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    Vast mountain ranges that reached as high up as the Himalayas but were 3–4 times as long 'supercharged' the evolution of life on Earth some 2,000 million years ago. This is the conclusion of Australian National University-led experts, who said these 'supermountains' leached essential nutrients, spurring on biological activity. The researchers detected evidence in ancient river sediments of two 'huge spikes' in mountain building activity, coinciding with key developments in life's history. These include the development of complex cells, the emergence of the first large animals and the establishment of the major animal groups.  The colossal mountain chains crossed entire supercontinents at 4,900 miles (8,000 km) long, compared to the Himalayas' span of just 1,500 miles (2,400 km). Vast mountain ranges that reached as high up as the Himalayas (pictured) but were 3–4 times as long 'supercharged' the evolution of life on Earth some 2,000 million years ago THE 'BORING BILLION'  The 'Boring Billion' was a period of intense stability that spanned from 1.8–0.8 billion years ago. During this interval, there were no major biological, climatic or geological events —...
    Due to its abundant water supply and terrain, the Himalayas can generate enough energy through hydroelectric power stations that can serve the whole of South Asia. Arguing that this will make it possible to meet expectations regarding renewable energy use, it is not surprising that so many projects have been announced in recent years. The problem – which is why experts have turned to the Prime Minister – is that the region is more prone to earthquakes and other environmental disasters. In addition, climate change will increase temperatures and cause severe flooding as glaciers melt. Power stations in the area were damaged by floods and landslides in 2013 and 2021 – read on Web Home. The region is simply too unstable to operate hydropower plants safely, and global warming will make this even worse. – C.P. Rajendran, a paleosynthetic expert, was one of the signatories to the letter. According to another expert, the solution would be to support only small projects that generate energy through the natural flow of rivers without creating dams and reservoirs. According to the International Hydroelectric...
    Australian scientists have found one of the world's rarest mammals living high in the Himalayan Mountains. The squirrel is more than one metre long, weighs 2.5 kilograms and has been known to scientists for almost 130 years - but was previously thought to be a single very rare species living mostly in remote valleys in Pakistan. Now researchers from Australia and China have shown that two related species of gigantic, woolly flying squirrels, both previously unknown to science, live in India and China. Led by Australian Museum Chief Scientist Professor Kristofer Helgen and Research Associate Dr Stephen Jackson, the findings were published on Monday in the Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society. Two new species of gigantic woolly flying squirrels discovered in the Himalayas. The Yunnan Woolly Flying Squirrel (Eupetaurus nivamons) is pictured (above) Using the handful of museum specimens of woolly flying squirrels available, with data from field expeditions, the team confirmed that these huge, fluffy squirrels form three widely separated populations of distinct species, two of which are described as new species. These have been named the...
    NEW DELHI (Reuters) - A landslide 20 kilometres west of Nanda Devi, India's second-highest peak, resulted in a flash flood on Feb. 7 that left more than 200 dead, and swept away two state hydro-electric projects, according to satellite imagery reviewed by Reuters. Avalanches and flash flooding in the Himalayas are common during summer and monsoon months, as melting snow and heavy rains combine. But incidents like this are rare so early in the year, alarming scientists studying climate change that is rapidly heating the world's highest mountains. Scientists are still studying the details of exactly what happened, but said heavy snowfall followed by bright sunshine led to snow-melt in the area. That could have triggered a chain reaction that led to an avalanche and heavy flow of ice, water, rocks and debris surging down the Dhauliganga River valley and destroying villages. While at least 70 bodies were recovered, the state government has formally declared that another 136 people missing are presumed dead. Dave Petley, Professor of Geography at The University of Sheffield, told Reuters that there was a reduction...
    A wall of water fell violently on the Rishiganga valley in the state of Uttarakhand destroying everything in its path. The phenomenon was first attributed to the rupture of a Himalayan glacier but other hypotheses are being considered, including the formation of a glacial lake, due to the melting of a glacier, the shores of which have given way. At least 68 bodies had been extracted from the rubble. Those still missing will be declared dead. The Tapovan hydroelectric power station, in which around 30 people were trapped, was also ravaged by the flood.
