Personal Finance and the Web

first_imgContributions by Molly Herndon and Carolyn BirdThe recent Financial Blogger Conference, and the tweet-ups that accompanied the event, shone a light on how many financial blogs exist out there in the webisphere. It seems like everyone with a computer and a half hour of free time in their day is creating a blog, and many are doling out financial advice. Some may be seasoned financial professionals and others might have no business at all giving financial advice. How can you encourage your clients to become financially savvy and to safely use the Internet to their advantage without getting taken advantage of?Be Wary of “.com”The Web address designation is the first step in identifying the source of information on the web. The “.com” stands for “commercial” and that means the entity posting the information is a for-profit organization. There are a variety of ways a company can profit through its Web site, including the sale of advertising space or goods or services. Either way, the important thing to keep in mind that making money is the primary purpose of this website, not distributing unbiased financial advice.This doesn’t mean there isn’t great advice to be had on .com sites. Many reputable news organizations, blogs, and trustworthy financial authorities have .com web addresses. Other useful Web site extensions for your clients to know are:• .org – these are sites are hosted by non-profit organizations• .net – this extension is most commonly used by web hosting companies and business’ Intranets• .gov – indicates sites that are hosted by U.S. government agencies• .mil – extensions are reserved for the U.S. Department of DefenseTake Information with a Grain of SaltRegardless of the source of information, advice provided on a static page is general advice. It’s not tailored to meet the needs of any one person’s specific financial situation. The web is a great resource for general information to familiarize yourself with a topic, such as checking accounts or investment trends. It is a great way for service members to do background research to gain a sense of the number and variety of options available. But when it comes to their personal situation, specific advice should be sought by speaking with a Personal Financial Management Program manager or counselor. Nothing can replace a genuine conversation about a family’s finances.Make the Internet Work for YouThe Internet is a virtually unlimited source of information. Savvy Internet browsers can learn a great deal about finances online. Encourage your clients to become a part of the conversation online by signing up for web alerts around topics they’re interested in learning more about. Google Alerts offers this service and articles on client’s selected topics will be emailed to them each day. Many financial blogs allow users to subscribe so new posts are delivered through email or via Facebook or other social media tool. And encourage clients to share their resources with others. Tweet it, post it to Facebook, save it to a page bookmarking service like Diigo, and email it to your cousin; these capabilities are what make the Internet so great. Sharing information creates dialogue about the topic and that increases the likelihood the user will invest in learning more about the topic.How has the Internet helped or hindered your work as a PFMP?last_img read more

Compound Clips as Audio Tracks in Final Cut Pro X

first_imgHarness the power of compound clips! Save time in your video editing by applying effects to multiple audio tracks at once in Final Cut Pro X.The compound clip feature in FCPX can make your edits more organized and efficient! By combining your audio clips into a single compound clip, you can essentially create master audio tracks to which you can apply effects. It takes only three simple steps.1. Select the Audio Clips You Want to CombineFirst, highlight all of the audio clips you’d like to combine into a FCPX compound clip. You may choose to group them by audio type — dialogue, music, sound effects, etc. — or break them down further — audio from Interview A, b-roll audio, etc.2. Select “New Compound Clip”Now right-click on the selected clips and choose “New Compound Clip.”3. Make AdjustmentsYou can now quickly adjust the volume, solo/mute, or add effects to a group of audio clips all at once inside Final Cut Pro X. If you want to later make changes to any of the individual audio clips inside your master compound clip, simply click the compound clip and it will expand revealing each audio clip inside it.Aside from the inherent time-saving benefits, this is also a great way to keep your FCPX project timelines more organized.Remember to search the PremiumBeat blog next time you need additional audio editing tips, video editing tricks, and Final Cut Pro X techniques. You’ll likely find the answers you need!last_img read more

3 Free iPhone Apps to Improve Your Color Grading Skills

first_imgImprove your grading skills on the go with these FREE color grading iPhone apps.The easiest way to get good at something is just to practice. They say to master something you need about 10,000 hours of practice at it to really know your stuff, whatever your area of interest. As we all know, finding those 10,000 hours is another matter.If you want to improve your color grading skills and knowledge, then these three apps will help you fill in some of those spare moments on the train, in the waiting line at the supermarket or just in those idle moments in life.  Great practice for any photographer or video editor!SnapSeed – Photo Grading AppVoted Best Mobile Photo App of 2012 and Best iPad App of 2011, Snapseed is without a doubt an excellent app.  Now, thanks to being purchased by Google, it is available for free! The reason that this app will help you improve your color grading is in the way it allows your to explore the effect of contrast, saturation, color balance, applying grain, making spot adjustments and much more.  Yes, it has all the ”Instagram” style filters but more importantly you can create individual adjustments and learn how different images and lighting scenarios respond to your grading choices.Mill Color – A Technical Color Grading AppCreated by The Mill (a post production company with offices in London, New York and Los Angeles) this free color grading app provides a ‘technical’ interface to your grading choices that is more similar to the interfaces in fully fledged video grading apps.  So although Snapseed is more fun and a far better designed app (as it was previously a paid-for app), I’ve included Mill Color here because it allows for much finer adjustments to your image and in each RGB channel. So if you want to explore more complex color adjustments or the effect of contrast adjustments in the Lift, Gamma and Gain (Shadows, Mids and Highlights) areas of your image, this app is for you.The Digital Intermediate DictionaryAlthough less of a ‘fun’ app, this free DI Dictionary from Company 3 lets you quickly look up all manner of technical grading terms in an easy to use A-Z format. If you’ve ever wanted to know what ‘interocular’ means or how ‘step printing’ works then this app will fill you in. Its probably not the kind of information that you’re going to sit and read through, but it does provide an excellent reference for improving your technical lingo. Best of all, it’s free.last_img read more

ARRI Conquers the Academy Awards. RED? Not so Much.

