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    Study on tree cover questioned
    Hindustan Times, 6 September 2018


    NEWbDELHI: Environment experts have challenged the findings of a controversial new study that says the global tree cover has increased by 7.1% between 1982 and 2016.

    The study recently published in the journal Nature shows that in this period, the tree cover or tall vegetation over the height of 5m increased by 2.24 million sq km.

    The findings by researchers from University of Maryland, who studied optical observations from multiple satellite sensors, contradict almost every report on the state of global forests.

    The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) of the United Nations puts the net loss in forest cover between 2000 and 2010 at 0.61 mn sq km.

    In 2016 alone, there was a loss of 0.29 mn sq km, according to the Global Forest Watch.

    “All global data sets show that there has been a decline in the forest cover. But, the numbers completely depend on the definition of forest; what do the researchers consider to be forest? When data is analysed at a global level there is always some sort of generalisation,” said Sudipta Chatterjee, head of natural resources department at TERI School of Advanced Studies.

    “What we really need is regional data on dense canopy cover, which most influences climate change,” he said.

    Early release of dam water could have reduced Kerala flood damages, say experts
    Hindustan Times, 21 August 2018

    The water levels had been rising in the dams since mid-July, according to data from the Kerala State Electricity Board.

    The floods in Kerala would have been less devastating had the state released water from its 39 dams from July end when the levels in most of them reached 85– 100% of the capacity, say experts.

    As many as 341 people have been killed while over nine lakh are sheltered in relief camps in the state.

    The water levels had been rising in the dams since mid-July, according to data from the Kerala State Electricity Board.

    “Yes, the rainfall was extremely heavy; much more than Kerala receives at this time of the year. However, the IMD (Indian Meteorological Department) had predicted that the extremely heavy rainfall was very likely and the state should have taken the decision to release water from the dams that were almost full when the rains had subsided in July,” said an IMD official on condition of anonymity.

    In August, the state received 164% of rainfall it usually gets during the period.

    The state had been receiving more rainfall since the beginning of monsoons. It had received 15% more rain in June and 18% more in July. A spell of extremely heavy rainfall began on August 8.

    “The flood damages could have been reduced by 20-40% had the dams and reservoirs released the water slowly in the two week period when the rains had subsided. The state did not have an advanced warning system in place and released water from the dams only once the danger levels (levels at which the dams structures can be damaged) were reached,” said Delhi’s Indian Institute of Technology civil engineering professor Ashok Keshari.

    For the advance release of water, the state needed a reliable forecast from the IMD. It also needed a flood forecast from the Central Water Commission. The National Flood Forecasting network has no stations in Kerala.

    The opening of gates of 35 of the 39 dams coincided with the extremely heavy rainfall activity. All five gates of Idduki dam were opened on August 9. The district also received the highest rainfall, 92% more than normal.

    “Yes, it can be argued that the dam gates could have been opened sooner during the periods of less rainfall, especially if the dams had reached 90-100% capacity. This would have certainly reduced flooding. However, the forecast of extreme weather events is sometimes unpredictable and the state might have wanted to conserve water for the rest of the year,” said Arun Kansal, TERI School of Advanced Studies department of regional water studies dean and head.

    Initiative on Climate Change
    The Pioneer, 1 August 2018

    With a mission to empower the youth to take ownership of creating a sustainable future for themselves, Dalmia Cement and the TERI School of Advanced Studies (TERI-SAS) have jointly launched a programme of engagement — the Climate Jamboree.

    The programme aims to help youth engaged in different streams of study, and aspiring for diverse careers, to recognise unique opportunities they have to influence more desirable outcomes.

    The Climate Jamboree aims to carry the voice of youth to decision makers and opinion leaders. With activities designed for students/ young professionals of management, law, urban studies, natural and social sciences, media and communications, this programme also hopes to create communities of action in different geographies networked together for maximum impact.

    Open to youth across the country and beyond, most of the lead-up events would be undertaken on an online mode but the finale, scheduled between November 1 to 3, 2018, at the Thyagaraj Stadium in New Delhi. It aims to engage well over 10,000 youth and other relevant stakeholders to ideate, learn, innovate and collaborate on sustainability solutions.

    At the finale, youth will have a chance to interact with national and global experts and express their concerns/ideas via interactive workshops, performing arts, exhibitions, technical sessions, live demonstrations, competitions, exciting innovations and many more outlets.


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    Date News Title Source
    20 August 2018 Address gender equity in water management... The Hindu, Hyderabad (Online)
    30 July 2018 TERI SAS along with Dalmia Cement launched Climat... United News of India(Online)
    24 July 2018 Earth set to run out of resources two days sooner ... Hindustan Times (Online)
    7 June 2018 Scientists develop early flowering transgenic must... The Business Line (Online)
    5 June 2018 Like Shimla, threat of water crisis looms over man... Hindustan Times

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