IIT Gandhinagar: Changing rainfall pattern results in groundwater deficit in north India

The groundwater level in north India declined at a rate of 2 cm per year during the period 2002-2013, while in north-central and south India it increased by 1-2 cm per year during the same period, says a study carried out by a team of researchers from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Gandhinagar. While … Continue reading IIT Gandhinagar: Changing rainfall pattern results in groundwater deficit in north India

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60 percent of Indo-Gangetic groundwater too contaminated to use

The water table has either been stable or rising between 2000 and 2012 across 70 per cent of the aquifer in the Indo-Gangetic Basin that is spread over more than 250 million hectres across India, Bangladesh and Pakistan. In the remaining 30 per cent of the aquifer, ground water levels are falling, amounting to a … Continue reading 60 percent of Indo-Gangetic groundwater too contaminated to use

Comet impact leads to building blocks of life

A crash of a comet (icy body) on rocky surfaces or rocky body on icy surface may be all that is required for seeding planets or satellites with amino acids — the basic building blocks so very essential for life. This was predicted using computer simulations in 2010 and 2013. Though comets harbour the organic … Continue reading Comet impact leads to building blocks of life

Editorial: Watery Mars

Published in The Hindu on February 4, 2013 Mars might have been cold and dry with a transient presence of water at the surface some four billion years ago — the early Noachian period. But it is becoming increasingly clear that the environment below the surface was surely warmer and wetter, with liquid water present … Continue reading Editorial: Watery Mars

Editorial: Signs of earliest life

Published in The Hindu on September 12, 2011 The latest fossil finds of microscopic life about 3.4 billion years ago in sedimentary rocks in Western Australia suggests that life began some 200 million years earlier than previously reckoned. Though a paper published recently in the journal, Nature Geoscience, does not claim them to be the … Continue reading Editorial: Signs of earliest life

Earthquake: unpredictability is its middle name

Published in The Hindu on March 24, 2011 How safe are nuclear plants located in countries that have faults cutting across them or located close to tectonically active regions? How reliable and helpful is seismology (the science of earthquakes) in forecasting the probability of occurrence of damaging quakes? The 6.3 quake that struck Christchurch in … Continue reading Earthquake: unpredictability is its middle name

Why the 7.8 magnitude Nepal quake was less devastating

Published in The Hindu on August 8, 2015 Despite the April 25, 2015 Nepal earthquake being 7.8 magnitude, shallow focus, most of the vulnerable, regular, four-storey buildings escaped damage while many taller structures were severely affected. The death toll was only around 9,000. In contrast, the stronger quake of 1934 (8.1 to 8.4 magnitude) caused … Continue reading Why the 7.8 magnitude Nepal quake was less devastating