Tags: 2030, earth, two planets
The ecological footprint of humanity, which assesses its consumption of natural resources, has already exceeded 30% of the planet’s capacity to regenerate, says the WWF’s Living Planet Report 2008.
The pressure of humanity on the planet has doubled in the past 45 years for two reasons, by population growth and the increase of individual consumption, says the report.
This is over-depleting ecosystems and waste accumulate in the air, land and water, said. As a result, deforestation, water shortages, the decline of biodiversity and climate chaos, caused by the emission of greenhouse gases, “placed increasingly at risk the welfare and development of all nations,” explains WWF.
The “Living Planet Index”, a calibrated instrument to measure the evolution of global biodiversity, and that includes 1686 species of vertebrates in all regions of the world, has decreased almost 30% over the past 35 years, states the report.
In view of the decline of this index, “it appears increasingly unlikely that we will reach the goal, however modest, pointing to the Rio Convention on Biodiversity: to reduce the erosion of global biodiversity by 2010”, the inference WWF.
In addition to the global ecological footprint and the Living Planet Index, the report presents a third measuring instrument, “the footprint of water”, which assesses the resulting pressure of consumerism on the water resources at national, regional and global levels.
The problem is that water is distributed unevenly across the world. Thus, some 50 countries are currently facing a moderate or severe water stress, stresses the WWF. And the number of people suffering from shortages of water, either all year or seasonally, will increase due to climate change, he adds.
(Comment from Oscar Granda)
Urgent measures must be adopted around the world, between others … more birth control, more resource-saving, more efficient, more education … less pollution, less waste, less pets (seriously), less inequality … to achieve a sustainable planet.
Source Click Here
Tags: beautiful mountain, himalaya, kailash parvat, manasasarovar, most beautiful mountain in world
Tags: chandrayaan, india mission, india moon mission, lunar mission, mission moon
CHANDRAYAAN-1: India’s first mission to the Moon
India is all set to reach the moon and that too in its own way, literally! The first Moon mission, an unmanned remote-sensing satellite called Chandrayaan-I , is set for launch. The results of this initiative is which would a long way in realizing the value of our closest celestial body and the emergence of new possibilities. Few facts on Chandrayaan * This spacecraft weighs 1304 kg (590 initial orbit mass and 504 kg dry mass) * The estimated costs for this ambitious project would be INR 3.8 billion * The power generation would be through a canted single-sided solar array to provide required power, 700 W at peak. * During eclipse the spacecraft will be powered by Lithium ion (Li-Ion) batteries. * The spacecraft carries propellant for a mission life of 2 years. The mission aims to carry out high resolution mapping of topographic features in 3D, distribution of minerals and elemental chemical species, and look for water ice in its polar regions. ISRO hopes to launch Chandrayaan-1 from the Satish Dhawan Space Centre near Shriharikota this year.
“THE MOON” with the history of the early solar system etched on it beckons mankind from time immemorial to admire its marvels and discover its secrets. Understanding the moon provides a pathway to unravel the early evolution of the solar system and that of the planet earth.
Through the ages, the Moon, our closest celestial body has aroused curiosity in our mind much more than any other objects in the sky. This led to scientific study of the Moon, driven by human desire and quest for knowledge. This is also reflected in the ancient verse. Exploration of the moon got a boost with the advent of the space age and the decades of sixties and seventies saw a myriad of successful unmanned and manned missions to moon.Following this, a hiatus of about one and a half-decade followed. During this period we refined our knowledge about the origin and evolution of the moon and its place as a link to understand the early history of the Solar System and of the earth.
However, new questions about lunar evolution also emerged and new possibilities of using the moon as a platform for further exploration of the solar system and beyond were formulated. Moon again became the prime target for exploration and a new renaissance of rejuvenated interest dawned. All the major space faring nations of the world started planning missions to explore the moon and also to utilize moon as a potential base for space exploration.
The idea of undertaking an Indian scientific mission to Moon was initially mooted in a meeting of the Indian Academy of Sciences in 1999 that was followed up by discussions in the Astronautical Society of India in 2000. Based on the recommendations made by the learned members of these forums, a National Lunar Mission Task Force was constituted by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO). Leading Indian scientists and technologists participated in the deliberations of the Task Force that provided an assessment on the feasibility of an Indian Mission to the Moon as well as dwelt on the focus of such a mission and its possible configuration.