    Locals hit by the glacier flood disaster in India this month which killed up to 200 people believe a nuclear device placed in the Himalayas by US Cold War spies caused the deluge. Part of a glacier and a large chunk of rock face broke off in mountains of Uttarakhand, jamming a river before the mass of backed-up water broke through, causing mass devastation. The deluge of water, rocks and soil hurtled down a V-shaped valley, sweeping away homes, roads and bridges as well as around 200 people, many of whom have still not been found almost two weeks on. In the farming mountain village of Raini, residents believe that nuclear devices which may have been hidden under the rocks for decades, could have caused the devastation by melting the snow. Locals hit by the glacier flood disaster in India this month which killed up to 200 people believe nuclear devices placed in the Himalayas by US spies caused the deluge Sangram Singh Rawat, the headman of Raini, told the BBC: 'We think that the devices could have played...
    By Alasdair Pal and Saurabh Sharma NEW DELHI (Reuters) - An estimated 200 people are missing and 18 are confirmed killed after an avalanche in India's Himalayan region broke dams, swept away bridges, and left dozens of construction workers trapped in tunnels. Here are answers to some questions on the disaster: WHAT DO WE KNOW? The incident began on Sunday morning below Nanda Devi, India's second-highest peak. India's power minister, R.K. Singh, said an avalanche led to flash floods that swept away the small Rishiganga hydro electric project and damaged a bigger one further down the Dhauliganga river being built by state firm NTPC. Video footage showed a torrent of water, rock and dust sweeping down a mountain valley, where workers were still constructing and maintaining the dams. WHAT ARE THE POSSIBLE CAUSES? While it is too early to conclusively determine how the disaster began, experts said heavy snowfall followed by bright sunshine led to excessive snow-melt, triggering a chain reaction that led to the avalanche. "The area witnessed a heavy snowfall and then solar rays resulted in the melting...
    Rescue teams continued their work on Monday to locate some 150 missing in the avalanche that occurred on Sunday glacier break in northern India, and about thirty workers trapped in a tunnel, while the authorities confirmed the death of another 14 people in the incident. The disaster took place on Sunday morning in the district of Chamoli, in the state of Uttarakhand in the Himalayan mountain range, when the glacier break triggered an avalanche of water and mud that followed the course of several river beds, forcing the emergency evacuation of thousands of people. Until now a total of 15 people had been rescued and “14 bodies have been recovered from different places,” the Chamoli Police announced this Monday on their official Twitter account. Much of the rescue efforts are focusing on the search for the workers of two hydroelectric plants under construction affected by the avalanche, where it was initially estimated that there could be about 150 workers who are still missing. Race against the clock Without stopping work overnight, the displaced teams were trying to rescue the...
    ATAt least 200 people were missing in northern India on Sunday after a Himalayan glacier broke, causing a flash flood when it fell into a river. “At least three bodies” have already been found “in the bed of the river,” a spokesman for the state police of Uttarakhand told .. The massive body of water devastated the Dhauliganga River valley, destroying everything in its path, submerging two power plants and sweeping away a dam, roads and bridges, according to images taken by terrified locals. “There was a cloud of dust when the water came through. The earth was shaking like an earthquake, ”resident Om Agarwal told Indian television. Most of the 200 missing are employees of the two power plants ravaged by the flood, caused by the fall of a huge piece of glacier that broke away from a wall of the mountain upstream, the police chief said. local, Ashok Kumar. “There were 50 employees at the Rishi Ganga plant and we have no information about them. There were 150 employees at Tapovan, ”another power plant, according to...
    Several dead and missing have been recorded following the collapse of a piece of glacier in the Himalayas, India. Military means were deployed on the spot. The collapse of a piece of Himalayan glacier, in the north of india, left at least 9 dead and 150 missing, this Sunday, February 7. “The actual number of missing has not yet been confirmed, but 100 to 150 people have reportedly been killed“said Om Prakash, chief secretary of the state of Uttarakhand where the incident occurred. According to the agency ., the collapse resulted in the destruction of a hydroelectric dam, causing important floods in several villages. हे महादेव रक्षा करों चमोली जिले के रैणी गाँव में ग्लेशियर फटने से ऋषिगंगा पावर प्रोजेक्ट को भारी नुकसान, हरिद्वार तक बढा बाढ का खतरा, अलर्ट जारी ….बाढ़ प्रभावित क्षेत्रों के नागरिक से अनुरोध हैं अपना ध्यान रखें दूरी बना कर रखें ।।#chamoli #Uttarakhand#Chamoli pic.twitter.com/hOhBPO3h8J – Ravi Kishan (@ravikishann) February 7, 2021 Another image a partner agency of . showed the rise in the level of the river, washing away part of...
