Research Papers

Climate change and disappearing forests
Measuring climate change velocity can greatly help to provide additional information on spatial variability of climate change and its implications for forest loss. Posted on 09 Sep, 2022 04:44 PM

Forests are being destroyed at an alarming rate world over with tropical forests - hot spots of biodiversity experiencing the largest declines.

Threatened forests of India (Image Source: India Water Portal)
Fishing turns fishy as climate change plays truant
Climate change is here to stay. How will it affect freshwater resources and inland fisheries in India? A study explains. Posted on 28 Aug, 2022 11:32 PM

Inland aquatic fisheries form an important source of livelihood for a significant proportion of population in India. Climate change is projected to have a huge impact on inland aquatic ecosystems and the fisheries sector in India. While there are a number of studies on the impacts of climate change on freshwater ecosystems and fish, most of these are from the temperate countries.

Fish in the Tunga river at Sringeri (Image Source: Dineshkannambadi via Wikimedia Commons) Li
Himalayan lakes can potentially become long-term sinks of microplastics
Study looks at microplastic types in lakes of Ladakh Posted on 27 Aug, 2022 03:36 PM

Microplastic pollution is a growing environmental concern. Microplastics are plastic particles with sizes ranging from 1 μm to 5 mm. However, a clear consensus on the definition of microplastics is lacking and even the lower size limit varies among different studies.

(Vinay Goel, Wikimedia Commons)
Heavy metals being discharged into coastal waters
Assessing heavy metals in the coastal environment is a critical challenge Posted on 21 Aug, 2022 11:37 PM

In recent years, the impact of the wastes discharged in the Bay of Bengal has been significant due to high effluent inflow from secured sources. It was observed that the heavy metal concentrations in the Bay coast sediments were considerately high and varied among sampling points.

Heavy metal contamination causes significant harm to marine ecology and aquatic life, including humans (Image: Priyadarshi Chaudhuri)
Floods – a boon than a bane!
Floods are not feared, but rather welcomed by the Mishing communities from Majuli island in Assam as they bring bountiful fish- a rich source of food, nutrition and livelihood for the community. Posted on 21 Aug, 2022 11:15 PM

Floods are often perceived as a destructive force in Assam and other parts of India.

The Majuli island, a haven for fish (Image Source: Usha Dewani, India Water Portal)
Polluted water, hitchhiking microbes and the hidden threat of cholera in India
Better access to clean water coupled with health education to bring about changes in behaviour are critical to prevent exposure to dangerous cholera bacteria that lurk in untreated waters. Posted on 19 Aug, 2022 11:33 PM

Cholera outbreaks are frequent and steadily increasing in India, shows recent surveillance data.

The hidden threat of cholera in India (Image Source: IWP Flickr photos)
Heavy metal contamination in the sediments of the Brahmaputra river
Study indicates an intermediate silicate weathering in the adjoining area Posted on 16 Aug, 2022 10:11 AM

The river Brahmaputra carries around 73 million tons of dissolved material annually, which accounts for approximately 4% of the total dissolved flux into the oceans (Singh et al., 2005). The dissolved chemical load and sediment flux of the Brahmaputra River has significantly higher rates of physical and chemical weathering than other large Himalayan catchments.

(Image: Rita Willaert, Flickr Commons)
Collaborative management for sustainable livelihoods in the Sundarbans
The impacts as perceived by the community Posted on 15 Aug, 2022 07:42 PM

Sundarbans delta is the largest mangrove forest reserve in the world with distinct species of wild flora and fauna. It is a source of livelihood for several communities residing in the vicinity. The indigenous plants, extraction of honey and catching fish from rivers, lakes and rivulets have good economic value in surroundings markets.

Catching fish from rivers, lakes and rivulets have good economic value in surroundings markets (Image: Wikimedia Commons)
A new index to quantify longitudinal river fragmentation
The Catchment Area-based Fragmentation Index (CAFI) can improve basin-wide conservation and development planning Posted on 15 Aug, 2022 03:35 PM

The loss of connectivity is a ubiquitous threat facing rivers worldwide considering the numerous river infrastructure projects that exist worldwide and continue to be commissioned to meet humanity’s growing demands for hydropower, flood control, and water supply. Not surprisingly, freshwater ecosystems are among the most altered and threatened globally.

River fragmentation is a threat to riverine ecosystem processes and communities (Image: Wikimedia Commons)
India’s rivers in trouble due to high fertilizer load and heavy monsoons
This could lead to water quality crisis reinforcing the need for basin-specific management strategies Posted on 11 Aug, 2022 10:59 AM

Agricultural intensification in India has increased nitrogen pollution, leading to water quality impairments. The fate of reactive nitrogen applied to the land is largely unknown, however. Long-term records of riverine nitrogen fluxes are nonexistent and drivers of variability remain unexamined, limiting the development of nitrogen management strategies.

Around the world, more than a fifth of nitrogen released by human activity ends up in aquatic ecosystems (Image: Wikimedia Commons)