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Golden Tiger of Kaziranga: It is natural in Assam

There’s Only One Golden Tiger Recorded In The Wild This Century And She’s In Kaziranga, India

A lot of exotic species occur in the wild that are native to some countries and not found anywhere else. What is rare is for an animal to be the only one recorded at a particular place, in the entire century.

Mubina Akhtar a wildlife activist says this colour is natural in Assam and most of tigers in Assam are found golden and it mostly adopts the colour of deers.
MAYURESH HENDRE writes

You know that tigers are an endangered species and India has been making efforts to preserve the species. What many might not know is that India is also the home of a Golden Tiger that too the only one recorded in the entire world in this century.

IFS Parveen Kaswan shared images clicked by Wildlife photographer Mayuresh Hendre of the majestic Golden Tiger at the Kaziranga National Park. The images were clicked some time ago but after being shared on Twitter they are going viral.

Nature

WHO observes what happens when an airborne organism enters human body?

WHO has acknowledged there’s emerging evidence of airborne transmission of the novel coronavirus. Here’s what happens when an airborne microorganism enters your body.
WHO admits COVID-19 may be airborne: What happens when an airborne organism enters your body?
WHO admits COVID-19 may be airborne: What happens when an airborne organism enters your body?Photo Credit: iStock ImagesKey HighlightsThe WHO has admitted that the airborne spread of the SARS-CoV-2 virus cannot be ruled outA group of scientists has written to the UN health agency saying there’s evidence that coronavirus in smaller particles in the air can infect peopleScientists have revealed that COVID-19 can affect the entire body, and not just the respiratory system
New Delhi: After insisting for months that the novel coronavirus is transmitted via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes, the World Health Organization (WHO) on Tuesday said that the airborne spread of COVID-19 cannot be ruled out, especially in public settings. Responding to question on airborne transmission of COVID-19, the UN health agency acknowledged there’s emerging evidence that the SARS-Cov-2 virus can be spread by tiny particles suspended in the air. An airborne disease is any condition caused by a microbe transmitted through the air.

WHO’s admission came after a group of 239 scientists from 32 countries accused the agency of underestimating the possibility of airborne spread of coronavirus, which has so far infected about 11,693,770 people and caused at least 539,620 deaths worldwide. WHO’s officials have, however, cautioned that the evidence is preliminary and further assessment is required.

“The possibility of airborne transmission in public settings – especially in very specific conditions, crowded, closed, poorly ventilated settings that have been described, cannot be ruled out,” Benedetta Allegranzi, the WHO’s technical lead for infection prevention and control, said at Tuesday’s briefing in Geneva. he evidence needs to be gathered and interpreted, and we continue to support this.”

“However, the evidence needs to be gathered and interpreted, and we continue to support this,” she added.

Maria Van Kerkhove, technical lead on the COVID-19 pandemic at the WHO, said the agency would in the coming days publish a scientific brief summarising the state of knowledge on modes of transmission of the virus.

What happens when an airborne microorganism enters your body?

When an airborne pathogen enters your body, it causes an inflammatory reaction of the upper airways, affecting the nose, sinuses, throat and lungs. This may result in nasal congestion, and sore throat. However, some airborne pathogens can attack the heart, kidneys, and nerves – not just the respiratory system. Researchers have found that the SARS-CoV-2 virus can damage the entire human body, including the heart, kidneys, liver, nervous system, etc. Experts said the virus triggers an imbalance in the immune response and excessive inflammation, resulting in collateral damage throughout the body.

Basically, an airborne disease can be spread when an infected person sneezes, coughs, talks, or spews up nasal and throat secretions into the air. The microorganisms transmitted airborne – such as bacteria, viruses, fungi – can be spread via fine mist, dust, aerosols, or liquids. Researchers said the aerosolised particles, which may be generated from a source of infection, often remain suspended in the air currents and may travel considerable distances, although many particles drop off within the vicinity. The infected aerosolised particles may be inhaled by susceptible hosts. Research has shown that airborne particles may remain localised to the room or move depending on the airflow. Hence, in some cases where there is inadequate ventilation such as the hospital, the particles may remain in the room and be inhaled by a newly admitted patient.