first_imgARRI was the camera of choice for a majority of the 2015 Oscar nominees, while RED was noticeably absent for the second straight year. Let’s take a look at the major award categories and see who shot on what.Oscar night is always full of revelations and bombshells, but one of the evening’s most interesting surprises was in the hardware representation category. Out of all the nominated films, Richard Linklaters’s Boyhood was the only film to not utilize ARRI gear – and RED was totally absent for the second year in a row. Let’s take a look at the major categories and find out what films were shot on what cameras.Best PictureAmerican Sniper: ARRI  Alexa XTBirdman: ARRI  Alexa M, ARRI  Alexa XTBoyhood: Moviecam Compact, Panavision Panaflex Millennium XL2The Grand Budapest Hotel: ARRICAM STThe Imitation Game: ARRICAM LT, ARRICAM STSelma: ARRI ALEXA XT PlusThe Theory of Everything: ARRI ALEXA, ARRIFLEX 16 SR3 Whiplash: ARRI ALEXA, Canon EOS 7DBest DirectorBirdman: ARRI ALEXA M, ARRI ALEXA XTBoyhood: Moviecam Compact, Panavision Panaflex Millennium XL2Foxcatcher: ARRIFLEX 235, Panavision Panaflex Millennium XL2The Grand Budapest Hotel: ARRICAM STThe Imitation Game: ARRICAM LT, ARRICAM STBest CinematographyBirdman: ARRI ALEXA M, ARRI ALEXA XTThe Grand Budapest Hotel: ARRICAM STIda: ARRI ALEXA PLUS 4:3Mr. Turner: ARRI ALEXA PLUS, Canon EOS C500Unbroken: ARRI ALEXA XT M, ARRI ALEXA XT Plus, ARRI ALEXA XT Studio, ARRI ALEXA XTBest EditingAmerican Sniper: ARRI ALEXA XTBoyhood: Moviecam Compact, Panavision Panaflex Millennium XL2The Grand Budapest Hotel: ARRICAM STThe Imitation Game: ARRICAM LT, ARRICAM STWhiplash: ARRI ALEXA, Canon EOS 7DOf course, while this small sampling of Hollywood talent chooses to work with ARRI, RED is still a beloved go-to tool for filmmakers like Peter Jackson, David Fincher, and Steven Soderbergh. And with the recent announcement of the upcoming WEAPON upgrade, next year’s list of Academy Award nominees might have you seeing RED.Do you have any opinion on the RED vs ARRI debate?Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.last_img read more

The Best of The Beat: PremiumBeat’s Most Popular Posts of 2016

first_imgBest of The Beat: Staff PicksTo finish up the list, we asked our blog staff to pick the articles they enjoyed writing the most. Here’s what they had to say about their personal favorites.Caleb Ward: 20 Pieces of Film Gear You Can Print With a 3D Printer“It seems like everyday there’s a new product that says it’s going to ‘change’ the film industry, but few innovations actually live up to the hype. I think that 3D printing is the future of film and video production. Gone are the days of buying gear and adapters online.”Jourdan Aldredge: The Science Behind 4k Restorations of Classic Films“This was an interesting article to research and explore. It’s really a fascinating process and, in itself, a great way to learn how films are captured, restored and digitized so they can be preserved for future generations to watch and enjoy.”Lewis McGregor: How Focal Length Alters the Psychological Impact of Your Images“I’m a huge advocate of exploring how various visual properties provoke different emotions. Focal lengths are prime for this topic. A quick switch from a wide-angle to a telephoto can give your image an entirely new meaning.”Logan Baker: Cinematographers Who Establish an Instantly Recognizable Look“Researching the ins and outs of the work of major cinematographers was not only eye-opening, but motivational to me as a filmmaker, demonstrating the importance of finding your own vision.”Michael Maher: The Media Machine Behind the Dallas Stars“As a hockey nut and Dallas Stars fan, getting to spend a whole day following the team and video crew was a blast. This was an experimental piece unlike the content you’d typically find on PremiumBeat, and its success allowed us to go behind the scenes in other industries — like visiting Atomic Fiction’s VFX house in Montreal and interviewing the robotics crew behind Microsoft’s Surface Pro commercial.”And so we say goodbye to 2016 — but not before offering our heartfelt thanks to YOU, the faithful readers and loyal customers who make all of this possible. Sound off in the comments with your favorite articles, any feedback, or anything you’d like to see in 2017!Oh, and since you made the effort to read all the way down to here, we’ve got a little treat for you as a token of our gratitude.Send Michael Maher an email (mmaher@premiumbeat.com) with your name and physical mailing address and you’ll receive a free PremiumBeat sticker. He’ll keep sending them until we run out!Thanks again. <3Your PremiumBeat Staff Best of The Beat: The Top Technical Tips of 2016Finding solutions to common video workflow issues is something we talk about in the office every day. Next time you run into a problem on set or in an edit, take a second to search the blog — chances are, someone on staff has encountered the situation and shared the fix. If you don’t find an article that addresses the problem, shoot us an email, Facebook message, or tweet and we’ll see what we can do! Here are PremiumBeat’s top technical posts of 2016.The Most Common Framing Mistakes in Cinematography12 Video Editing Tips for Cutting a DocumentaryHow to Create a Dolly Zoom With Just a Prime Lens9 Helpful Audio Tricks for Recording Documentary InterviewsVideo Editing Quick Tip: How to End a Track With Reverb Best of The Beat: The Top Video Tutorials of 2016PremiumBeat increased our output of original video tutorials in 2016 — and you’re about to see a lot more, thanks to our new in-house studio that goes operational in early 2017. We want our video tutorials to be as helpful as possible, which is why we include free project files and assets whenever we can. Take a look at PremiumBeat’s top video tutorials of 2016.Create a Spellbinding Doctor Strange Shield in After EffectsHow to Create a Star Wars-Inspired Hologram in After EffectsEverything You Need to Create a Rad 80s Logo Reveal in After EffectsHow to Create a Vintage Effect in After EffectsEasily Create Captions in Adobe Premiere Pro Best of The Beat: The Most-Shared Articles of 2016Some of these posts blew up on social media, some were picked up by other blogs and filmmaking sites. Either way, these posts — the most-shared PremiumBeat articles of 2016 — got the community talking.The Biggest Camera Flops of 2016Favorite Focal Lengths of Famous DirectorsThe Basics of Building a Color Correction Suite26 Totally-Free Assets for Wedding VideosManipulating the Audience’s Emotions With Color In which your pals at PremiumBeat reflect on 365 days of film and video news, tips, talking points, hacks, freebies, and more. Did your favorite posts make the list?Top image via ShutterstockIt was a big year for PremiumBeat’s blog. We wrote a ton of articles in 2016 — 445 including this one. We gave away hundreds of free elements, project files, a filmmaking book, and even added a Free Downloads category for you to find them all. The Beat also increased our full-time writing staff and brought in some great new contributors from across the globe. And that’s just on the blog side!We can’t forget to mention all the high-quality new royalty free tracks and 100,000+ new SFX on the audio side of things. Our music team made major strides in curating more world-class songs, including the new Independent Collection. Plus, with you in mind, we simplified our licensing and now include loops and short versions with every purchase.We promise 2017 will be even bigger — we have some massive projects in the works — but for now, let’s look back at some of the highlights of 2016. These blog posts kept people coming back, kept the conversation flowing, and hopefully helped keep you on top of your video-production game.Best of The Beat: The Most-Read Articles of 2016These are the articles that keep readers coming back to The Beat over and over again. Our Greatest Hits, if you will. It might not hurt to bookmark a few of these for future reference! Here are the most-read PremiumBeat articles of 2016.How to Upload 60-Second Videos to Instagram10 Free Packs: Over 125 Must-Have Assets for Video EditorsLighting 101: A Quick Guide for Lighting FilmThe Basic Fundamentals of Lighting a Green ScreenHow to Use a Third Camera on Interview Shootslast_img read more

