Most accurate measurements of bigcity pollution

first_img Explore further More information: aura.gsfc.nasa.gov/Paper: Megacity Emissions and Lifetimes of Nitrogen Oxides Probed from Space, Science 23 September 2011: Vol. 333 no. 6050 pp. 1737-1739. DOI: 10.1126/science.1207824AbstractMegacities are immense sources of air pollutants, with large impacts on air quality and climate. However, emission inventories in many of them still are highly uncertain, particularly in developing countries. Satellite observations allow top-down estimates of emissions to be made for nitrogen oxides (NOx = NO + NO2), but require poorly quantified a priori information on the NOx lifetime. We present a method for the simultaneous determination of megacity NOx emissions and lifetimes from satellite measurements by analyzing the downwind patterns of NO2 separately for different wind conditions. Daytime lifetimes are ~4 hours at low and mid-latitudes, but ~8 hours in wintertime for Moscow. The derived NOx emissions are generally in good agreement with existing emission inventories, but are higher by a factor of 3 for the Saudi Arabian capital Riyadh. © 2011 PhysOrg.com Citation: Most accurate measurements of big-city pollution (2011, September 23) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-09-accurate-big-city-pollution.html (PhysOrg.com) — One of NASA’s satellites has provided the most detailed map yet of the pollution generated by some of the world’s biggest cities, and given an indication of the volume of emissions of the nitrogen oxides from direct measurements rather than relying on computer models and a range of assumptions. The scientists, from Germany and the Netherlands, led by Steffen Beirle of the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Mainz, Germany, combined the data from NASA’s Aura satellite with data on known wind patterns. The satellite is equipped with four measuring instruments, including an Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI), which measures a range of atmospheric particles such as dust, smoke, and chemicals such as the nitrogen oxides. It also measures cloud cover and pressure, which enables tropospheric ozone to be calculated. The OMI was built by the Agency for Aerospace Programs in the Netherlands and the Finnish Meteorological Institute.The focus of Beirle’s study was the nitrogen oxides (NOx, comprising nitric oxide, NO, and nitrogen dioxide, NO2), since they contribute to smog, acid rain, and ozone depletion, and have been linked to health problems in human populations.Nitrogen oxides form part of vehicle emissions, and in the past have tended to be estimated from data on traffic volumes, fuel consumption, and NOx lifetimes, rather than by direct measurement. The satellite data gave the researchers a direct measurement of the emissions, and the data on wind patterns enabled them to identify the sources, resulting in the most accurate information available to date.The study, published in the journal Science, found that the emissions of nitrogen oxides from Riyadh (the capital of Saudi Arabia) were three times greater than previous estimates, while those of megacities such as Tokyo, Madrid, and Moscow were more similar to previous estimates. Some megacities, such as Hong Kong and New York, yielded less useful data because they are so close to other large metropolitan areas producing pollution, which makes the situation more complex.The results of the research could help scientists obtain more reliable information that does not depend on models, which can introduce biases. The results could also lead to the development of better pollution control measures, especially for large cities in the developing world.The Aura satellite was launched in 2004 as part of a program aimed at monitoring the Earth’s atmosphere and effects such as the depletion of the ozone layer. Among the other atmospheric measurements made are changes in levels of aerosols, carbon dioxide, water vapor, and methane. The satellite also monitors cloud cover around the globe. Aura detects pollution in the Great Lakes region Sequence of mean NO2 column densities around Riyadh (white cross) for different wind conditions. Credit: Steffen Beirl This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

