52 Monday Mornings

first_imgMost businesses were closed on January 2, 2017 in observance of the New Year. Christmas is on a Monday, and so are Memorial Day and Labor Day. That means you will have 52 Monday mornings, minus the 4 holidays, leaving you 48 Monday mornings.If you hate Mondays, then you have already made up your mind about 48 days in 2017. That’s unfortunate. And, it really doesn’t make any sense. If you’re the kind of person that hates Mondays, you have also likely decided to hate the Tuesday when you go back to work after a long weekend.Maybe it’s not Mondays that you hate.If you believe that your work isn’t fun and exciting, if it doesn’t bring you joy, then you may decide to be unhappy when it is time to work. You may have learned to believe that you are supposed to hate your work from your family, your friends, or the people with whom you spend time. However you came upon that infection, it won’t serve you well, and it won’t help you reach your full potential.If you haven’t given your self over to your work, you are not going to find meaning and purpose in that work. There is no work that can’t be made better through an effort to make it something exceptional. You might have also been infected with the belief that you should do the minimum amount of work possible without losing your job. You might have once heard some of your peers say, “They don’t pay me enough to do that.” But if you did “that” and made it exceptional, they’d pay you for it.It’s possible that your job really is terrible. It might be unimaginably bad, something most of us would never do. If your work is something you hate, then you owe it to yourself and your company to go do something different, something that would make you happy.You have a lot of Mondays left this year. You have even more Mondays left in your work life. Your real work is not your job. Your real work is what would cause you to spring out of bed on Monday mornings, unable to be restrained from getting to it.You can convert most of what you do at your job into this kind of work, but you have to pour your heart into it. Even on Mondays.last_img read more

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Non-bailable warrant against JD(U) MLA

first_imgA non-bailable arrest warrant was issued against a Bihar ruling party MLA by a local court in Purnia in connection with a 12-year-old murder case. Bima Bharti, the Janata Dal (United) MLA representing the Rupauli Assembly constituency, now faces arrest.Additional district judge (ADJ)-5 of the Purnia civil court, Vidya Sagar Pandey, issued the warrant against Ms. Bharti, on Thursday. Arrest warrant has also been issued against her two aides Mahavir Mandal and Motka Awadhesh. All are charged in the murder of Chanchal Paswan. The case was filed on May 6, 2005 at the Bhawanipur police station. Ms. Bharti’s husband, Awadhesh Mandal, is currently lodged in the district jail in connection with a number of criminal cases pending against him.Earlier, a sessions court had rejected Ms. Bharti’s anticipatory bail petition. Ms. Bharti, a former Bihar Minister, and six others were charged under sections 302 (punishment for murder), 342 (punishment for wrongful confinement) and 120B (punishment of criminal conspiracy) of Indian Penal Code and section 27 of the Arms Act. Complainant Sonia Devi had charged the MLA with instigating the other accused persons to kill her husband Chanchal Paswan in May 2005.However, after investigation, the local police had absolved Ms. Bharti,last_img read more

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Dalits face oppression across India, says Rahul Gandhi

first_imgDalits are being oppressed not only in Uttar Pradesh but in entire country, Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi said on Saturday after meeting Dalit victims of caste violence in Saharanpur at the Uttar Pradesh-Haryana border.U.P. police had sealed the district borders to stop Mr. Gandhi after he was denied permission to visit Shabbirpur village to meet the victims. However, Mr. Gandhi managed to enter Saharanpur and met Pahal Singh and Shiv Kumar who were attacked and whose houses were burnt by a violent mob on May 5 in Shabbirpur.After meeting the victims, the Congress vice president said there was no place for Dalits and the poor in today’s India.“Dalits are being oppressed and it is happening across the country and not just in Uttar Pradesh,” he said.Mr. Gandhi met the victims of Shabbirpur’s clashes at a dhaba near the Sahjahanpur police chowk in Saharanpur on the Haryana-Uttar Pradesh border.Mr. Gandhi, who walked a little into Saharanpur along with Congress MP Ghulam Nabi Azad and other party leaders, engaged in sharp exchanges with the police, who told him that they could have stopped him at the State border.“Don’t tell me that you could have stopped me at the border itself. Under which law would you have stopped me,” Mr Gandhi asked.Spreading fear“The State government has failed on the law and order front. The national government is spreading fear in every section. The poor, Dalits, minorities, farmers are being oppressed through fear. This government listens to only the rich. And this is not how a country like India should be run,” he said.Mr. Gandhi raised the issue of violence in Jammu and Kashmir and said that “every time there (sic) is peace in J&K, it benefits India and every time there is violence in J&K it benefits Pakistan and Modi government is doing this.”He also blamed the Narendra Modi government of providing “foothold to anti-national forces” in J&K. “The valley is burning. We brought peace in the State. Now Modi government is providing foothold to the anti-national forces in the State,” Mr. Gandhi added.More than a dozen FIRs have been filed till now and three dozen have been arrested in cases of murder and violence which started on May 5 in Shabbirpur.last_img read more

