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Pollution: ‘Forever chemicals’ in rainwater exceed safe levels

Pollution: ‘Forever chemicals’ in rainwater exceed safe levels

Science
Getty ImagesNew research shows that rainwater in most locations on Earth contains levels of chemicals that "greatly exceed" safety levels.These synthetic substances called PFAS are used in non-stick pans, fire-fighting foam and water-repellent clothes. Dubbed 'forever chemicals', they persist for years in the environment.Such is their prevalence now that scientists say there is no safe space on Earth to avoid them.The researchers from Stockholm University say it is "vitally important" that the use of these substances is rapidly restricted. More research needed on climate extinction threatThe race to replace persistent chemicals in our homesDriest July in England since 1935 - Met OfficeScientists fear PFAS may pose health risks including cancer, though research has so far been inconclusive....
Brazil: Amazon sees worst deforestation levels in 15 years

Brazil: Amazon sees worst deforestation levels in 15 years

Science
AFPDeforestation in Brazil's Amazon rainforest has hit its highest level in over 15 years, official data shows. A report by Brazil's space research agency (Inpe) found that deforestation increased by 22% in a year. Brazil was among a number of nations who promised to end and reverse deforestation by 2030 during the COP26 climate summit. The Amazon is home to about three million species of plants and animals, and one million indigenous people. It is a vital carbon store that slows down the pace of global warming. According to the latest data, some 13,235 sq km (5110 sq miles) was lost during the 2020-21 period, the highest amount since 2006. Environment Minister Joaquim Leite said the data represents a "challenge" and said: "We have to be more forceful in relation to these crimes." He added...
After reaching pre-Covid levels, we will now focus on surpassing industry growth: SBI Cards Boss

After reaching pre-Covid levels, we will now focus on surpassing industry growth: SBI Cards Boss

Finance
Rama Mohan Rao Amara, MD & CEO, SBI Cards, discusses the growth of digital transactions over the year due to pandemic and the target strategies for credit-card penetration in India. Edited excerpts from an interview given to ET Now:ET Now: Given the kind of recovery we are seeing, can we say spends are inching towards pre-Covid levels? Rama Mohan Rao Amara: I think in Q1, due to lockdown and a very limited economic activity, we noticed that savings were more than the consumption but Q2 reversed the pattern and witnessed rise in consumption demand. The Q3 numbers suggest that we have come out of the economic downturn strongly. India Inc has returned to Pre-Covid levels in November 2020, while we at SBI Cards were able to achieve the same in October itself. If you look at the contributi...
Coronavirus levels ‘burning quite hot’ in some of UK

Coronavirus levels ‘burning quite hot’ in some of UK

Health
Getty ImagesSome areas of the UK are "burning quite hot" with rising levels of new coronavirus infections, England's deputy chief medical officer says. Although coronavirus levels are still decreasing across much of the UK, there are hotspots that buck the trend. These are in the Midlands and east and west coast of England and some parts of Scotland and Northern Ireland.Prof Jonathan Van-Tam told Friday's Downing Street briefing the battle is not yet won.NHS EnglandHe warned people not to wreck it by relaxing the rules too early. Health Secretary Matt Hancock said the aim was still to come out of lockdown together as a nation, but did not rule out measures being imposed locally if needed. The differences between areas now are smaller than those seen in the autumn.Prof Van-Tam said: "In som...
Drop in CO2 levels helped herbivorous dinosaurs migrate from South America to Greenland

Drop in CO2 levels helped herbivorous dinosaurs migrate from South America to Greenland

Science
Feb. 15 (UPI) -- Every year, the Arctic tern migrates from pole to pole, flying thousands of miles in a matter of weeks. Species as small as dragonflies and as big as gray whales swim and fly from continent to continent in just a few months. According to a new study, it took the world's largest herbivorous dinosaurs, Brontosaurus and Brachiosaurus, some 15 million years to trek the length of the supercontinent Pangea, from present day South America to what's now Greenland. Advertisement The new research, published Monday in the journal PNAS, suggests climate-related barriers were responsible for the sluggish pace. It was only with the assistance of a 2 million-year-long dip in atmospheric CO2 that the dinosaurs were able to complete their journey, researchers found. Scientists knew Bront...