Monday, June 15, 2015


Things to be researched / Action on priority for technical team:

  1. Soil Analysis and how to replenish lost nutrients ? Avert flood by building dams/ fast growing trees where ever possible. Floods don't build up in a day, the river and water body level rises, the temperature, precipitation every thing gives us a chance to predict, with satellite images we can predict how much of water locked in as river and ice. So constant prediction of this is a must.  Follow derived and distributed approach for flood prediction  
  2. Use Fauna and Flora for natural calamity prediction: The seismic waves has an effect or panic the fish, birds animals or even the earth worms, some research says more number of earthworms  gets released from the soils, when there is earthquake, at the same time some birds migration behavior changes, even the plant anomaly growth signifies a change or the upcoming nature calamity. Flora Prediction : we can do this study using thermal imaging, and biogeochemistry analysis as explained in section 4. Fauna Prediction : Maintain a historical data of earthworm population, measure its number during rainy,earthquake, upload this data with google maps or integrate with world bank climate data,  form a team with isti and can check the feasibility of expanding this thought, probably they are using earthworm alone as of now and predicting earth quakes, we can use other species that exists deep in the earth, probably some fungi/bacterias as well, but how much is this feasible only the specialized teams and org like ISTI can answer. This topic will be more important in future, we have satellite covering the earth and we are exploring many planets, but still we are not aware fully about the oceans and the behavior of the core earth, at max we need to classify the species as land borne, water borne and air borne and need to see which kind of species can predict what kind of natural calamity accurately, for e.g earthworm, below the land, will be able to predict it better than other animals, though even animals with fur should be able to predict, same is the fish, some research says fish movements can help to monitor such issues, but how much does the size of fish matters, what kind of fish, Its living zone (at what level of the sea) ?. More over, in the region where volcano activities needs to be predicted, the nearby location will be a better option as we can't get a specimen in the exact location, but how far this location will be ?, when to choose water/air ? because the volcano smoke may change the birds activity and they may not enter this region itself due to the contaminated environment, so in this case land borne / below land specie will be the choice? where worms are not burnt out, but does this predicts accurately ? then how this distance is predicted? This is a historical data that needs to be collected w.r.t temperature, species, precipitation and other values and needs to be maintained periodically if not for the public, at least for research. Some research says that there are different species of fish that are found at the bottom of the sea, so we can use these fishes movement, to predict natural calamities more accurately, say we can measure the fin/gill movement like the heart beat, the normal movement and the abnormal ones, and we can maintain this historic data as a chart.
    1. Fish should have enough movement and should be active most of time.Fish that responds well to electromagnetic waves will be more suitable, so their body structure plays a role, the fin.
    2. They should have less predators, so the prey's panic movement doesn't gets misinterpreted as an calamity, during measuring and this fish doesn't get consumed by other fish or caught by fishermen. (probably bottom of sea are best choice.)
    3. Fish movement between the sea zones, there is a possibility that fish can move to a different level of sea, say from bottom of sea to mid level. so probably we can measure the temperature and pressure level along with fin/gill movements so the oceanic researcher can predict the sea zone and try to analyze why this happened say the fish specie can move in search of oxygen, why this happened? The probable cause may not be seismic, but based on these predictions other data should be analyzed, this may be a warning for the upcoming calamity.
    4. Test Methodology: Artificial Seismic Waves
    We can probably test this by generating artificial waves, storms at a particular distance and see its prediction, or we can use the natural storms itself. The same can be tried out with river and pond fishes. For earth worm we can give electrical signals proportionate to the seismic waves and see the amount of earth worms emerging in a given area, probably weekly basis. If the natural calamity going to occur this population of earth worms are going to increase very rapidly, so the abnormality can be measured, but conditions like rainfall, as well has an impact, so take suggestions from the experts in this field. ISTI may be able to help. Fin research team Globalfishingwatch (itegrated maps beta)
    There are similar proposal for this challenge on this topic using bio-indicator , ensure that a specialized researcher are involved along with the fellow team, to ensure impact is more, for e.g. Geologist Jim Berkland claims to have a formula that uses animal behavior to accurately forecast earthquakes. If we can take suggestions/sessions from him, such formula can help in reiterating calendar and we will be able to get the answers for the above questions as well .  A must read article on this
  3. Harvest of pollinating insects for fruits and seed crops: Insects like bees plays a vital role in pollination esp in mountains, due to man made changes, their population is decreasing. Having a sustained population of these insects (bees,beetles,butterflies) helps in retaining the crops and soil quality. further reading 
  4. Alternate Agriculture Occupation :
    1. Probability of turning a overgrazed/Burnt land to earth worm harvest : Try to change the land to a worm harvest and see the probability of turning other lands which has less earthworms to fertile using the harvested worms, Role of earthworm in maintaining soil fertility. There are around 7000 types of earth worm, these needs to be classified according to the valley, their population at regular interval predicts natural calamities and we can use certain species of earth worm for agriculture.
    2. Bee Keepers: A new occupation can be thought to the farmers, they can take up occupation like bee keeping and help the other farmers to benefit, with the help of these bees. further reading
    3. In areas where the flood is often, and crops like rice are grown fish culture can be practiced.