The task force recommended that given the technical expertise of ISRO it will be extreme worthwhile to plan an Indian Mission to the Moon. It also provided specific inputs such as the primary scientific objectives of such a mission, plausible instruments to meet these objectives, launch and spacecraft technologies that need to be developed and suggested the need for setting up of a Deep Space Network (DSN) station in India for communication with the lunar orbiting spacecraft. The team also provided a provisional budgetary estimate.
The Study Report of the Task Team was discussed in April 2003 by a peer group of about 100 eminent Indian scientists representing various fields of planetary & space sciences, earth sciences, physics, chemistry, astronomy, astrophysics and engineering and communication sciences. After detailed discussions, it was unanimously recommended that India should undertake the Mission to Moon, particularly in view of the renowned international interest on moon with several exciting missions planned for the new millennium. In addition, such a mission will provide the needed thrust to basic science and engineering research in the country including new challenges to ISRO to go beyond the geostationary orbit. Further, such a project will also help bringing in young talents to the arena of fundamental research. The Academia, in particular, the university scientists would also find participation in such a project intellectually rewarding.
Subsequently, Government of India approved ISRO’s proposal for the first Indian Moon Mission, called Chandrayaan-1 in November 2003.
Tags: Google, Google Android phone, Google os, i phone, iphone, t-mobile
The Google Android phone is here!
On Tuesday, T-Mobile and Google announced the first-ever handset with Google’s new Android operating system.
Called the T-Mobile G1, it has both full touch-screen functionality, a QWERTY keyboard, a trackball for one-handed navigation, plus access to mobile Web applications like Google Maps Street View, Gmail, YouTube, and more.
The G1 is available for pre-order now in the US in limited quantities fot T-Mobile registered users.
It will be available in retail stores from October 22, for $179 with a two-year voice and data agreement.
It will be available in the UK beginning November and across Europe in early 2009.
The Android provides the phone’s operating system as well as a platform for the phone to run a variety of software programs.
Google wrote Android using open-source software, which means any programmer has access to the source code that makes Android tick and can write software that runs on any mobile phone using Android.
Unlike the iPhone, the G1 features a mini QWERTY keyboard, which is accessed by sliding the touch screen to the side. When the keyboard is used the screen’s orientation changes from vertical to horizontal. The G1 can open files created using Microsoft Word and Excel.
With Google Maps G1 users can instantly view maps and satellite imagery, as well as find local business and get driving directions, all from the phone’s easy-to-use touch interface.
The T-Mobile G1 also includes Google Maps Street View, allowing customers to explore cities at street-level virtually while on the go.
Not just this, Google Maps feature syncs with the built-in compass on the phone — an industry first — to allow users to view locations and navigate 360 degrees by simply moving the phone with their hand.
Communicating on the go:
The T-Mobile G1 features a rich HTML e-mail client, which seamlessly syncs your e-mail, calendar and contacts from Gmail as well as most other POP3 or IMAP e-mail services.
The T-Mobile G1 multitasks, so you can read a Web page while also downloading your e-mail in the background. It combines Instant Messaging support for Google Talk, as well as AOL, Yahoo! Messenger and Windows Live Messenger in the US.
With access to high-speed Web browsing and a 3-megapixel camera with photo-sharing capabilities, the T-Mobile G1 is ideal for balancing a busy lifestyle.
Embracing user-generated content: Customers can use the G1’s 3G and Wi-Fi connection to attach and share pictures over e-mail and MMS or download music from their favorite Web sites.
Built-in support for YouTube allows customers to enjoy YouTube’s originally created content.
You can’t play iTunes music files on the G1. Instead, T-Mobile is offering its own music service through Amazon Music, which gives customers easy access to Amazon MP3, Amazon.com’s digital music download store.
G1 customers will also able to search, sample, purchase and download music from Amazon MP3 directly.
The T-Mobile G1 will be the first device with the Amazon MP3 mobile application pre-loaded.
The T-Mobile G1 is the first phone to offer access to Android Market.
When the phone launches next month, dozens of unique, first-of-a-kind Android applications will be available for download on Android Market.
Tags: largest rail tunnel, rail tunnel, world largest tunnel
Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Governor N.N. Vohra Wednesday conducted an aerial survey of the upcoming 10.96-km Pir Panchal rail tunnel, which is set to become the world’s longest railway tunnel.
Considered the longest in the Indian Railway network, the tunnel from Banihal in the Jammu region to Lower Munda in the Kashmir Valley is estimated to cost Rs.24 billion (Rs.2,400 crores). About 95 per cent of the work is complete and around Rs.22 billion has been spent.