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Story of space festival ready to regale Goa

first_imgThe Story of Space 2017, a community-led programme, is all set to take place in the city at multiple venues for 10 days, from November 10-19. The city of Panaji will turn into a playground of learning with live experiences, 70 interactive installations, workshops, talks, films and panel discussions on questions around space from multiple perspectives. Researchers, artists, and educators from around the world, including NASA scientist Henry Throop, are creating works aimed at informal learning. Experts from the Netherlands, France, U.K., U.S., Poland, China, Japan and Brazil, will come together for the event. The various projects have been carefully curated by the organising team, with the aim of engaging audiences of all ages, from all walks of life, in a cross-disciplinary, creatively and intellectually stimulating experience, a press release said.Forms of expressionThe projects belong within the thematics of physics, politics, perception and philosophy. In their execution, they combine cutting-edge technology with cutting-edge ideas in different mediums of expression, be it photographs, films, text, sculptures, dance, theatre, poetry, or drawing. Some of the highlights of the festival include an interdisciplinary exhibition looking at the ‘void’ across science, philosophy (both Indian and Western), and art by theoretical physicist Giuseppe Bozzi, philosopher S. Bhuvuneshwari, and architect and designer Manuel Scortichini, with video inputs from the Minute Physics YouTube channel. Participants are encouraged to learn about the life and death of stars in an art-meets-science spectacle by Institute B61.Sound.Codes, a sound research lab from Mumbai has collaborated with the Archaeological Survey of India to acoustically map 45 sites in Goa, covering its heritage and culture. Migration in focusU.S.-based Migratory Cultures will project local and international narratives around people’s experiences of migration, including stories of migration unique to the Goan diaspora. The program also has panels making inquiries like ‘What is sustainable development to Goa?’, ‘What should learning in the 21st century look like in India and internationally?’, and talks that explore the question, ‘Are we alone in the universe?’ The festival will see the participation of Goa-based Central and State agencies and local self-government bodies, embassies and cultural institutes like Fundação Oriente (Goa), Alliance Française (Goa), Italian Embassy Cultural Centre (Mumbai Section), Pro Helvetia — Swiss Arts Council (New Delhi), The Polish Institute (New Delhi) as well as collaborations with design schools like Srishti School of Art, Design, and Technology (Bengaluru), National Institute of Design (Ahmedabad) and Pearl Academy (New Delhi).last_img read more

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After pests, rain pain for Odisha farmers

first_imgThe Odisha government on Friday issued advisories to farmers asking them to harvest ripen paddy immediately as heavy rain was predicted due to a low-pressure area brewing over the Bay of Bengal.“A low-pressure area has formed over the southwest Bay of Bengal and neighbourhood on Friday. The associated upper air cyclonic circulation extends up to 5.8 km above mean sea level,” said IMD’s Odisha branch issuing bulletin here.In a letter to all Collectors, the State government warned that rain is likely to commence from November 13. “Light to moderate rain is predicted at a few places, while heavy rainfall is likely at one or two places over south Odisha districts on November 14,” the letter read.As many as 17 Odisha districts, including Ganjam, Gajapati, Puri, Khordha, Jagatsinghpur, Kendrapara, Cuttack, Bhadrak, Balasore and Mayurbhanj, will experience rain between November 15 and 18 due to movement of low-pressure system close to the coast.Safe storage“Farmer should shift their harvested paddy to safe places and keep it properly stacked under suitable cover so as to avoid any loss due to rain,” said Maheswar Mohanty, State Revenue and Disaster Management Minister, after chairing a preparedness meeting here.Steps should also be taken to provide safe storage facility at paddy procurement centres, the Minister instructed.Fresh spell of rain could spell trouble for Odisha farmers who have already suffered massive crop loss due to low rainfall and subsequent pest attack.While over 3.15 lakh hectares of kharif crop, spread over 70 blocks in 15 of the 30 districts, were affected by drought, brown planthoppers sucked sap paddy plants in 1,28,319 hectares of cropped area in 8,092 villages in 24 districts.“We have a bumper crop this year. If untimely rain happens, the ready-to-harvest paddy crop will definitely be affected. We are keeping our fingers crossed and praying that the rain does not affect us,” said Jatadhari Rout, a farmer in Jagatsinghpur.last_img read more

