Published: Saturday 15 May 2004

better chick-pea variety: Scientists from New Delhi-based Indian Agricultural Research Institute have developed a drought-resistant variety of chick-pea. The variety, Pusa-1053, has a yield of about 1,300 kilogrammes per hectare, which is significantly higher than the 700 kilogrammes produced per hectare by the traditional varieties of the seeds.

more heat, less rain: Many researchers say a warmer world will be a wetter one: as temperatures rise, more water will evaporate from the seas, leading to increase in rainfall. But things might not be as simple as projected, claims Beate Liepert of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, USA. Her team has found that an increase in the levels of polluting aerosols has lead to lesser rainfall in many parts of the world. The researchers ran computer simulations of the climate to gauge the effect of aerosol concentrations on a warmer world. They found that more aerosols mean that moist air produces many small water droplets rather than a few big ones. These droplets don't grow big enough to sink through the air, so there is less rainfall.

breeding lobsters: India has become the second country in the world after Australia to undertake captive breeding of sand lobsters. The lobsters are being bred in the Chennai centre of Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute. The development would help save the crustaceans, whose population has been dwindling worldwide due to overfishing.

ancient proof: A necklace made of shell beads, which are 75,000 years old, has been recently found in South Africa. The discovery was made in a layer of sediment dating from the middle of the Stone Age. The find reinforces the theory that civilisation developed much earlier than believed.

endless impacts: Pesticides could impair mental development, proves a study conducted in India by the pressure group Greenpeace. During the study, children in the age groups of 4-5 years and 9-13 years were examined for their analytical abilities and memory power. In the former group, children exposed to pesticides performed worse than the control group in 86 per cent of the tests. In the older age group, the figure was as high as 84.2 per cent.

Subscribe to Daily Newsletter :

Comments are moderated and will be published only after the site moderator’s approval. Please use a genuine email ID and provide your name. Selected comments may also be used in the ‘Letters’ section of the Down To Earth print edition.