How to prevent airborne diseases
Some precautions that you can take to reduce the risk of contracting an airborne disease include:

Taking basic measures like frequently washing hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
Appropriate hand disinfection
Wearing a good face mask/respirator or personalised protection equipment (PPE)
Avoiding or limiting time spent around any patient likely to be a source of infection
Having a negative pressure isolation room
Regular vaccinations against diseases believed to be locally present
The control and prevention of airborne disease transmission require the control of airflow with the use of specially designed ventilator systems apart from taking basic measures. In most cases, antiviral agents and antibiotics are not prescribed borne infections caused by viruses. The management of airborne diseases involves interprofessional teams supported by a set of hospital guidelines and rules.

Nature

What can be better for the soul than logging the first cuckoo of spring?

Rob Penn

The arrival of the first cuckoo from Africa is an important moment in the turning year. Photograph: Bebedi/Alamy Stock Photo/Alamy Stock Photo
Iheard the first cuckoo on Wednesday evening. I was outside the back door splitting logs when the song floated down from the copse on Bryn Arw, the hill behind our house in the Black Mountains. Cuckoos have been coming to the same copse for as long as we have lived here and I have always written down the date of their arrival from Africa. It is an important moment in the turning year, as the lyrics to the traditional medieval round attest: “Sumer is icumen in/ Lhude sing cuccu.”

My recordings of cuckoos have always been haphazard, though. Some years, because the weather is dreadful or I am working hard and chained to a desk, I fail to get outside. I might first hear the male’s distinctive song, which gives the bird its onomatopoeic name, days after his actual arrival.

Other years, I have been abroad for work. This year, however, I have the correct date. There is no doubt, since every evening for the past four weeks I have been in the garden – weeding the vegetable patch, painting a bench, splitting alder logs and, on occasion, sitting in a chair looking up the hill with pricked ears, waiting for him. The cuckoo arrived on 22 April and I wrote it down in my notebook.
Observing the changing seasons is a fascination as old as the seasons themselves. There is a strange satisfaction in knowing that the arrival of the first cuckoo, with its gratifying intimations of summer round the corner, is a pleasure we partake in with people who lived hundreds and, presumably, thousands of years ago.

The first person to actually write down the times of the recurring natural phenomena that mark spring’s arrival was Robert Marsham, a Norfolk squire. In 1736, he recorded the first swallow, the dates different trees came into leaf, first flowering or blossoming dates, first time he heard frogs croaking and rooks nesting, first appearance of butterflies and the earliest singing of the cuckoo. In all, he recorded 27 seasonal occurrences in what he called his “Indications of Spring”.

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He maintained this record, without interruption, for more than 60 years. It became his life’s work. More remarkably still, successive generations of his family continued the record – until 1958. The field of study the Marshams effectively invented is called phenology.

I am no phenologist. This spring, though, I have become a keen and patient student of nature, with notebook in hand. For the first time in my adult life, I have the hours to sensitively bear witness to the delicate, daily changes. And I have taken the trouble to record them, like Marsham. In our small wood, I have observed the succession of wild flowers, all eager for their moment in the sun before the tree canopy closes over them. The sequence started in early March with lesser celandines and, a few days later, primroses; then came sweet violets, wild daffodils, wood anemones and greater stitchwort, in that order; next, yellow archangel flowered by the stream; last week, red campion, garlic-scented ransoms and bluebells, the wild flower that has the power of Prozac on the British collective consciousness, all bloomed. They have been entered in the notebook.

Sessile oaks coming into leaf.
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‘Sessile oaks are leafing as I write.’ Photograph: Robert Penn
Similarly, there are entries about the progression of leafing trees. Elder and horse chestnut were first, in mid-March. Sycamore, then hawthorn, rowan, silver birch and pedunculate oak followed. Beech, field maple and sessile oak are all leafing as I write. I have logged the conspicuous unfurling of the first hart’s tongue fern and the first broad buckler fern.