Determining Your Life’s Purpose

first_img Essential Reading! Get my first book: The Only Sale Guide You’ll Ever Need “The USA Today bestseller by the star sales speaker and author of The Sales Blog that reveals how all salespeople can attain huge sales success through strategies backed by extensive research and experience.” Buy Now The most important decision you will ever make is the decision as to what you will do with your life. Your one life. This is more difficult than it sounds.This decision requires that you navigate between two primary questions.What Are You Here For?First, you have to determine what your purpose is. Why are you here?What are you here to do?What contribution are you going to make?What is the mark that you are to make?There is no purpose that will satisfy you long-term if it doesn’t make some contribution to others. You are going to measure your life by the contribution you made to others and the gratitude you feel for those that were there for you.How Do You Want to Live?The second idea is as important. How do you want to spend your time?What does your ideal day look like?What lifestyle do you want for yourself?Who do you want to spend your time with?How do you design this life?There is more than one way to live your purpose. Your way need only be the right way for you. Others will choose their own path, and their path need not look like yours.Living IntentionallyMuch of the circumstances of your life are accidental. You don’t choose your parents. You don’t choose the place of your birth. You don’t choose who you fall in love with.But you have to be very intentional about what to do with your life. It’s likely that you haven’t spent enough time asking yourself these questions and working on the answers. Your answers may change from time to time because your intentions may change.If you don’t determine the purpose of your life and how you will live it, someone else will, and that is a recipe for unhappiness. Your primary job is to determine your life’s purpose and then get busy fulfilling it.last_img read more

Will Yourself To Do the Work

first_img Essential Reading! Get my first book: The Only Sale Guide You’ll Ever Need “The USA Today bestseller by the star sales speaker and author of The Sales Blog that reveals how all salespeople can attain huge sales success through strategies backed by extensive research and experience.” Buy Now Most people struggle to produce the results that they want not because they can’t do the work, but because they won’t do the work.You are capable of producing better results than you are right now. This is true for you, no matter how well you are doing now, and no matter what area of your life you’d like to improve. In fact, right now there are people producing the exact result you want.When you meet the people who are already producing the result you want, you’ll almost certainly discover that they aren’t too different from you. Most of them won’t be smarter than you. Very few of them will have been born with some innate talent that has allowed them to succeed beyond what you are capable of yourself. Not more than a tiny handful will have been born with some advantage that allows them to do what no one else can do. The people who have the results you want are more like you than they are different. In fact, some will have had even greater adversity.The main differences between you and the people who are already producing the results you want is their willingness to put in the work.People who produce exceptional results in some area don’t produce those results by accident. Those results are produced intentionally. They focus their time, their attention, and their energy on producing those results. They are passionate about what they want for themselves, and they devote themselves to producing those results. In short, they’re willing to do the work that others are unwilling to do.You can produce the results you see others producing. The variable here is not ability, it’s willingness. The variable is the discipline to do the hard work necessary to produce those results.Success in any area has a price. You can have anything you want, but you have to be willing to pay the price in full before you have it. And if you will yourself to do the work, you will surely have it.last_img read more

