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Global Warming: Melting kingdom of the Polar Bear

Global Warming: Melting kingdom of the Polar Bear

Through the long and dark Arctic winter, the mother Polar Bear sat quietly in her den. She had given birth to her cubs, and was waiting for them to grow strong enough to follow her out to the ice pack. The ice pack is her refrigerator, the place where she gets her food. It’s quite literally a floating, rotating gyre or “cap” of ice that covers the Earth’s northern pole. Along its edges of cracked and broken ice swims the Polar Bear’s food: ringed seals, bearded seals, harp and hooded seals and, occasionally, carcasses of beached beluga whales, walruses, narwhals, and bowhead whales....

Tree Rings tell many Tales

Tree Rings tell many Tales

Examining ancient trees helps scientists get an amazing picture of Earth’s life, for trees are a record of their life time. By looking closely at the rings of a tree, scientists can not only tell how old it is; they can also tell you that in one summer in 1453 and again in 1601, there were freak cold spells. Tree rings, when radiocarbon-dated give a glimpse of certain aspects of prehistoric times. But what is radiocarbon dating?...

Why does Cola Fizz?

Why does Cola Fizz?

Switch on the television and you are bound to see some cola advertisements. Aamir Khan, a Bollywood hero, pops open a cola and the bubbly drink fizzes to the top. Have you ever wondered what causes the countless teeny bubbles in all these soft drinks? Soft drinks are carbonated, i.e. carbon dioxide gas is dissolved in the liquid. This gas gives the drink its sparkle and tangy taste, and prevents it from spoiling (the gas reduces bacterial growth)....

Everything is made of something

Everything is made of something

How do you make tea? Simple, put a teaspoon of tea into a boiling cup of water. Strain the water, pour some milk and sugar to taste and the tea is ready! Interestingly, everything that we prepare has a recipe and is made up of simpler ingredients. For example, what is sugar made of? It is made of sugar molecules, which in turn, are made up of atoms. The atom is the building block of all substances....

Who stole the Candle Wax?

Who stole the Candle Wax?

On every Diwali, known as the festival of lights, our family has a big discussion on the kind of lighting we should have. And after talking about candles or electric bulbs we invariably choose the _diya_s or earthen lamps for their beautiful flames. But last year, we reached the kumhara or potter’s roadside shop a bit too late. The lamps had been sold out and the potter had a big smile on his face. So we decided to light candles....

The Earth Is Getting dimmer

The Earth Is Getting dimmer

If you have viewed a crescent moon on a clear night, you would have observed an eerie glow around the moon. This is called earthshine. Do you know why the moon glows? The eerie glow around a crescent moon is called earthshine. Our earth and the moon act as giant mirrors that reflect sunlight. Actually most objects reflect light. A mirror reflects almost all the light that falls on it. And an object that does not reflect light is called opaque....

Global Warming

Konish Biswas, a student of Standard VIII puts forth his views on a problem that is affecting the whole planet. Nowadays as you know, there is a lot of pollution in the atmosphere. The level of carbon dioxide and other such gases (known as greenhouse gases) is rising. These gases trap the heat and do not let it escape from the atmosphere. Global Warming [Illustration by Sudheer Nath] When the presence of these gases goes beyond a level, the temperature rises....

The Big Meltdown

The Big Meltdown

September 23: Earth is the only planet with an atmosphere congenial to life forms as we know of. If a blanket of air didn’t surround us…our planet would have been a frozen wasteland – much too cold for human habitation. We have a lot to be thankful for. But we humans have been taking things for granted. As a result, this protective blanket is now slowly suffocating us. The Big Meltdown [Illustration by Sudheer Nath] According to a worldwide study carried out by the World Wildlife Fund....

'Ibuki' : Japan's 'Green' Monitor Orbits the Earth

Where: Tokyo, Japan January 23, 2009 : A space centre in Tanegashima, a remote island about 970 kilometers southwest of Tokyo, today launched the first satellite designed to monitor carbon dioxide emissions. It is named ‘Ibuki’, which means ‘breath’. The satellite has sensors which can measure light reflected from earth, and gauge the density of carbon dioxide and methane. These two gases are the biggest contributors to global warming, Ibuki will circle the globe every 100 minutes, and will monitor the levels of carbon dioxide and methane from 56,000 locations for the next five years....

UN Conference on Climate Change

UN Conference on Climate Change

Where: Poznan, Poland December 13, 2008 : Global warming affects everyone. Finally, after years of negotiations, most countries in the world have agreed to work together to reduce how much they pollute the Earth’s environment. The United Nations Climate Change Conference began here on December 1, 2008 with delegates from 190 countries. Their target: to reach a global climate agreement by December 2008. This would replace the Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012. The US representative, Senator John Kerry, said temperatures could go up by anywhere between 3 degrees C and 5 degrees C higher by 2050....

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