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Youth takes to Twitter seeking info on abandoned baby

first_imgAn appeal for help on Twitter by a youth after he found an infant abandoned in Kanjurmark on Sunday reached the police, and now a search is on for the culprit behind the act.The man, who tweets using the handle, @Jugadu_banda, and identifies himself as Aman, is a Mumbai resident.On Sunday night, while passing through Nutan Nagar, he heard the sound of a baby crying. He went over in the direction of the sound, and found a three to five-day-old girl wrapped in a blanket in the passenger seat of an autorickshaw.Mr. Aman took a picture of the baby and tweeted: “Found this 3 to 5 year old kid in closed auto. Please help me guys. I’ve no idea what to do? #help (sic).” He later clarified the baby’s age that she is three to five days old.The tweet received scores of replies and one of the responders tagged the Mumbai Police’s official handle. “We asked Mr. Aman to send in his contact details. He later told us that he had managed to get through to the Kanjurmarg police, and was on his way there,” said an officer with the Mumbai Police’s Web Cell.The Kanjurmag police took the girl to Sion Hospital. Mr. Aman tweeted on Monday that he had been to the hospital and that the baby was in good health.Search on for culprits“We have registered an FIR of exposure and abandonment of child under 12 years, by parent or person having care of it, under the Indian Penal Code against unknown persons. The baby is fine, ” said Deputy Commissioner of Police Akhilesh Singh, Zone VII.A message sent to Mr. Aman by The Hindu did not receive a response.last_img read more

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Mehbooba grants Rs.10 lakh for welfare of differently-abled students

first_imgThe Jammu and Kashmir government today announced a grant of Rs.10 lakh for upgrading facilities for differently-abled students. Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti announced the grant after meeting the students and distributed various prizes among them, an official spokesman said. Waheed-ur-Rehman Parra, the secretary of J&K state sports council, and other state officials were present on the occasion, the spokesman added.last_img

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Indo-US ties not the property of one person or party, says US Consul General for Mumbai

first_imgPanaji: The improved Indo-US relationship, and bond shared between the two countries is no more the property of one person or party, US Consul General for Mumbai Edgard Kagan said on Friday. Speaking to presspersons here, Mr. Kagan said that this relationship and bonding has seen multiple heads of State from different parties in both countries.He said the US was looking for increased interaction at people-to-people level and was keen on looking at economic relationship with India with a strategic perspective. “When you look at the US-India relationship, it is to my mind what’s striking is that this sort of improvement in ties goes back to 1999-2000. For us it started under President Clinton and under Prime Minister Vajpayee for India. In US we have now our fourth president who has made real efforts to really focus on improving relationships,” he said. “In both countries we have had governments from both parties, all committed to improving the relationship. The important thing is that this is not the property of one person, or one party on either side. This is bi-partisan with India’s two major parties and multiple Prime Ministers and multiple presidents from the two US parties all showing a commitment to improving the relationship,” he said. Increase in bilateral trade from $30 billion in 200304 to $ 110-$ 115 last year was to him one of the indicator of improved bilateral relations.Mr. Kagan also met Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar and Governor Mridula Sinha during his brief visit.last_img read more

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Punjab set to take on drug menace with dope test for all government employees

