In a country that predominantly depends on rain for irrigation, loss of crops due to disruptive weather continues to be a source of distress to farmers, and approaches to make crops tolerant to the vagaries of weather are necessary. In a recent study, researchers have shown that, by modifying particular genes, rice plants can be kept alive through periods of acute salinity in their water supply.
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Oryza sativa, or rice, is the staple food of more than half the world’s population and supports the livelihoods of around 145 million households. Since its domestication thousands of years ago, rice has played an essential role in shaping civilisations. However, present-day practices of rice cultivation may harm the planet's climate, shows a recent study conducted in India.
The clamour about the warming planet and the changing climate is growing louder by the day as we worry about the implications of greenhouse gases on the earth. But, did you know that our planet has seen many such ‘greenhouse periods’ in the past where the concentrations of greenhouse gases were significantly higher, resulting in higher temperatures? Yes, you read that right, and one such period was about 56 to 34 million years ago, called the Eocene epoch.
The Amazon river is the largest river system in the world, discharging huge volumes of fresh water into the ocean. Scientists from the Center for Atmospheric and Oceanic sciences have explored what would be the effect of the reduction in the Amazon river’s runoff into the ocean. The scientists demonstrate the wide ranging climatic changes that can occur if the river discharges lesser water into the Atlantic ocean.
Everyone Indian eagerly waits for the arrival of the monsoon rains. Some to just get relief from the sweltering heat while others, like farmers are dependent on the monsoon for their crops. Even though the arrival of the monsoon in Kerala is predicted accurately every year, the monsoon predictions for the other parts of the country have not been dependable. Now, scientists from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore have devised a new mechanism to predict the arrival of the monsoon in central India up to one month in advance.
Thunderstorms, coupled with torrential rains are a regular phenomenon in India. Each year, thunderstorms claim hundreds of lives and destroy crops and livestock worth crores of rupees. Although meteorologists predict them, it’s too late to warn the affected people to save the loss. Now, researchers have developed an accurate model to predict severe thunderstorms in the Indian Monsoon Region (IMR). By being able to accurately predict this weather phenomenon much in advance, we could save many lives, claim the researchers.