How fledglings and their parents negotiate the best time for young birds

first_imgA team of researchers at the University of Montana has found that fledglings and their parents must negotiate to find the right time for the young birds to leave their nest. In their paper published on the open access site Science Advances, the group describes their study of many types of birds and how they figured out when fledglings should leave the nest. Journal information: Science Advances © 2018 Phys.org Many birds build nests to lay their eggs and to hold the young after they hatch until they grow old enough to fly on their own. But how do the baby birds and their parents know when it is time for them to leave? That question, the researchers point out, has not been studied very much. For that reason, they designed and carried out a study to find the answer.The study consisted of videotaping 11 types of songbirds using a high-speed camera—that allowed them to gain a better understanding of the flying skills of birds. They also watched as the birds grew older and carefully noted the time points at which the young birds left the nest—and how they fared.The researchers found that there were differences between species—some parents allowed their offspring to stay in the nest longer while others did not. There were also differences in mortality rates between species. Those that left the nest earlier found it tougher going than those that stayed in the nest longer—fewer of them survived because they had not yet developed strong flying skills. On the other hand, young birds that hung around in the nest longer were more likely to attract predators because they were noisier—increasing the likelihood of the whole brood being eaten. The researchers also found that under artificial conditions in which they forced some parents to keep their young in the nest for a few extra days, the mortality rate was lower—not only did the young birds have more time to develop, they were also protected from predators. Citation: How fledglings and their parents negotiate the best time for young birds to leave the nest (2018, June 21) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-06-fledglings-parents-young-birds.html Parent gray-headed junco enticing young to leave the nest. Parents hold food away from nest and young come out to get it and this picture captures a young that was just fed out of the nest. Credit: T. E. Martin Explore further Cavity-nesting birds, like this mountain chickadee about to feed its young, have safer nests that allow young to stay in nests longer and develop their wings for improved flight at leaving. Credit: T. E. Martin PausePlay% buffered00:0000:00UnmuteMuteDisable captionsEnable captionsSettingsCaptionsDisabledQuality0SpeedNormalCaptionsGo back to previous menuQualityGo back to previous menuSpeedGo back to previous menu0.5×0.75×Normal1.25×1.5×1.75×2×Exit fullscreenEnter fullscreen More information: Thomas E. Martin et al. Age and performance at fledging are a cause and consequence of juvenile mortality between life stages, Science Advances (2018). DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aar1988AbstractShould they stay or should they leave? The age at which young transition between life stages, such as living in a nest versus leaving it, differs among species and the reasons why are unclear. We show that offspring of songbird species that leave the nest at a younger age have less developed wings that cause poorer flight performance and greater mortality after fledging. Experimentally delayed fledging verified that older age and better developed wings provide benefits of reduced juvenile mortality. Young are differentially constrained in the age that they can stay in the nest and enjoy these fitness benefits because of differences among species in opposing predation costs while in the nest. This tension between mortality in versus outside of the nest influences offspring traits and performance and creates an unrecognized conflict between parents and offspring that determines the optimal age to fledge. The loss of a parent is the most common cause of brood failure in blue tits This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Play Gray-headed juncos fledge from the nest at a young age because their ground nests experience high risk of predation. This young age of fledging results in under-developed wings that do not allow sustained flight, even the day after they left the nest, as shown in this video. In contrast, white-breasted nuthatches nest in safe cavities with low predation risk, allowing young to stay in the nest longer and develop their wings more fully such that they can perform sustained level flight even 2 days before they fledge. Credit: B. Tobalske, N. Wright and T. Martin The researchers suggest that their findings indicate that parent birds and their young must negotiate an optimal time for the young to leave, balancing the dangers of staying longer versus leaving earlier.last_img read more

The heel logic

first_imgA pair of high heels is like a must for every women as it makes them look chic and classy. But carrying it off is difficult as it puts them into difficult situations, says a research.Research from Compeed, a foot-care brand, has found that nearly half those women trying to arrive at work looking their best, get their heels caught in a grate, over a third have fallen over and 29 percent have tripped up the stairs, reports femalefirst.co.uk. The survey, which offers a comparison of high heel wearers across Europe, reveals its hazards are adding to commuting times. But it appears as if nothing will prevent some women from doing the daily commute in their high heels – 58 percent of British women will wear heels even if they are painful or uncomfortable and 13 percent admit they wear their heels even if it makes them late for the office.The survey also reveals reasons why women are prepared to sacrifice both comfort and punctuality for high heels. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Over half of the women surveyed stated that wearing heels gives them confidence and 35 percent say their heels make them feel smart, making it clear why women are determined to wear heels to work despite the pitfalls they face.Sixty percent of women surveyed have admitted to sacrificing their fashion preferences due to discomfort and confessed to wearing flat shoes to work, then surreptitiously changing into their heels at their desks.last_img read more

