms and criticizing world leaders for their failure to address climate change. She has participated in the United Nations Climate Change Conference (2018) and UN Climate Action Summit (2019). She has also got several awards and made it into the Forbes list of The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women (2019). Though her popularity at such a young age has made her a target of critics, but she continues to work and struggle towards her goal with indomitable spirit.

Earthquakes

An earthquake is caused by a sudden slip on a fault. Stresses in the earth’s outer layer push the sides of the fault together. Stress builds up and the rocks slips suddenly, releasing energy in waves that travel through the earth’s crust and cause the shaking. An Earthquake occurs when plates grind and scrape against each other. India lies at the northwestern end of the IndoAustralian Plate, which encompasses India, Australia, a major portion of the Indian Ocean and other small countries. This plate is colliding against the huge Eurasian Plate and going under the Eurasian Plate,this process of one tectonic plate getting under another is responsible for making India a earthquake prone country. A number of significant earthquakes occured in and around India over the past century. Some of these occured in populated and urbanized areas and hence caused great damage. Many went unnoticed, as they occurred deep under the Earth’s surface or in relatively un-inhabited places. The varying geology at different locations in the country implies that the likelihood of damaging earthquakes taking place at different locations is different. Thus, a seismic zone map is required to identify these regions.

Bureau of Indian Standards, based on the past seismic history, grouped the country into four seismic zones, Zone – 2,-3,-4and 5. Of these, zone 5 is the most seismically active region, while zone 2 is the least. The Modified Mercalli(MM) intensity, which measures the impact of the earthquakes on the surface of the earth, broadly associated with various zones, is as follows.

Little Things To Help The Planet

It is extremely important that we look after our planet but often as teenagers it can be hard to donate money to support the cause or spend time volunteering, so here are a few things you can do instead.

1. Say no to the straw!

According to Indian pollution control board15,342 tonnes of plastic waste is produced in India every year. A big chunk of it is single use plastic straws, which can’t be recycled! These tiny straws can do a lot of harm to the ocean- it can kill all sorts of wildlife including sea turtles. So why not stop using plastic straws altogether? Some love using straws, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t anything you can do. Instead, switch to glass straws, paper straws or metal straws, here are some affordable options:

1. Reusable Stainless Steel Metal Straws Set (2 Bend & 2 Straight Straws, 1 Cleaning Brush) from Amazon

2. Reusable Stainless Steel Metal Straws (Copper Colour) – Pack of 4 (Straight & Bent) with Brush and Jute Pouch Cutlery from Amazon

3. Premium Biodegradable Paper straws from Amazon

4. Bent Glass Straws, Pack of 6 from Amazon

2. Invest in a tote

Whenever you’re out for grocery shopping, carry a reusable tote with you. Personally, I love a good tote bag, especially the ones you can fold up and tuck away in your shoulder bag. 

Here are some affordable options:

  1. Foldable Shopping Bags for Grocery from Amazon

2. Ikea Compact Size Foldable Reusable Bag from Amazon

3. Reusable mugs!

Every time you go out to the coffee shop and order your cappuccino to go you’re wasting a cup. To avoid this you might want to buy yourself a nice reusable cup. Not only do they reduce waste, but cups with lids are also a better alternative if you drink tea or coffee while you’re on the go. 

Here are some affordable options:

  1. Glass mug with a with Steel Steiner from Amazon

2. Biodegradable Bamboo Fibre Eco Travel Mug from Amazon

3. Silicone Travel Collapsible Coffee Cup By The June Shop

4. Bottle it up 

There is nothing better than a cute reusable water bottle in my opinion. There are so many to choose from and reduce the waste created by using plastic water bottles. 

Here are some affordable options:

1. Stainless Steel Water Bottle from Amazon

2. Glass Transparent Bottles, Set of 2 from Amazon,

3. Copper Water Bottle from Amazon

5. Wrap your gift up in paper

Avoid using things that are packaged  or wrapped in single use plastic. Try to use paper or paper bags instead. And if you can’t do that, look for recyclable packaging. 

Here are some affordable options:

  1. Paper wrappers from Amazon

2. Brown Paper Bags from Amazon

6. Walk more 

Using a car is one of the worst things for the environment. If the distance to be covered can be covered on foot then why not walk to where you want to be? It’s an easy way to exercise and you’re helping our planet too by reducing greenhouse gasses. If you can’t walk there, why not take the public transport? It’s cheaper and saves the planet. 

