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2 days ago
US expands sanctions on Russia over Ukraine

Washington, Sep 12 (IANS) The US Friday slapped tougher sanctions on Russia over the Ukraine crisis, targeting Russia's largest bank and leading energy and defence technology firms. The US added Russia's largest bank -- Sberbank of Russia -- to the existing prohibitions on US persons providing equity or certain long-term debt financing and tightened the debt financing restrictions on six...

3 days ago
EU sanctions against Russia to come into effect Friday

Brussels, Sep 12 (IANS) The European Union (EU) has announced that the fresh sanctions aimed at Russia's financial and energy sectors will come into force Friday. The EU sanctions would not allow union nationals and companies to provide loans to five major Russian state-owned banks, Xinhua reported Thursday. Similarly, trade in new bonds, equity or similar financial instruments w...

3 days ago
Ozone layer on track to recovery: UN

Geneva, Sep 11 (IANS) The Earth's protective ozone layer is well on track to recovery in the next few decades, thanks to concerted international action against ozone depleting substances, said a UN report Wednesday. The conclusion was made in the assessment published Wednesday by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), Xinhua repo...

4 days ago
British ship lost 170 years ago found near Canada

Toronto, Sep 10 (IANS) Canadian underwater archaeologists have found the wreckage of one of the two British exploration ships, which were part of the famed Arctic explorer Sir John Franklin's doomed expedition 170 years ago. The wreckage was found in the Arctic Ocean off the north coast of Canada using a remote operated underwater vehicle recently acquired by Parks Canada, an agency of t...

13 days ago
Melting Antarctic ice sheet raising sea-level faster

London, Sep 1 (IANS) Fresh water from melting glaciers has caused the sea-level around the coast of Antarctica to rise by 2 cm more than the global average of 6 cm. The melting of the Antarctic ice sheet and the thinning of floating ice shelves has contributed to an excess of around 350 giga-tonnes of freshwater to the surrounding ocean, the findings showed. Fresh water is less d...

14 days ago
Early Arctic inhabitants lived without sex, says study

London, Aug 31 (IANS) As the scientific community dwells over the possibility that Neanderthals had sex with humans, an Indian-origin researcher has found that the earliest Arctic inhabitants lived in complete sexual isolation from their neighbours for almost 4,000 years. Paleo-Eskimos, after surviving in near-isolation in the harsh Arctic environment for over 4,000 years, disappeared ar...

23 days ago
Sunlight, not bacteria, key to CO2 in Arctic

Washington, Aug 22 (IANS) Sunlight and not bacteria is the key to triggering the production of carbon dioxide (CO2) from material released by Arctic soils, says a significant study. The vast reservoir of carbon stored in Arctic permafrost (permanently frozen soil) is gradually being converted to carbon dioxide (CO2) after entering the freshwater system in a process which has so far been ...

23 days ago
Human skin fungus tracked to deep sea animals

New York, Aug 22 (IANS) A ubiquitous skin fungus linked to dandruff, eczema and other itchy, flaky maladies in humans has now been tracked to Hawaiian coral reefs and the extreme environments of arctic soils and deep sea vents. We have found multiple new examples of fungi of the genus Malassezia on corals, sponges and algae and in water samples, deep sea thermal vents and sediments from ...

24 days ago
Life brimming with active ecosystem beneath Antarctic ice

Washington, Aug 21 (IANS) A lake that has not seen sunlight or felt a breath of wind for millions of years beneath the Antarctic ice is brimming with life and active ecosystem, reveal findings of a massive US expedition. The life is in the form of microorganisms that live one-and-a-half mile below the surface of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet and convert ammonium and methane into the energ...

25 days ago
Tibet plateau getting hotter, polluted: Report

Beijing, Aug 20 (IANS) A fresh environmental assessment of the Tibetan Plateau has found that the region is getting hotter, wetter and more polluted, threatening its fragile eco-systems and those who rely on them. The report, released in Lhasa by the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) and the government of Tibet, finds that precipitation has risen by 12 percent since 1960 and temperatures...