Poll shows US Number A1 Star Jason Jones does best Indian Election

first_imgNew most scientific poll displays that 97% of Indian voters trust award wanting fake journalist Jason Jones to deliver best Lok Sabha coverage in 2014. Known as the Bronto-from-toronto, a six-time Mr. Canada entrant, Jones hopes India will help ‘exercise my mind as well as my temple of a body’.  Perhaps unknown for the time being to an Indian audience, astute film-lover will remember him include thetaut, straight-to-video pshychological thriller After Alice and the award-winning television masterpiece ‘Terminal Invasion’, in which aliens in human disguise commandeer a rural airport during a snowstorm. And who could forget the unforgettable 13 minutes of screen time Jason had in the SciFI Channel’s original film Webs, when his character (Junior) and a local team of wacky electicians, led by Sir Richard Greico, teleport to a parallel universe where human-looking alien spiders run amok? But beyond all the glitz and glamour of those prestigious projects, Jason is most proud of the trilogy of ‘based on a true story’ films from which he has been cut: America’s Prince: The JFK Jr. Story, All American Girl: The Mary Kay Letourneau Story and, most recently, the Meg Ryan box office bonanza Against the Ropes: The Jackie Kallen Story, in which he shared absolutely no screen time with Meg Ryan. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Jones, of course, will learn as much about India as possible in the short time he’s here. In an exclusive interview with the star himself, Jones Revealed has learned that Jones will visit The National Gandhi Museum sometime this week. ‘Seeing Ben Kingsleyis performance in 1982’s Gandhi is second only to his work in Iron Man 3, which is a film I saw on opening night because of some important peple I know from being rich celebrity’, boasted Jones. ‘I’ve always wanted to know more about Gandhi since his name comes up frequently in conversations, and I feel like I have Googled him a long time ago’, the humble and relatable star continued. Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with Netflix Asked what his hopes are for his first trip to the sub-continent, Jones replied ‘Having stayed at the Trump Taj Mahal Hotel and Casino at Atlantic City New Jersey I think I have a pretty good understanding of India, but I can only hope that the nation will live up to expectations set when I ate lunch at the Indian Pavillion at Disney’s EPCOT center while waiting fot the 1: 15 showing of Captian EO to begin. The flatbread I had was so good I missed the showing, but it was Ok because I caught the 1: 45’.last_img read more

WB trafficking cases rising as people reporting more minister

first_imgKolkata: West Bengal has registered a rise in the number of trafficking cases in recent years as more people are coming forward to report such incidences, a state minister has said. Over the years, the state government, with the help of various welfare organisations, has been able to convince people to fight the menace, Minister of State for Women and Child Development Shashi Panja said.”People often indulge in blame game, pointing fingers at the state government for the increase in the number of trafficking incidents. That isn’t the case. In the past few years, we have seen more people mustering courage to talk about their plight,” she asserted. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsPanja was speaking at the seventh edition of ‘Anti-Trafficking in Persons Conclave’, hosted recently by the US consulate in Kolkata, in association with Delhi-based NGO Shakti Vahini.The two-day meet saw students, activists, journalists, government officials and security personnel coming together to find a solution to the issue that had been plaguing India and its neighbours.Lauding Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee for the internationally acclaimed Kanyashree scheme, the minister said over 47 lakh girls have benefited from the move. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Merc, 2 B’deshi bystanders killedKanyashree aims to ensure that girls stay in school and delay their marriages till at least age 18. As per the scheme, Rs 750 is paid annually to girls studying in class 8 and above, and a one-time grant of Rs 25,000 is paid after she turns 18 provided she is engaged in an academic or occupational pursuit and unmarried.”The scheme is a safety net for many girls, who wish to study and do something with their life,” Panja added.Echoing similar sentiments, US Consul General Craig Hall, who addressed the inaugural session of the meet, said human trafficking was a global problem. The US and India, as enduring partners of the 21st century, are committed to providing leadership on issues of shared interests, including the strengthening of human rights, he said.”In the last seven years, we have seen great examples of collaboration between civil society organisations and the government to combat trafficking,” Hall added.Sharing his experiences, Shrikumar Bandopadhyay, the IG of Sashastra Seema Bal, Siliguri frontier, said the porous international borders often make it easy for traffickers to escape law.”We visit schools in remote areas to generate awareness among the youths about the safe use of social media and the risks of giving in to temptations,” he said.”In the past two years, we have rescued at least 150 victims from the clutches of traffickers,” he stated.Ravi Kant, the founder of NGO Shakti Vahini, said the conclave gave all stakeholders a chance to brainstorm ways to tackle the global menace.”The two-day meet is a great occasion to strengthen our fight against forced labour and human trafficking. It is time that all stakeholders unite to end the menace once and for all,” he added.last_img read more

Fake doctor associate arrested in Murshidabad

first_imgKolkata: A fake doctor was arrested from Gorabazar area of Murshidabad on Thursday. The police also arrested his associate. The arrested doctor has been identified as Sadananda Sarkar. His chamber has been sealed.The police said the doctor used to treat patients suffering from venereal diseases and enjoyed a highly successful practice in the area. He had been treating patients for many years and even used to extort money from the patients. Hoping that they will be cured soon, the patients used to fulfill his demands. Also Read – Heavy rain hits traffic, flightsThe matter came to the fore when a patient from Bhagawangola lodged a complaint with the police after failing to get results. The doctor, however, continued to assure him and took fees for treatment. This raised suspicion of the patient.Posing as patients, the police visited the doctor’s chamber and began interrogation. The doctor failed to show any document or registration number to the police and finally broke down. He was arrested along with his associate and the chamber was sealed.The police said that till now, eight fake doctors have been arrested from Murshidabad.last_img read more

