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Steady increase in hot days in Northwest and Southeast India in recent years: claims study


Heatwaves in india
The 2019 Indo-Pakistani heat wave across north India and Pakistan( Credit: NASA Earth observatory/ Wikimedia Commons)

Harikrishnan B

According to a study conducted by the researchers from Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) and the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi (IITD), there was a steady increase in the occurrence and duration of hot days in the Northwestern and Southeastern regions in India in the recent years. Analyzing weather data from 1951 to 2015 to understand the incidence and duration of heatwave conditions in India, the study found that the average heat wave duration in the Northwestern and Southeastern regions of India has increased during this period. 

However, the average duration of hot days has decreased over most parts of India from 1951 to 2015, except in the northwest and southeast regions. According to the researchers, this may be due to the increase in average heatwave duration in the Northwestern and Southeastern regions during the same period as hot days could be upgraded to the heatwave category as temperature soars.


Rare orchid spotted from Kullu after 119 years

Flowers of Calanthe davidii, rare orchid, orchids western ghats
Flowers of Calanthe davidii (Image Credit:Ashutosh Sharma/JOTT)

A rare orchid, Calanthe davidii, has been reported from Kullu district of Himachal Pradesh after a gap of 119 years. According to researchers, the last available record of the plant from India dates back to 1899, from Mussoorie in Uttarakhand. 

As per a report published in the latest issue of Journal of Threatened Taxa, Ashuthosh Sharma, a researcher associated with DR YS Parmar University of Horticulture and Forestry, happened to come across an unknown orchid in August 2018 while carrying out a survey in Kullu. A detailed study from the available specimens of the plant in the herbarium later helped in identifying it as Calanthe davidii.

Yellow-legged gull eggs wriggle to warn nest mates about danger, induces survival traits

Yellow-legged gull chicks in their nest (image credit: Contando Estrelas)

Birds and animals emanating alarm calls to warn their offspring about possible predator presence is a common occurrence in the animal world. However, a new study published in nature Ecology and Evolution journal shows that Yellow-legged gull eggs which are exposed to such alarm calls can imbibe that information and pass it on to other nest mates through vibrations, inducing developmental changes at embryonic stage and also influencing anti-predator behavior in later life.

As part of the study, the researchers collected 90 eggs from a large colony of Yellow-legged gulls from Salvora Island in Spain and conducted an experiment to investigate whether alarm calls about predators ‘heard’ by the eggs induce anti-predator traits in the chicks when they hatch. They have created an experimental group – clutches of 3 eggs each, (totaling 45) which were exposed to alarm calls – and a control group –clutches of 3 eggs (totaling 45) which were not exposed to alarm calls.