Citizens' Issues
Massive global coral bleaching event now underway
Driven by climate change and a persistent underwater heat wave, our oceans are now facing the third global coral bleaching event that could impact approximately 38 percent of the world’s coral reefs by the end of this year and kill over 12,000 square kilometres of reefs, scientists have warned.
 
Coral bleaching occurs when corals are exposed to stressful environmental conditions such as high temperature. Corals expel the symbiotic algae living in their tissues, causing corals to turn white or pale. Without the algae, the coral loses its major source of food and is more susceptible to disease.
 
"The coral bleaching and disease, brought on by climate change and coupled with events like the current El Nino, are the largest and most pervasive threats to coral reefs around the world," said Mark Eakin, coral reef watch coordinator at US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
 
The first global bleaching event was in 1998, during a strong El Niño that was followed by an equally very strong La Nina. A second one occurred in 2010.
 
The current bleaching event, which began in the north Pacific in summer 2014 and expanded to the south Pacific and Indian oceans in 2015, is hitting US coral reefs disproportionately hard.
 
By the end of 2015, almost 95 percent of US coral reefs will have been exposed to ocean conditions that can cause corals to bleach, NOAA estimated.
 
"What really has us concerned is this event has been going on for more than a year and our preliminary model projections indicate it is likely to last well into 2016," Eakin said.
 
Although reefs represent less than 0.1 percent of the world’s ocean floor, they help support approximately 25 percent of all marine species. 
 
As a result, the livelihoods of 500 million people and income worth over $30 billion are at stake, the report said.
 
This announcement made on Thursday stemmed from the latest NOAA Coral Reef Watch satellite coral bleaching monitoring products, and was confirmed through reports from partner organisations, especially the XL Catlin Seaview Survey and ReefCheck.
 
While corals can recover from mild bleaching, severe or long term bleaching is often lethal.
 
After corals die, reefs quickly degrade and the structures corals build erode. This provides less shoreline protection from storms and fewer habitats for fish and other marine life, including ecologically and economically important species.
 
"We need to act locally and think globally to address these bleaching events. Locally produced threats to coral, such as pollution from the land and unsustainable fishing practices, stress the health of corals and decrease the likelihood that corals can either resist bleaching, or recover from it," Jennifer Koss from NOAA noted.
 
"To solve the long term, global problem, however, we need to better understand how to reduce the unnatural carbon dioxide levels that are the major driver of the warming," Koss pointed out.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.
 

 

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Priyanka 'most sensational celebrity' in Indian cyberspace
Actress Priyanka Chopra, who made her international TV debut with American thriller series "Quantico", has replaced Alia Bhatt to top the list of "most sensational celebrity" as cyber crooks are using her name to lure netizens to malicious websites, security software company Intel Security has announced.
 
In its ninth edition this year, Intel Security Most Sensational Celebrity survey has found Priyanka topping the charts in Indian cyberspace, followed by Shraddha Kapoor, Kapil Sharma, Jacqueline Fernandez and Kangana Ranaut.
 
The software company researched popular culture's most famous people to reveal the riskiest celebrity across the web and this year, Priyanka came at the top, read a statement.
 
"Cyber criminals keep a lookout for ways to take advantage of consumer interest around popular culture events including award shows, TV show premieres, film music launches, celebrity breakups, and more. The research found this year that almost 11.47 percent of all links generated while evaluating the top ten celebrity names led to malware ridden or suspicious sites," the statement said. 
 
Venkat Krishnapur, head of Intel Security Group - India Engineering Centre, said: 
“Cybercriminals capitalise on consumer interest around popular culture by luring unsuspecting consumers to risky sites to steal sensitive personal data". 
 
"At Intel Security, our endeavor is to educate and empower consumers to stay safe online. For the ninth consecutive year, our initiative highlights the problem of risky websites," he added. 
 
Among other celebrities whose names were added to the list of top 10 includes Hrithik Roshan at sixth position, Deepika Padukone, Emraan Hashmi and Sunny Leone having a tie at seventh position, Alia at eighth position and Aamir Khan and Kareena Kapoor Khan at ninth and tenth position respectively.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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Google launches public transport app in Delhi
Internet giant Google on Thursday launched a new app -- Delhi Public Transport App -- which aims to make it easier for the residents of the national capital to get around on public transport.
 
The new experimental app will be built into Google Maps and will help users get transit directions easily even when the connection is slow and data is difficult to access, the internet giant said.
 
"Delhi Public Transport app makes the direction and time-table information for Delhi Metro and buses available offline, to help users get information about directions between bus stops and metro routes even when they don't have any net connection," Google said in a statement.
 
"Once the app is downloaded, it uses no data for directions' queries or timetables, even if the phone is online. A small amount of data is used for news alerts (if online, roughly 1 KB each, about once a day) and user-optional feedback (up to 100 KB per feedback report)," it added.
 
The app will use the same transit data for DMRC metro, DTC buses, DIMTS (orange) buses and Gurgaon Rapid Metro as that found on Google Maps and available offline for the users.
 
According to Google, around 2.6 million people travel by Delhi Metro.
 
Disclaimer: Information, facts or opinions expressed in this news article are presented as sourced from IANS and do not reflect views of Moneylife and hence Moneylife is not responsible or liable for the same. As a source and news provider, IANS is responsible for accuracy, completeness, suitability and validity of any information in this article.

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