The first brimstone and orange tip butterflies are logged. The arrivals of pied flycatchers and willow warblers from sub-Saharan Africa are accounted for. Damson and wild cherry blossom, dandelions, daisies, wasps, red mason bees, nest-building blue tits and song thrushes are all minuted. There are even notes on the time it takes for the alder I have been splitting to oxidise; the process turns the exposed wood a rich orange colour.

In fact, keeping a nature diary is beginning to feel like a chore and I’m still not sure why I am doing it.

Gilbert White, the best-known nature diarist of the 18th century and a correspondent of Marsham, published The Natural History and Antiquities of Selborne, in 1789, as a weapon in the fight against the “superstitious prejudices” held by the “lower people” of his district in Hampshire.

White, like his brother-in-law, Thomas Barker, who kept a punctilious weather diary for six decades, and Marsham, were part of a new breed of amateur naturalists that emerged towards the end of the Enlightenment era. Keeping a journal became the prevailing method of reducing weather and the natural world to a definitive system.

Today, phenology is even more important than when White and Marsham lived, because of the insight it provides into the effects of climate change. The largest phenology database, part of a project called Nature’s Calendar, is held by the Woodland Trust. Thousands of people add their own recordings to the website every year and the data is used in academic research.

I may add my observations to the database, but citizen science is not the main reason why, this year, I am observing nature with the methodology of an 18th-century country parson. Rather, I am trying to comprehend events by ordering what is around me. As William Faulkner said: “To understand the world, you must first understand a place.” His place was Mississippi, mine is the Black Mountains.

Observing the changing seasons in a diary is also an internally imposed discipline, a form of spiritual self-monitoring, while the storm rages elsewhere. How long the diary will last into summer, I can’t yet tell. For now though, pen poised, I am waiting for the first swallow.

(Rob Penn is the author of The Man Who Made Things Out of Trees)

Cucko


The Guardian

Nature

Eaglenest Bird Festival, a bid to boost ecotourism in Arunachal Pradesh

Guwahati: Come March 22 Arunachal Pradesh is preparing to host a bird festival, atop the blue hills to promote tourism by giving a big push to wildlife conservation. Courtesy Arunachal Pradesh Art & Culture Eco-Tourism Society, this organization dedicated to promote wildlife conservation is holding the festival for three days from March 22 at Rupa and the Eaglenest Wildlife Sanctuary in West Kameng district.

According to the organizing secretary Ms. Kesang Khrimey, the event aims at conserving the wildlife with a massive participation of the people and thereby to promote the tourism sector which provides livelihood for many in the state.

Interaction with wildlife experts and tourism entrepreneurs apart from heritage walk and seminars would be the salient features of the event, said Khrimey.

“We have already got confirmation of participation form experts in the field of nature conservation from the country and abroad, including  Dr.Anuj Jain of BirdLife Asia (Singapore), Mr Paul Insua-Cao of Royal Society for Protection of Birds, UK and Director of The Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) Dr Deepak Apte”, she added.

Khrimey further said that it would be an occasion for the people of all walks of life to share their views and ideas with the wildlife experts and the tourism entrepreneurs will have the same amount of benefit to boost their means of livelihood.

Nature

rampant biodiversity destruction can spread fatal virus to Human in Northeast Indian region

If illegal wildlife trade and their habitate destruction are not stopped, deadly virus like Corna, Zika, Nipa can be infected to human in northeastern Indian region. Chandan Kumar Duarah, the science editor of Asomiya Pratidin has warned. The outbreak of diseases like corona virus,  hurbouring by wildlife can be spread to human. it has already been confirmed that the corona virusvirus came from wildlife through a Wuhn market of wildlife parts and flesh.

Wildlife poaching and killing taking place in Northeast India and animals and parts have been supplied to Chinese markets for decades. These illegal activities accelerated forest and biodiversity destruction in Assam as well as in the Northeastern Indian region. Habitat loss and wildlife killing has been rampant in Northeastern India, mostly in Assam. Timber logging, road building, tea cultivation expansion, rubber plantation and encroachment are responsible for haitate loss in the region, Duarah said.

If these unlimited activities can’t be stopped, many wildlife will come near human habitat and eventually deadly virus will transmit to human and different animals. There are so many Pangolin and thousands of different species of bats in states of Northeastern India including Assam and many of them were caught and killed illegally to meet the demand of of Chinese mmedicinal demand. It is estimated that around 30,000 pangolins were caught or killed in Northeast India to meet the Chinese medicinal market demand.

