Science & Technology Current
March 4th week 2015 current affairs
Category : Science & Technology Current
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1) IEA report on global CO2 emissions from energy sector

  • Global emissions of carbon dioxide in the energy sector stalled in 2014, breaking steady rises over the past four decades except in years with an economic downturn, the International Energy Agency said on 13th March. Emissions of carbon dioxide were flat at 32.3 billion tonnes in 2014 from 2013, according to the IEA.
  • The Paris-based IEA, which advises governments of developed nations, said the halt in emissions growth was linked to greener patterns of energy consumption in China, the top carbon emitter ahead of the United States, and in developed nations.
  • A summit in Paris is due to agree a deal to limit global emissions, blamed by a U.N. panel of climate scientists for causing more heatwaves, floods and rising sea levels. The IEA said that carbon emissions had been flat or fallen only three times since it started collecting data 40 years ago, previously always linked to economic slumps – in the early 1980s, 1992 and 2009. In 2014, however, the global economy expanded by 3 percent.

2) North Korea test fired missiles

  • North Korea on 2nd March fired two short-range ballistic missiles into the sea. North Korea regularly conducts such test firings of missiles, rockets and artillery. It launched two missiles from North Korea’s west coast flew about 500 kilometers (310miles) before landing in waters off the east coast. During the 2013 drills, tension rose amid North Korean rhetoric that included vows of nuclear strikes on Washington and Seoul.
  • North Korea last year conducted an unusually large number of missile and other weapons tests, drawing protests from South Korea. The North still proposed a set of measures that it said would lower tensions, but South Korea rebuffed them, saying the North must first take steps toward nuclear disarmament.
  • 1950-53 Korean War ended with an armistice, not a peace treaty. About 28,500 American soldiers are deployed in South Korea as deterrence against potential aggression from North Korea.


3) World’s first fully-electric Comm satellites launched

  • US-based Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) has successfully launched a Falcon 9 rocket carrying the world`s first all-electric communications satellites into orbit. Blasted off from the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in California on March 1, the rocket carried two satellites, built by Boeing, for French satellite provider Eutelsat and Asia Broadcast Satellite (ABS). The satellites will rely entirely on energy-efficient electric ion engines to maintain their orbit for up to two decades.
  • The satellites are outfitted with all-electric engines rather than conventional rocket thrusters to reach and maintain orbit. This reduces the weight of the satellites to the point where both could be launched at once. The downside is that it will take the satellites months to reach geostationary orbit. SpaceX is scheduled to launch at least two more Falcon 9 rockets this year.
  • The next launch is scheduled for March 21 when a Falcon 9 will deliver a communications satellite into orbit for Thales Alenia Space and the government of Turkmenistan.

4) Mars ocean was bigger than the Arctic: NASA

  • Mars once had a body of water bigger than Earth`s Arctic Ocean and vast enough to cover the entire surface of the planet, NASA scientists said in a study released
  • The new research, providing estimates on the quantity of water on the Red Planet, is based upon detailed observations of two slightly different forms of water in Mars` atmosphere, and was published in the journal Science. The study said that the Red Planet was once covered in a liquid layer 450 feet (137 meters) deep, occupying almost half of Mars` northern hemisphere. In some regions, water depths were greater than a mile (1.6 kilometers), NASA scientists said. The study also showed that the vast majority of Martian water — 87 per cent — has been lost to space.
  • The new estimate is based on detailed observations of two slightly different forms of water in Mars` atmosphere. One is the familiar H2O, made with two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen. The other is HDO, a naturally occurring variation in which one hydrogen is replaced by a heavier form, called deuterium. By comparing the ratio of HDO to H2O, scientists were able to measure the enrichment and determine how much water has escaped into space.
  • NASA said its researchers were especially interested in regions near the north and south poles, because the polar ice caps are the planet`s largest known reservoir of water.