    Kathmandu Prof. Borrmann and his team prepare and calibrate about 11 different instruments. But its most precious pieces are two unique sensitivity mass spectrometers, instruments that separate and measure trace gases based on their mass. It takes a couple of hours to check and calibrate the instruments and attach them to the outside of the plane, even under the wings, to get the air flowing. Then, because there is not enough space for tractors near the hangar, about 20 investigators push the plane out where the Russian pilot, the only person to board, can start its engines. There are few planes that can fly as high as this one, a Russian M-55 Geophysica. Commercial flights sail at an altitude of about 11 km, but this aircraft can reach more than 20 km. Pilots must wear a pressurized suit on single-seat aircraft. Organizing flights was difficult in a region with political tensions. Professor Borrmann says it took four years of high-level diplomacy to reach an agreement to fly the plane in Nepalese and Indian airspace. Once...
    The Indian Army issued a statement on Wednesday denouncing media reports of China using “microwave weapons” against Indian troops in the Himalayas as “baseless” and “fake.” Media articles on employment of microwave weapons in Eastern Ladakh are baseless. The news is FAKE. pic.twitter.com/Lf5AGuiCW0 — ADG PI – INDIAN ARMY (@adgpi) November 17, 2020 The report the Indian army denounced was apparently based on a lecture given by Jin Canrong, professor of international relations at Renmin University in Beijing. Jin claimed the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) forced Indian troops to retreat from two strategic hilltops in the mountainous border region by bathing the positions in microwave radiation.  According to the Renmin professor, Chinese troops set up their weapons at the bottom of the contested hills and “turned the mountain tops into a microwave oven.” This tactic supposedly delivered a brilliant victory for China because it made the Indians so uncomfortable they had to withdraw, but it did not involve firing lethal ammunition at them, which would have violated the uneasy ceasefire along the border. “In 15 minutes, those occupying the...
    Telugu superstar Nagarjuna has completed shooting for his upcoming film, Wild Dog. The filming is on at Manali, Himachal Pradesh, and on Friday, Nagarjuna took to Twitter and shared a few pictures with the cast and crew of the film. “Heading home after wrapping up my work for #WildDog !!feeling sad as I say good bye to my talented team and the Himalayas!! #manali,” Nagarjuna captioned the post. Dussehra 2020: Nagarjuna Akkineni and Gopichand Wish Fans A Very Happy Dussehra! (View Posts) Responding to his post, actor Ali Reza wrote: “Nag sir, It was lovely working with you. As actors, we have a lot to learn from you. A king not only in cinema but at heart. Going back home with memories. Will miss all the fun! Hope I get a chance to work with you again in future.” Bigg Boss Telugu 4: Samantha Akkineni Replaces Nagarjuna as Host… Just for One Special Episode (Watch Video) Check Out Nagarjuna’s Tweet Below: Heading home after wrapping up my work for #WildDog !!feeling sad as I...
    Dust from some of the world's largest deserts is contributing to the rapid melt of the Himalayan snow caps, scientists have found.  The particles reach the peaks after travelling thousands of miles from the Indian Thar Desert, the plains of Saudi Arabia and the Sahara Desert.  After being carried around the world on vast air currents, the particles settle on the Asian mountain range and darken the otherwise pristine snow.   This dampens the phenomenon known as the 'albedo effect' where light-coloured surfaces reflect more heat, helping keep areas cool.  As a result of the dust, the darker snow is absorbing more heat and therefore melting quicker. It is thought this could explain the rapidly melting snow in the Himalayas.     Dust is reaching the snow capped mountains of the Himalayas (pictured) and speeding up melting, NASA funded research reveals   A NASA-funded international team of researchers scoured some of the most detailed satellite images ever taken of the Himalayas and recorded levels of minute atmospheric aerosol particles, elevation and the amount of dust present on snow. It revealed the amount of...