The railway project comprises three sections – Udhampur-Katra, Katra-Qazigund and Qazigund-Baramulla, taken up at a cumulative cost of Rs.110 billion (Rs.11,000 crores).
The Qazigund-Baramulla section in the valley will have 15 stations and the Srinagar (Nowgam) station is billed to be, architecturally and aesthetically, the most beautiful station of the Indian Railways.
After the aerial survey, Vohra reviewed the progress of the Jammu and Kashmir railway project at a meeting of officers here.
When he asked about the job opportunities the project would provide to Kashmiri youth, Northern Railway authorities told Vohra that once completed, it would generate direct employment for 3,900 people in the valley, apart from many opportunities for indirect employment.
Railway officials told the governor that appointment letters had already been issued to 120 candidates, who were now undergoing training in different parts of the country.
Vohra was informed that a trial run on the Kakapora-Pampore-Nowgam-Badgam track in the Qazigund-Baramula section had already been conducted. The train has air-conditioned coaches with heating system and push-back seats.
The Katra-Qazigund segment of the project will have the third highest bridge in the world over the Chenab river at Arnas in Jammu region. The special feature of this section is that 80 per cent of the 148-km track would be covered by tunnels and 12 per cent by bridges, thus leaving only eight per cent open.
For ensuring adequate security for the railway project, the state government Wednesday sanctioned the appointment of 2,637 security personnel.
Tags: Arctic Sea, arctic sea ice melt, globalisation, holes in ozone, ice melting, National Snow and Ice Data Center, NSIDC
We have news from the National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). they Say The melt is over. And we’ve added 9.4% ice coverage from this time last year. Though it appears NSIDC is attempting to downplay this in their web page announcement today, one can safely say that despite irrational predictions seen earlier this year, we didn’t reach an “ice free north pole” nor a new record low for sea ice extent.
Here is the current sea ice extent graph from NSIDC as of today, notice the upturn, which has been adding ice now for 5 days:
Here is what they have to say about it:
The Arctic sea ice cover appears to have reached its minimum extent for the year, the second-lowest extent recorded since the dawn of the satellite era. While above the record minimum set on September 16, 2007, this year further reinforces the strong negative trend in summertime ice extent observed over the past thirty years. With the minimum behind us, we will continue to analyze ice conditions as we head into the crucial period of the ice growth season during the months to come.
Despite overall cooler summer temperatures, the 2008 minimum extent is only 390,000 square kilometers (150,000 square miles), or 9.4%, more than the record-setting 2007 minimum. The 2008 minimum extent is 15.0% less than the next-lowest minimum extent set in 2005 and 33.1% less than the average minimum extent from 1979 to 2000.
Overlay of 2007 and 2008 at September minimum
The spatial pattern of the 2008 minimum extent was different than that of 2007. This year did not have the substantial ice loss in the central Arctic, north of the Chukchi and East Siberian Seas. However, 2008 showed greater loss in the Beaufort, Laptev, and Greenland Seas.
Unlike last year, this year saw the opening of the Northern Sea Route, the passage through the Arctic Ocean along the coast of Siberia. However, while the shallow Amundsen’s Northwest Passage opened in both years, the deeper Parry’s Channel of the Northwest Passage did not quite open in 2008.
A word of caution on calling the minimum
Determining with certainty when the minimum has occurred is difficult until the melt season has decisively ended. For example, in 2005, the time series began to level out in early September, prompting speculation that we had reached the minimum. However, the sea ice contracted later in the season, again reducing sea ice extent and causing a further drop in the absolute minimum.
We mention this now because the natural variability of the climate system has frequently been known to trick human efforts at forecasting the future. It is still possible that ice extent could fall again, slightly, because of either further melting or a contraction in the area of the pack due to the motion of the ice. However, we have now seen five days of gains in extent. Because of the variability of sea ice at this time of year, the National Snow and Ice Data Center determines the minimum using a five-day running mean value.
Ongoing analysis continues
We will continue to post analysis of sea ice conditions throughout the year, with frequency determined by sea ice conditions. Near-real-time images at upper right will continue to be updated every day.
In addition, NSIDC will issue a formal press release at the beginning of October with full analysis of the possible causes behind this year’s low ice conditions, particularly interesting aspects of the melt season, the set-up going into the important winter growth season ahead, and graphics comparing this year to the long-term record. At that time, we will also know what the monthly average September sea ice extent was in 2008—the measure scientists most often rely on for accurate analysis and comparison over the long-term.
