Research Papers

  • Large dams, back in the game? Recent years are seeing the re-emergence of large dams as sources of hydropower generation in global development policy. Large dams are being propagated as clean, green, climate-mitigating and a major source of renewable energy in emerging markets in the Global South. ...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 7 months 2 days agoread more
  • New Delhi, July 9 (India Science Wire): India has a total geographical area of nearly 329 million hectares. The climate varies from the north to the south and east to west. However, in spite of this diversity, little is known about how climate affects the diversity of plants that grow in a particula...
    priyadposted 7 months 2 weeks agoread more
  • Crop production is highly influenced by the sensitivity of crops to variations in climate and can have major implications for food supply and rural livelihoods. The effects of climate change are increasing in India, where extreme rainfall events have become more frequent and spatially more variable....
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 7 months 2 weeks agoread more
  • Across South Asia, small and medium-sized towns are rapidly expanding. Urbanisation has made inroads into the entire Himalayan region. Mountain urbanisation poses a need for assessments of emerging risks and vulnerabilities in environmentally sensitive regions. These areas are marked by po...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 7 months 2 weeks agoread more
  • River Satluj, the powerhouse of the Himalayas The river Satluj, a major source of irrigation and hydroelectric power in Northern India, is the longest of the five tributaries of the Indus River. It originates in the northern slopes of the Himalayas, in Lake La’nga in southwestern Tibet. Flowing n...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 7 months 2 weeks agoread more
  • New Delhi, July 3 (India Science Wire): Warming induced by changes in land use and land cover is contributing to rise in temperature in Eastern India, according to a new study.  Over three decades (1981-2010), the mean temperature in Odisha has recorded an increase of about 0.3 degree Celsius....
    priyadposted 7 months 3 weeks agoread more
  • India is witnessing the second driest pre-monsoon season in the last 65 years. As the country eagerly eyes the monsoon clouds, the delay so far has now widened the rain deficit to 43%. The situation is particularly grim in the north-western region of Gujarat and Maharashtra and the southern states o...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 7 months 3 weeks agoread more
  • The water sector remains male dominated at different scales, from engineers and technocrats responsible for designing irrigation systems, to upper caste and upper class men who decide on the location of canals, borewells, tanks, and other water systems at the grassroots level. While women are involv...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 7 months 3 weeks agoread more
  • The frequency and severity of heatwaves have risen considerably in India. Our cities are facing periods of ‘extreme’ weather as urbanization continues to modify the landscape. The temperature moderation provided by soil and vegetation is being substituted with heat-absorbent construction materia...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 7 months 4 weeks agoread more
  • Sustainable development, still an unfinished agenda In the fourth year into their implementation, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that aim at reducing developmental disparities in different parts of the world continue to be a cause for concern, with many international bodies urging for fas...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 8 months 1 week agoread more
  • The severe cyclonic storm Vayu that formed over the Arabian Sea was expected to hit Gujarat on June 13, but changed course, skirting Gir, Somnath and Porbandar. The latest news shows that the storm is likely to turn into a depression, reduce in intensity and reach the north Gujarat coast by Jun...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 8 months 1 week agoread more
  • Mountain ecosystems are highly sensitive due to ecological fragility, geomorphologic instability but are blessed with vast eco biodiversity. Climate change impacts in the form of temperature rise, unpredictable and decreased rainfall, glacier melt, prolonged summers and short winters and changes in ...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 8 months 1 week agoread more
  • In recent years, cycles of extreme drought and severe flooding have affected the country’s water availability and crop production. The trend can be attributed to climate change. Scientists have been exploring drought and flood tolerant crop varieties to offset stress conditions that significantly ...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 8 months 2 weeks agoread more
  • India's food system produces large environmental impacts but these vary by diets. The per capita environmental impacts of diets in India are currently lower than those of many high-income countries due, in part, to habitually low consumption of animal source foods. But, this relatively low per capit...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 8 months 2 weeks agoread more
  • Increase in agricultural productivity is not only dependent on material inputs, but also on farmer’s access to relevant information on crop production and farm management practices. This information is provided through agricultural extension services in India. While India has a long tradition of a...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 8 months 2 weeks agoread more
  • Mahakali, also known as Sharda in India, gushes through the hilly tracts of Nepal and Uttarakhand, collecting its water from the numerous streams it receives on the way. Like all rivers meandering through the lush terrains and forests of Uttarakhand, Mahakali too has become a cause of disagreement b...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 8 months 4 weeks agoread more
  • Tamil Nadu is one of the most water-vulnerable states in India that depends heavily on groundwater for irrigation. As high as 56 percent of land in the state is currently irrigated by groundwater and the remaining by tanks and canals. The provision of subsidies by the state government for irrigation...
    aarti kelkar kh...posted 9 months 2 days agoread more
  • A recent study by Toxics Link, an environmental research and advocacy organisation on batteries titled Dead and buried: A situational analysis of battery waste management in India estimates that 2.7 billion pieces of dry cell batteries are being consumed annually in India. The report talks abou...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 9 months 1 week agoread more
  • A little over a third of the world's 246 long rivers remain free-flowing, as per a study by a team of 34 international researchers, including those from McGill University in Canada and World Wildlife Fund India. The study, which assessed the connectivity status of 12 million kilometres of rivers wor...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 9 months 1 week agoread more
  • Life is getting back to normal after an ‘extremely severe’ cyclonic storm Fani hit India’s eastern coastline. It ripped through several districts of Odisha and West Bengal and brought in torrential rains and winds of up to 200 km/hr. But improved responses to the disaster by way of timely warn...
    Amita Bhaduriposted 9 months 2 weeks agoread more

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A study finds that India may run out of water to cool power plants in the near future.

