SCIENCE REPORTER

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ISSN: 0036-8512                                                                                              

VOLUME 47                                                      NUMBER  9                                           SEPTEMBER     2010

CONTENTS

 

COVER STORY

 

Rising Seas & Receding Islands

A. Biju Kumar

 

8

FEATURE ARTICLES

Global Environmental Challenge

ZULFEQUAR AHMAD KHAN

 

19

Positive Side of CO2

Sushma Sardana

23

RABINDRANATH TAGORE

Literary Giant With Scientific Bent

KOUSHIK ROY

 

36

The Psychosis of Schizophrenia

P. CHEENA CHAWLA

40

ROYAL SOCIETY TURNS 350

N.S. ARUN KUMAR

 

44

SHORT FEATURES

Methane Studies Need of the Hour

S. SANDILYAN, K.THIYAGESAN & R. NAGARAJAN

28

Capping Methane Emissions

JAY SHANKAR SINGH

29

Ruminating Over Methane Emissions

S. M. SHETE & S. K. TOMAR

31

HALL OF ASTRONOMY – A UNIQUE GALLERY

V. S. RAMACHANDRAN

33

REPORT

PHYSICS FEST AT MODERN SCHOOL

53

 

DEPARTMENTS

 

REACTIONS

6

EDITORIAL       

7

 

SPECTRUM       

16

POINT-COUNTERPOINT

 

26

 

 

PUZZLE CORNER

50

 

 

LIVING FOSSILS

55

NATURAL HAZARDS

56

 

FUN QUIZ

58

WHAT’S NEW    

60

CROSSWORD                    

62

 

Science Reporter

Vol. 47, September 2010, pp 8-15

Rising Seas & Receding Islands

A.    Biju Kumar

 

Climate change has hit islands hard with some in danger of disappearing completely as sea levels rise. Being the most vulnerable ecosystems with regard to climate change there is a need to frame effective adaptive and management policies specifically for the islands.

 

 

 

 

Science Reporter

Vol. 47, September 2010, pp 19-22

Global Environmental Challenge

ZULFEQUAR AHMAD KHAN

 

 

The ill effects of global warming are all too visible today. Do we keep on plundering the earth for our material benefits or make sure we protect it for our future generations?

The world climate has always been highly variable. Many changes are driven by natural factors, but others are now the result of a single species (human beings), which is driving a significant shift in the global climate. People have been influencing the biosphere for at least 8000 years, since the invention of agriculture. But for several decades, it is the very composition of the global atmosphere that they have been modifying. We now know that there has indeed been a major change in climate since the arrival of people on earth, and 18000 years ago, the climate was radically different from what it is today.

 

 

Science Reporter

Vol. 47, September 2010, pp 23-25

Positive Side of CO2

 

Sushma Sardana

The rising carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere must be viewed with caution. It is inappropriate for public discussion of the issue to focus only on the hypothetical dangers of global warming that might result from higher carbon dioxide levels. It is important to stress as well on the known benefits of higher carbon dioxide concentration for the productivity of food crops, trees, and other plants.

 

 

 

Science Reporter

Vol. 47, September 2010, pp 28

Methane Studies Need of the Hour

 

S. SANDILYAN, K.THIYAGESAN & R. NAGARAJAN

 

REPORTS have established that among the greenhouses gases methane is one of the most dangerous and most powerful. Its contribution to global warming is estimated to be about 18% and it has 20 times higher global warming potential than CO2. The concentration of atmospheric methane has increased steadily during the last few decades due to several reasons like increasing temperature, over precipitation, construction of new dams, etc.

 

 

 

 

Science Reporter

Vol. 47, September 2010, pp 29-30

Capping Methane Emissions

JAY SHANKAR SINGH

 

METHANE is one of the greenhouse gases adding to the net energy input of the lower atmosphere thus resulting in an increased global temperature (also called global warming). During the past 200 years, its concentration has increased dramatically because of an imbalance between global sources and sinks. According to the report of the IPCC, the atmospheric concentration of methane has more than doubled during the past 200 years, rising over the past 15 years by an average of 1% every year. The increasing concentration of methane is, therefore, a cause for concern.

 

 

Science Reporter

Vol. 47, September 2010, pp 31-32

Ruminating Over Methane Emissions

S. M. SHETE & S. K. TOMAR

 

GLOBAL climate change is going to be one of the most serious concerns in the coming years. Global rise of atmospheric temperature has cautioned scientists and policy makers worldwide to take positive steps towards attempts to tackle the problem. Emission of different greenhouse gases (GHG) like carbon dioxide (CO2), chlorofluorocarbon (CFC), methane (CH4), and nitrous oxide (N2O) from various anthropogenic activities has led to increase in the atmospheric temperature which in turn is already creating many visible problems in the environment today.

 

 

Science Reporter

Vol. 47, September 2010, pp 33-35

 

HALL OF ASTRONOMY – A UNIQUE GALLERY

 

V. S. RAMACHANDRAN

 

THE thrill and joy of learning and knowing celestial objects in the heavens is a never-ending process. The Regional Science Centre & Planetarium at Calicut recently threw open a 4100 sq ft gallery titled “Hall of Astronomy”.  This Gallery was inaugurated on 7 March 2010 by Shri T. K. A. Nair, Principal Secretary to the Prime Minister of India.

 

Science Reporter

Vol. 47, September 2010, pp 36-39

 

RABINDRANATH TAGORE

Literary Giant With Scientific Bent

 

KOUSHIK ROY

As the nation celebrates the 150th birth anniversary of the great intellectual – Rabindranath Tagore – we catch a glimpse of his deep understanding of science, which is reflected in many of his poems.

 

 

 

Science Reporter

Vol. 47, September 2010, pp 40-43

The Psychosis of Schizophrenia

P. CHEENA CHAWLA

 

Love works wonders. With no foolproof cure, the trauma of schizophrenia can only be lessened through compassionate care and efforts to reintegrate the victims into society.

           

 

Science Reporter

Vol. 47, September 2010, pp 44-48

 

ROYAL SOCIETY TURNS 350

N.S. ARUN KUMAR

 

The Royal Society that has pioneered scientific discovery and exploration and is among the oldest scientific academies in existence turns 350 this year.