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Our Acid Oceans Will Vanished Coral Reef Sands Within Decades

New Delhi:  Coral reefs could start to dissolve faster than their growth by year 2100 as human-influenced climate change drives ocean acidification, an Australian-led team of scientists said.

Carbon dioxide, the main man-made greenhouse gas, forms a weak acid in water and threatens to dissolve the reef sediments, made from broken down bits of corals and other carbonate organisms that accumulate over thousands of years, it said.

The sediments are 10 times more vulnerable to acidification than the tiny coral animals that also extract chemicals directly from the sea water to build stony skeletons that form reefs, the study said.Corals already face risks from ocean temperatures, pollution and overfishing.

“Coral reefs will transition to net dissolving before end of century,” the Australian-led team of scientists wrote in the US journal Science. “Net dissolving” means reefs would lose more material than they gain from the growth of corals.

Climate change alters ocean chemistry leading to ocean acidification:

Much of the carbon dioxide that enters the atmosphere dissolves into the ocean. In fact, the oceans have absorbed about 1/3 of the carbon dioxide produced from human activities since 1800 and about 1/2 of the carbon dioxide produced by burning fossil fuels (Sabine et al. 2004). As carbon dioxide in the ocean increases, ocean pH decreases or becomes more acidic. This is called ocean acidification.

With ocean acidification, corals cannot absorb the calcium carbonate they need to maintain their skeletons and the stony skeletons that support corals and reefs will dissolve.

Most studies show that acidification will be overwhelmingly bad for ocean life, also threatening creatures such as oysters, lobsters and crabs. Another study on Thursday, however, found that it might help the growth of some plants.

“An increase of carbon dioxide in the ocean theoretically could stimulate higher growth of kelp and seaweeds,” Kasper Hancke, a biologist at the Norwegian Institute for Water Research, wrote in a statement.

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                Already, ocean acidification has lowered the pH of the ocean by about 0.11 units. Moving the ocean's pH from 8.179 to a current pH of 8.069, which means the ocean is about 30% more acidic now than it was in 1751.

If we continue to produce carbon dioxide at the current rate, future atmospheric carbon dioxide will be high enough to lower ocean surface pH to 7.8 by the year 2100.

Therefore, the scientists predicts that if nothing is done to reduce carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere, ocean acidification will increase and more and more corals will be damaged or destroyed and soon they all even vanished.

If coral reefs are lost, vital habitat will be lost too. The future health of coral reefs and many marine organisms depends on our ability to reduce our carbon dioxide emissions on a global scale.

 References:

https://www.hindustantimes.com

http://www.teachoceanscience.net

www.theconversation.com

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Karnataka’s Pride, ‘The Hampi Monuments’ Will Be One Among 10 Tourist Destinations Soon

New Delhi: As Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, while presenting the Union Budget on February 1, had proposed to develop 10 prominent tourist sites across the country into iconic tourism destinations through a holistic approach, involving infrastructure and skill development, development of technology, attracting private investment, branding and marketing.

The selected tourist locations were announced this Tuesday and one among the 10 tourist destinations across India to be developed as ‘Iconic Tourism Site’ by the central government is the ‘Hampi monuments’ which are part of Karnataka’s cultural heritage.

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Forgotten Indian Princess Was One Of The Earliest Feminists Of The 20th Century

New Delhi: The expatriate Indian Princess Sophia was honoured by the British Royal Mail with a stamp to mark the centenary of the 1918 Representation of the People Act, which gave women over 30 and all men over 21 the vote.

She was one of the earliest women to fight for social justice and equality in the UK and had a massive impact on the social movements of that time.

Princess Sophia Alexandra Duleep Singh (8 August 1876 – 22 August 1948) was the daughter of Maharaja Duleep Singh, who had been taken from his kingdom of Punjab to the British Raj owing to political manoeuvring by Governor-General Dalhousie in India, and was subsequently exiled to England.

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Dhananjayans: The Natya Couple

New Delhi: VannadilPudiyaveettilDhananjayanand ShantaDhananjayan , also known as the Dhananjayans, are regarded as the legendary dancing couple of India.

V.P Dhananjayan was born into a Malayali Poduval family on 17 April 1939 in Payyanur, Kannur District, Kerala, India. He was born into a family with eight children struggling to make ends meet while ShantaDhananjayan was born on into a well-to-do Malayali Nair family in Malaysia.

They came from opposite worlds, but Bharatanatyam brought them together and forged an unbreakable bond.

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Democracy Witnessing Downward Global Trend For The 12th Straight Year, Says Freedom House Report

Democracy is in crisis. The values it embodies—particularly the right to choose leaders in free and fair elections, freedom of the press, and the rule of law—are under assault and in retreat globally, says Freedom House, an independent watchdog organization based in US and “dedicated to the expansion of freedom and democracy around the world.”

A quarter-century ago, at the end of the Cold War, it appeared that totalitarianism had at last been vanquished and liberal democracy had won the great ideological battle of the 20th century.

Today, it is democracy that finds itself battered and weakened. For the 12th consecutive year, according to Freedom in the World,global freedom has been found to have declined. Countries that suffered democratic setbacks outnumbered those that registered gains.