An image that has gone viral- A fish has been pictured swimming inside a jellyfish off Australia’s east coast in a remarkable and rare image, apparently the fish controls the direction of movement.
Back to Prelims-
This is a compilation of all environmental news published by Times of India newspaper for the past year. It has been compiled keeping in view of 2 important aspects of PRELIMS-
- No other website/institute that we are aware of are doing this (Most have done it from thehindu only)
- There were few questions asked by UPSC from TOI last year which was not covered by HINDU, hence the compilation.
We sincerely hope it helps in the exam.
‘India’s temperature rose by 0.60 degree over last 110 years’
- According to the Indian Meteorological Department(IMD), in line with rising temperatures across the globe, all India mean temperatures have risen nearly 0.60 degree Celsius over the last 110 years. Further IMD studies have highlighted that extreme events like heat waves have risen in the last 30 years.
- 5th Assessment Report (AR5) of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published in 2014, globally averaged combined land and ocean surface temperature has risen by 0.85 degree Celsius over the period 1880 to 2012.
National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC)
- Launched in June, 2008 to deal with climate change and related issues.
- NAPCC comprises of eight missions in specific areas of solar energy, enhanced energy efficiency, habitat, water, sustaining Himalayan ecosystems, forestry, agriculture and strategic knowledge for climate change.
- National Solar Mission
- National Mission for Enhanced Energy Efficiency
- National Mission on Sustainable Habitat (Energy Conservation Building Code)
- National Water Mission (goal of a 20% improvement in water use efficiency)
- National Mission for Sustaining the Himalayan Ecosystem
- Green India Mission( aims at afforestation of 6 million hectares of degraded forest lands and expanding forest cover from 23 to 33% of India’s territory.)
- National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture (development of climate-resilient crops, expansion of weather insurance mechanisms etc)
- National Mission on Strategic Knowledge for Climate Change ( envisions a new Climate Science Research Fund,improved climate modeling, and increased international collaboration. It also encourages private sector initiatives to develop adaptation and mitigation technologies through venture capital funds)
Integrated Gasification Combined Cycle – IGCC
An integrated gasification combined cycle (IGCC) is a technology that uses a high pressure gasifier to turn coal and other carbon based fuels into pressurized gas—synthesis gas (syngas). It can then remove impurities from the syngas prior to the power generation cycle.
The IGCC plant can achieve major CO2 reduction by effectively capturing the feedstock’s carbon inventory from the syngas, before it is combusted in the gas turbine. Captured CO2 can then be buried underground.
National Silt Policy
Seeking to handle threat of floods in many parts of the country during Monsoon, the Centre will soon come out with a national silt policy which will enlist measures to scientifically desilt rivers which have over the years lost the capacity to hold water due to deposition of excessive silt.
Corals and Islands:-
Lizard Island- Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.
SOUTH ARI ATOLL – Maldives
- The world has lost roughly half its coral reefs in the last 30 years.
- Coral reefs support a quarter of all marine species, as well as half a billion people around the world
- Even if the world could halt global warming now, scientists still expect that more than 90 percent of corals will die by 2050
- Often described as underwater rainforests, they populate a tiny fraction of the ocean but provide habitats for one in four marine species
- Reefs also form crucial barriers protecting coastlines from the full force of storms.
- Corals are invertebrates, living mostly in tropical waters. They secrete calcium carbonate to build protective skeletons that grow and take on impressive colors, thanks to a symbiotic relationship with algae that live in their tissues and provide them with energy.
- A temperature change of just 1 to 2 degrees Celsius (1.8 to 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) can force coral to expel the algae, leaving their white skeletons visible in a process known as “bleaching.”
- The first global bleaching event occurred in 1998, when 16 percent of corals died.
- The problem spiraled dramatically in 2015-2016 amid an extended El Nino natural weather phenomenon that warmed Pacific waters near the equator and triggered the most widespread bleaching ever documented.
- Coral Reef Watch Program – It is a program of NOAA .The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is an American scientific agency within the United States Department of Commerce focused on the conditions of the oceans and the atmosphere.
- 50 reefs – Hoegh-Guldberg,is the inaugural Director of the Global Change Institute at the University of Queensland,helped launch an initiative called 50 Reefs, aiming to identify those reefs with the best chance of survival in warming oceans and raise public awareness. His project partner is Richard Vevers, who heads the XL Caitlin Seaview Survey, which has been documenting coral reefs worldwide.