26 days ago
Exceptional iceberg to blame for Titanic disaster?

London, Aug 19 (IANS) While the sinking of the Titanic in 1912 is typically blamed on human, design and construction errors, a study points to two other unfavourable factors outside human control. There were a greater number of icebergs than normal that year, and weather conditions had driven them further south and earlier in the year than usual, the researchers said. The RMS Tit...

27 days ago
Snow cover on Arctic sea ice has thinned significantly: NASA

Washington, Aug 18 (IANS) In an alarming revelation, NASA has confirmed that the snow on sea ice in the Arctic has thinned significantly in the last 50 years - by about a third in the western hemisphere and by half near Alaska. The research by NASA and University of Washington, Seattle recorded changes in snow depth over decades by combining data from various sources. In the stud...

1 month ago
Antarctic ice melt may accelerate sea level rise

London, Aug 14 (IANS) The ice discharge from Antarctica could become the largest contributor to sea level rise much sooner than previously thought, says a study. If greenhouse gases continue to rise, ice discharge from Antarctica could raise the global ocean by an additional 1-37 centimetres in this century already, said lead author Anders Levermann, a climatologist and professor at the ...

1 month ago
Antarctic researchers lose heating at -55 degrees

London, Aug 8 (IANS) A group of British researchers faced a 19-hour power outage in Antarctic's freezing temperatures after a serious operational incident at their research facility in the world's southernmost continent, a media report said Friday. The 13-member British Antarctic Survey (BAS) team has since last month been dealing with a yet unidentified technical snag at the Halley Rese...

1 month ago
Methane created mysterious Siberian crater: Study

London, Aug 1 (IANS) The mysterious crater spotted in the frozen Yamal peninsula in Siberia earlier this month was probably caused by methane released as permafrost thawed, Russian researchers say. Air near the bottom of the crater contained unusually high concentrations of methane - up to 9.6 percent - in tests conducted at the site, said Andrei Plekhanov, an archaeologist at the Scient...

1 month ago
Decreased carbon dioxide formed Antarctic ice sheet?

New York, July 31 (IANS) Turning a long-held climate shift theory on its head, researchers have found that decreased carbon dioxide (CO2) levels during a major climate shift 34 million years ago led to initiation of Antarctic glaciation. The finding counters a 40-year-old theory suggesting massive rearrangements of the Earth's continents caused global cooling and the abrupt formation of ...

1 month ago
Arctic new training ground for Mars exploration

Washington, July 30 (IANS) A team of NASA scientists is testing new equipment in Nunavut, the northernmost territory in Canada, to better equip themselves for exploring Mars. Describing the island as a living laboratory, scientists say that like Mars, the high Arctic is perpetually cold and exposed to the elements. The uninhabited island is a rocky polar desert marked by an ancie...

1 month ago
New mayfly species discovered in India

New York, July 28 (IANS) Scientists have found a new species of mayfly in the southern Western Ghats, a mountain range along India's west coast. This is the first time that any mayfly belonging to the genus Labiobaetis has been found in peninsular India. The new species, called Labiobaetis soldani, is named in honour of T. Soldan for his substantial contribution in the understand...

1 month ago
Pakistani woman climbs world's seven highest peaks

Islamabad, July 27 (IANS) Samina Baig became the first Pakistani woman to climb seven highest peaks in seven continents in under eight months, media reported Sunday. Baig, 23, has completed the challenge of climbing seven of the highest mountains around the world, including Mount Everest which she scaled in May 2013, Dawn online reported. Baig accompanied by her brother Mirza Ali...

1 month ago
Wherever I may roam: Travelling in the subcontinent

What drives people to leave the comforts of their home and familiar surroundings to explore other lands near and far? Can we ascribe it to the human fascination to visit new places, see how other people live, or obtain fresh experiences? Or are they simply echoing life, which itself is a journey in time and space? Travel also always had a close relation with literature. One of the most e...

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