first_imgThirty drug-related deaths in about 30 days. That’s what it took for Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh to announce on July 4 that all government employees would have to take an annual test to confirm that they are drug-free. The move will make Punjab the first State to conduct a dope test, including on police personnel.Mr. Singh ordered the tests, done free of cost, on all government employees, applicable from recruitment through every stage of service.In the last year alone, the State government arrested 18,977 drug peddlers and treated over two lakh drug-dependent individuals. Over 3,900 convicts under the Narcotic Drugs and Psychotropic Substances Act and 5,610 undertrials are in prison.“A tender has been placed for five lakh test kits. We have made dope testing mandatory for a weapons licence. Our mechanism and facilities at the district level are in order and as soon as the notification is out, we will start conducting tests on employees,” Satish Chandra, Additional Chief Secretary (ACS), Health and Family Welfare told, The Hindu.Also Read  “The government will take a considered view. A committee of experts could be set up to discuss the implications,” said a senior official. “Before releasing the notification, we would like to ensure there is a clear distinction between drugs taken as medicine and those taken as an intoxicant. There are a lot of people who take drugs on prescription and if they take the test the result would be positive, with unfair implications.”The test to detect the presence of psychoactive drugs is usually conducted on a urine sample. An initial screening test gives instant results, but a confirmatory test, which is more complex, is more reliable.Dr. Sandeep Bhola, associated with Outpatient Opioid Assisted Treatment in Punjab, says that government should ensure the dope test results are kept “confidential” to avoid social stigma.The kits can trace presence of marijuana, codeine, barbiturates, morphine, cocaine, tramadol and buprenorphine for 5 to 6 days after they have been consumed.Punjab’s Health Minister Brahm Mohindra says that the government wants to eliminate the menace from every section of society.The Punjab Cabinet earlier decided to recommend the death penalty for drug peddlers and smugglers. The State government has also started the Drug Abuse Prevention Officers’ (DAPOs) Programme, aimed at civil society participation.“Everyone, right from the Chief Secretary to the Director General of Police to employees of all ranks will be tested,” says Mr. Mohindra.Basic kit at ₹500“The cost of a screening kit is around ₹500. The State has about 3,50,000 employees and we expect to spend about ₹20-25 crore,” he says. A confirmatory test would raise the expenditure manifold.While many employees don’t see a problem with a test, some see it as a move to deflect attention from the recent drug related deaths.“We welcome the test but it should be done for everyone who draws salary from the exchequer. Let legislators and MPs be covered,” says Sukhchain Singh Khaira, president, Punjab Civil Secretariat Staff Association.AAP MLA Aman Arora from Sunam got tested in Mohali. He wanted mandatory tests for MLAs and MPs. Capt. Amarinder Singh said he was willing to be tested. Punjab makes dope test mandatory for govt. staff; AAP wants Ministers, MLAs to be testedlast_img read more

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Karkare’s death: plea dismissed

first_imgThe Supreme Court on Thursday dismissed the plea of a former senior police officer of Maharashtra alleging a conspiracy in the death of former State Anti-Terrorism Squad chief Hemant Karkare in the 26/11 Mumbai terror attacks.The top court said it could not reopen the case as terrorist Ajmal Kasab’s conviction was upheld and death sentence executed.A Bench of Justices A.K. Sikri and Ashok Bhushan addressed senior advocate Indira Jaising, appearing for petitioner and former Maharashtra Inspector-General S.M. Mushriff, that his doubts did not translate into actionable evidence which warranted reopening of the case. “You may have some doubts or beliefs, but that do not translate into actionable evidence which would warrant reopening of the case in which the death sentence was confirmed and now stands executed,” Justice Sikri observed. Ms. Jaising contended that the petitioner was a police officer who had even written two books.last_img read more

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In numbers: The NRC exercise

first_imgMore than 40 lakh of the 3.29 crore applicants in Assam were left out of the complete draft National Register of Citizens (NRC), which was published on Monday. The five year exercise was completed at a cost of ₹1,220 crore.While the publication of the list triggered a political row in Parliament, the situation in Assam remained largely peaceful, with thousands lining up at NRC Nagarik Seva Kendras (NSKs) to check their status.The National Register of Citizens (NRC) is meant to identify a bona fide citizen. In other words, by the order of the Supreme Court of India, NRC is being currently updated in Assam to detect Bangladeshi nationals who might have entered the State illegally after the midnight of March 24, 1971. The date was decided in the 1985 Assam Accord, which was signed between the then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi and the AASU. The NRC was first published after the 1951 Census in the independent India when parts of Assam went to the East Pakistan, now Bangladesh.last_img read more

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Ex-cop’s husband arrested

first_imgThe husband of former IPS officer Bharati Ghosh was arrested by the State’s Crime Investigation Department after his anticipatory bail plea was rejected by the Calcutta High Court on Tuesday. “Anticipatory bail plea of M.V. Raju, husband of Ms. Ghosh, has been rejected by the Calcutta High Court. He has been taken in custody,” a CID officer said.last_img