    Hong Kong (CNN)Two nuclear-armed powers, both run by nationalist governments at a time of economic tension, are once again squaring off along their shared border. Is this a recipe for disaster? Earlier this week, China accused Indian troops of illegally trespassing on Chinese territory in the Himalayas, months after the two countries engaged in their bloodiest clash in more than four decades. That incident, which left dozens of soldiers dead, had been followed by calls for calm and deescalation, but negotiations between Indian and Chinese officials went nowhere, and things are once again heating up along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), the de facto border between the two countries. Speaking Tuesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said: "the Indian side has severely undermined China's territorial sovereignty, breached bilateral agreements and important consensus, and damaged peace and tranquility in the border areas, which runs counter to the recent efforts made by both sides for deescalation of tensions on the ground."For its part, New Delhi has accused Beijing of being the aggressor, and such is the nature of the hotly-disputed...
    The Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) carried out live-fire drills in the Himalayas at the end of July, publicly debuting some of the army’s latest weapons, including “a new 122-millimeter caliber wheeled howitzer and a vehicle-mounted version of the HJ-10 anti-tank missile system,” the PLA’s official English-language website reported Thursday. “A combined arms brigade attached to the PLA Tibet Military Command recently conducted a series of live-fire artillery exercises in the middle section of the Himalayas, which has an elevation of about 4,600 meters [15,000 feet],” state-run China Central Television (CCTV) reported on Tuesday. The drills reportedly simulated anti-aircraft shooting and precision artillery strikes on hostile targets – such as missile installations and communication hubs – using long-range rocket launcher systems. “This was followed by live-fire coverage of hostile positions, bunkers, and camps with howitzers,” according to the report. Although the report failed to note the designation of the new howitzer debuted in the drills, Chinese military observers told the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) mouthpiece Global Times that it “looks very similar to and uses similar technologies as the PCL-181 155-millimeter caliber wheeled...
    By Ashok Sharma and Emily Schmall | Associated Press NEW DELHI — India’s prime minister is meeting top opposition leaders Friday as the government tries to lower tensions with China after 20 Indian soldiers were killed in a clash in a Himalayan border region. India and China accuse each other of instigating the fight in the Galwan Valley, part of the disputed Ladakh region along the Himalayan frontier. It was the deadliest conflict between the sides in 45 years. China has not said whether it suffered any casualties. Both countries said they were communicating through military and diplomatic channels and stressed the importance of their broader relationship. Experts say the two nations were unlikely to head to war, but that easing tensions quickly will be difficult. The Himalayan clash has fanned growing anti-Chinese sentiments in India, which were already high because of the coronavirus pandemic, which began in China late last year. India’s caseload has climbed to fourth-highest in the world. Emotions were on display in the southern city of Hyderabad, where thousands watched the funeral procession of Col. Santosh...
    The crystal blue waters of Pangong, the world's highest saltwater lake, rest like a jewel in the glacial landscape of Ladakh in the Himalayas. Each year, thousands of people flock here to savour its pristine beauty, most of them blithely unaware, as they pose for selfies, that they stand in one of the most dangerous places on the planet — a trigger point for a nuclear catastrophe. And this week, detonation came a step closer as Asia's two mega-states — India and China — traded, quite literally, blows. On Tuesday night, at least 20 Indian soldiers died, including a colonel, and an unknown number of Chinese troops were killed after a month-long standoff erupted high on a cliff top as temperatures plummeted. After a fatal shooting in 1975, the military on both sides often go unarmed as they patrol the remote and hotly disputed border, and this conflict was fought hand to hand over several hours with batons, rocks, fence posts and clubs wrapped in barbed wire. If it were not so deadly serious, it would be comical.  Indian...
