Splainer

Friday, July 24 2020


Dive In

It’s, like, you’ll go: Person. Woman. Man. Camera. TV. So they say, ‘Could you repeat that?’ So I said, ‘Yeah. It’s: Person. Woman. Man. Camera. TV.’... They said nobody gets it in order. It’s actually not that easy, but for me, it was easy. And that’s not an easy question… They say, ‘That’s amazing. How did you do that?’

That’s the President of the United States boasting that he aced a cognitive test which had “very hard questions”. Turns out the test he took is used to diagnose Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, ALS and schizophrenia. But all things considered, Americans will be relieved that he passed… that’s until they actually watch him talking about the test. Illustration: Parth Savla.

Big Story

A first-ever assessment of India’s future climate

The TLDR: Back in June, while we were obsessed with Covid-19, the government released the first-ever report to assess the future of climate change in India—unlike global UN studies that offer a broad view of the planet. It is worthy of our close attention as a reminder that our future as a country will be defined not by a virus but the catastrophic reality of climate change.

 

Tell me about this report

It was prepared by the Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) and is titled ‘Assessment of Climate Change over the Indian Region’. It is the first-ever report to comprehensively assess the impact of global warming on India, and forecast where we will be at the end of this century. It is far more detailed and useful than similar UN reports that tend to focus on the bigger global picture. 

 

Ok, how bad is it...

Bad. Let’s start with how ‘warm’ we are. The average surface air temperature in India has already risen by 0.7º C between 1901 and 2018. Our warmest day and coldest night have heated up by about 0.63°C and 0.4°C.  

 

And our oceans are warmer than the global average. The sea surface temperature of the tropical Indian Ocean has risen by one degree Celsius between 1951 and 2015—which is higher than the global average warming of 0.7 degree Celsius for the same period. 

 

And it’s going to get hotter?

Yes, very hot. These numbers are genuinely scary.

 

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In today’s edition

Headlines That Matter

  • If you can’t beat ‘em, join Jio
  • Can you get Covid again?
  • An antigen passport for Goa
  • A plane to nowhere
  • Sexism thrives on Zoom

 

Smart And Curious  

  • Vegetarians have better sex
  • 'Midriff flossing' is a fashion trend
  • Did you know the famous Amul baby is a Tharoor?

 

Life Advisory

  • So you hate-watched ‘Indian Matchmaking’...
  • So you love listening to poetry…
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