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Where most wars occur in Earth???

This might sound different but it is clearly determined that most wars on earth occur in rich biological regions. The study by leading international conservation scientists compared major conflict zones with the Earth’s 34 biodiversity hotspots identified by Conservation International . The hotspots are considered top conservation priorities because they contain the entire populations of more than half of all plant species and at least 42 percent of all vertebrates, and are highly threatened.

The richest storehouses of life on Earth are also the regions of the most human conflict and it tells us that these areas are essential for both biodiversity conservation and human well-being. Millions of the world’s poorest people live in hotspots and depend on healthy ecosystems for their survival, so there is a moral obligation in the form of political and social responsibility to protect these places and all the resources and services they provide.

The study found that more than 90 percent of major armed conflicts defined as those resulting in more than 1,000 deaths occurred in countries that contain one of the 34 biodiversity hotspots, while 81 percent took place within specific hotspots.

The consequences extend far beyond the actual fighting. War preparations and lingering post-conflict activities also have important implications for biodiversity hotspots and the people who live there.The fact that so many conflicts have occurred in areas of high biodiversity loss and natural resource degradation warrants much further investigation as to the underlying causes, and strongly highlights the importance of these areas for global security.

In total, the hotspots are home to a majority of the world’s 1.2 billion poorest people who rely on the resources and services provided by natural ecosystems for their daily survival. Environmental concerns tend to recede or collapse in times of social disruption, and conservation activities often get suspended during active conflicts.

The study concluded that international conservation groups and indeed the broader international community must develop and maintain programs in war-torn regions if they are to be effective in conserving global biodiversity and keeping ecosystems healthy. It also called for integrating conservation strategies and principles into military, reconstruction and humanitarian programs in the world’s conflict zones.

February 22, 2009 Posted by | Fact, Nature, Personal | , , , , | 13 Comments

Green Comet Approaching the Earth

Comet Lulin will streak by the earth within 38 million miles 160 times farther than the moon and is expected to be visible to the naked eye. Discovered only a year ago, the comet gains its green colour from poisonous cyanogen and diatomic carbon gases in its atmosphere.This will be the comet’s first visit to the Earth’s inner solar system- and will enable the team from the University of Leicester to gain valuable insights into the comet.

They are using NASA’s Swift satellite to monitor Comet Lulin as it closes on Earth. The spacecraft has recorded simultaneous ultraviolet and X-ray images of a comet.

A comet is a clump of frozen gases mixed with dust. These “dirty snowballs” cast off gas and dust whenever they venture near the sun. Comet Lulin, which is formally known as C/2007 N3, was discovered last year by astronomers at Taiwan’s Lulin Observatory.

Swift can’t see water directly. But ultraviolet light from the sun quickly breaks apart water molecules into hydrogen atoms and hydroxyl molecules. Swift’s UVOT detects the hydroxyl molecules, and its images of Lulin reveal a hydroxyl cloud spanning nearly 250,000 miles, or slightly greater than the distance between Earth and the moon.

The UVOT includes a prism-like device called a grism, which separates incoming light by wavelength. The grism’s range includes wavelengths where the hydroxyl molecule is most active.In the Swift images, the comet’s tail extends off to the right. Solar radiation pushes icy grains away from the comet. As the grains gradually evaporate, they create a thin tail of hydroxyl molecules.

Farther from the comet, even the hydroxyl molecule succumbs to solar ultraviolet radiation. It breaks into its constituent oxygen and hydrogen atoms.The solar wind, a fast-moving stream of particles from the sun interacts with the comet’s broader cloud of atoms. This causes the solar wind to light up with X-rays.

This interaction, called charge exchange, results in X-rays from most comets when they pass within about three times Earth’s distance from the sun. Because Lulin is so active and is losing a lot of gas, its X-ray emitting region extends in a large cloud far sunward of the comet.

February 21, 2009 Posted by | Fact, Personal, science | , , , | 6 Comments