    NEW DELHI (AP) — India and China sought Wednesday to de-escalate tensions after flexing their muscles in a fatal clash along a disputed border high in the Himalayas that left 20 Indian soldiers dead. The skirmish Monday in the desolate alpine area of Ladakh, in Kashmir, followed changes by India to the political status of Kashmir amid a geopolitical tug-of-war with the United States in the region. Chinese officials said Wednesday that both sides had agreed to peacefully resolve their Himalayan border tension through dialogue. India should “not take unilateral actions that might complication the situation,” said the Foreign Ministry in Beijing. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said in a speech Wednesday that “India wants peace but is capable of giving a befitting reply.” He has called a meeting of India’s major political parties on Friday to discuss the China situation. At least 20 Indian soldiers, including a colonel, died of severe injuries suffered in sub-zero temperatures, Indian officials said, after the two sides threw rocks and traded blows in the culmination of a months-long standoff in the...
    Hong Kong (CNN)After over four decades of saber-rattling and minor scuffles, a border dispute between China and India has again turned fatal. At least 20 Indian soldiers were killed in a bloody brawl with Chinese troops on Monday in the Galwan Valley, close to Aksai Chin, an area controlled by China but claimed by both countries. It is unclear if or how many Chinese soldiers died. Both sides have accused the other of overstepping the de facto border, the Line of Actual Control (LAC) that runs along the western sector of the valley. The details of the encounter remain confused, however, and may never be fully clear. The two nuclear-armed neighbors are now attempting a rapid deescalation of tensions, even as some jingoistic and hawkish voices in both countries are demanding greater defiance and aggression. For its part, China had already moved large numbers of troops and armaments to the region, while India has also reportedly reinforced its position, though New Delhi has been less vocal about its military strength there. Aksai Chin, the area in contention, is claimed as...
    (CNN)Three Indian soldiers were killed during a "violent face-off" with Chinese troops along the countries' de facto border in the Himalayas late Monday, the Indian army said in a statement. The incident occurred during a "deescalation process" underway in the Galwan Valley in the disputed Aksai Chin-Ladakh area, where a large troop build up has reportedly been taking place for weeks now on both sides of the border, before senior military commanders began talks earlier this month. According to the Indian army statement, the loss of life on the Indian side includes an officer and two soldiers. The statement did not say whether there were any Chinese casualties. It added that senior military officials from both sides are currently meeting to defuse the situation. At a regular press conference Tuesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said that on Monday "Indian troops seriously violated our consensus and twice crossed the border line for illegal activities and provoked and attacked Chinese personnel which lead to serious physical conflict between the two sides." "China has lodged strong protest and representation with the...
    NEW DELHI (AP) — Indian and Chinese foreign ministry officials on Friday discussed the flaring of tensions on their disputed Himalayan border, where thousands of soldiers from the two countries have been facing off just a few hundred meters (yards) from each other for a month, an Indian official said. The video conference came a day before generals in the Ladakh region are scheduled to meet at a border post to intensify efforts for a pullback to their pre-May positions in the region. The army officers have held a series of meetings in the past four weeks to break the impasse. An External Affairs Ministry statement in New Delhi said both sides agreed that they should handle their differences through peaceful discussion “bearing in mind the importance of respecting each other’s sensitivities, concerns and aspirations and not allow them to become disputes.” Indian officials say Chinese soldiers entered the Indian-controlled territory of Ladakh in early May at three different points, erecting tents and guard posts. They said the Chinese soldiers ignored repeated verbal warnings to leave, triggering shouting matches,...
    (CNN)Last month saw several face-offs between the Indian Army and China's People's Liberation Army along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), their long-disputed shared border, high in the Himalayas. While the entanglement in North Sikkim was resolved locally, within the framework of mutually agreed-upon protocols, the ones in Eastern Ladakh have lingered, giving rise to speculation about China's intentions. The last major stand-off between the Asian giants was at Doklam in 2017, and lasted for 73 days. It was followed by informal meetings between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping, first at Wuhan in April 2018 and then at Mamallapuram in Tamil Nadu in October 2019. During those interactions, both leaders reiterated the importance of peace in border areas for greater strategic gains. They also issued guidance to their respective militaries to exercise restraint and strengthen mutual understanding and trust. India's Defence Minister Rajnath Singh (C) arrives at the Parliament in New Delhi on February 11.At strategic and operational levels, both militaries have exercised restraint. However, at the tactical level, face-offs occur due to differing perceptions...
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