  5. Thermal Imaging : Remove the poisons grasses and weeds in the region you can maintain this in World bank climate data, we can use expert farmer suggestion as well for this task, there are some research on this field esp in agriculture, probably fellow, advisory team can have a discussion with them, cleaning of such plants can bring a change in air composition as well as they may ex create some undesired chemicals in air, soil. water and can contaminate them research paper , thermal imaging to distinguish the plants we can use thermal imaging to a broader perspective this helps in  1) Prediction of snow melting and flood's probability prediction by studying the thermal images of the valley and pamir as a whole by having the average of IR rays emitted by a plant specie in various season (Historic data of plant specie population, impact of temperature on the valley based on IR study). 2) Unwanted Weed/Grass/Plant classification after classifying the harmful weeds/ grasses we need to confirm it with help of a plant entomologist or they can confirm it by using  biogeochemistry at micro level where the chemistry of the samples can be studied in case it is a new specie.  
  6. Process of increasing, water level in drought, affected area by Thermogenic Plantation : Some areas in this region are affected by drought, but they have a dependency on snow and glaciers, So what is the possibility of planting Thermogenic plants in this region this is as good as converting the glaciers to usable water, in a way we can see if the ground level waters are increasing in long run. Further reading. The advantage of skunk cabbage, it uses heat more lavishly, presumably to protect itself from the cold, but once the snow is gone and blooming is over, it too reverts to normal cold-blooded plant behavior. So by planting such plants there is a chance, that water locked as glaciers can melt and increase the water level in drought areas, but we need to evaluate this feasibility.
  7. Fungi-root-enhancer, cover cropping and root zone watering :There are some fungi that helps in nitrogen fixation, which is important for the growth of the plants we need to see if by planting them along with the less nutrient soil helps in solving the issue, this can be used for trees and plants, it should be feasible for crops as well, but this is an area to be researched. Try to plant deep rooted trees in the possible area that grows faster, so at times of flood they can reduce the speed of water and minimizes soil erosion along  and practice cover cropping which helps in harvesting during drought. Deep root research papers Maximizing roots research in crops Strata root system to deliver water to crops, without wastage a similar root watering system can be developed with bamboos (available in mountains of pamir), by inserting them at the correct level, with needle holes and iteration mechanism, we can water the roots appropriately so we can avoid soil erosion due to excess water. The geologist can help in this research at what level these bamboos can be inserted to get optimum results, Ground water satellite images can be used as input.
  8. Mixed Agriculture : the valley may support more than one crop for a season try to have both in the field and plant trees, Do a feasibility study of Fish-Crop as well do and don't must read
  9. Agriculture Strategy - Crop-Fish : put the flood to use, see the feasibility of Crop-Fish practice, with proper planning Rice-Fish Agriculture check for similar crops and feasibility of treatment of mountain water with Diatom algae. If they are contaminated, the Feasibility of other Crop-Fish culture needs to be studied. Countries that benefited by this culture.The algae raised with this method can be used as fodder for cattle and can be to treat the soil as well. The feasibility study of Diatom algae usages needs to be done.
  10. Grazing Strategy : Try to graze on plants more, see what kind of plants can be grown at a faster rate for e.g. algae feed, as this gives the grass time to get replenish . Grow the grasses as a part of cultivation for pastoral .
  11. Geological measurement of the valley's height esp when there is earth quake
  12. Virtual Rainfall and Snow Fall prediction : Point 9 and 10 are related, when there is a decrease in height, the wind speed may change and in turn the temperature as well. Alternatively we need to predict this with fauna and flora changes, the movement of earth worms and hairy animals probably sheep or anomaly growth of a plant, fish needs to be monitored. Their behavior changes rapidly some research says fish movements were different an they predicted earth quake, as it has a lot of relation ship with nature's electromagnetic waves.
  13. Alternate energy source : Lot of solar energy can be harnessed in this region and can be used for thermal heating than burning the grass / wood / dung cakes. Which causes pollutions and we can protect the soil nutrients by switching to these sources.
  14. Alternate thermal Insulation : Check the feasibility of dung cake plastered walls and algae frames in village  feasibility study to be done by Subhashree Mishra on solar energy and algae in mini green house frames  and Dung cake thermal insulation by Catalina Oaida
    1. Algae Feed for cattle: The algae derived from algae plantation / Algae frames can be used to feed the cattle. 
  15. Re-Engineer the valley :  See the feasibility of having a small turbine during the rainy / flood period, so the water descending generates power rather than destruction, See for the feasible areas, small lanes craved  in the mountain to set a path to be directed to turbine, can increase the kinetic energy, so we can get the energy for thermal insulation and then the lane of the water can lead to the algae farm/frame or crops, some crops like rice needs more water and intentionally the field needs to flooded so plan accordingly, by listing out the crops that needs more water and less water during various stages of growth.See the feasibility of closed farming / green house based farming for certain crops ref closed gardening. Possibility of Modified Hydroponic farming, using green house, by regulating the essential resources like co2, water, nitrogen and other nutrients with the help of other crops,plants combination (which can be listed using thermal imaging with help of plant entomologist )The barren lands can be put to the use of hydroponic culture, but this is more suitable for certain plants, the capital investment may be high though the yields will be good.
  16. GMO Seeds feasibility for crops , grasses and trees : Can a genetically modified seed can adapt to a less nutrient and varying climatic condition, discuss about this with a plant entomologist and gmo engineer. Say is it possible to combine the genes of cactus with some other crop, so that yield is good during the drought ? what is the possibility of creating a full grown tree in a shorter period, by using plant DNA sequencing / GMO for e.g is it possible to blend the DNA sequence of algae's fast growing property, along with another tree which can be grown in various valley,by forming deep roots that can stop the flood to an extent ? GMO for deep root crops and trees needs to be studied, so that the crops and trees doesn't end up in search for the nutrients / loosing their territory,  probably we need to have deep rooted crops as well to ensure they can withstand rains to an extend.
  17. Suggestion from earthworm researchers, GMO earthworm in Soil maintenance and seismic prediction : 
           Note : GMO:  Genetically modified organism. IR : Infrared Rays

