Monday, 9 May 2016

The forest fires in India

This is the reality

Uttarakhand Forest Fires May Cause Faster Melting Of Himalayan Glaciers According To Experts
Raging forest fires in Uttarakhand could have a devastating effect on the state's glaciers which are the lifeline of the major rivers flowing through India's northern plains.

Collateral Damage Of Uttarakhand Forest Fire: Experts Warn Of  Faster Melting Of Glaciers

3 May, 2016

According to experts at Nainital's Aryabhatta Research Institute for Observational Sciences (ARIES) and Govind Ballabh Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment and Development (GBPIHED) in Almora, 'black carbon' from smog and ash is covering the glaciers, thereby making them prone to melting.

Elaborating on what he termed a 'long lasting effect' of the fires, Manish Kumar, a senior scientist at the atmospherics department in ARIES, told TOI, "Black carbon is formed by the incomplete combustion of fossil fuels, biofuels and biomass. It absorbs light and increases heat, which is why it can cause glaciers to melt faster."

Collateral Damage Of Uttarakhand Forest Fire: Experts Warn Of  Faster Melting Of Glaciers

Water in the rivers which originate from these glaciers also stand to get heavily polluted by harmful particles and compounds that constitute black carbon, Kumar said.

According to experts, forest fires have already resulted in a jump of 0.2 degrees Celsius in temperatures across northern India which can have a detrimental effect on the monsoons. "Black carbon floats in air for a long time and gets deposited on clouds interfering with the normal cycle of the monsoons," said Kirit Kumar, a scientist from Govind Ballabh Pant Institute of Himalayan Environment and Development, Almora. Other experts, however, said the interaction of black carbon with clouds was complex and could have varied effects.

Collateral Damage Of Uttarakhand Forest Fire: Experts Warn Of  Faster Melting Of Glaciers

The glaciers which are most at risk, according to Kumar of ARIES, are those that are situated at relatively low altitudes such as Gangotri, Milam, Sundardunga, Newla and Cheepa, which are also the source of many rivers. In order to study the effect that the fires are having on these glaciers, a team of scientists from GBPIHED would soon undertake a scientific trip to these heights.

Pointing out why the scientific community was getting increasingly concerned as the fires have kept on raging in the forests, Kirit Kumar said, "In normal circumstances, glaciers act as mirrors reflecting most of the light and heat. This is known as 'albedo'. But when black carbon gets deposited on them, it results in their absorbing all the light and heat which eventually results in their meltdown. 

This is a serious concern."

And this is the fantasy, courtesy of Global Warming Facts of the Day. Those folks no doubt believe in nonsense like this.

Lok Sabha passes Compensatory Afforestation Fund Bill, Rs 40000 crore unlocked for increasing forest cover in India|

India is planning to spend 41,000 rupees ($6.2 billion) on an unprecedented afforestation program to increase the nation’s forest cover.

Forests currently cover about 21 percent of the vast subcontinent’s surface. Under the Compensatory Afforestation Fund (CAF), which was passed with support all across the political spectrum in 2015, that cover will be increased to 33 percent in the coming years
I am sure that this fund will give a tremendous push in our afforestation movement,” India’s Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar told reporters outside Parliament on May 3. “Our forest cover will dramatically increase and it will result in achieving our target 33 percent of tree cover and most importantly 2.5 billion tonne of carbon sink as we have indicated in our INDCs.”
As the home to over 1.25 billion people, India contains 17.5 percent of Earth’s human population and is the third-largest emitter of greenhouse gasses of all countries. Increasing forest cover plays an integral role in helping to curb the environmental impact of those emissions under the nation’s new climate plan, also known as its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC).

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