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Social Insects Acting As Inspiration For Millions

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Ants are the representatives of strength and hard work. There are many people who do not like ants but these are remarkable insects. There are many facts about ants (also known as social insects) which are unknown to many people. Ants are considered as social insects as they reside in colonies and inherent characteristics like division of labor, overlapping of generation and group integration.

Unfolding unknown facts about ants

There are many facts about ants which are unknown to many. Most people hate ants. But it’s very important for those people (exorbitant kids) to know the unknown facts. Some of the facts being provided here:

  1. Ant is such a hard-working insect that it can lift weight about 20 times more than its body weight.
  2. Ants are usually taken to death when they fight with each other.
  3. Ants don’t have hearing organs or ears. They hear by predicting through vibrations which occurs on the ground.
  4. The queen ants are the only reproductive ants in the colony and lay millions of ant eggs. These ants can become male ants or female ants or even queen ants. They even survive for many years, up to 30 years.
  5. There are above 12000 types of species of the social insect all over the planet.
  6. To know where they have been the ants live pheromone trail in the process of foraging.
  7. There are three categories of ants in a group. They are male ants, female ants, and Queen ant. The female ants consist of wings. They shed the wings before starting a new nest.
  8. Female ants are also known as the worker ants that do all the important works of the colony like hunting for food, looking after the eggs, nest and the colony.
  9. The main task of male ants is to mate with the queen to produce eggs.
  10. The Ants have tiny holes all over their body. These holes act like lungs. This is why they do not have lungs. Oxygen and Carbon dioxide enters and leaves their body respectively through the tiny pores present all over the body.

Ant colony and its future

The Queen of a colony is the leader of the colony. She is the only one responsible for the birth of other ants. She mates with the male ants to lay millions of eggs. The male ants of the colony mate with other future queens. This is so that they can reproduce and expand their group.

The male ants usually die soon after mating. This process starts once the Queens turn adult. There can be one or multiple Queen in a colony. This depends on the species of the ant.

The function of soldier ants

The colony even consists of soldiers or workers. The soldier ants (usually the sterile females who can’t reproduce) protect the colony, the eggs, and the queen.

Female or the worker ants also emphasize in gathering food. They attack the colony of enemies in search of food. After the fight, the winning colony takes away the eggs of the defeated enemy group.

The eggs after hatching may become male, female or queen. This completely depends on the nourishment of the eggs and not on the gene. Soldier ants are also responsible for the building of ant hills and mountains.

 The lifespan of an ant colony

The average lifespan of an ant colony is limited to the lifespan of the queen ant or a little longer than her lifespan. If the queen dies then the colony survives for just a few months. Depending on the type of species, these social insects can live in millions in a group or a colony.

Types of ants

Argentine ants

As the name suggests the type of species is the native of Brazil and Argentina. This species was introduced in fright ships in the state of US in the 1890s. Designs are also found in the States of California, Washington, Maryland Oregon, and Illinois.

Diet:

The Ants native of Argentina refers to substances which are sweet. They can eat any products including fats, eggs, meat, and oils. One characteristic of these ants is that they do not visit the same area more than once. It’s a waste of time for them.

Habitat:

These natives of Argentina generally live in a wet environment which is close to some sources of food. The colonies can grow to the size of monuments.

Prevention

  1. Elimination of standing water.
  2. Making sure that there is no crack or any opening in the house.

Carpenter ants

This type of ants builds their nest for living in the woods. This insect can cause damage to your house and especially to the products which are made of wood. Each colony of this type of ants has fertilized the queen. The queen starts living in the wood cavity. She feeds the babies with saliva and lives in the nest all the time.

Diet:

The carpenter ants avoid eating wood that is removed by them during building activity of the nest. The ants deposit them in front of the colony. The diet of this type of ants includes dead as well as live insects. They also eat meat and fat. Although they stay in damp wood but unlike termites they don’t feed on wood.

Habitat:

The carpenter ants usually live in areas of damp wood or anywhere else where they find water.

The Impacts caused by them:

This type of ants can make tunnels perfectly inside the wood. But these ants usually do not carry any sort of diseases.

Prevention:

Eliminate any sort of standing water so that ants cannot reproduce there or make the nest.

Keep trees and other twigs away from your house.

Odorous house ants

This sort of ants has a very strong coconut-like smell. They build a nest around living places and there can be up to 1 lakh members in a colony.

Diet:

This sort of ants eats sweet substances and insects.

Habitat:

These ants make their nest in logs and debris.

Impact:

This type of ants usually is not a threat to health. But they are responsible for contaminating food.

 

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Global Warming: The Coronavirus and the Reduction of Global Carbon Emissions

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Have you wondered whether any good can come from the global coronavirus, COVID-19? Will there be a long-term decline in global warming statistics caused by the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions?