It will be interesting to see what they offer in the October press release. Plus we’ll be watching how much ice we add this winter, and what next year’s melt season will look like. Hopefully we won’t have a new crop of idiots like Lewis Gordon Pughtrying to reach the “ice free north pole” next year.
Tags: big bang, CERN, Doomsday, Doomsday collision, Europe's CERN lab, first collisions, first collisions subatomic particles, Large Hadron Collider, LHC, subatomic particles
The first collisions between subatomic particles will take place in the giant Large Hadron Collider (LHC) next week, among fears that it might create a doomsday-like scenario for our planet.
The LHC circulates particles in a 17-mile circumference underground tunnel straddling the French-Swiss border at The European Organization for Nuclear Research, near Geneva, Switzerland, known by the acronym CERN.
According to a report in Telegraph, although there was much uproar last week about the first particles – protons – to whirl around the LHC at a shade under the speed of light, the real aim of the exercise is to bring counter rotating beams of particles into collision in the four “eyes” – detectors – of the machine to recreate conditions not seen since just after the birth of the universe.
This is the aspect of the experiment that has triggered all the angst and hand-wringing by doomsayers and Jeremiahs, who fear that the collisions will mark the end of the world, as it tumbles into the gaping maw of a black hole.
These fears have been dismissed as nonsense by Dr Evans, along with scientists such as Prof Stephen Hawking, who say that the end of the world is not nigh.
The original plan was to take 31 days from the first proton beams circulating in the LHC to smashing protons for the first time.
“We were going along at a real good lick,” Dr Evans said of the days after particles first circulated.
But, the cryogenics that keep the great machine cooled went down on Friday, as a result of thunderstorms disrupting the power supply.
“We have had problems with the electricity supply for various reasons and the cryogenics is recovering from that, so we will not have a beam again, probably until Thursday morning,” said Dr Evans.
The team now hopes to achieve collisions at between one fifth and one tenth of the full energy in a few days.
“We are very confident that we can go quite quickly. The experiments have asked us for some early collisions, at low energy. If we get stable conditions, we will get there next week,” said Dr Evans.
The collisions will take place in the two general purpose detectors of the giant machine, called Atlas and CMS, though Dr Evans added that the team will also attempt collisions in Alice, which will study a “liquid” form of matter, called a quark-gluon plasma, that formed shortly after the Big Bang, and an experiment called LHCb, which will investigate the fate of antimatter in the wake of the Big Bang.
Tags: Amazing Holes, Amazing Information, diamond mine, facts about earth, largest hole, largest holes, mine, worlds largest holes
Looking at photos like these scares and fascinates me in equal doses. The sheer scale of these holes reminds you of just how tiny you are. Mirny Diamond Mine, Siberia. I’m pretty sure most people have seen this one. It’s an absolute beast and holds the title of largest open diamond mine in the world, at 525 metres deep with a top diameter of 1200 metres there’s even a no-fly zone above the hole due to a few helicopters being sucked in.
The red arrow in the photo below is pointing to a huge truck
Kimberley Big Hole – South Africa apparently the largest ever hand-dug excavation in the world, this 1097 metre deep mine yielded over 3 tonnes of diamonds before being closed in 1914.
The amount of earth removed by workers is estimated to total 22.5 million tonnes.
Glory Hole – Monticello Dam – A glory hole is used when a dam is at full capacity and water needs to be drained from the resevoir.
This is the glory hole belonging to monticello dam in california and it’s the largest in the world, its size enabling it to consume 14400 cubic feet of water every second.
The hole can be seen at the top middle of the photo above. if you were to jump in for some reason your slightly damp body would shoot out near the bottom of the dam (below).
Bingham Canyon Mine, Utah, this is supposedly the largest man-made excavation on earth. extraction began in 1863 and still continues today, the pit increasing in size constantly. in its current state the hole is 3/4 mile deep and 2.5 miles wide.
Great Blue Hole, Belize situated 60 miles off the mainland of belize is this incredible geographical phenomenon known as a blue hole. there are numerous blue holes around the world but none as stunning as this one.
at surface level the near perfectly circular hole is 1/4 mile wide, the depth in the middle reaching 145 metres. obviously the hole is a huge hit with divers. read more here.
Diavik Mine, Canada this incredible mine can be found 300km northeast of YellowKnife in Canada.
The mine is so huge and the area so remote that it even has its own airport with a runway large enough to accomodate a boeing 737. it also looks equally as cool when the surrounding water is frozen.
