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Climate change affecting hydropower generation in India: study

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Climate change affecting hydropower generation in India: study

~By Dinesh C Sharma

A new study has suggested that the government must consider changes occurring due to climate change while planning new hydropower projects.

The generation of hydropower from top seven hydropower projects in India has suffered due to climate variability in the past six decades. Future projected climate change may also hit reservoir operation for power generation from these projects, says the study done by researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology, Gandhinagar.

“Our results provide important insights on the impacts of observed climate variability and projected future climate change on streamflow and hydropower production in India, which can assist planners and policy makers. For future planning, careful consideration of uncertainties in precipitation projections, along with robust and comprehensive adaptation strategies, is required,” researchers have observed in their study published in journal Scientific Reports on Monday.

The study is based on observed climate variability between 1951 and 2007, and model simulations for projected climate change under different scenarios, in relation to top seven large hydropower projects – Nathpa Jhakri, Bhakra Nangal, Srisailam, Nagarjuna Sagar, Hirakud, Sardar Sarovar, and Indira Sagar. These large reservoirs are located in four major Indian sub-continental basins – Indus, Krishna, Mahanadi, and Narmada.

Using past observations from India Meteorological Department (IMD) and model simulations for future climate change, the study has found that seven large hydropower projects have experienced “significant warming” and a decline in rainfall and streamflow during the period 1951–2007. All hydropower projects are projected to experience a warmer and wetter climate in the future.

“There might be a seasonal variability in reservoirs that get streamflow from snow and glacier melt. Due to higher increase in air temperature, flow due to snow and glacier melt is projected to decline in the pre-monsoon season as shown for Bhakhara Nangal and Nathapa Jhakri projects,” explained Vimal Mishra, Associate Professor in Civil Engineering at IIT Gandhinagar who led the research, while speaking to India Science Wire.  Other hydropower projects, he said, might see increase in annual hydropower production under the projected future climate, mainly due to increase in the monsoon season rainfall under the warming climate. It is also likely that the projected increase in rainfall can be due to rise in extreme precipitation events in the future.

Most of the catchments of the large reservoirs are projected to experience substantial warming under the projected future climate. The highest warming is likely for Nathpa Jhakri and Bhakra Nangal where the annual mean temperature is projected to increase by more than 6.25 degrees by period 2070–2099 under the Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) 8.5 scenario. There will be increase in streamflow for the reservoirs located in the central and south India primarily due to the increase in the monsoon season precipitation under the future climate.

Members of the research team; Saran Aadhar and Harsh Shah!

Members of the research team; Saran Aadhar and Harsh Shah!

Other factors like land use and land cover changes will also be critical in future in response to urbanization and expansion of agriculture that will affect streamflow and so as hydropower production, the study says. The projected increase in precipitation and streamflow may also result in an increased sediment load to the reservoirs, which can affect the storage capacity of reservoirs and hydropower potential in future. Moreover, future irrigation demands can also influence the hydropower potential of the reservoirs.

“This study does not seem to take into account increased disaster potential of the new rainfall patterns. There are other important factors also such as increased upstream water use, both surface and groundwater, reducing inflows for projects like Sardar Sarovar, Srisailam and Nagarjunsagar,” pointed out Himanshu Thakkar of South Asia Network for Dams, Rivers and People.

The research team included Syed Azhar Ali, Saran Aadhar , Harsh Shah and Vimal Mishra from the Department of Civil Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology Gandhinagar. (India Science Wire)

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Former Facebook employee claims apps intentionally drain smartphone batteries

In a startling revelation, a former employee of Facebook has alleged that the social media giant has designed tests that run in the background without the user’s knowledge and intentionally drain the batteries of smartphones.

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Facebook apps

In a startling revelation, a former employee of Facebook has alleged that the social media giant has designed tests that run in the background without the user’s knowledge and intentionally drain the batteries of smartphones.

George Hayward, a data scientist who previously worked for Facebook has claimed that the Zuckerberg-owned social media platform indulges in a practice called negative testing used to secretly drain the batteries of smartphones on which the app is installed.

Hayward told the New York Post, that Facebook engages in negative testing which is used to test different parameters of their apps and also for bug testing. Negative testing is used to determine how fast the apps run and open on different smartphones or to test image and video loading speeds.