Habitat destruction threatens vast numbers of wild species with extinction, including the medicinal plants and animals we’ve historically depended upon for our pharmacopeia. It also forces those wild species that hang on to cram into smaller fragments of remaining habitat, increasing the likelihood that they’ll come into repeated, intimate contact with the human settlements expanding into their newly fragmented habitats. It’s this kind of repeated, intimate contact that allows the microbes that live in their bodies to cross over into ours, transforming benign animal microbes into deadly human pathogens.

As China is battling the outbreak of coronavirus, many studies have been doing the rounds linking the virus with wild animals. Experts with the World Health Organization (WHO) say there’s a high likelihood the new coronavirus came from bats. The Corona virus has so far killed around 2200 people in China and sickening more than 84,000 — eight times the number sickened by SARS.
It is believed that a wildlife market in Wuhan in China could have been the starting point for the outbreak. First infected were those who worked in with sea food animals. So it was assumed to be the virus came from sea animals. A WWF study showed illegal wildlife trade is worth around $20bn per year. It is the fourth biggest illegal trade worldwide, after drugs.
Many in China want the temporary ban on wildlife to be permanent while Chinese leader Xi Jinping said the country should “resolutely outlaw and harshly crack down” on the illegal wildlife trade because of the public health risks it poses. Chinese officials reveal that about 1.5 million markets and online operators nationwide have been inspected since the outbreak of coronavirus and 3,700 have been shut down while around 16,000 breeding sites have been cordoned off.
Many studies revealed that bats host many kind of virus incuding corona. According to a 2017 study, Ebola outbreaks, which have been linked to several species of bats, are more likely to occur in places in Africa that have experienced rampant deforestation. Cutting down the trees bats’ used to forced them to roost in trees in backyards and farms instead, increasing the likelihood that a human might. If someone take a bite of a piece of fruit covered in bat saliva or hunt and slaughter a local bat, exposing herself to the microbes sheltering in the bat’s tissues. It happens by pangolin too. When human catch or touch pangolin flesh, the deadly virus transmit to human in a easy way.
The outbreak of the virus has prompted calls to permanently ban the sale of wildlife but the Chinese government has made it clear the ban would be temporary. Conservtionists and environmentalists had been appealing to stop wildlife markets in Cina, but the Chinese Government had turned a deaf ear. China has not yet pronounced any word of possibility of permanent ban despitecan the pandemic and death of more than two thousands valuable lives. Beijing announced a similar ban in the event of the outbreak of Sars in 2002. However, authorities relaxed the ban and the trade bounced back.
Offcourse the prime suspect is the bat. One now-debunked theory that made the rounds suggested, a snake. That’s not the fault of wild animals. But now the ‘culprit’ is the Pangolin. But people must know that wildlife has been harbouring many kinds of virus ( fatal and non-fatal) for thousands of years without harming to host animals and plants. These virus and microbes has been a crucial part of biodiversity as well as nature for thousands of years. In fact, most of these microbes live harmlessly in these animals’ bodies.
The virus’s animal origin is a critical mystery to solve. But speculation about which wild creature originally harbored the virus obscures a more fundamental source of our growing vulnerability to pandemics: the accelerating pace of habitat loss. Habitat destruction threatens large numbers of species with extinction, including the medicinal plants and animals humankind historically depended upon for our pharmacopeia. The problem is the way that cutting down forests and expanding human habitat and socalled development activities forced come out animal microbes to adapt to the human body.

The epidemiologist Larry Brilliant once said, “Outbreaks are inevitable, but pandemics are optional.” Sonia Shah is a science journalist and the author of “PANDEMIC: Tracking Contagion from Cholera to Ebola and Beyond” says- “But pandemics only remain optional if we have the will to disrupt our politics as readily as we disrupt nature and wildlife. In the end, there is no real mystery about the animal source of pandemics. It’s not some spiky scaled pangolin or furry flying bat. It’s populations of warm-blooded primates: The true animal source is us.” Government’s liberation of extractive industries and industrial development from environmental and other regulatory constraints can be expected to accelerate the habitat destruction that brings animal microbes into human bodies, she said.

