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Issue no. 99 | March 2021

Cover story

Rising Icebergs:
Due to global warming, more icebergs head for shipping lanes

What the sensible climate pandits had for told years ago has now happened. Thanks to global warming, multitudes of icebergs are making international sea lanes virtual minefields. Dreadful nature of icebergs was fully realised for the first time on the night of April 14, 1912 when the huge passenger liner Titanic after collision with a drifting iceberg, sank in the North Atlantic Ocean. No doubt, invention of devices such as sonar and radar after that disaster considerably increased safety of ships. However, shipping in the northern latitudes is in jeopardy once again. Unlike stray ones in the past, hordes of icebergs have started obstructing the maritime traffic. Whereas primary impact of the greenhouse effect is the rise in the average temperature of Earth, but its varied and woeful side-effects make a long list.

Not to mention animals and birds, even trees have commenced gradual migration towards less warm and humid regions in the north. For example, our most common bird, the house sparrow can be seen in Kazakhstan nowadays. Unprecedented warming of the oceans is instrumental in increasing the frequency of violent cyclones.

More interesting articles

What sets one person apart from all the others in the world?

Observe the people around yourself carefully wherever you may be, whether in a widely frequented shopping mall or in a crowded restaurant or amidst the surging humanity at a metropolitan railway station; you will not come across two persons who are exactly alike. Even if you extend the search for two persons who are like carbon or Xerox copies up to the Mahakumbh fair at Haridwar, rest assured your effort would not bear fruit because the Creator has not made two exactly alike persons till date.

All about ‘Lithium Triangle’ and rare-earth elements

As on date China has monopoly on 17 rare-earth elements without which production of a variety of things ranging from smartphones to LCD TV and from CFL bulbs to wind turbines is not possible. China has created artificial shortage forcing many countries including to start a treasure hunt for these minerals. The most sought after is lithium.

The first element forged by the so-called Big Bang about 13.7 billion years ago was hydrogen, the lightest element. Helium came next, followed by lithium.

Guided missiles: Hitting the bull's-eye with electronic brain

For guns the orders are: ‘Ready! Aim! Fire!’. For missiles, the sequence is: ‘Ready! Fire! Aim!’. It is the aiming part that missiles generally do by themselves. How do they do it? How do they home in on the target?

It is better to initiate discussion on missiles with the question how many types of missiles are there, because the answer to this question will garner much information about them. Basically missile is a sophisticated rocket so its outer framework is not much different from a rocket’s.


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