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French citizen jumps to death from hotel window

first_imgA French citizen died on Tuesday under suspicious circumstances after allegedly jumping from a hotel’s window in Himachal Pradesh’s Kullu district, the police said. Alexis Pinguet (42) sustained head injuries and was taken to a hospital in Manali where the doctors declared him brought dead, Kullu SP Shalini Agnihotri said.Accident or suicide He was staying at the Manali hotel with his male French friend, Martail Pagniez, since August 25, she said. It is not clear whether it was an accident or a suicide, she said. The French embassy and his family members have been informed, she said. The police have initiated investigation on the basis of Mr. Martail’s statement, the SP added. She said Mr. Martail has been asked not to leave Manali till further directions. Alexis was in India on a tourist visa issued to him on August 12 which was valid up to October 10 this year, she added.last_img read more

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Congress needs to talk to SP, BSP for alliance: Akhilesh

first_imgSamajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav on Tuesday said the Congress needs to talk to the Bahujan Samaj Party as well in order to form an alliance between the three outfits.Speaking at a press conference in Madhya Pradesh’s Chhatarpur, Mr. Yadav claimed that his party wanted an alliance with the Congress but the latter “felt” that the Samajwadi Party was “weak”. He said that it was the Congress’ responsibility, as a larger political outfit, to bring smaller parties under one umbrella.‘We wanted alliance’“We wanted an alliance with the Congress but the oldest political party felt that we are weak. Now, an alliance can be formed only when the Congress talks to the BSP along with the SP,” Mr. Yadav said.Mr. Yadav said that his party once had eight MLAs in the MP Assembly and its vote share was also good.The SP has tied up with the Gondwana Gantantra Party in Madhya Pradesh for the forthcoming Assembly polls and talks were under way with the BSP as well for a tie-up, he said. The former Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister expressed concern over north Indian migrants fleeing Gujarat over the past few days following attacks after a labourer hailing from Bihar was arrested on the charge of raping a 14-month-old child on September 28. He parried questions on the demand by certain groups that reservations be provided on the basis of economic status and not caste. He further claimed that there would be harmony in society if people unseated the ruling BJP. The SP leader claimed that the BJP “experiments” with people, citing examples of reported hardships caused to them due to demonetisation and GST.last_img read more

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Four get 25 years’ jail for gang rape

first_imgFour youths involved in the gang-rape of a minor girl in 2016 were convicted and sentenced to 25 years’ imprisonment by a Protection of Children from Sexual Offences (POCSO) court in Odisha’s Berhampur on Tuesday. The convicts had raped a 17-year-old girl at the MKCG Medical College ground in Berhampur on March 17, 2016. The convicts are in their late 20s and are residents of the city. They had abducted the victim from a nearby area and committed the crime.The court also imposed a ₹50,000 fine on each convict. In case of default, they will have to undergo another year of imprisonment.last_img read more

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ScienceShot: A Shot of Coffee That Gets You Drunk

first_imgNow you can get a new kind of buzz from coffee. Researchers have found a way to turn used coffee grounds into an alcoholic beverage. In recent years, the industry of distilled spirits has put out a call for new beverages with different flavors created from unusual raw materials. To answer this call, some scientists examined the potential of used coffee grounds. The scientists first collected this raw material from a Portuguese coffee roasting company and dried it. Then they heated the powder in water at 163°C for 45 minutes, separated out the liquid, and added sugar. Next, the team mixed in yeast cells, let the concoction ferment, and concentrated the sample to get a higher alcohol content. (A similar process is used to produce other distilled beverages such as whiskey and rum from wheat and molasses.) And voilà! Used coffee grounds produced a new alcoholic beverage with 40% ethanol, comparable to other hard liquor such as vodka and tequila, researchers will report in the September issue of LWT – Food Science and Technology. To evaluate the product, eight trained taste testers were brought in and rated the intensity of different smells and flavors in the alcohol. The judges described the drink as smelling like coffee and tasting bitter and pungent. Researchers noted that the taste could be improved with age and concluded that the quality was good enough for consumption. Don’t count on the caffeine to keep you awake, however; most of it disappears in the brewing process.last_img read more

