Science, Environment, Health, Climate Change, Wildlife Conservation, SouthAsia Speaks Fellow, 2022 ; Kiplinger Fellow, 2022
Why the dancing frog may no longer be able to shake a leg
Malformations such as a missing eye or deformed limb have been noted in the Kottigehar dancing frog, possibly due to anthropogenic stressors.
The Kottigehar dancing frog belongs to the family Micrixalidae, one of the oldest families of frogs in the Western Ghats. It is categorised as an evolutionary distinct and globally endangered (EDGE) species.
Great pretender: the bird with an Elvis-like quiff that can’t stop mimicking
Scientists are learning the secrets of the greater racket-tailed drongo and other creatures in a jungle in south India from the people who have always lived there
Under Fire: Smooth‑coated Otters on the Cauvery
The habitat of smooth-coated otters is severely threatened by numerous activities. As they adapt to changes, they come into increased conflict with humans
Dying River: Declining Water Quality and Fish Stocks on the Cauvery
From pollution to global warming, many factors adversely impact the Cauvery’s water quality. As a result, native fish populations are impacted, affecting on the entire ecosystem that depends on this river
Fishers’ Quandary: Strain and Survival on the Cauvery
With the Cauvery’s depleting fish stocks, the lives of fishers who depend on this river for their livelihoods have become increasingly uncertain, forcing them to adapt in different methods of fishing
Committed Without Consent: The War Against India’s Mentally Ill
Parents use it against adult children, men against wives, in divorce, property and custody battles; families use it to ‘cure’ homosexuality and officials to get disabled beggars off the streets. The forced institutionalisation of mental-health patients is rampant despite a law to protect them
The efforts of Argentinian grandmothers transformed forensic science and how it identifies the dead. In India, however, the official approach is still catching up. At no time is this more evident than during natural disasters.
Scientists urge cut in use of chemicals in plastic production
BENGALURU -- Scientists attending a global meeting on combating plastic pollution are calling for a reduction in the use of chemicals in their production.
Bethanie Carney Almroth, a professor of biological and environmental sciences at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, said that addressing plastics as materials rather than products will allow for increased innovation in product design to cut the amount and types of chemicals used.
Indian Cities Invest in Low-Cost Air Quality Sensors
In 2019, the Indian government established the National Clean Air Programme for nonattainment cities (cities that did not meet the National Ambient Air Quality Standards). The program aimed to develop clean air action plans to reduce particulate matter (PM2.5) pollution by 20%–30% by 2024. The program’s inefficiency is partly due to a critical shortage of government air quality monitoring stations.
How ‘airshed management’ could tackle India’s air pollution crisis
In 2019, air pollution in India caused the premature deaths of more than a million people. That same year, the government established the National Clean Air Programme (NCAP). Three years later, the NCAP is widely described as ineffective, and India continues to rank among the top five most polluted countries in the world. Now, scientists are looking to a different approach to tackling the country’s toxic air, one based on the recognition that pollution transcends national and state borders.
New Landslide Reporting Tool Uses Social Media and AI
Landslide incidences have been increasing worldwide: Between 2004 and 2016, around 56,000 people were killed in nearly 5,000 distinct events. The time lag between the occurrence and reporting of landslides—sometimes ranging from days to weeks—can affect emergency preparedness and disaster response.
Reevaluating Ecosystems on the Basis of Climate Change Vulnerability
Ecosystems play a vital role in maintaining biodiversity and provide such services as water and air filtration, pollination, and erosion prevention. But globally, ecosystems are being degraded by such human impacts as land development and pollution.
How cities can fight climate change
Urban activities — think construction, transportation, heating, cooling and more — are major sources of greenhouse-gas emissions. Today, a growing number of cities are striving to slash their emission to net zero — here’s what they need to do.
Climate Action Plans Tailored to Indian Cities
Many Indian cities are developing climate action plans to adapt to increasing risks they face because of climate change (such as flooding and heat waves) and to mitigate greenhouse emissions associated with extensive urbanization.
How This Expert Works Ahead of the Storm
This story was originally published in our May/June 2022 issue as "Ahead of the Storm."
After the 2004 tsunami struck India, then-14-year-old Rohini Sampoornam Swaminathan visited several affected villages with her father.
She noticed a deafening silence and a sense of hopelessness in areas once abuzz with fishing activity. People had lost their homes and loved ones. Fishing boats, the sole income source for many, had washed away