India launches phase-out plan of the harmful refrigerant HCFC
Though the fresh plan is meant for the 2017-23 period, the final goal is to phase out consumption and manufacturing of this ozone-depleting refrigerant under an accelerated plan by 2030.
The HCFC is currently used in various sectors including refrigeration, air-conditioning and foam manufacturing.
Over 190 countries had in 1987 reached an agreement under Montreal Protocol to phase out the ODS in a time-bound manner. Under the Protocol, India has already successfully phased out the earlier generation of refrigerants, Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and Halon. The country is currently phasing out the HCFC in a gradual manner.
In a first, Centre launches survey to ascertain Gangetic dolphin numbers
The Centre has launched the first ever across-the-river survey in Ganga to determine the population of aquatic life, including that of the endangered Gangetic doplhin.
The authority is conducting the survey through Wildlife Institute of India (WII), an autonomous institution of Environment and Forest Ministry, under Namami Gange programme.
Why pandas became black and white
A study suggests that this dual colouration stems from its poor diet of bamboo and inability to digest a broader variety of plants. This means it can never store enough fat to go dormant during the winter, as do some bears. Panda is a mammal.
World’s last wild frankincense forests are under threat
The fight to save Earth’s smallest rhino in Sumatra’s jungles
- Andatu, is a Sumatranrhino, one of the rarest large mammals on Earth
- He is part of a special breeding programme for Sumatran rhino at Way Kambas National Park in Indonesia
- Sumatra is the sole place where wild rhinos, orangutans, tigers and elephants roam together.
In 2015, the species was declared extinct in the wild in Malaysia, leaving just tiny herds of two to five rhinos scattered across Sumatra and Indonesian Borneo.
Migratory birds arrive in Bhitarkanika- Odisha
India’s first tiger cell to be set up in Dehradun
Climate change can make fish swim towards predators
Jia Jia, world’s oldest-ever panda in captivity, dies at 38
In a first in the country, female monkeys to be given oral ‘contraceptive’ in Uttarakhand
Rice crops that can help farmers cut costs and reduce pollution
It is found that key microbial reactions that lead to an inefficiency in nitrogen capture can be significantly reduced in certain varieties of rice plants through the action of those specific chemicals released from root cells.
One of the main reasons crops waste so much fertiliser is that they were bred that way. In the past fertilisers were relatively inexpensive to produce because fossil fuels were abundant and cheap.
A prime tiger habitat, but no reserve tag
Byculla zoo gets Humboldt penguins as new members
Most deforested island in Philippines has most unique mammals in world
Murthy’s jumbo journey: From rogue killer to refined kumki
In the 1990s Murthy was a terror. He killed at least 20 people in Kerala’s Wayanad and was a nightmare for residents of the nearby areas. But soon after the Kerala government declared him a ‘killer’, he migrated to the Gudalur forest division in the Nilgiris. Well, the Murthy in question is not another forest brigand, but a Makhna (male elephant without tusks).
Murthy was captured by the forest department in July 1998 and sent to the Mudumalai elephant camp for rehabilitation. Today, Murthy is an obedient and veterinarian-friendly elephant in the state.
Rare ‘Cutest Falcon’ spotted in Bastar
Assam floods: Pobitora sanctuary, habitat of one-horn rhinoceros, under water
Turtle village to become biodiversity heritage site
Extinct at Keoladeo Park, but good number of otters spotted in Chamabla river, Kota
Drought stalled Amazon forest’s carbon absorption
Tamil Nadu yet to take stock of its natural resources in forests
Ashwagandha is a medicinal herbs that grow in abundance in Tamil Nadu.
Kerala might be a smaller state compared to Tamil Nadu, but unlike the latter several thousand villagers in Kerala earn a decent living by collecting and distributing naturally grown shrubs, herbs and seeds, which in turn are bought by companies. The credit goes to the National Biodiversity Authority (NBA), which introduced the access benefit sharing system, in its bid to eliminate middlemen and help the local community get better profit from the collection of natural resources
The National Biodiversity Authority (NBA) has broadly classified natural resources into five categories agri biodiversity, domesticated biodiversity, wild biodiversity, marine biodiversity and urban biodiversity. The NBA has also included the market source for domesticated biodiversity.
2017 is the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development
Global body concerned over massive destruction in Uttarakhand
International Road Federation (IRF), a Geneva based global body consisting of 90 countries working for better and safer roads worldwide which also has deparment of Road Tranport and Highways, CPWD and NHAI as members, has expressed deep concern at repeated loss of life, landslides, areas being cut off and chaos in the road network and infrastructure in the hill state of Uttarakhand for last several years during rains, and has stressed the need of adopting time tested sustainable solutions including floodplain mapping and taking flood proofing measures.