On the flip side, the practice drains the batteries of a user’s smartphone without their knowledge as they don’t have the slightest idea that such a test is running in background on their device.

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Hayward has filed a lawsuit against Facebook in Manhattan’s federal court for what he termed as a “harmful practice” and claims he was sacked for questioning and refusing to participate in the illicit practice.

The data scientist worked on the Facebook Messenger app and claimed that he was fired for questioning the legality of negative testing.

The former Facebook employee claimed that he expressed his concerns about the practice to the manager, who reportedly shut him down by saying that “by harming a few we can help the greater masses.”

Hayward told The New York Post that he doesn’t have an exact number of the users who were reportedly affected by this practice and revealed that Facebook has started negative testing as he was handed over an internal training document titled, “How to run thoughtful negative tests,” containing examples of such experiments being carried out.

George Hayward told the post that he’s never seen a more horrible document in his career. Facebook parent Meta is yet to address these allegations.

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PlayStation 5 Pro featuring upgraded AMD chip, liquid cooling may hit markets in April 2023

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PlayStation 5 Pro and Slim concept

The PlayStation 5 pro may hit the markets as early as April 2023. Sony may unveil the upgraded PS5 model first and skip or more likely delay the launch of the rumored PS5 slim, according to a report.

Quoting insider information from reliable sources, PhonAndroid reported that a PlayStation 5 pro is in the works and could launch as early as April 2023, nearly two and a half years after the launch of the base PlayStation 5 in 2020.

The report claims the upgraded console will be powered by a more powerful AMD RDNA3 chip compared to the previous custom RDNA2 processor. Sony is even considering to equip the PlayStation Pro with a PC-esque liquid cooling system for more efficient heat dissipation.

The new liquid cooling will certainly offer better heat dissipation compared to the cooling the current base model which packs a liquid metal compound, paired with a cooling fan.

Enhanced cooling means the console’s GPU won’t get throttled in demanding games will run more smoothly. However, it may also mean that Sony may go for a design change to accommodate liquid cooling.

The report adds that Sony might sell off its PS5 stock before the arrival of the PS5 Pro. The new model is also expected to be significantly more expensive than the base version. In addition, the PS5 Pro might not be produced in sufficient numbers due to the current equipment shortage.

However, all these leaks should be taken with a grain of salt as Sony has not yet confirmed a PS5 Pro or a PS5 slim.

The Japanese tech giant is expected to unveil the next iteration of the iconic console series at its next State of Play event.

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Itel launches A24 Pro smartphone for less than Rs 5,000, check specs and features

The Chinese smartphone manufacturer Itel finally launched its A24 Pro under the price segment of Rs 5,000. Interested customers can purchase the handset from the online shopping platform Amazon or Flipkart.

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Itel A24 Pro smartphone

The Chinese smartphone manufacturer Itel finally launched its A24 Pro under the price segment of Rs 5,000. Interested customers can purchase the handset from the online shopping platform Amazon or Flipkart. From two camera setups at the back and the latest and advanced processor, the compact design handset comes with all the features that are usually offered by expensive smartphones.

The entry-level phone has been launched with 5 inches of large-high-quality display, which will allow users to have an HD-quality of experience while using or watching videos on the phone. Apart from this, the handset also supports 4K video quality which will also provide an improved viewing experience to the customers.

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Know everything about budget Itel A24 Pro smartphone

Itel A24 Pro smartphone has a 5-inch IPS LCD display. The resolution of the screen is 850 x 480 pixels, which will provide HD resolution to the users. However, the company did not include any fingerprint sensor or scanner, but it has a face scanner to unlock the handset.

To increase its worth, the company has also given 32 GB of inbuilt storage on the entry-level smartphone, which can be expanded via using the microSD card.

Inside the hood, the handset has Android 12 (Go edition), which makes it very easy to process heavy applications without any lag. As far as the camera is concerned, it comes a 2-megapixel camera with LED flash at the rear. For selfies, the firm has provided a 0.3-megapixel lens that captures good-quality images even in low light.

It also has a 3,020 mAh battery that works almost all day long once the smartphone gets fully charged. The company claimed that at the price under Rs 5,000, the company will definitely gonna woo all the customers who were looking to purchase a budget smartphone

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