Upcycling Household Items

Hacks everyone should know

When it comes to upcycling household goods and items, it can involve creative and innovative thinking. Instead of letting item you no longer use pile up, gather dust, occupy unnecessary space or throwing them out in the garbage, which is definitely not recommend, give them new life.

To get your DIY routine warmed up, I’m sharing some ways to upcycle household items that are present in every home which aren’t in use anymore. Use these green hacks and shift your home to a more sustainable and waste free home. 

Hacks to Upcycle Household Items:

Before you toss your over used rubber gloves, that have seen better days, in the bin, cut the fingers off and then cut them further into small rings and use them as elastic rubber bands to keep miscellaneous items in place. 

Only a single sock left? Take the solo sock and turn it into a reusable and washable face mask by cutting the top section off, and then cut two slits in the heel portion for your ears. 

Turn your broken belt or any belt that you no longer style into a rustic shelf in a few easy steps. First, remove the buckle part, then cut your belt in half. Form a loop out of each half of the belt and then nail them into the wall. Then gently slide a piece of sleek board or an old piece of wood between the loops.

Upcycle your household and beauty products like candles in glass containers, glass bottles, old jewellery boxes, containers that you no longer use. First, properly cleaning them out, then use them as decorative storage- story your pins, makeup brushes, pens, use these to store spices in the kitchen or use them to store flowers in the bathroom. 

Do you have too many mason jars laying around? Create your own homemade scented candles- fill the jar with oil, lemon, and add a wick. Or just YouTube the procedure. 

A run in your favourite tights and you can’t wear them anymore? Get yourself nice beachy waves, watch this viral no-heat curls hack using a pair of tights.

Want to go grocery shopping in your shoes but fear them contacting any corona surface? Use on old shower cap to cover the sole. Throw them out before entering back. 

Want to read more such hacks? Check my favourites ones out: 

  1. 22 genius ways to upcycle everyday objects

2. How to Repurpose or Upcycle 38 Common Household Items

3. Reuse Everyday Objects! 10 DIY Home Decor Ideas and More Upcycling Hacks

4. Upcycling Household Items Quick Make

5. 11 Genius Ways To Upcycle Loads Of Household Items!

How Is COVID-19 Impacting The Environment?

A BRIEF ON COVID-19:

The coronavirus disease- COVID-19 is a highly transmittable and pathogenic viral infection caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 or SARS-CoV-2, which emerged in Wuhan, China and spread around the world. Analysis revealed that SARS-CoV-2 is phylogenetically related to severe acute respiratory syndrome-like bat viruses, therefore bats could be the possible primary reservoir. The intermediate source of origin and transfer to humans is not known, however, the rapid human to human transfer has been confirmed widely. There is no clinically approved antiviral drug or vaccine available to be used against COVID-19. However, few broad-spectrum antiviral drugs have been evaluated against COVID-19 in clinical trials, resulted in clinical recovery.

ORIGIN:

The first human infections were reported at the end of December 2019 in Wuhan, Hubei province in China when a cluster of 41 pneumonia cases was identified. Deeper analysis showed that it was a novel coronavirus. A third – 66% of the cases – had direct exposure to the Huanan Seafood market. Fish, shellfish, wildlife, snakes, birds and several different types of meat and carcasses were sold at this market. The market was closed immediately, and it has not reopened since. (source: ScienceDirect.com, https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0140673620301835?via%3Dihub)

The strongest speculation of the origin has been that the virus is somehow linked to the market given two thirds of the first batch of people infected had had ties with it. But even this hasn’t been proved yet. Nevertheless, Bats, in particular, have been studied closely because they are considered to be the natural host of coronaviruses.

this is not my image, credit to the artist

EFFECT of covid-19 on the environment:

The objective of this article is to analyse the positive and the negative environmental impact of this abhorrent pandemic, Covid-19.

The Positives-

  • Improved Air Quality: 

The coronavirus has temporarily slashed air pollution levels around the world (source: European Space Agency). Readings from ESA’s Sentinel-5P satellite also show that over the past six weeks, the levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) over cities and industrial clusters in Asia and Europe were markedly lower than in the same period last year. Nitrogen dioxide is produced from car engines, power plants and other industrial processes and is thought to exacerbate respiratory illnesses such as asthma. While not a greenhouse gas itself, the pollutant originates from the same activities and industrial sectors that are responsible for a large share of the world’s carbon emissions and that drive global heating. Take transport, for example, which makes up 23% of global carbon emissions. Driving and aviation are key contributors to emissions from transport, contributing 72% and 11% of the transport sector’s greenhouse gas emissions respectively. (Source: http://www.ipcc.ch)

If we consider the case of Delhi, on 6th April, for the third week Delhi continued to breathe clean. The weekend before this saw the best air quality in the national capital region (NCR) in 2020, with an average AQI of 46. The weekend before that, it was at 159.  There was a remarked improvement in air quality in the NCR, as the harmful PM10 and PM2.5 levels were down by 35-40% in Delhi (source: The Economic Times).