The disastrous consequences of COVID-19

At a glance, there are many more disadvantages than advantages. The global economy is battling to hold up under the strain of the rapid spread of the virus. Mainland China has closed off her airports and harbors, and as most of the world’s manufactured products come from China, these closures are causing havoc in the rest of the world.

Eric Morath of the Wall Street Journal notes that “financial markets and economic forecasters are warning of rising risks for the U.S and global economy, which we’re improving before the novel coronavirus spread from China around the world.”

Current infection rates stand at 102 469 cases across the globe, with more than sixty-four countries reporting at least one case. And, most of the infections, 80 651 cases, are in mainland China. As Alan Whiteside notes, in his seminal piece titled, “Covid-19 (the SARS-CoV-2) and you,” there are “puzzling blank spots on the map, notably most of Africa and Latin America and China outside Hubei.”

Consequently, the question that scientists and researchers are asking is: Why are the COVID-19 infection numbers extremely low or non-existent in these areas? There are currently no answers to this question. Researchers simply do not know.

The trajectory in global infection rates is difficult to predict because there are too many unknowns in how the virus spreads, mutates, and whether it is seasonal or not. Thus, the researchers who use mathematical algorithms to develop predictive models determining how bad the outbreak will be, are reporting vastly different outcomes based on the various mathematical equations used as a basis for a particular model. In this case, the number of predicted cases range from at least 500 000 cases to a maximum of 4.4 million cases. 

As an aside, researchers know that the virus spreads through touch. This typically occurs when a person touches a surface that has been contaminated by an infected person and touches their face, especially their mouth, eyes, or nose. It is also transferred via infected droplets that are sprayed everywhere by an infected person coughing or sneezing.

Finally, the Case Fatality Rate (CFR) needs to be considered to put the disease into perspective. The seasonal flu CFR rates in the USA is usually less than 0.1%. In other words, there is one fatality for every 1000 infections. The original CFR rate in China was originally thought to be 2.3%.

However, it has also been reported by the Worldometers.info website that a number of COVID-19 cases double every 7.4 days. Thus, the global CFR rate has dropped from 2.3% to 2.2%. And, more than 50% of those infected have recovered.

The possible benefit of COVID-19

As an aside, it must be noted that the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak is devastating for many people across the globe, especially for those stranded in geolocations cordoned off by the authorities to prevent the spread of the virus.

And, even though the global health and economic negatives far outweigh any possible benefit to the pandemic, there is one potential advantage to the worldwide reduction of the manufacturing and transport sectors.

The CarbonBrief.org website reported on 19 February 2020, with updated information on 4 March 2020, that China’s CO2 emissions had reduced by 25%. This is because electricity demand and industrial output are still far below their usual levels. Statistically speaking, the effects of the attempt to contain the coronavirus have resulted in a 15% to 40% reduction in production across China.

Final thoughts

Preneshni R. Naicker, in her journal article titled, “The impact of climate change and other factors on zoonotic diseases,” notes that “geoclimatic change most markedly affects zoonotic diseases transmitted by arthropod vectors.”

She also highlights the fact that circa 60% of all new human pathogens are zoonoses. In other words, almost two-thirds of all new viruses contracted by humans are transferred from animals. And, there is a complicated relationship between the human-animal interface, which is continuously influenced by the effects of climate change.

Therefore, based on this scientific research, it is possible to conclude that the earth, or environment, allows, even encourages, the development of zoonoses like the latest coronavirus to protect itself from the ongoing destruction as a consequence of climate change and global warming.

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Bad News for Coal Mining: Green Energy is Gaining Grounds in India

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Coal mining is the initial step in the filthy cycle of coal use. It causes deforestation and the release of toxic levels of heavy metals and minerals into the water and soil. Besides, coal mining is linked to the negative environmental impact that persists for decades after the coal has been removed. The good news is that different nations around the world are taking important steps to mitigate the impact of coal extraction action.

India’s bold move

India has achieved a significant green energy milestone and successfully driven another nail into the coffin for coal mining and usage. The country has wrapped up what’s being perceived as the largest ‘firmed renewables’ auction in the world. Besides, India’s move has locked in some of the world’s most affordable prices for solar energy.

Launched by SECI (Solar Energy Corporation of India) in August 2019, the tender called for about 1.2 GW of grid-connected electric power capacity with a guaranteed peak supply of power. This was the first project of this kind in India. The project’s primary objective was to procure a supply of approximately 600 MW of power for 6 hours every day from 5:30 am to 9:30 am and from 5:30 pm to 12:30 am (the peak power demand hours).

Beyond the expectations

SECI’s project was oversubscribed and attracted bids for 1.62 GW of power capacity. However, it was highly competitive, with Greenko securing about 900MW of hydro-storage power for an average tariff of Rs4.404/kWh and a quoted peak tariff of about Rs6.12/kWh.

