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US, Russia block UN panel report on climate change

These nations are climate villains and they must be opposed by the rest of the world, instead, they have found a steadfast ally and co-conspirator in the world’s most powerful country, the US, he said.

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File Pic of US President Donald Trump and Russian President Putin

Katowice (Poland), Dec 9 : The US, Saudi Arabia, Russia and Kuwait have blocked the other 193 assembled countries in this Polish city from “welcoming” the recent IPCC report, even though the report had been requested by the earlier UN climate summit in Paris in 2015.

The US had even rejected the science itself, standing alone among all the world’s countries in refusing to endorse the findings of the report.

Reacting to this development, Mohamed Adow, Christian Aid’s International Climate Lead, said: “Saudi Arabia, Russia, Kuwait and especially the United States are rogue nations.

“These four major fossil fuel producers are working together against the interests of the rest of the world and jeopardising the chances of a safe climate.

“They show disregard for the wellbeing of the most vulnerable people on the planet. Climate change even threatens the future of their own people and yet they act to suppress scientific warnings.

“I had hoped that Saudi Arabia was undergoing reform and this was their chance to demonstrate it. But they have shown they don’t care about human rights, people or the planet.”

These nations are climate villains and they must be opposed by the rest of the world, instead, they have found a steadfast ally and co-conspirator in the world’s most powerful country, the US, he said.

Regarding the US pro-coal side event taking place on Monday at the ongoing UN climate summit, known as COP24, he added: “With great power comes great responsibility, and yet the US has failed to take this responsibility seriously. President Trump’s actions threaten the lives of many of the poorest people around the world.

“The scientists of the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) have shown that coal is the cause of our climate crisis and needs to be left in the ground, not touted at meetings designed to solve the suffering it has caused. The fact President Trump’s America is holding a pro-coal event at the climate summit underlines his utter ignorance and recklessness,” he added.

(Vishal Gulati is in Katowice at the invitation of Climate Trends to cover the 24th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, known as COP24. He can be contacted at [email protected])

Cities

Lightning kills 83 in Bihar amid rain, thunderstorms

Heavy rain with thunderstorms and lightning has lashed various parts of Bihar even before the onset of the monsoon in the state.

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Patna, June 25 : At least 83 people were killed by lightning in Gopalganj district of Bihar, while many people were reported to be injured as heavy rain and thunderstorms lashed several areas of the state on Thursday, a government official said.

Gopalganj District Collector Arshad Aziz told IANS that according to information received so far, 83 people have died in lightning strikes in the district. He appealed to the people to remain indoors during the rain and not to stand under trees if outside.

Aziz said Mustafa Ahmed (30) and Afroz Alam (28) died when lightning struck in Narayanpur village in the Thave police station area, while Krishna Kumar (21) died in Luhasi village and Azim Alam (40) in Nautan Haraiya village.

Ganesh Sahu, a resident of Sheikh Parsa village in the Manjha police station area, and Ajmeri Khatoon (10), a resident of Chakhani Tola, Vijayapura, also died due to lightning, he added.

The dead also included Reena Devi (35) and Rajaram Yadav (45) of Khajuria village in Bakhraur under Barauli police station area.

Most of the people who died were working in the fields.

The injured have been admitted in hospitals.

Heavy rain with thunderstorms and lightning has lashed various parts of Bihar even before the onset of the monsoon in the state.

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Monsoon to hit Delhi in 48 hours: IMD

A cloud cover across the region since Wednesday morning has brought down the temperature by at least two degrees Celsius compared to Tuesday.

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New Delhi: The weather conditions have become favourable for the advance of south-west monsoons towards Delhi-National Capital Region (NCR) in the next 48 hours, the India Meteorological Department (IMD) said in a bulletin on Wednesday.

A cloud cover across the region since Wednesday morning has brought down the temperature by at least two degrees Celsius compared to Tuesday.

“The wind direction has changed from westerly to easterly. Light rainfall is expected over the area in the next two days,” IMD regional head Kuldeep Srivastava, told IANS.

According to IMD, the flow of humid winds from Bay of Bengal has increased moisture in the air which will lead to one or two short spells of thunder activity and light rains in parts of the region from Thursday onwards.

Monsoon normally hits Delhi by June 29. This year, its onset has been delayed by almost a week.

IMD, in its statement also said that the southwest monsoon had further advanced into parts of East Rajasthan, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, remaining parts of Chhattisgarh and Uttar Pradesh. It will also cover the areas in the northern states of Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh and Jammu and Kashmir.

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India

Children, women, scientists & employees watched the solar eclipse from DST campus

NCSTC, DST in association with Vigyan Prasar organized watching of Solar Eclipse live with solar filter spectacles in the campus

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Delhi: The National Council for Science & Technology Communication (NCSTC), Department of Science & Technology (DST) in association with Vigyan Prasar organized watching of Solar Eclipse live with solar filter spectacles on 21 June Sunday in the campus of the department.

Children, women, scientists, and other officials and staff members enjoyed watching the spectacular celestial event and experienced the thrill of being able to witness the phenomenon of light and shadow that causes an eclipse. Specially designed goggles made of metallic mylar film were provided to the individual viewers produced earlier by NCSTC and Vigyan Prasar. The phenomenon of an eclipse was narrated to the viewers in popular form and photographs of the eclipsing sun taken by using mylar film.

Description: DST - solar eclipse2

In Delhi, today’s solar eclipse became visible at 10:19:58 in the morning and continued till 01:48:40 in the afternoon. The maximum coverage of the solar disc was seen at 12:01:40 mid-day. With a little cloudy weather, Delhi witnessed the entire sequence of partial eclipse as mostly it remained a sunny day. The annular ring, also known as the Ring of Fire, was visible from parts of Rajasthan, Haryana, and Uttarakhand, including some northern parts of the country, whereas other parts on the belt of eclipse have witnessed a partial eclipse. Incidentally, June 21 also marks the longest day of the year in the northern hemisphere and offers easy viewing of the celestial event. This rare kind of solar eclipse also coincides with the summer solstice, the first day of summer. An eclipse, solar or lunar, offers an opportunity for scientists to carry out various scientific experiments and studies. For science communicators, it is a chance to make people aware of the science behind spectacular celestial show as well as to remove various myths and misbeliefs associated with the eclipses and promote scientific temper.

Description: DST - solar eclipse

One may recall that when the Total Solar Eclipse occurred on 16 February 1980, the situation was altogether different from today’s scenario. Most of the people had opted to remain inside their houses to safeguard themselves from so-called ill effects of the eclipse. Except a few science enthusiasts, roads were empty; schools, markets, and many other establishments were closed with the fear of the unknown! Thereafter, another Total Solar Eclipse was visible in India on 24 October 1995 and NCSTC took the lead to organize series of awareness programmes across the country by involving children, teachers, science communication organizations, scientists and common people at large that involving them in safe viewing of the eclipse with the help of mylar film goggles.

Description: DST - solar eclipse1

The situation started changing with such concerted efforts, and subsequent total solar eclipses have witnessed a sea change in the mindset of the people at large. This time people preferred to come out and experienced the excitement of watching the solar eclipse live, although by following social distancing and precautionary measures. Several autonomous institutions of DST like Aryabhatta Research Institute of Observational Sciences (ARIES), Nainital, Indian Institute of Astrophysics (IIA), Bangalore, and Vigyan Prasar captured the eclipse from different locations and organized live streaming via Zoom, YouTube and Facebook.

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