Toiling for a toilet

first_imgA pit stop to change attitudes Ramlal Baghel, a resident of Pirda village in Janjgir-Champa district, with his grandson. Interviews with villagers and lower-level government officials across Malkharoda block, where the Baghels and some 1,40,000 people live across 108 villages, revealed a botched rollout of the Swachh Bharat Mission. | Photo Credit: K.R. Deepak  But in mid-December, a visit to 28 villages in Janjgir-Champa, considered the district in Chhattisgarh with the most migrant brick labourers, revealed that SBM had become a means to a different end. Interviews with over 100 people and lower level government officials across Malkharoda block, where the Baghels and some 1,40,000 people live across 108 villages, revealed an utterly botched rollout. Systemic coercion had induced rampant debt. No one would take responsibility. This seemingly benevolent sanitation scheme meant to make women safer and prevent diseases had instead perpetuated migratory forced labour.Opening the door to coercionTravelling around Malkharoda, the coercion appears widespread. In every village, the administrators had threatened to revoke the families’ ration cards — their most essential entitlement — if they didn’t build toilets. In all but one village, guards were stationed on the roads at night to shame women who were out to relieve themselves; women said the guards blew whistles, knocked over the water jugs, and one man said they assaulted people. In at least one village, the poorest people were told their mud kutcha houses would be razed if they didn’t comply. And in a handful of villages, fines ranging from ₹50 to ₹1,000 were instated for anyone caught out in the bush.Also Read  In Malkharoda village, the dhaba owner said that the Janpath chief executive officer, Vinay Kumar Soni, beyond threatening to shutter her restaurant if she didn’t get the toilet built, had threatened to take photos of her relieving herself and post them on the Internet. Perhaps this was just an easy, empty threat. But the next day in Runpota village, a young man named Digeshwar Baragi said the village secretary had actually taken his photo while he was out relieving himself and circulated it among other village secretaries on WhatsApp.“I found it very humiliating,” said Baragi, a bandana tied around his forehead. “And I told him ‘I don’t have any money, how do you expect me to get [the toilet] made?’ But he wasn’t bothered and said if I don’t get it built fast, he was going to circulate it on the Internet as well. They’ve done it among my friends too. And the girls.” Baragi had taken out a ₹20,000 loan at 3% interest, and the toilet still wasn’t finished.These coercive tactics, beyond being outright illegal, are all degrading distortions of perhaps the biggest lesson learned from decades of rural sanitation work across the globe: simply building people toilets doesn’t mean they’ll use them. More crucial and challenging is inducing communal behavioural change. Since the 1990s, the prevailing technique that’s been used in India and much of the developing world is called Community-Led Total Sanitation (CLTS). In short, CLTS advocates introducing the feeling of shame and disgust to a community through a series of “triggering” activities in order to induce the abandonment of open defecation.Under SBM, the Indian government suggests (and earmarks funds so that) each panchayat train an “army of ‘foot soldiers’” under the command of a “motivator” to trigger villages into abandoning open defecation. If you only followed the government’s highly active and curated @swachhbharat Twitter account, triggering across the country looks like a pleasant affair: photos of villagers actively participating in defecation area mapping exercise; smiling women and children leading awareness marches.Also Read On June 15, 2016, just off a train ride 1,000 miles south from a brick kiln in Punjab, Ramlal Baghel, along with his three sons and their wives, arrived home to their village in rural Chhattisgarh, fatigued and disappointed. Five months of gruelling 15-hour days had netted the family just ₹26,000. The earnings would have barely been enough to sustain the family until the kilns reopened in September — let alone chip away at the growing debt.So far it was a familiar story. Now in his 60s, tall and thin, with deep-set eyes and a peppered beard, Ramlal is one of a million-or-so Chhattisgarhis compelled by debt, local unemployment, and interest-free “advances” to migrate to notoriously exploitative kilns across India’s northern rim. But as the Baghels settled in at home for the rainy season, a notice arrived ordering each family in the village to construct a toilet as part of a national government sanitation scheme. Non-compliance would incur huge fines and suspended entitlements.“Whatever I made at the brick kiln, it went towards making the toilet,” said Ramlal. He pointed to the small dirt courtyard at a latrine the size of a small closet. It had a fresh yellow coat of paint, corrugated tin roof, PVC door, and squat pan toilet inside. It was clean, new and deceivingly innocent-looking. Most of rural India still opts for open defecation: NSS report What numbers tell us about Open Defecation in India  And while the majority of triggering likely stays within the ethical bounds of CLTS guidelines, Malkharoda is not the first place where it hasn’t. Coercive techniques have been documented at CLTS programmes in Indonesia and Bangladesh, and in India, at least in the southern State of Karnataka, but likely in other States as well. In an online sourcebook of practical SBM campaign ideas written for administrators, a cautionary note under the sub-header “reflect on ethical issues” admits to a dozen coercive tactics and outright human rights abuses that “have occurred in some campaigns”.Digging into debt bondageNonetheless, the coercion had accomplished its goal in Malkharoda. Everyone seemed to have a toilet. The entire block was officially declared ODF in mid-2016. The problem now was that beyond the ethical implications, everyone was in debt.  In Amlidih, the sarpanch gave out materials initially, but then stopped without explanation. “We were waiting,” said Balash Prasad Chandra, “expecting him to give [materials] to us as well.” Instead, he said the local panchayat held a meeting and told everyone to build the toilets themselves, and fast, or else their ration cards would be cancelled.The timing couldn’t have been worse. Chandra was in the midst of building his family a house and owed a shopkeeper for materials he had taken on credit. Now, to pay for the toilet too, he had to sell off his paddy stocks, pawn his wife’s jewellery, and take out a ₹45,000 loan at 3% interest. “I spent the entire season’s income on this toilet,” he said. “Whatever we make on this year’s harvest, I’m going to have to spend to get her jewellery back.”Still, Chandra had it better than some. He owned some land, and worked as the local confectioner, taking sweets orders for weddings that brought in a few thousand rupees per month — an income that’s kept him away from the kilns. But the vast majority of lower caste people in Janjgir possess little to no land nor specialised skills. Most work as field hands but describe employment as a day-to-day crapshoot. Across the block, people said they had pawned or sold their wives’ jewellery, land if they had any, and taken high interest loans from wealthy landowners which would take years to pay back.But even worse, in Bade Sipat, where about 90% of the 3,300-person village migrates out to kilns, a street vendor named Visham Kurana made it clear that the debt was perpetuating their migration. “Whatever money they had made at the kilns [this past season], they’ve spent to make this toilet,” Kurana said. “So again to run their families, they have taken loans at high interest” — ₹50,000 at 5% on average — “and some have even taken money from the jamadars [middlemen] who take them to the brick kilns, so now they have to work like bonded labourers.”Still, the price tag was confounding. For one, the government and UNICEF consider the ₹12,000 “incentive” allocated per household sufficient to construct a long-lasting toilet. (In Chhattisgarh and other States this “incentive” was in fact a ‘reimbursement’ since it was being disbursed after the entire village or block went ODF.) Gramalaya, an NGO that’s been building toilets in India for decades, claims it can build a child-friendly community bathroom — with 10 latrines, washing stations, and murals — for about ₹30,000.For another, even though the SBM guidelines recommend individual households construct their own toilets to “promote ownership”, many sarpanches had built the toilets in their village; and when they did, each unit had cost around the quoted ₹12,000. Why were poor villagers, many already in significant debt like Ramlal, spending two to three times as much on a toilet they didn’t want in the first place?Blame and stigmaWhen I put this question to a handful of lower level administrators around the block, they offered a few theories to explain the discrepancy, all of which held villagers responsible. The first — expressed by Pirda’s sarpanch and an MNREGA employment assistant officer from Nawapara-D — simply held that villagers were lying about the high construction expense.The second theory — expressed by Shivanti Lakshmibai Johan, the sarpanch of Ghoghri, among others — held that villagers were willingly spending extra. She had constructed toilets in 80% of the village for the allotted ₹12,000 each. But there had been a minority of villagers who had spent extra to make their own toilets “bigger and better”, with tiles, painted walls, and stylised doors. Surely there were villagers who spent more to deck-out their toilets, perhaps some irresponsibly. But predominantly, the toilets constructed by villagers looked pretty much identical to those constructed by the sarpanch, at least outwardly in size and material.In Khurgatti, the de facto sarpanch Kishur Kumar Ajay at first echoed Johan. But upon seeing a photo of a toilet that a villager had spent upwards of ₹30,000 to construct, he conceded it looked almost identical to the toilets he had constructed for ₹12,000. He pivoted to a more technical theory about pit design. In his village, he had used the government-encouraged twin-leach pit technology. Villagers constructing their own toilets were digging one single deep pit, he said, which hiked the raw material and labour cost.According to the SBM guidelines though, “Care shall be taken to ensure that these toilets are not over-designed and over-constructed. I.e. building extra large pits which are not required, to keep them affordable…States have to ensure through effective communication that such tendencies are restricted.” Ajay shook his head upon hearing the passage. “It’s actually totally the villagers’ responsibility what kind of designs they have used. We’ve conducted enough programmes to educate them on how to keep the cost at ₹12,000.” He continued, “Their thought might be that whatever resources they have, they can just pawn for now and make a good toilet instead of re-channelling the pits again and again.”This theory seemed plausible: for a blend of religious, cultural, and habitual reasons, villagers were already apprehensive about placing their waste so close to their homes. Requesting they also manage that waste every couple of years — by clearing the filled pit and rerouting the pipe — seemed like a steep sell. Steeper still by a government many distrusted to begin with. We did come across villagers who had opted for one single deep pit. But we also came across at least an equal number of villagers who had opted for two deep pits, usually seven to eight feet deep. The “technicalities” of waste management didn’t seem to be above the heads of villagers, as Ajay claimed.Furthermore, this third theory rested on the premise that sufficient ‘Information, Education, and Communication Activities’ were conducted prior to construction. But beyond an initial women’s march in June, the opposite was true: the very problem seemed to be the rollout itself. In a number of villages, people said their sarpanch hadn’t provided them with any designs. In no village was a “menu” of design options provided as required by the scheme.And in the villages where the sarpanch had thoroughly explained a design, most people said they had been sceptical it would last.Specifically, everyone was worried about the recommended three-to-four foot pit depth. In Kurda, a group of women resting under an overhang said the sarpanch had told them to dig two pits — three feet by three feet. But when they voiced concern that such shallow pits would fill in a year or two, they were rebuffed and told to build it themselves if they didn’t like the design. Outside an auto parts shop in Devgaon, a migrant brick labourer named Mahesh said that even though his sarpanch had offered to construct a toilet for him, he had taken out a loan to build it himself with a deeper pit. When asked what he would say to someone who criticised such a decision as financially irresponsible, he said: “We thought that if we had to make a toilet and it has to last in our house for such a long time, it’s better to take a loan and make it into something that lasts for 10 to 20 years than to continuously invest in it for many years to come.”People were trying not to get stuck with a toilet they believed either would require perennial maintenance, or be permanently out-of-order within a year or two. They were thinking ahead, trying to anticipate future expenses and protect the sanctity of their homes. The high interest loans were less foolish investments than coerced, practical ones.But why was the government hell bent on such a rapid rollout? A clue exists in a speech Chhattisgarh’s Chief Minister Raman Singh gave on July 2, 2016, at a national SBM conclave in Raipur. According to a press release, he announced that Chhattisgarh will become ODF by the end of 2018 — almost a year ahead of the countrywide target. To hit that early deadline, Mr. Singh said the State government would give “preference” to ODF blocks in other schemes. Similarly, Bathora’s sarpanch said Janjgir’s district collector and other administrators had promised they would get individual projects for his village if it became the first village to go ODF in the district. Yet, almost a year later, he had received no favours. Only after dozens of sarpanches protested had reimbursement funds begun to trickle out. But villagers who constructed their own toilets still hadn’t received anything.In Kurda, a woman named Katra Bai admitted she felt safer going to the bathroom in her house, but that new debt had caused so much stress in her marriage that her husband was beating her now. “They were all over us to get it done as fast as possible and threatening us with bad consequences, and now that it’s made, where is the money?” she said. “Although it’s just [₹]12,000, it’s something, some hope.” On the ground nearby, her children were hunched over homework assignments, scribbling away. She was determined to keep them in school, but without the compensation, the kilns were looming.(Reporting for this piece was facilitated by a grant from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, with supplementary funding from the University of Michigan)  While sanitation schemes in India date back to the British Raj, Swachh Bharat Mission (SBM) is the latest and by far most ambitious iteration. Launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the end of 2014, the ₹9,000 crore scheme aims to achieve an Open Defecation-Free (ODF) India by constructing 12 million rural household toilets across the country before October 2, 2019 — to coincide with Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary.Also Readlast_img read more

