Now, mobile app to check air quality


Citizens of Delhi, the city with the world’s most toxic air, and Pune can now check for air quality in real time and get forecasts for the next day through a mobile app, SAFAR-Air, launched by the Ministry of Earth Sciences, according to www.livemint.com.

The service, likely to be available in Mumbai by April, will be run by the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology (IITM), which has air quality monitoring systems in Delhi and Pune. It will provide current data and a forecast for air quality in the user’s current location through a colour-coded system — green is good, yellow is moderately polluted, orange is poor, red is very poor, and maroon is critical.

No-dig farming to sustain nutrition in soils, crops


This is a type of cultivation where instead of practising conventional ploughing or digging, turning soil upside down on its head each year, the soil is left undisturbed. According to www.theecologist.org, research has shown that it leads to richer soils, more nutritious food and healthier people.

At the heart of this idea is a theory that we should respect the integrity of the soil and the complex microbial communities it embodies. As such, minimal soil disturbance is key to the increase and balance of essential nutrients from soil to crop. Reports suggest that we may have lost 80% of vitamin and mineral content in the foods we eat.

LED skylight recreates Sun’s rays


Sunlight is a key factor architects take into account in their designs, but in most cases, they’re pretty much at the mercy of Mother Nature to provide it. However a new innovation may be set to change that, according to the magazine Discover.

An Italian company has developed an LED light that impeccably recreates the appearance of sunlight — so well that both human brains and cameras can’t tell the difference. Designers captured the colour temperature and intensity of sunlight by recreating the same natural conditions that exist in Earth’s atmosphere, but on a nano scale. The innovation, which is at present expensive to install, can be used in hospitals, windowless offices and basements.

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