Sinkhole, Guatemala – a sinkhole is caused when water (usually rainwater or sewage) is soaked up by the earth on a large scale, resulting in the ground collapsing.
These photos are of a Sinkhole which occured early this year in Guatemala. The hole swallowed a dozen homes and killed at least 3 people.
Tags: big bang, big bang experiment, CERN, Europe's CERN lab
Concerns have been raised that turning on, the LHC could lead to the ultimate destruction of the earth and the universe, and hence the research should be stopped. However, all these negative speculations have been played down by CERN..
IF CRITICS are to be believed, the end of the universe will begin by the coming Wednesday, September 10, when the most powerful atom-smasher ever built comes into action, located 300 feet underground near the French-Swiss border. It will be the world’s biggest scientific experiment till date to know how the universe was born, speculations are rife that it will trigger the end of the world and the universe.
All this fuss is related to the experiment that will commence on September 10 when the physicists at the European Center for Nuclear Research (CERN), located near Geneva, will switch on the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). The LHC is a $10 billion and a 17-mile long particle accelerator lying in a circular tunnel beneath the border of France and Switzerland. The moment it gets switched on, the atom-smasher will become a virtual time machine, revealing what happened when the universe came into existence 14 billion years ago.
One of the chief goals of the LHC experiment is to find the elusive Higgs boson, the only fundamental particle predicted by the Standard Model of particle physics that has not been directly observed. The Higgs boson plays a key role in explaining the origins of the mass in other elementary particles. They hope to shed some light on the invisible material that exists between particles known as “dark matter” as a little is known about it, which make upmost of the universe.
With the discovery of new particles, the scientists aim to recreate the conditions that existed a fraction of a second after the Big and provide vital clues to the building blocks of life. The scientists involved in this project have waited for this moment for two decades and they are on the verge of creating history, but the research team is against the protests and demonstrations by the critics who have dubbed this as a Doomsday test.
Concerns have been raised that turning on the LHC could lead to the ultimate destruction of the earth and the universe, and hence the research should be stopped. TV news channels and tabloids have come up with their own theories of mass destruction and end of life speculations, that have created an environment of uncertainty and unnecessary panic world wide. It has also been reported that some scientists working for CERN have been receiving threatening e-mails and text messages to stop from moving ahead with their dream project.
The critics are of the opinion that the world’s largest particle accelerator will produce fearsome entities that would result in energies being developed which will be powerful enough to create a runaway Black Hole that could consume the earth in no time. There have been even petitions in the Courts to put a break on this project on the ground of saving the earth and mankind. There have been two lawsuits, one American and another European, against this experiment, but their attempts have been rejected by the concerned Courts.
However, the group responsible for the experiment, CERN, says that these mini black holes will vanish as quickly as they are created. All these negative speculations have been played down by CERN and the whole issue has been validated as completely safe, with more dangerous cosmic rays constantly found in nature than could ever be produced by the machine. The head of PR, James Gillies apparently is inundated with people fearing for their lives, and said- “I find myself getting slightly angry with the fact that people have been driven to do what is nonsense. What we are doing is enriching humanity, not putting it at a risk.”
At the same time, the Safety Assessment Group, which has conducted an indepth study into the potential impact of the machine writes- “Each collision of a pair of protons in the LHC will release an amount of energy comparable to that of two colliding mosquitoes, so any black hole produced would be much smaller than those known to astrophysicists.” Another report termed this “end of the world rumor” as bogus and said that cosmic ray collisions are more energetic than those produced in the LHC, therefore LHC experiment shouldn’t be looked up as a fear.
CERN also issued a report revealing that, even if a black hole is to form, it would rapidly evaporate due to Hawking Radiation. The CERN director general, Robert Aymar, said that the LHC will enable us to study in detail what nature is doing all around us and any suggestion that it might pose a risk to earth and mankind is a pure fiction.
Now, if the people involved in the project come out with such clarifications, the doubt should probably get cleared because they are the ones who will be closest to the site of danger, if there is any.
Every research or experiment has its own pros and cons and if we sit back for the fear of “something”, then we are not going to venture into new horizons. Had the earlier researchers and general people would have thought on the same line of safe passage, then we would have still been living on stone edge.
Let us hope that something fruitful comes out of the expedition and the fear of calamity be drowned. And if there is no such calamity, as is feared, then we will probably learn all sorts of exciting new things about the nature of the universe. Exactly what comes out of these collisions, and how it behaves, will hopefully make us more knowledgeable and the new findings may be utilized for th betterment of life.