10-year-old rape victim delivers baby, put under observation

first_imgA 10-year-old girl, who was allegedly raped repeatedly by her uncle, delivered a girl child at a local government hospital here on Thursday, said a senior doctor.Dr. Dasari Harish, chairperson of the committee that was constituted for the care of the rape victim, told The Hindu, “A baby girl was delivered through a C-section on Thursday morning. The surgery began at 9 a.m. and was over by 10.45 a.m. The surgery was uneventful though it was a high risk pregnancy,” said Dr. Harish.“The newborn girl child is stable but under observation at the neo-natal ICU as she is slightly underweight at 2.2 kg. The mother is stable,” he added.The Supreme Court had on July 28 turned down the rape victim’s abortion plea; at the time, she was 32 weeks pregnant.Her pregnancy was discovered when she complained of a stomach ache last month and was taken to the hospital, where it was found that she was around 30 weeks pregnant.On the request of the parents, the victim has not been told about the delivery of the child.Her father has urged the hospital management to hand over the baby for adoption.last_img read more

A ₹105 crore Made in India jewellery suite

first_imgWell-known diamond jewellery designer Nirav Modi has designed a jewellery set priced at ₹105 crore (over $16 million). Studded with specially-procured rubies from the Mogak mines in Myanmar and fine-cut diamonds from across the world, the set is believed to be one of the costliest ever made in India.The Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC), however, does not keep individual jewellery piece data and declined to comment.It took five years to source the rubies for this set called the Mogok Ruby Suite, which comprises a necklace, a pair of earrings and a bracelet. It took two years for Mr. Modi and his team to manufacture this at the company’s facility in Mumbai.“It was completed just two months back. It has been designed by me and manufactured here at our facility at Kurla in Mumbai. It is completely made in India,” Nirav Modi, founder and creative director Nirav Modi chain of diamond jewellery retail stores and Chairman of Firestar International said.Global marketFirestar International is the parent of Nirav Modi chain, which has stores in key markets across the globe. Asked whether the set has been ordered by some customer, Mr. Modi said, “I have created this over a period of time and based on my own imagination. We will find a buyer.” The set has 27 Mogak rubies weighing 71.11 carats and is made of finest of diamonds of D, E, F colour weighing 128.56 carats.Incidentally, Mr. Modi is the first jewellery designer from India whose creation had been auctioned at Christie’s.In 2010, when Mr. Modi started his first private salon, he wanted to introduce it through a big bang unveiling. “We had developed a Hero piece. Christie’s came to know about it and urged me to put it on auction and it fetched ₹16 crore then. It had a base price of ₹12 crore and witnessed aggressive bidding.”Mr. Modi said every single piece of jewellery sold at the stores were designed by him. The price starts from ₹2 lakh onwards. The ₹105 crore set is the costliest one ever produced by him.Mr. Modi, who set up its first retail store at Defence Colony, New Delhi in 2014, has now 15 stores, including three in India.last_img read more

AAP wants Punjab budget session extended

first_imgUnhappy over a shorter budget session of the Punjab Assembly that is slated to start from March 20, the Aam Aadmi Party has asked the Speaker to extend it to at least 15 sittings.In a letter to the Speaker, AAP leader Kanwar Sandhu has pointed out that usually the State budget sessions have between nine and 15 sittings.Endorsed by Mr. Khaira“The session falls woefully short of even the earlier sessions,” said Mr. Sandhu in the letter, which has been endorsed by the Leader of the Opposition, Sukhpal Singh Khaira.Pressing to extend the session to the second week of April, Mr. Sandhu said, “As the Speaker, you are the House custodian and the duration of the session is your, and not the government’s, prerogative. The Government could give you a list of the business that it seeks to bring forward. As the Speaker, you could ask each of the Opposition parties for their list of the business before taking the final call on the number of sittings the House would have.” Pointing out that Punjab was today facing a severe crisis forcing the people to head for foreign countries, Mr. Sandhu said, “Future generations would not forgive us for neglecting the vital issues plaguing the State. These can be addressed only through discussion and debate and not by pushing them under the carpet. Punjab has not only been let down by its bureaucracy but also looted by its political masters. The only hope lies in the parliamentary institutions like the Vidhan Sabha, which needs to debate the vital issues plaguing the State.”last_img read more

House adjourned after MESMA row

first_imgThe Shiv Sena forced eight adjournments in the Assembly on Wednesday, demanding that the State scrap the decision to bring anganwadi workers under the Maharashtra Essential Services Maintenance Act (MESMA).Sena MLAs said the “draconian” decision would ban anganwadi workers from going on strike. “Over 94,000 anganwadi workers are paid a meagre honorarium and work in stressful conditions. The government’s decision must be revoked,” said Sena MLA Sunil Prabhu. Backing the demand, NCP leader Ajit Pawar said, “How can these employees be put under MESMA? We will not let this happen.” Sena MLAs gathered in protest in front of Speaker Haribhau Bagde, forcing him to adjourn the House repeatedly. Speaking to reporters, Leader of Opposition Radhakrishna Vikhe-Patil said the Congress opposed the government’s decision, but asked, “Do [the Shiv Sena] have the strength to oppose the decision in the Cabinet?”As the House regrouped, Women and Child Welfare Minister Pankaja Munde reiterated the government’s stand, saying, “Around 125 children died during the last strike of anganwadi workers. We cannot let this happen again, and hence the decision will stay,” she said. Mr. Prabhu said anganwadi workers are not government employees and cannot be brought under MESMA. Sena MLAs continue to protest, with Dnyanraj Chougule lifting the Speaker’s mace. The protest continued even as discussion on budgetary allocation began. Presiding officer Yogesh Sagar put the budgetary demands to vote amid the chaos, and they were passed without discussion. NCP and Congress leaders repeatedly asked for permission to speak, but Mr. Sagar adjourned the House for a day.last_img read more

29 girls raped in Bihar shelter

first_imgA day after the police said that 16 out of the 44 girls at a State-run shelter in Muzaffarpur had been sexually assaulted, the medical test results of 13 more girls have confirmed rape. A total of 42 girls had been sent for medical examination, and so far, in the cases of all the 29 girls whose reports are available, “sexual contact” has been confirmed, the police said. The medical reports of 13 more girls are still awaited. Two girls were not sent for a medical examination as they were unwell.“Out of the 44 girls from the Muzaffarpur shelter home, 42 were medically examined and their reports now show 29 of them had had sexual contact. The remaining two girls were not well, so they could not be sent for a medical test,” State Director General of Police K.S. Dwivedi told journalists in Patna. Mr Dwivedi also added that there was no need for a CBI inquiry as “he was satisfied with the investigation being conducted by the police department.”He further said that 10 of the 11 accused had been arrested and sent to jail while “one Dilip Verma is still absconding”. When asked why a test identification parade had not been done as yet, Mr. Dwivedi said that it would be done if required. He also said that no girl was missing from the shelter home. “Four girls were reported missing from the shelter home from December 2013 to 2018. Of these, three have been reported dead, while one had married and was living in Muzaffarpur,” Mr. Dwivedi said.Accusing the Nitish Kumar-led NDA government of protecting the main accused, Brajesh Thakur, the Opposition parties protested inside and in front of the State legislature on Tuesday, demanding a “High Court-monitored CBI inquiry into the case”. An aggressive opposition led by the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) disrupted the proceedings in the Bihar Assembly and the legislative council.last_img read more