Kukrail’s a biodiversity heritage site, Lucknow
Himachal Pradesh to begin breeding snow leopards in captivity
The Darjeeling zoo is internationally recognized for its 33-year-old conservation breeding programme for the snow leopard, with 56 births till date.
No more windmills in bustard-inhabited areas in Rajasthan
Kendrapara sheep gets rare status
What is DNA barcoding?
DNA barcoding is a new system to identify and discover species. This is done by using a small section of DNA from a standardized region of the genome. The DNA sequence is useful in identify different species. An analogy can be drawn with the scanners in supermarkets that identify the barcodes written in black stripes of every product.
Nature Forever Society’s ‘I love sparrows’ enters Limca Book of Records
Gangetic river dolphin declared as city animal of Guwahati
Assam’s Guwahati became the first city in the country to have its own city animal with the district administration declaring the Gangetic river dolphin as the mascot
Army shows eco-friendly way to fight mosquitoe
Army’s GAJRAJ Corps in Assam’s Tezpur observed World Environment Day and launched “Go Green” initiative by releasing large number of mosquito larvae eating fish (Gambasia affinis) in various water bodies in the Military camp area.
This is an eco-friendly way of avoiding harmful chemicals for killing the mosquitoes and control mosquito borne diseases.
WHAT IS PARTICULATE MATTER
* Particulate matter is smallest variety of finely divided solids or liquids that emanate from combustion processes, industrial activities or natural sources and remain suspended in the air.
* They are so small that they are not even pulled down by gravitational force thus obtaining a ‘repairable’ character.
* Measured in terms of their size in micron, which is about 1000th of a millimetre, all kinds of PM are a threat to pulmonary health.
* PM 1 are fine particulate matter (PM) particles of diameter less than 1 micron. Smallest particles which can be seen with naked eye are around 40-50 micron.
* PM 10, PM 2.5 and PM 1 particles make up the total suspended particulate matter. If a human being was the size of PM 1, PM2.5 would be as big as an elephant and pm10 is equivalent of a whale (which is about 20 meters long).
HOW DOES IT HARM HEALTH?
* Researches have shown that the finer the particles, the more difficult they are to disperse and the deeper they can penetrate into the blood stream, causing more harm.
* PM 10 enter the respiratory tract and have been associated with risks like bronchitis, asthma, and upper respiratory tract infections. It can also aggravate symptoms of existing diseases more than triggering new conditions.
* PM 2.5 are considerably finer, penetrate into the lower respiratory tract or deeper in the respiratory tract, and the blood stream, causing cardiovascular problems. The spike in these particles over the last two years has prompted doctors to advise patients to leave Delhi temporarily.
* PM 1 can penetrate deeper into the cardiovascular stream and can predispose heart diseases. Western studies suggest that PM1 can lead to premature births and affect foetal development.
Six tigers to be relocated in Buxa Tiger Reserve
Buxa TR is in West Bengal.
El Salvador becomes the first country in the world to ban mining of metals for environmental protection
World’s first sanctuary for white tigers opens in MP
Isotopes indicate the source of groundwater. Significant variation in isotopic composition of groundwater indicated that the water in different parts of the state was recharged through different geo-hydrological processes. Groundwater recharged by water undergoing considerable evaporation during infiltration and percolation had more isotopic value than the one recharged by sources below ground.
Ranthambore ‘man-eater’ sentenced to life in zoo- Extending the principle of crime and punishment to the animal world, the Supreme Court said Ranthambore tiger T-24 aka ‘Ustad’ deserved no leniency and had been rightly ‘jailed’ in a zoo after experts opined it was a man-eater.
Agasthiarmalai Reserve gets Unesco honour
Jaikawadi Bird Sanctuary – Maharastra
Sri Lankamalleswara Wildlife Sanctuary-Andhra Pradesh( home to some of the best quality red sanders)
Abohar sanctuary gets buffer zone
South Asia Wildlife Enforcement Network
Other Important articles for PRELIMS-
- Environment For PRELIMS – Biodiversity Report Summary !!!
- Ten largest National Parks in India and its endangered species !!!
- Fascinating list of India’s 18 Biosphere Reserves !!!
- RAMSAR sites in India
- Coral Story
- Protected Area Network of India
- India and INDC
- Disaster management in India !!!