Woman held for killing toddler in Bengal

first_imgKolkata: A woman was held on Sunday on charge of strangling her one-year-old son due to frequent family quarrels in West Bengal’s West Midnapore district, police said. Kajol Hembrem, 28, of Kharagpur’s Jakpur village killed her son in the morning when other family members were not present and also tried to commit suicide but failed, police added. She later went to the Kharagpur police station with the boy’s body and surrendered. “Her questioning revealed that she bore a grudge against her husband and in-laws due to frequent quarrels in the family. She strangled her child after a heated argument with her family,” an officer from the police station said. Police said the child was rushed to the Kharagpur Medical College where he was declared dead. “We are questioning her. Other family members will also be quizzed,” the officer added.last_img read more

Shiv Sena sacks workers who attacked RTI activist in Latur

first_imgShiv Sena has sacked party workers who blackened the face of a Right to Information (RTI) activist at Latur in Marathwada region of western Indian state Maharashtra, Yuva Sena chief Aaditya Thackeray said here on Saturday.“Heard of the unfortunate incident in Latur. The party strongly condemns the disgraceful act. Those involved have been removed from the party,” Aaditya, son of Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray, tweeted.Following the recent high-profile, face-blackening offensive on Observer Research Foundation Chairman Sudheendra Kulkarni for hosting the book launch of former Pakistan foreign minister Khurshid Mahmood Kasuri in Mumbai, Sena activists on Friday blackened the face of RTI activist Mallikarjun Bhaikatti in Latur. The activist was beaten up and his face splattered with ink after he ‘threatened’ to expose irregularities in construction of a local educational institution’s premises.last_img read more

Special train brings hundreds of stranded people to Kolkata

first_imgKolkata: A train carrying hundreds of people stranded in the flood-ravaged Kerala reached here, a South Eastern Railway (SER) spokesman said here today. The passengers, mostly labourers from West Bengal, reached Howrah station late last night in the 21-coach special train from Thiruvananthapuram. Two more trains, which left Ernakulam on Sunday evening, are scheduled to reach the city today, the spokesman Sanjay Ghosh said. Mostly labourers in different professions like skilled workers to hotel staff, these people were stranded in several places in Kerala, which has been severely affected by floods. The passengers were ferried to their destinations in buses arranged by the West Bengal government. The relatives of the passengers heaved a sigh of relief with their near and dear ones reaching safely. A railways medical team, including two doctors, accompanied the passengers and they reported that nobody needed any medical assistance, he said.last_img read more

Four killed 1 injured after car collides with truck

first_imgKolkata: Four persons were killed and one injured when a car collided head on with a truck.The accident occurred on Purulia-Borakar road near Lipania-Bodashini area on Monday morning. The accident caused traffic congestion in the area for nearly an hour. The victims have been identified as Chiranjit Kundu (32), Sujit Mondal (34), Tapan Bhattacharya (32) and Sujay Das (32). They were residents of Asansol in West Burdwan. Police said the victims went to attend a marriage ceremony at Purulia town on Sunday evening. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal life They started off from Purulia town on early Monday morning to return home. According to the investigation, police came to know that they rented a Tata Indica car from Asansol. While they were returning home they met with a fatal road accident as the car hit a speeding truck coming from the opposite direction. Eyewitnesses told police the car was running at a top speed as a result of which it fell at a distance after it hit the truck. Some locals rushed to the spot after hearing a loud thud. They took part in the rescue operation. The victims were brought out of the mangled portion of the car and were rushed to Deben Mahato Sadar Hospital where four of the victims were declared brought dead. The injured person was later shifted to a private hospital as his condition deteriorated. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedAccording to the district police, the health condition of the injured person was stated to be critical. After being informed police reached the spot and seized the truck and the car. The traffic movement also resumed. The truck driver and the helper fled the spot immediately after the accident leaving the vehicle at the accident site. Police have started a detailed probe. They are yet to ascertain the exact cause of the accident. The investigating officers are examining if the driver of the car had fallen asleep at the time of the accident or the car had developed any technical glitch. Preliminary investigation suggests that the car changed its lane which might have led to the accident. Raids are being conducted to nab the truck driver.last_img read more