Strike for 7th Pay Commission continues as talks fail

first_imgThe Maharashtra government employees agitating for the implementation of the Seventh Pay Commission decided to continue their three-day strike on the second day after meetings with senior officials failed to bring consensus. Maharashtra Rajya Sarkari Karmachari Sanghtana, the State government union that called the strike has, however, directed medical staff to join work from Thursday, following the explosion at the BPCL refinery in Chembur, Mumbai.Maharashtra Rajya Sarkari Karmachari Sanghtana General secretary, Avinash Daund, in a press conference on Wednesday night, said that the union met with Finance Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar and then with Chief Secretary D.K. Jain. “We demanded a time-bound program to fulfil our demands. Since they gave us no concrete answer, we have decided to continue the strike,” he said. “We were told that State does not have enough money to fulfill our demands but we are not asking the government to pay us at once.”Political supportSeveral political parties expressed support for the employees.Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray said that the government should focus on solving their problems instead of threatening them with disciplinary action.State Congress president Ashok Chavan, said that continuous agitations from different groups are due to a lack of communication between the government and stakeholders. Nationalist Congress Party State president Jayant Patil said,“The government is promising to implement the Seventh Pay Commission from January. This is to win the elections that may be held in March-April.”The employees’ other demands are raising the retirement age from 58 to 60 years, a five-day work week, continuing the old pension scheme and a two-year child care leave for women employees.last_img read more

Odisha to give another ₹5 crore to Kerala flood relief

first_imgThe Odisha government on Sunday announced an additional assistance of ₹5 crore for Kerala from the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund (CMRF), besides 500 tonnes of polythene sheets for the flood-hit population.“People of Odisha stand by the flood-affected people of Kerala at this hour of severe distress. Odisha knows what a natural calamity of this magnitude means to the common man,” said Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, expressing deep condolences for the lives lost.The State government had earlier sanctioned ₹5 crore for Kerala. Polythene sheets worth about ₹8 crore will be shortly sent to Kerala.Odisha has sent as many as 244 fire service personnel trained in rescue operations, along with 65 rescue boats and other equipment.Mr. Patnaik also directed the Special Relief Commissioner (SRC) of Odisha to remain in touch with the authorities and extend help to all Odias stranded in Kerala. The SRC has sent a list of 187 Odias and their phone numbers to his Kerala counterpart Shyamal Kumar Das.The State Labour Department has already rushed officials to Kerala to ensure the safety of Odia labourers affected by the floods.last_img read more

Chamoli District Magistrate sets example, admits son to Anganwadi centre

first_imgChamoli District Magistrate Swati S. Bhadoria has set an example for others to follow by admitting her nearly two-year-old son in an Anganwadi centre at Gopeshwar village instead of an expensive city school. The factor that motivated her to make the choice was to help her son grow up in an atmosphere which encourages sharing, she said.“Anganwadi centres have all the facilities and a holistic environment which is good for the growth of a child,” the Chamoli DM said expressing happiness at her decision.“Education, fun and food go hand in hand at these centres. My son is feeling very good there along with the rest of the children,” she said. Another reason behind her decision may have been her feeling that the general attitude towards Anganwadi centres should change, Ms. Bhadoria said.“My son had food with his classmates and was visibly happy when he returned home,” said the Chamoli DM whose husband Nitin Bhadoria too is an IAS officer currently posted as Almora’s District Magistrate.“Tuesday was Abhyuday’s first day here and he had khichdi with the rest of the children,” said Manju Bhatt, a volunteer at the Anganwadi centre.last_img read more

IndiGo flight makes emergency landing at Kolkata airport

first_imgOver 130 passengers onboard an IndiGo flight from Jaipur to Kolkata faced a life-threatening situation when the plane’s cockpit and cabin were engulfed in smoke, forcing it to make an emergency landing at its destination airport. No passengers were injured in the incident. The government has tasked the Aircraft Accident Investigation Bureau (AAIB) to probe the incident. IndiGo has also been asked to conduct a detailed technical inspection and submit a preliminary report, according to a DGCA official.“The IndiGo aircraft VT ITR was about 45 miles off Kolkata when smoke engulfed the aircraft. The pilot issued May Day call and sought an emergency landing at Kolkata airport,” a source said.The Airbus A320 Neo plane was then steered towards an isolation bay at the airport, following which a chute was deployed to evacuate some passengers and others deplaned with the help of a ladder, according to IndiGo in a statement.last_img read more

At least twelve injured in Guwahati grenade blast

first_imgAt least 12 people, including two Seema Shashastra Bal personnel, were injured in a grenade blast near a police checkpoint on Guwahati’s upscale Zoo Road on May 15 evening.Eyewitnesses claimed the grenade was lobbed around 7:45 pm from an SUV that sped past the checkpoint near a shopping mall. The attack happened hours after Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal reviewed the law and order situation and asked the police to checkcriminal activities.”Twelve injured people have been admitted at the Guwahati Medical College Hospital and two private hospitals. They have received treatment and their condition of most of them is stable,” Health Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma said. The two injured security personnel have been identified as Amulya Ratan Mahato and Ramesh Lal.The police said a manhunt has been launched to nab the culprits involved. “We will spare no effort to find out who is behind the blast,” City Police Commissioner Deepak Kumar said. “We are trying to find out if the of three United Liberation Front of Asom cadres in (eastern Assam’s) Tinsukia district earlier in the day has any connection to this blast,” Director General of Police Kuladhar Saikia told The Hindu from the spot. Police had intensified checking of vehicles and suspected people following intelligence inputs about the outlawed United Liberation Front of Asom planning to carry out a subversive mission. Local TV channels claimed the outfit’s military chief Paresh Baruah called up to claim responsibility for the grenade attack.last_img read more