Points mentioned in red has been updated after the proposal date, these points may be useful for the technical team, to research. So highlighting the same.

The field of GMO is still to be researched, as it have some disadvantages as well, but to what extent it can create problems to be analyzed and a call to be made based on climate change issue, issues with GMO but with properly invested time in developing and testing of GMO bases seeds will be worthy.

These 17 points has been generalized, for e.g Pamir mountains may not have volcano activity, but this has been generalized  so that proposal can reused to any region.the encyclopedia information has been used, to see the initial feasibility in mountain regions and its expansions, as there are  researchers, and apps  in some of these fields, the links shared will be useful for the fellow team, so that they can expand these ideas step by step based on priority. Based on the expansion the radio program can be modified, for e.g they can add a program how to tackle season as an 10 min additional program, where they can provide tips for having thermal insulation, plants to be avoided (weed, flowering plants(more water used than other crops), alternate grazing/agricultural strategy etc.

The students team needs to be involved in all these works, both local students and students who are studying this as a specialized stream. The Fellow team and the Advisory team of this challenge should guide them, with so much technology around this is quite possible with help of video conferencing  and the Central University can help and assist them in these activities.

All the 17 points are generalized topics,

Why Student's Community is important for this challenge  ?

Main reason of including student from various streams
  1. The ease with which the local students can form a bond with their elders/farmers.
  2. The need of maintaining the ancestor's knowledge as books, which has been lost due to local problems.
  3. In future there may be a war for water and food, so we need to raise the thinkers and problem solvers and not fighters, otherwise we won't be able to have a peaceful life.
  4. If we can use the specialized students in the above mentioned points (1-14), they can do projects on these lines as part of their curriculum, so we need not invest heavily on the research work.
  5. We can involve the specialized students to work with the local students, so they can share a good bond across the country and gets exposure to new technologies.
  6. Knowledge is like fire, the more you spread more we get awareness and the chain reaction should continue by using social media and scientific knowledge sharing.
  7. This idea is intended for Agriculture tips for the entire world, so it should keep spreading by growing the students community, the involvement of students will decide the state of water and food crisis which we may face in future. Let the starting point be the Pamir mountains.

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