Climate change and over-exploited river basins may leave developing countries in Asia, such as India and China, without enough water to cool power plants in the near future, according to a study. Thermal power plants (e.g. natural gas, nuclear, and coal) use water for cooling. Water scarcity may reduce the availability of thermal power capacity and impede the ability to reliably provide the energy services that motivate addition of coal capacity.

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Study points to vulnerabilities faced by women in the mountains and plains of Uttarakhand, which is likely to only increase with climate change.

Socially constructed notions of the different roles and responsibilities of men and women have a huge bearing on access to and control over resources, and subsequently on their vulnerabilities. More often than not, this leads to vulnerabilities that are skewed towards women, more than men. Gender mainstreaming entails re-organising formal structures of decision making and institutional processes to acknowledge gender as a centrality, rather than as an add-on.

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The number of people vulnerable to floods triggered by climate change by 2050 is triple that of previous estimates, according to a new study.

A new research study by Climate Central, a US-based non-profit research group has projected that 300 million people could face annual coastal flooding triggered by climate change by 2050. Scott A Kulp and Benjamin H Strauss, the authors of the study suggest that the choices made today will likely determine whether our planet’s coastlines will even be recognizable, by the middle of the twenty first century.

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A global study on pathogens in rivers finds that Indian rivers harbour dangerous levels of diarrhoeal disease-causing pathogens.

Diarrhoea is one of the leading killers of children under the age of five in developing countries. Diarrhoea is rampant in India, with diarrhoeal diseases being the most prevalent of all waterborne diseases in the country. Diarrhoea leads to the third highest proportion of child deaths in South Asia.

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Groundwater use has doubled in Pune. Comprehensive mapping of groundwater resources and better management and governance is the need of the hour.

Pune continues to face a water crisis every summer despite having sufficient water, thanks to its geographical location and plentiful natural water assets. While enough of its water needs are taken care of by water supply from the Khadakwasla dam, the use of groundwater to meet the needs of the population continues to increase.

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While ice stupas have been hailed as sustainable solutions to the water problems of Ladakh’s villages, the locals think otherwise.

Ladakh, the arid Himalayan desert, is a high elevation borderland located close to the Union Territory (UT) of Jammu and Kashmir, in India. Water here originates from glaciers in the high altitude mountains that tower over Ladakh’s villages. Simple earthwork irrigation channels tap meltwater from streams that originate from these glaciers. The glaciers are extremely sensitive to seasonal variations and serious concerns have been raised in recent years on the impact of climate change on glacier recession and the subsequent sustainability of water resources in the region.

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A study using remote sensing techniques assesses significant changes in land use in Loktak lake.

Loktak, the largest freshwater lake in North East India is also known as the ‘floating lake’ for the numerous phumdis or masses of vegetation it supports. The phumdis float around on the lake’s surface due to decay from the bottom. Some are so large that the indigenous fishing folk Meiteis have constructed makeshift floating huts locally known as phumsangs on them.

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Groundwater, drawn at rapid rates from peri-urban areas of Hyderabad is now turning into a commodity, controlled and distributed by a few, to meet the needs of the urban elite.

Peri urban spaces swept up in the urbanisation tangle

Urban growth and expansion of cities is increasing the demand for land and water, increasing pressure on resources available not only in urban, but also in peri-urban areas. State policies often use peri-urban spaces and resources to meet the needs of urban populations; for instance, they use grazing lands for urban infrastructure, sewerage and water treatment plants or for special economic zones.

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Study analysing data of sea surface temperatures since 1982 finds that three mass bleaching events impacted five major Indian coral reefs.

Bengaluru, September 24 (India Science Wire): The Indian coastline is home to an ancient and diverse coral reef system that provides natural habitat for diverse marine underwater ecosystem. Also, they hold importance in fisheries, tourism and as a repository of medicinal, agronomical and industrial products.

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While farm ponds in Jharkhand have helped farmers increase yields, they have also exposed them to the risk of price fluctuations, highlighting the need for ‘beyond the farm’ interventions.

While enhanced irrigation coverage has been hailed as an important way to improve agricultural productivity, it continues to lag behind in India and agriculture continues to be rainfed, subject to the vagaries of the monsoon. High groundwater dependence for irrigation has not only led to its depletion and quality deterioration, but has also raised questions about its sustainability in the long run.

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