Namibia Gets Top Grade as Base for Major Gamma Ray Telescope

first_imgA patch of bushy land in southern Namibia has been singled out as the best candidate to host a major part of the world’s largest gamma ray telescope. Scientists meeting in Warsaw last week ranked the Namibian site as the best of five options for the southern array of the Cherenkov Telescope Array (CTA), which will be comprised of two observatories, one on each side of the equator. Meanwhile, four sites competing for the CTA’s northern array all earned equal ratings.Cosmic gamma rays are believed to be produced by violent astrophysical events such as supernovas. They can’t be observed directly from Earth because they are blocked by the atmosphere, but Cherenkov telescopes spot them by detecting the flash of light caused by their collision with atoms in the upper atmosphere.The CTA, expected to cost $270 million and be fully operational in 2019, would be 10 times as powerful as current Cherenkov instruments. It will focus on resolving two mysteries: the origins of cosmic rays, and the nature of the dark matter that physicists believe constitutes 85% of all matter in the universe. The 120-telescope project will have two parts: a southern array with 100 instruments distributed over 10 square kilometers and a northern array with 20 instruments spread over 1 square kilometer. Six nations are bidding to host the arrays, with the United States, Mexico, and Spain competing for the northern site, and Argentina, Chile, and Namibia for the southern.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)In Warsaw, scientists representing the 27-country CTA Consortium met to analyze and rank nine candidate sites. The group considered a wide range of issues, including data on weather, magnetic fields, and accessibility. The goal was “to quantify the sites [based] on their scientific potential and on … site risks or costs,” says Rene Ong, an astrophysicist at the University of California, Los Angeles, and a member of the U.S. site-bid team.For the southern observatory, Namibia’s Aar site received the highest score. It sits on a privately owned farm more than 1600 meters above sea level in southern Namibia, some 120 kilometers west of the city of Luderitz. Namibia already hosts the world’s largest Cherenkov telescope array, known as the High Energy Stereoscopic System (H.E.S.S.).A site in Chile and the H.E.S.S. site in Namibia finished second. Two sites in Argentina (El Leoncito and San Antonio de los Cobres) were third and fourth, respectively.For the northern array, Spain’s Teide site was considered the front-runner prior to the meeting. But all four candidates, including two sites in Arizona and one at Mexico’s San Pedro Mártir observatory, ended up with equal scores.Mexico’s candidate, however, may have to be eliminated. Temperature data suggest it gets too cold on some nights for CTA instruments, but scientists are now evaluating whether the instruments might be able to withstand colder temperatures.The Warsaw meeting isn’t the last word on the issue. The rankings will be forwarded to a 15-nation funding panel that will make the final siting choice. A decision is expected by the end of December, with final approval for the project expected by the end of 2014. First science could start in 2017, with a goal of having the CTA fully operational 2 years later.last_img read more

Earth More Sensitive to Increasing Greenhouse Gas Than Thought

first_imgEarth’s climate may warm considerably more than expected in response to a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide, a new study of a broad range of climate models hints. The reason, the scientists say, is that simulations that now show only a moderate amount of warming don’t accurately depict the amount of cloud formation in the lower atmosphere, thus cooling the climate more than real-world data suggest will actually occur. If true, warming of the planet will fall toward the high end of the range offered in every expert climate assessment of the past 3 decades.Carbon dioxide is a so-called greenhouse gas: The more of it there is in the atmosphere, the more heat is trapped there and the higher the global average temperature climbs. Scientists have long debated how sensitive Earth’s climate is to this planet-warming trace gas. Specifically, they ask, how much will worldwide temperatures rise if the level of CO2 becomes double that seen in the era before human activity began spewing the gas into the atmosphere?Current models and a range of observations suggest that Earth will warm somewhere between 1.5° and 4.5°C once carbon dioxide levels are twice the preindustrial concentration of about 280 parts per million and the climate system adjusts, says Steven Sherwood, an atmospheric scientist at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia. That’s a wide range, he notes—a range that hasn’t narrowed since the first computer simulations of climate debuted in the 1970s. Broad analyses have hinted that a model’s climate sensitivity depends, in large part, on how the model estimates cloud formation at low altitude, he adds. If a simulation produces generous amounts of low-level clouds, more sunlight is reflected back into space, and Earth, on the whole, is cooler than it would have been without the clouds.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)In an attempt to narrow the range of climate sensitivity, Sherwood and his colleagues analyzed the results from 43 different climate models. Specifically, they looked at how the simulations represented mixing in the lowest few kilometers of the atmosphere, where many clouds form, as climate gets warmer. Then, they compared model results with data gathered worldwide.The team found that on the whole, the global climate models with low climate sensitivity—all 15 of those in which global average temperature rose less than 3°C for each doubling of CO2—produced far too many low-altitude clouds. “These [low-sensitivity] models are doing it all wrong,” Sherwood says. On the whole, he and his colleagues say, increased convection in the lowest portion of the atmosphere will tend to dry out the air there, making cloud formation less likely. That, in turn, suggests that the low-sensitivity models shouldn’t be trusted, and that Earth will most likely warm more than 3°C for each doubling of CO2, the researchers report in today’s issue of Nature.The team’s results suggest that about half the variation in climate sensitivity is explained by differences in how the models depict mixing in the lower atmosphere, climate scientists Hideo Shiogama and Tomoo Ogura of the National Institute for Environmental Studies in Tsukuba, Japan, comment in the same issue of Nature. The rest of the variation can’t yet be explained, they note, but important factors could include how the models simulate overall changes in the amounts of sea ice or of high-level clouds.Because the team’s analysis of the climate models focuses on the processes incorporated into those simulations, “it’s pretty credible,” says Gavin Schmidt, a climate scientist at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York City, who also was not involved in the new work. However, he notes, previous studies have indicated that climate sensitivity below 3°C can’t be ruled out. Therefore, the new analysis simply makes low values of climate sensitivity less likely but not altogether out of the question.“This new study is just one bit of information, but I believe it pushes the likely climate sensitivity closer to where it’s always been, up around 3°C,” Schmidt adds. “It’s always difficult to predict the future, we’re always limited by what we don’t know.”last_img read more