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Extreme Diets Can Quickly Alter Gut Bacteria

first_imgWith all the talk lately about how the bacteria in the gut affect health and disease, it’s beginning to seem like they might be in charge of our bodies. But we can have our say, by what we eat. For the first time in humans, researchers have shown that a radical change in diet can quickly shift the microbial makeup in the gut and also alter what those bacteria are doing. The study takes a first step toward pinpointing how these microbes, collectively called the gut microbiome, might be used to keep us healthy.”It’s a landmark study,” says Rob Knight, a microbial ecologist at the University of Colorado, Boulder, who was not involved with the work. “It changes our view of how rapidly the microbiome can change.”Almost monthly, a new study suggests a link between the bacteria living in the gut and diseases ranging from obesity to autism, at least in mice. Researchers have had trouble, however, pinning down connections between health and these microbes in humans, in part because it’s difficult to make people change their diets for the weeks and months researchers thought it would take to alter the gut microbes and see an effect on health.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)But in 2009, Peter Turnbaugh, a microbiologist at Harvard University, demonstrated in mice that a change in diet affected the microbiome in just a day. So he and Lawrence David, now a computational biologist at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, decided to see if diet could have an immediate effect in humans as well. They recruited 10 volunteers to eat only what the researchers provided for 5 days. Half ate only animal products—bacon and eggs for breakfast; spareribs and brisket for lunch; salami and a selection of cheeses for dinner, with pork rinds and string cheese as snacks. The other half consumed a high-fiber, plants-only diet with grains, beans, fruits, and vegetables. For the several days prior to and after the experiment, the volunteers recorded what they ate so the researchers could assess how food intake differed.The scientists isolated DNA and other molecules, as well as bacteria, from stool samples from before, during, and after the experiment. In this way, they could determine which bacterial species were present in the gut and what they were producing. The researchers also looked at gene activity in the microbes.Within each diet group, differences between the microbiomes of the volunteers began to disappear. The types of bacteria in the guts didn’t change very much, but the abundance of those different types did, particularly in the meat-eaters, David, Turnbaugh, and their colleagues report online today in Nature. In 4 days, bacteria known to tolerate high levels of bile acids increased significantly in the meat-eaters. (The body secretes more bile to digest meat.) Gene activity, which reflects how the bacteria were metabolizing the food, also changed quite a bit. In those eating meat, genes involved in breaking down proteins increased their activity, while in those eating plants, other genes that help digest carbohydrates surfaced. “What was really surprising is that the gene [activity] profiles conformed almost exactly to what [is seen] in herbivores and carnivores,” David says. This rapid shift even occurred in the long-term vegetarian who switched to meat for the study, he says. “I was really surprised how quickly it happened.”From an evolutionary perspective, the fact that gut bacteria can help buffer the effects of a rapid change in diet, quickly revving up different metabolic capacities depending on the meal consumed, may have been quite helpful for early humans, David says. But this flexibility also has possible implications for health today.”This is a very important aspect of a very hot area of science,” writes Colin Hill, a microbiologist at University College Cork in Ireland, who was not involved with the work. “Perhaps by adjusting diet, one can shape the microbiome in a way that can promote health,” adds Sarkis Mazmanian, a microbiologist at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, also unaffiliated with the study.But how it should be shaped is still up in the air. “We’re not yet at a point where we can make sensible dietary recommendations aimed at ‘improving’ the microbiota (and the host),” Hill writes. He and others are cautious, for example, about the implications of the increase seen in one bacteria, Bilophila wadsworthia, in the meat-eaters that in mice is associated with inflammatory bowel disease and high-fat diets. Says Knight, “There’s still a long way to go before causality is established.”So Hill’s best advice for now: “People should ideally consume a diverse diet, with adequate nutrients and micronutrients—whether it’s derived from animal or plant or a mixed diet.”last_img read more

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Scientists Blast Plans for Nicaraguan Grand Canal