The visible positive impacts whether through improved air quality or reduced greenhouse gas emissions – are but temporary. This is because they come on the back of an economic slowdown and human distress. During the pandemic, these emissions will stay lowered. But what will happen when the safety measures are eventually lifted?  The people will be back to regular.

  • Some Cut Downs on Wastage:

During the coronavirus outbreak, the habits that are coincidentally good for the climate might be travelling less, like cutting down on food waste as we experience shortages due to stockpiling.

  • Rethinking how we use energy:

A benefit of no travel and a lockdown is we will spend some time rethinking how we use energy.

The Negatives-

  • Increase In Use Of Single-Use Plastics:

With as many as 12,82,931 cases recorded in 211 countries ( as of 8 April 2020, 05:30 GMT, Source: WHO), the United Nations’ World Health Organization has recently declared the fast-spreading COVID-19 outbreak as a pandemic. It is natural then that citizens around the globe are hastening to take every possible measure to safeguard their health against the virus. The most widespread of these precautions is the extensive use of surgical face masks.

These masks are mainly made of non-woven fabric such as polypropylene, polystyrene, polycarbonate, polyethylene or polyester. While they keep out bacteria effectively, the masks are plastic-based, liquid-resistant products that have a long afterlife after they are discarded, ending up in landfill or oceans.  

Given that surgical masks are supposed to be worn for no longer than one day, their disposal- along with that of empty hand sanitizer bottles and soiled tissue papers- is leading to a massive trail of clinical waste in the environment.

Take the case of Wuhan, for example. The Chinese city which has been at the epicentre of the pandemic and which is home to over 11 million people, is reported to have generated 200 tons of clinical trash on a single day (24 February 2020), four times the amount the city’s only dedicated facility can incinerate per day. (source: scmp.com)

  • Mountain Of Waste:

With consumers stuck at home, there’s been a surge in the amount of household garbage as people increasingly shop online and order meals to be delivered, which come with a lot of packaging. (source: time.com)

Meanwhile, China is drowning under medical waste produced by hospitals including face masks and single-use tissues. If the waste is not handled properly, the garbage collectors are likely to catch and spread the infection

  • More Hand Wash, More Use Of Water:

Today, the only defence against the pandemic is that we wash our hands frequently — 20 seconds each time. The fact is, clean water remains the most important preventive health measure in the world.

A proper hand wash involves lathering soap and scrubbing hands on both sides for at least 20 seconds, according to WHO guidelines. A 30 to 40 second hand wash would use up around four litres of water if the tap is on, or two litres with the tap closed, while scrubbing with soap. Around 20 to 40 litres of water is used up every day, with the assumption that every person cleans her hands at least 10 times a day, instead of a usual average of five times a day.

A family of five members would thus need 100 to 200 litres of water per day only to wash hands. This would result in the generation of around 200 litres of wastewater per day, a 20 to 25 per cent increase in water demand and generation of wastewater from human settlements. (source: downtoearth.org.in)

It is also important to note that a large numbers of people in India and vast parts of the still emerging world do not have access to water, forget its portability. 

  • Climate Issues Take a Backseat:

Before the coronavirus, momentum seemed to be building behind governments and businesses taking steps to address climate change. As 2020 began, wildfires were destroying vast swaths of Australia; and the climate activist Greta Thunberg had become a household name. But the spread of the coronavirus has thrown an even more urgent crisis at governments and business: how to save the lives of millions of people, prevent health care systems from collapsing, and shore up economies that must now enter something comparable to an induced coma. 

CONCLUSION:

In conclusion, the coronavirus crisis has been having short term positive environmental effects but long term negative effects on the environment. Production has decreased, there’s less pressure on energy resources, less fuel burnt in transportation, fewer carbon emissions, and less air pollution. However, all of this is temporary and in the long term, the environmental impacts of the coronavirus such as water shortage, increase in plastic production and waste and issues relating to correct waste disposable, to name a few, will pose as a greater problem.