Markets selling live animals are considered a potential source of diseases that are new to humans
Most of the samples taken from the Wuhan market that tested positive for the coronavirus, were from the area where wildlife booths were concentrated. It is said that more than 70% of emerging infections in humans are estimated to have come from animals, particularly wild animals. Rapid deforestation and rampant destruction of habitats bring wildlife into close proximity with human habitations. It is more likely there are chances of spread of deadly viruses as people come into closer contact with animals and their viruses. The viruses behind Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (Sars) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (Mers) are also thought to have originated in bats. Civet cats and camels respectively, are thought to be the carriers of these viruses before being transmitted to humans.
A large number of viruses in the animal world have the potential to spread to humans, warn experts. Dormant deadly viruses could be transmitted to humans through wildlife like bats, pangolins, geckos etc as these animals have been largely traded. Markets selling live animals are considered a potential source of diseases that are new to humans. The Sars virus was found to have come from civet cats sold in Chinese markets. Bushmeat in Africa is thought to be a source for Ebola. Since 1940, hundreds of microbial pathogens have either emerged or reemerged into new territory where they’ve never been seen before. They include HIV, Ebola in West Africa, Zika in the Americas, and a bevy of novel coronaviruses. The majority of them—60 percent—originate in the bodies of animals. Some come from pets and livestock. Most of them—more than two-thirds—originate in wildlife.

The wildlife products industry is a major part of the Chinese economy and has been blamed for driving several species to the brink of extinction. China’s demand for wildlife products, which find uses in traditional medicine, or as exotic foods, is driving a global trade in endangered species.  “The Chinese market largely remains a threat to wildlife conservation, said Mubina Akhtar, a wildlife activist. “Rampant killing of wildlife continues in Northeast India and China remains the major consumer. From rhino horn to geckos, pangolins, skin-paws- bones of tiger and other wild cats have been regularly smuggled to the markets in South Asia. A permanent ban on the trade in wildlife by China would have been a vital step in the effort to end the illegal trading of wildlife,” she added.
Conservationists hope the outbreak could provide China with an opportunity to prove it is serious about protecting wildlife. China had earlier put a ban on the import of ivory – after years of international pressure to save elephants from extinction. However, an end to wildlife trade seems distant. Even if China regulates or bans it, wildlife trade is likely to continue in the poorer regions of the world where it continues to be an important food source.

According to Duarah, wildlife trade needs to be regulated globally both for conservation and protecting human health. While it allows for greater surveillance and testing for viruses in farm animals, in case of wildlife–regulation, improved monitoring and public education hold the key to better control the problem. Therefore countries need to contribute to exchange information as well as to improve food safety measures across a range of issues that also include pathogenic bacteria, viruses, and parasites.

Environment, Nature

Wetlands of Assam need urgent conservation measures

Chandan Kumar Duarah : Wetlands in Assam have been carrying out a great role minimising intensity of flood in Brahmaputra valley. Better conservation of wetlands in the state may be the most effective way to control flood and erosion problems. Because wetlands store a large amount of excess water during flood.

Most of wetlands in the state have become shallow due to turbidity, silt and sediment deposition. As they are becoming shallow the capacity of flood water storage also decreasing. So if these wetlands can be dredged and make deeper these will have more capacity to store more amount of flood water. Continue Reading

Nature

Cyclone Bulbul : Storm makes landfall at Sagar Island

Cyclone Bulbul finally made landfall over Indo-Bangladesh coast on Saturday night as severe cyclonic storm. Bulbul had crossed the coast abeam Sagar Islands and continues to track northeastwards. According to weathermen, the landfall process has finally finished and Bulbul is now travelling over the land towards Bangladesh. Landfall process takes about two hours to complete.

The storm was accompanied with torrential rains and high velocity winds to the tune of 110-120 kmph gusting up to 130 kmph.

As reiterated, the next 6 to 8 hours continues to be crucial for West Bengal as Bulbul would take another six hours to weaken into Cyclonic Storm after crossing coast. Thus, next 12 hours will be crucial. Storm surge will be from 8 to 10 feet that would lead to inundation in the low lying areas.

