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Why is it sweating in Shillong?

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[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Because temperatures in India’s biodiversity hotspot are on the rise

By Dinesh C Sharma

Sitting in the glass-and-concrete State Convention Centre in the capital of hilly state, Meghalaya, participants of a media workshop on climate change were feeling sweaty. The convention centre is not air-conditioned nor does it have ceiling fans. For the comfort of guests, some pedestal fans were plugged in.

Why are we sweating in Shillong? Asked state information technology minister Dr M Ampareen Lyngdoh. The question may sound strange for those who have read in tourist brochures and text books about the wettest places on the planet being in Meghalaya and about its round-the-year cool weather.

The answer to this question came in the form of a new study done by researchers from the Water and Climate Lab at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Gandhinagar. The study has shown that air temperature in the state is rising at the rate of 0.031 degree per year. The trend is consistent from 1981 to 2014, barring the years 1991 and 1992. This translates into 1 degree centigrade rise between 1981 and 2014, which is quite significant. Future projections indicate similar rise over next two decades.

The state has also been witnessing highly fluctuating frequencies of hot days, hot nights, cold days and cold nights. “The number of hot days and nights show an increasing trend while that of cold days and cold nights show a declining trend. These are indications of a consistently warming region,” pointed out lead author Dr Vimal Mishra while presenting results of the study commissioned by the state government. “The higher number of hot night frequencies is a matter of concern for the state.”

Based on historic and observed data as well as computer models, the study has projected changes over short-term (2013-2040), mid-term (2041-2070) and long-term (2071-2100) for the state. It is a high-resolution study in the sense that projections have been made for grids of 5 X5 km size, so as to help in vulnerability assessment for each grid and adaptation planning at local level.

Future projections show an increasing temperature rise under different scenarios. Under these projections, the rise in maximum temperature in Meghalaya in the long term ranges from 2.65 degree to 3.8 degree, while the rise in minimum temperature will be between 2 degree and 3.5 degree in the long term. The increase in temperature may result in higher number of extreme hot days and nights. Under the extreme scenario projection, the number of hot days could be as high as 100 a year. Similarly, there may be a decrease in extreme cold days and nights.

“The state has already seen a rise of temperature of 1 to 1.5 degree in the past three decades, and the projections point to a similar rise by 2040. If temperature in Meghalaya will rise by about 3 degree rise in a span of half a century, we don’t know what Meghalaya will be like in future  – West Bengal or Assam?,” wondered Dr Mishra.

There will be changes in the rainfall patterns too in future. The central plateau region is projected to experience an increase in rainfall at a higher rate than the rest of the state. The occurrence of extreme rainfall events will also show an upward trend under various projected scenarios. “The West Khasi hills which already receive very high precipitation are projected to face even higher rise in precipitation,” Dr Mishra added.

The changing climate in Meghalaya, he said, would have widespread implications for forests, water resources, biodiversity, agriculture, livestock and human health. For instance, due to significant rise in temperature, forest fires may go up while extreme rainfall events will increase risk of landslides in high altitude areas causing siltation of water bodies downstream. The rise in temperature will also threaten endemic plant species many of which are already on the verge of extinction. Rainfed agriculture in the state will be adversely hit with crop yields and production declining. Higher temperature will also induce premature breaking of insects and pests.

“Meghalaya has some of the most vulnerable districts to current climate risks and long term climate change in the region,” pointed out Prof. N.H. Ravindranath of Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. “Sectors like agriculture, forests, fisheries, horticulture are already subjected high climate risks currently and will be highly vulnerable to climate change risks in future. We need to prepare both incremental as well as transformational adaptation plans to make based on vulnerability assessments.”

The workshop was jointly organized by the Department of Science and Technology, Indian Himalayas Climate Adaptation Programme (IHCAP) and Centre for Media Studies. (India Science Wire)[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

2024 Lok Sabha Elections

Lok Sabha elections 2024: Akshay Kumar votes for the first time after getting Indian citizenship

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During the Lok Sabha 2024 elections, Bollywood actor Akshay Kumar cast his vote for the first time after becoming an Indian citizen last year. The actor, who previously held Canadian citizenship, was seen voting in Mumbai on Monday during the fifth phase of the elections. 

The Bhool Bhulaiyaa actor proudly showcased his ink-stained finger, symbolizing his participation in the election process. In a video shared by sources, he expressed his excitement and urged the citizens to vote. He stated that he wanted India to be developed and strong, and he voted with that in mind. He also mentioned that India should vote for what it deems right.

Reflecting on his experience, Akshay remarked that it was great and he was feeling very good. He highlighted the importance of the moment, noting that the actor marked his first vote as an Indian citizen.