first_imgA group of scientists are fighting plans by the Nicaraguan government for a canal that would open a direct route for ships to pass between the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean. Such a canal, which would likely pierce the largest freshwater lake in Central America, would imperil wetlands and other fragile ecosystems, the scientists warn in a commentary today in Nature.“This is the most imminent threat to the environment in Central America. It’s more urgent than climate change,” co-author Jorge Huete-Pérez, a molecular biologist at Universidad Centroamericana in Managua tells ScienceInsider.Last June, the Nicaraguan government granted a concession to HKND Group in Hong Kong to develop the $40 billion project, which would compete with the Panama Canal for a share of the booming shipping industry. Last month, Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega and HKND Group CEO Wang Jing announced they hoped to break ground in December.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)The Nicaraguan government has predicted that the canal and associated infrastructure would supercharge the economy of the second poorest nation in the Americas, boosting annual growth rates from 4.5% in 2013 to 14.6% in 2016, the authors write. “The government claims this will get the nation out of poverty,” says Huete-Pérez, president of the Nicaraguan Academy of Sciences. The government and HKND Group have stated that the canal’s route is still under investigation. But Huete-Pérez says that the probable path, as determined in previous surveys, is a 278-kilometer-long route passing through the Cerro Silva Nature Reserve on the east coast, into Lake Nicaragua, and then across a narrow isthmus and out to the Pacific.“We’re all focused on saving the lake,” Huete-Pérez says. The shallow lake, an important source of drinking water for the region, would require “extensive dredging” and “would probably suffer from salt infiltration in the lock zones,” write Huete-Pérez and co-author Axel Meyer, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Konstanz in Germany. Along the canal route, the authors say, changes in water chemistry “could harm numerous populations of freshwater and marine fish found nowhere else in the world.” And clearing hundreds of thousands of hectares of forests and wetlands, they warn, would destroy habitat and food sources for endangered species such as the Baird’s tapir, the spider monkey, the harpy eagle, and the jaguar.The authors also speculate that the need to relocate indigenous people in villages along a canal route would sow social discord. “Forcing ethnic communities in their ancestral homes could ignite conflict,” Huete-Pérez warns.He and others criticize the government for allowing HKND Group to manage an assessment of the project’s environmental impact. HKND Group has hired the consulting firm Environmental Resources Management to carry out the study. “This is all backwards,” Huete-Pérez says. The science academy is working with the InterAmerican Network of Academies of Sciences to carry out an independent assessment.last_img read more

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Ebola outbreak still accelerating

first_imgThe Ebola virus disease outbreak in West Africa is still picking up speed, according to new case and fatality numbers from the World Health Organization (WHO) today. More than 3069 cases have been reported, and at least 1552 had died as of 26 August—but the real numbers may be two to four times higher, the agency says. WHO now says that the outbreak will likely continue for at least 6 to 9 more months, and as many as 20,000 people could ultimately be infected. A “road map” for bringing the situation under control estimates the cost at $490 million. That includes, for example, nearly 8000 personnel in Liberia alone to staff isolation and treatment centers, trace contacts, safely bury the dead, and coordinate logistics. The budget estimate includes $6 million for safe burials of up to 13,500 victims.More than 40% of the total cases have been identified in the last 3 weeks, WHO says—a clear sign that the epidemic is gathering speed instead of declining. In Liberia, where Ebola is spreading in densely populated Monrovia, there are at least 694 cases, an increase of 296 since the last report from 20 August. There are also new cases in Nigeria, where a traveler from Liberia infected medical personnel and other contacts. The new cases are connected to a diplomat who eluded official surveillance and traveled to Port Harcourt, where he sought medical treatment. The diplomat recovered, but the doctor who treated him died, and 70 contacts of the patient and the doctor are now under surveillance. So far at least 17 people have been infected in Nigeria, six of whom have died.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)One glimmer of good news: The fatality rate appears to be not as high as it was in previous outbreaks of Ebola virus. So far, WHO says, the overall fatality rate among identified cases is 52%, ranging from 42% in Sierra Leone to 66% in Guinea.*The Ebola Files: Given the current Ebola outbreak, unprecedented in terms of number of people killed and rapid geographic spread, Science and Science Translational Medicine have made a collection of research and news articles on the viral disease freely available to researchers and the general public.last_img read more

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Dirty glaciers melt just as fast as clean ones

