Uttarakhand’s spring up in the flames

When I planned a quick relieving biking trip to Almora, I had hoped it to be refreshing as it was spring once again. The year before Coronavirus shattered our lives, my last trip to Kumaon was on bike too and almost on the same dates during the spring time. I still had some good reflections of that. I was expecting nothing short of that this time as well and because of all those expectations, this time around, I had planned a slightly longer trip with a plan to go further towards Dharchula or Narayan Ashram. Fire raging right along the main road from Bhowali to Ramgarh in March 2021 But all went up in flames… literally! Spring season this year came and was gone in a flash this year in hills. I was expecting, as earlier, hills turned red with rhododendrons in the Mukteshwar region...

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Are we in an age of ‘mass extinction’?

For more than 3.5 billion years, living organisms have thrived, multiplied and diversified to occupy every ecosystem on Earth. The flip side to this explosion of new species is that species extinctions have also always been part of the evolutionary life cycle. But these two processes are not always in step. When the loss of species rapidly outpaces the formation of new species, this balance can be tipped enough to elicit what are known as “mass extinction” events. A mass extinction is usually defined as a loss of about three quarters of all species in existence across the entire Earth over a “short” geological period of time. Given the vast amount of time since life first evolved on the planet, “short” is defined as anything less than 2.8 million years. Since at least the Cambrian period

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