The Entertainment actor obtained Indian citizenship in August 2023, which he celebrated by sharing a picture of his government documents on social media. He tweeted that both his heart and citizenship were Indian, and wished everyone a happy Independence Day, concluding with Jai Hind.

Discussing his decision, Akshay revealed that he hadn’t visited Canada for nearly a decade, despite holding Canadian citizenship. He mentioned that for 9 to 10 years he hadn’t gone there, although it was a very nice place and one of his best friends lived there. He decided that he should take Indian citizenship and noted that it was just a coincidence that he received a letter on August 15 confirming his citizenship.

Akshay initially applied for Canadian citizenship in the 1990s after facing a series of box office failures. He contemplated starting a cargo business in Canada with a friend. However, his fortunes changed with successful films, leading him to return to India. Despite the lomg process, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, Akshay renounced his Canadian citizenship in 2019. He explained that it was just a travel document and that he pays his taxes in India, where he is the highest taxpayer.

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India News

PM Modi condoles Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi’s death says India stands with Iran

PM Narendra Modi extended condolences to Ebrahim Raisi’s family and the people of Iran.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday condoled Iran president Ebrahim Raisi’s death and said he was deeply saddened and shocked by the tragic demise. The PM also said contribution to strengthening India-Iran bilateral ties will always be remembered.

Taking to social media X, formerly Twitter, PM Modi said deeply saddened and shocked by the tragic passing of Iran’s president, Dr. Seyed Ebrahim Raisi. He also said, he will never forget his contribution to the bilateral ties between Iran and India. The PM said his heartfelt condolences are his family and the people of Iran, he added. PM Modi wrote, India stands with Iran in this time of sorrow.

Ebrahim Raisi was found dead a day after his helicopter went missing. He reportedly died in a chopper crash in the mountainous region of the country.

The helicopter crash claimed the lives of officials, bodyguards, and Iran’s foreign minister in addition to Raisi.

State television announced on Monday that Ayatollah Ebrahim Raisi, the servant of the Iranian nation, has achieved the highest level of martyrdom whilst serving the people, and Mehr news agency confirmed his death.

The missing helicopter was being looked for by Iranian authorities since Sunday afternoon.

Reportedly, the crash occurred in the East Azerbaijan province of Iran and claimed the lives of nine individuals, including Raisi and Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian.

There was no proof that the passengers were still alive, according to reports from Iranian media.

Out of the three helicopters in his convoy, only two made it to their destination, including Ebrahim Raisi. He had traveled to the northwest province to join President Ilham Aliyev of Azerbaijan at the inauguration of a dam project in Jolfa.

It was anticipated that Raisi, a devout conservative, would succeed the eighty-year-old Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.

Since 2021, Ebrahim Raisi has served as Iran’s president. He replaced Hassan Rouhani, the centrist president.

Under his leadership, the death of Mahsa Amini, an Iranian-Kurdish woman who had been detained for violating the Iranian dress code for women, sparked widespread public unrest throughout the nation.

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2024 Lok Sabha Elections

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and his wife cast their votes in Lucknow

In the ongoing Lok Sabha election in Lucknow, Singh is contesting against Samajwadi Party candidate Ravidas Mehrotra. The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has fielded Sarwar Malik

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Defence Minister Rajnath Singh along with his wife Savitri Singh, cast their votes on Monday in Lucknow during the 3rd phase of the Lok Sabha elections. Singh, who is the sitting MP and BJP candidate from the Lucknow constituency, appealed to voters all over India to exercise their franchise.

Rajnath Singh said the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) aims to cross 400 seats this time. He did not wish to predict the exact number of seats at this moment. In the ongoing Lok Sabha election in Lucknow, Singh is contesting against Samajwadi Party candidate Ravidas Mehrotra. The Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) has fielded Sarwar Malik. After casting their votes, the couple showed their inked fingers, symbolising their participation in the democratic process.

Rajnath Singh’s son Pankaj Singh an MLA from Noida also cast his vote and called on voters to come out in large numbers He requested all voters to vote in record numbers. The more the voting, the stronger the democracy will be. He urged all young voters and Nari Shakti to come forward in large numbers to cast their votes. He said voting is important to build a self-reliant and developed India.

Earlier, while addressing a public meeting in Lucknow, Rajnath Singh said that he tried to fulfil the dreams of former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and had left no stone unturned for the city’s development.

He said they have diligently worked towards realising Atal Bihari Vajpayee ji’s vision for Lucknow, and BJP remains committed to advancing it further in the future.  He said Lucknow currently ranks 10th globally, and BJP aims to elevate it to the 5th position.

There are 5 assembly constituencies under the Lucknow Lok Sabha seat. These include Lucknow West, Lucknow East, Lucknow North, Lucknow Central and Cantt Assembly seats. There are a total of 39.33017 lakh voters in Lucknow Lok Sabha seat.

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