Monday, November 8, 2010

Tropical cyclone names

Met Office
During the Second World War names were used by USA Air Force and Navy meteorologists monitoring Pacific tropical storms. By the mid-1960s names were used for all tropical storms except those in the North Indian Ocean. The names currently in use and those to be used in future years are listed below. Various meteorological organisations have responsibility for names and employ different conventions.

Northern hemisphere index

  • Western north Pacific - West of 180 °E
  • Philippines - 5-25 °N 115-135 °E
  • Central North Pacific - 140-180 °W
  • Eastern North Pacific - East of 140 °W
  • Atlantic
  • North Indian

Credits to Metoffice.UK, if you are more interested please visit their website:

Jal Bearing Down on Southeastern India

Tropical Cyclone Jal is bearing down on southeastern India, endangering residents and visitors over the next day or two as it spreads flooding rainfall and damaging winds across the region. The intensity of Tropical Cyclone Jal is currently the equivalent to that of a tropical storm with sustained winds near 60 mph. Landfall will be near the state border between Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. International Expert Meteorologist Jim Andrews warned this past Thursday that "the city of Chennai could be hit directly." Jal will come onshore with flooding rain and damaging winds. An inundating storm surge will also pose a serious danger. Locations along the immediate coastline in the path of Jal have already received heavy rainfall, with more on the way. Resultant flooding will be the biggest impact of Jal. More than 25 people have already died due to flooding from downpours ahead of Jal's landfall, and more than 70,000 people have been evacuated from their homes. The harvesting of crops has been affected by Jal with more than 300,000 acres of cropland being doused by heavy rain. After making landfall, Jal will continue to track into the interior of south-central India Sunday night. The higher terrain of this region will cause Jal to weaken in terms of its damaging winds. Heavy rain triggering flooding and mudslides will remain a concern.

-By Kristina Pydynowski, Senior Meteorologist
 Nov 7, 2010; 10:30 AM ET

 Content contributed by Eric Leister and Meghan Evans, meteorologists
Satellite Image of India on Sunday (Courtesy of India Meteorological Department)

Read more about tropical cyclone formation from:

Neighborhood Geography with Young Children

“Where’s my new preschool?” “What does ‘prairie’ mean?” Children’s natural curiosity about places is the basis for learning about geography. The Illinois Early Learning Standards call for children to express beginning geographic thinking and to locate objects and places in familiar environments. These tips can help children in your program meet these benchmarks!

Lots of educational materials can be found from the following website:-

Illinois State Board of Education

Common blue bottle

Sitting by a forest stream can't be compared with anything.
We can put small pebbles in the water and see how many droplets go up,
How many jumps one stone can do once its free from our hands,
Make models of our dream,
Can draw anything with fine sand on the banks of a river,

We can swim,
You can drink(if you trust others) water while swimming or
Sit and move our eyes as the ripples come and go...
The river has a beginning, an end, it always lives in the present, it has a variety of characteristics and indeed a sense or purpose too. From looking at the river from the perspective of its characteristics we find it has a particular chemical composition, it has an origin, it houses lot of aquatic composition, and plants, the water is used for a wide variety of purpose and the like. If the river is unaware of its variety of characteristics, it becomes ignorant and simply flows off.
I was sitting by a forest stream in western slopes of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve) looking around to do what next? (no I was trying to find my own identity(!!!) like our river flowing without the true knowledge of its own identity will surely reach the sea) Graphium sarpedon, the common bluebottle is a species of swallowtail butterfly came here to see what aquatic composition this river has got to attract female butterflies to him.  Another stakeholder of the river.

I will do anything for ----
I pulled out basic information of why this butterfly is visiting riverbank. 'His' visit is called mud-puddling- it is the phenomenon mostly seen in butterflies and involves their aggregation on substrates like wet soil, dung and carrion to obtain nutrients such as salts and amino acids. Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths) are diverse in their strategies to gather liquid nutrients. Typically, mud-puddling behavior takes place on wet soil. But even sweat on human skin may be attractive to butterflies.This behaviour is restricted to males in many species. Males seem to benefit from the sodium uptake through mud-puddling behaviour with an increase in reproductive success. The collected sodium and amino acids are often transferred to the female with the spermatophore during mating as a nuptial gift. This nutrition also enhances the survival rate of the eggs.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

a tree..

cycas circinalis
“The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way.  Some see Nature all ridicule and deformity, and some scarce see nature at all.  But to the eyes of the man of imagination, nature is imagination itself”
-  William Blake, 1799, The Letters

Remote sensing

We were talking about Geography, Maps and remote sensing in a Govt. Tribal Residential School where Keystone Foundation is having Conservation Education Programs.
Suddenly when we talked about remote sensing the situation became very perplexed (one of my ability)!!
We did not carry our computer, set of maps, globe nothing, there was there to help :(

By the time our audience became very curious (which was rarely seen) to know what is this 'remote sensing'
We were looking around to find a way to explain how to address their wounder...
looking around and round we saw a small hill behind the school, asked teacher can we take children for 2 hours to that hill!!!!(teacher's expression)
It hardly took for us to climb 1000 meters. Most of them were barefoot ecologists, we were carrying no water no snacks, one camera, one binocular, note books, sketch pens and pencils and an interest to know 'remote sensing'
This is what had happened after the trek... 
Seeing school from hilltop
Sobha (barefoot cartographer) is drawing map
Geddesal school through my camera

Geddesal school through Sobha's eyes- 'Remote sensing'!(red rectangular shapes are school buildings, green rectangulars are paddy fields, mushroom shaped greens are eucalyptus plantation..

inviting bees

inviting bees...
As a part of the conservation education program in the Nilgiris, Keystone Foundation have few nurseries of forest plants. Geddesal Govt.Tribal Residential School has one of such nurseries. Last week we had a drawing session on 'conservation activities in your school'...
One of the students Ajith came with a picture, which shows the topography of the area, what they do in restoration and the expected result or the dream!!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

A tribal village in Kerala won Conservation Award 2010

Bridge to Kumpalappara

Keystone Foundation has instituted a Village Conservation Award which will be given out annually to an adivasi village within the region of the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve. The award carries a prize of Rupees One Lakh, as first prize and Rupees fifty thousand as consolation prize, which can be used for the village needs. The award money can be used for the building of environment friendly structures and is not to be used for individual or private gains.
Quantitative and qualitative evidence must be built around numbers of people benefiting from or making use of the successful implementation of the initiative and extent of restored habitats or landscapes.
Kumpalapra, a village from Nilambur region of Kerala submitted an application and said that they follow an Eco-friendly life. This village is 3 kilometers inside the forest from the forest boundary. There are thirteen Kaatunaicka families in this village. All of them are forest gatherers with- no ration card, no electricity, no public water supply(of course, there is a beautiful stream), not even a single well, no concrete houses, no livestock (couple of dogs), no gas connection(collects fire wood to cook and fire to see if there is an elephant), no library, but there is school (a peripatetic school)... this was the situation of the village and the presentation they gave in front of the juries...
Read more about this from this link:
They said- "we will not so any sort of planting in side our forest, but to see the elephant at night we collect lots of wood (daily 15+ kilograms), we want to stop this by setting up a solar lighting system(they will never get electricity connection since they are inside the forest). So if we get this prize amount and will be used to set up a solar lighting system..."
Bare foot conservationists of Kumpalappara