first_imgBERLIN—Glaciers covered with thick layers of rocks and boulders should be insulated from a warming world. But two new studies—presented here last month at the Third Pole Environment Workshop—find that dirty Himalayan glaciers are melting away just as quickly as clean ones. As a result, debris-covered glaciers might be disappearing faster than previously thought, threatening the long-term water supplies of more than a billion people.Glaciers in the Himalaya Mountains cover an area of 50,000 square kilometers. Intense monsoons erode the still-growing mountains, creating thick blankets of debris that cover more than 10% of the total glacier area. “But we know very little about how much ice they are losing over a long period of time,” because the remoteness and rugged terrains have prevented long-term field measurements, says Harish Chandra Nainwal, a glaciologist at Hemwati Nandan Bahuguna Garhwal University in Srinagar, India, who is not involved in the studies.So glaciologist Francesca Pellicciotti of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology’s Institute of Environmental Engineering in Zurich, Switzerland; Tobias Bolch, a remote-sensing expert at the University of Zurich; and colleagues turned to declassified data from a U.S. spy satellite called Hexagon, which was used in the 1970s and 1980s at the height of the Cold War. The researchers compared the satellite’s measurements of glacier surface elevations in 1974 with those from the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission, which flew on board the space shuttle Endeavour in February 2000. In all, the researchers studied four debris-covered glaciers in Nepal’s Langtang River watershed.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)Dirty glaciers, it turns out, melt just as fast as clean ones. The height of debris-covered glaciers thinned by 32 centimeters a year between 1974 and 1999, the team will report in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Glaciology. That’s similar to the average thinning rate of clean glaciers in the Himalayas. Yet the debris-covered glaciers have not retreated significantly since 1974—despite the fact that they are melting away. “So we have this dead ice body slowly wasting away for decades” with meters of rocks on top of it, without giving away any signs of doom and gloom, Bolch says. “This is quite different from clean glaciers, which tend to recede rapidly when losing ice,” he says.The findings illustrate why changes in the length of dirty glaciers is a poor indicator of their health, Nainwal says. “People have been saying that there has been little retreat [with many Himalayan glaciers], so there is no problem.”To understand how debris-covered glaciers were wasting away, another team of researchers—led by glacier hydrologist Walter Immerzeel of Utrecht University in the Netherlands—flew a sensor-ridden unmanned aerial vehicle across the tongue of the Lirung Glacier in Langtang before and after the monsoon season in May and October 2013, respectively—the first such mission in the Himalayas. The sensors allowed the researchers to map changes in surface elevations of the glaciers. The team found that the majority of the melting took place at ice cliffs and lakes on the glacier, up to 10 times faster than on other areas of the glacier. Ice cliffs, a unique feature of debris-covered glaciers, “are normally very dark and dirty and absorb a lot of solar radiation,” Pellicciotti says. More crucially, the ice cliffs also soak up heat emitted by hot rocks around them, she says. Heated by strong solar radiation at high elevations, the rocks can reach temperatures as hot as 40°C during the day. “The ice cliffs are literally surrounded by hot stoves,” she says. The researchers also spotted numerous lakes on the glacier, often next to an ice cliff, in May 2013. Water is darker and absorbs more solar radiation than the surrounding ice. “You can see the warm water cutting further into the ice cliff, possibly accelerating the glacial melt,” Immerzeel says.Curiously, when the scientists went back 5 months later after the monsoon season, all the lakes were gone. They suspect that there must have been channels in the glacier that were frozen in May but were then opened by warm lake water and monsoonal rain. “This may have allowed the drainage to occur and caused more melt underneath the debris,” Immerzeel says. After feeding the field measurements into a computer model, the researchers found that a third of the total ice melt in the Langtang catchment originates from the parts of the glaciers that are covered by debris, which constitute only 27% of the glaciated area. The result “highlights the importance of debris-covered glaciers for streamflow,” which has hitherto been underappreciated, Pellicciotti says.As the climate continues to warm, assessing the health of debris-covered glaciers across the Himalayas is more pressing than ever, researchers say. The retreat—or, worse, the total disappearance—of Himalayan glaciers would deprive about a billion people of their precious solid water reservoirs. Glacier melt is a key source of agricultural water, especially in spring before the arrival of the annual monsoon. Already several debris-covered glacier tongues in Langtang have been disconnected from their source regions. “They are kept alive solely by the redistribution of snow through avalanches,” Immerzeel says. His team plans to investigate how conduits in the glaciers develop and evolve throughout the year and how they interact with ice cliffs and supraglacial lakes by using radars that can penetrate through the debris.Meanwhile, Nainwal’s team has drilled through debris more than 1 meter thick and planted about 60 bamboo stakes into the ice of the Satopanth Glacier in the western Himalayas, so it can monitor the changes in ice volumes in the coming decades. At 4000 to 5300 meters above sea level, “it’s a major engineering work,” Nainwal says. Such field investigations are essential for reducing the uncertainties of satellite analyses and for understanding the physical processes that drive the melting, Bolch says. “This will allow us to better predict the glacier status and water availability in the future.”last_img read more

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