Lightning strikes are to be watched out for, which may be damaging. Coastal areas of West Bengal inclusive of Digha, Howrah, Hooghly, 24 Parganas, Medinipur are witnessing winds in excess of 100 kmph while Kolkata winds were in excess of 70-80 kmph.

Moving northeastwards further, it would head for the northeastern states of India as a depression. However, this would be not before Sunday morning.

Bulbul has already given extremely heavy rains in span of 12 hours, wherein Kolkata recorded 72 mm of rains, Digha 93 mm, and Diamond Harbour 75 mm. Heavy rains would continue to lash several parts of West Bengal throughout.

Bulbul has already crossed abeam Sagar Islands with the peripheral clouds reaching the coast. Thus, the landfall process for Severe Cyclone Bulbul has begun. The landfall is a two hour process.

The Very Severe Cyclonic Storm Bulbul’ (Pronounced as Bul bul) over northwest Bay of Bengal moved northeastwards with a speed of 11 kmph during past 06 hours, and lay centred at 2030 hrs IST of today, the 9 th November 2019, over northwest Bay of Bengal, near Lat.21.4°N and Long.

88.3°E about 40 km east-southeast of Sagar Islands (West Bengal), 85 km east-southeast of Digha, 125 km south-southwest of Kolkata,100 km south-southwest of Canning Town (west Bengal) and 210 km west-southwest of Khepupara (Bangladesh). The land fall process has started. Wall cloud region is entering into land. It is very likely to move northeastwards, weaken gradually and cross West Bengal – Bangladesh Coasts between Sagar Islands (West Bengal) and Khepupara (Bangladesh), across Sunderban delta during next 03 hours as a Severe Cyclonic Storm with maximum sustained wind speed of 110-120 Kmph gusting to 135 Kmph.

The Very Severe Cyclonic Storm Bulbul’ is being tracked by the Doppler Weather Radars at Gopalpur, Paradip and Kolkata in addition to other observing platforms.

Nature

Nobel Economics Prize Goes to Pioneers in Reducing Poverty

By Jeanna Smialek

Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo of M.I.T. and Michael Kremer of Harvard have devoted more than 20 years of economic research to developing new ways to study — and help — the world’s poor.

On Monday, their experimental approach toward poverty alleviation won them the 2019 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences. Dr. Duflo, 46, is both the youngest economics laureate ever and the second woman to be honored.

The three researchers study problems like education deficiencies and child health scientifically. They break issues into smaller questions, search for evidence about which interventions work to resolve them, and seek practical ways to bring those treatments to scale.

“In just two decades, their new experiment-based approach has transformed development economics, which is now a flourishing field of research,” the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said in a statement.

More than five million Indian children have benefited from effective remedial tutoring thanks to one of their studies, the release noted, while other work of theirs has inspired public investment in preventive health care.

Nobels have typically gone to more theoretical work. This year’s laureates distinguished themselves with work that is experimental and has immediate real-world impact. It shows that the field as a whole is approaching problems differently, a change that Dr. Banerjee, Dr. Duflo and Dr. Kremer have helped to bring about, their peers said.

Twenty years ago, “there was a lot of emphasis on economic theory, and more macroeconomic questions of development,” said Benjamin Olken, an economist at M.I.T. The Nobel winners broke those big questions into smaller problems and studied them like scientists running clinical trials.

“The approach has been tremendously influential in reshaping the field of development economics,” Dr. Olken said.

They have also worked to spread the approach. Dr. Duflo and Dr. Banerjee, who are married, in 2003 helped to found a global network of poverty researchers called the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab, or J-PAL. The coalition helps to identify effective interventions — like deworming campaigns — and then works with governments and nongovernment organizations to implement them.

Speaking at a news conference shortly after learning of the award, Dr. Duflo said the award recognized the collective contributions of hundreds of poverty researchers.

“It really reflects the fact that it has become a movement, a movement that is much larger than us,” she said.

Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo, both of M.I.T., and Michael Kremer of Harvard University won the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences.