Additionally, Goldman Sachs-backed ReNew Power acquired 300 MW in battery capacity. The weighted average bid was Rs.4.30/kWh and a quoted peak price of about Rs.6.85/kWh. According to PV Magazine, India has set a world record for renewable-plus-batter storage capacity. And this is a significant step in reducing coal mining and its impact on the environment.

For the amount of renewable energy provided during the off-peak hours, SECI is expected to pay Rs2.88/kWh, a pre-specified tariff. Note that the tariffs granted are payable over a period of 25 years.

The successful bids amount to 3GWh of energy storage capacity and the associated green energy generation assets. And all these sound a warning for coal mining and usage.

Green energy is taking root

coal mining vs green energy
Image Credit: Business-Review EU

According to Kashish Shah, a reputable research analyst at IEEFA, Energy Economics and Financial Analysis), the beauty of this auction was that the target tenderers had provided time-of-use pricing. Shah mentioned that this is the first project for India where battery storage is incorporated, and it shows that when this time-of-day pricing and financial incentive are provided, it is easy to minimize coal mining and attract the top renewable energy players in the industry.

Shah told the RenewEconomy that the tender timing is somewhat right for India as the country is hovering close to the 100GW mark for the overall installed renewable capacity. After this point, storage will become increasingly crucial for all new projects.

Meanwhile, solar energy advocates across the country are now celebrating the results of this tender. This is because the advent of green energy means a death knell electric power generated from coal. Shah agrees to the fact that India should continue taking the right steps to minimize coal mining and imports and then transition from thermal-based electricity production to renewable energy-based power.

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Republic Day 2020: Did you get a Chance to Join the Greatest Constitution Party?

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Republic Day 2020! Today, India displayed cultural diversity and military prowess during a parade at Rajpath – New Delhi. The newly acquired Apache helicopters and Flypast by India Air force fighter jets thrilled the thousands of attendees during the 71st, Republic Day 2020 Parade.

Additionally, daredevil acts displayed by women bikers, a contingent of the CRPF made its debut during the parade. They garnered exciting applause from thousands of attendees seated on both sides of the Rajpath. Indians took the news to Twitter, Facebook, and other social media platforms to share their unwavering loyalty to their constitution and democratic nation.

India is one of the world’s largest democratic countries and is always serious about its constitution. The nation goes out to celebrate the remarkable achievement in self-government – the Republic Day annually, every January 26th.

Every year, the most significant focus is on New Delhi’s impressive cultural and military parade, but the event is usually celebrated in most cities and towns across the country.

Republic Day 2020 in New Delhi
Image Credit: The Indian Express

Today’s event began with President Ram Nath Kovind unfurling the Tricolour, and then the national anthem followed. Later 21-gun salute blasted the sky. And the Chief Guest for Republic Day 2020 was the Brazil President Jair Messias Bolsonaro.

What’s Republic Day?

January 1950 was a defining moment in India’s history and the entire world. It is the day India’s high-commissioner in Europe (London) signed the Oath of Allegiance to a constitution at a great ceremony at India House. This marked India’s status as a republic. For decades, the nation has celebrated Republic Day on Jan 26th.

India gained its independence from centuries of British rule in 1947. The leaders began working on an important governing document for this sprawling country. This document was adopted in Nov 1949, but it wasn’t until Jan 26th, 1950 that India’s new constitution was signed and went into effect.

The famous Delhi Parade and Celebrations

New Delhi is the country’s capital and hosts the biggest and most significant parade in the history of our nation. It’s quite a spectacle.

The event is usually broadcasted live across the nation and even beyond its borders. It displays the nation’s military prowess with weaponry, tanks, and precision marching by the members of the armed forces in their finest uniform.

And it’s not just the military display.

Elaborate floats and groups of people represent the country’s unfathomable religious diversity, climates, and cultures – Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, and more. Indeed, it’s a happy, free-for-all event with dancers swirling their beautiful costumes and professional acrobats on motorcycles.

The Rest of the Nation

Republic Day 2020 wasn’t just a New Delhi affair. Across the country, celebrations and parades were held all over the nation. Bangalore, the high-tech hub in South-central, the parade was held at the Field Marshal Manekshaw Ground. In Kolkata, the parade wound along the famous Red Road – near the Maidan.

In Mumbai, the country’s financial and entertainment powerhouse, the Republic Day 2020 was held at Shivaji Park. Other remarkable cities that held today’s events include Chennai and nearly any other city or town where Indians raised the national flag to celebrate the defining moment of the country’s history.

Lastly, Indians living in the UAE and other countries also celebrated this important event. For instance, Hundreds of Indian nationals across the United Arab Emirates gathered in Dubai at the Consulate General of India in the early hours of Sunday morning to celebrate their country’s 71st Republic Day.

India’s national flag was hoisted by CGI at 7:40 am as visitors and residents sang patriotic songs. Some of them took pictures alongside the mother country’s national flag.

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