Dr. Banerjee, born in 1961 in Mumbai, earned his doctorate from Harvard. He is the Ford Foundation international professor of economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Dr. Duflo, born in 1972 in Paris, has a doctorate from M.I.T., where she is the Abdul Latif Jameel Professor of Poverty Alleviation and Development Economics. Dr. Duflo won the John Bates Clark Medal from the American Economic Association in 2010, a frequent precursor to the Nobel.

Dr. Kremer, born in 1964, has a doctorate from Harvard, where he is the Gates professor of developing societies.

The researchers’ peers were quick to applaud the prize.

“Congratulations to Banerjee Duflo and Kremer on the Nobel and to the committee for making a prize that seemed inevitable happen sooner rather than later,” Richard Thaler, who won the award in 2017, said on Twitter.

“Fabulous news!” Cass Sunstein, a co-author with Mr. Thaler on a book about behavior economics and a professor at Harvard, wrote on Twitter. He described a recent study by one of the winners as “profound, implication-filled.”

“The three of them have just been transformative in leading by example,” said Amy Finkelstein, a leading health economist, who said their research methods had helped to shape her own work. She works with the three winners through J-PAL.

“This is probably the first 21st-century prize in economics,” said Lawrence Katz, a Harvard economist. “We’ve given lots of prizes for the advances of the 20th century.”

“Their methods, and this is not stuff worked on 20, 30 years ago — this is stuff that, none of it started until the 2000s,” Dr. Katz said. “This really is 21st-century economics, and it’s wonderful that we’re moving into the 21st century with the Nobel prize, in my view.”

The Nobel committee specifically highlighted a study Dr. Kremer helped write that looked at groups of school children in Kenya in the mid-1990s. It found that access to extra textbooks did not improve most student outcomes — showing the impediment to learning was not a simple lack of resources.

A subsequent experiment by Dr. Duflo, Dr. Banerjee and their co-authors identified a true barrier to student achievement: teaching methods that were insufficiently shaped to student need. Tutors for low-performing pupils in India improved achievement measurably, and lastingly. Dr. Duflo and Dr. Kremer have often written joint research, including guides on how to use randomized field experiments, the approach they champion, to study economic questions.

She and Dr. Banerjee collaborate regularly, publishing studies this year on “Using Gossips to Spread Information” — in which well-connected villagers were selected to spread information and increase vaccination rates — and using police resources to counter drunken driving in India.

The pair have a book, “Good Economics for Hard Times,” coming out in November, and they wrote an previous book, titled “Poor Economics.”

William Nordhaus and Paul Romer, who have studied climate change and technological innovation, were honored last year. Professor Nordhaus, of Yale University, is a proponent of a tax on carbon emissions as a way to address climate change. Although he has convinced many members of the economics profession about the benefits of a carbon tax, the federal government has yet to adopt one.

Professor Romer, of New York University, was cited for demonstrating how government policy could drive technological change. He noted the success of efforts to reduce emissions of ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbons in the 1990s.

Related image
  • The Nobel Peace Prize was awarded to Abiy Ahmed, the prime minister of Ethiopia, for his work in restarting peace talks with Eritrea and restoring some freedoms in his country after decades of repression.
  • The prize for medicine and physiology was awarded to William G. Kaelin Jr., Peter J. Ratcliffe and Gregg L. Semenza for their work in discovering how cells sense and adapt to oxygen availability.
  • The prize for physics went to three scientists who transformed our view of the cosmos: James Peebles, a cosmologist, shared half of the prize with two astronomers, Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz.
  • The prize for chemistry was awarded to three scientists who developed lithium-ion batteries: John B. Goodenough, M. Stanley Whittingham and Akira Yoshino will share the prize.
  • The prize for literature was awardedto Olga Tokarczuk, a Polish author, and Peter Handke, an Austrian writer. Mr. Handke won this year’s prize, while Ms. Tokarczuk won the 2018 prize, which had been postponed for a year because of a scandal at the academy.

Jeanna Smialek writes about the Federal Reserve and the economy for The New York Times. She previously covered economics at Bloomberg News, where she also wrote feature stories for Businessweek magazine.  @jeannasmialek