Environment Current Affairs

 

Environment Current Affairs, Important for Competitive Exams.

World Environment Day- June 5

World Environment Day is celebrated annually on June 5 to encourages awareness and action for the protection of the environment. This United Nations day is supported by many non-governmental organizations, businesses, and government entities.

The theme for World Environment Day 2024 is “Land restoration, desertification & drought resilience”. It focuses on #GenerationRestoration, emphasizing the importance of growing forests, reviving water sources, and bringing back soils.

Q: When do we celebrate World Environment Day every year?

A) January 1
B) April 22
C) June 5
D) September 21

Correct Answer: C) June 5

Q: What is the primary cause of ozone depletion in the Earth’s atmosphere?

A) Carbon dioxide (CO₂)
B) Methane (CH₄)
C) Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs)
D) Nitrous oxide (N₂O)

Correct Answer: C) Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs)

Q: Which gas is responsible for the greenhouse effect?

A) Oxygen (O₂)
B) Nitrogen (N₂)
C) Carbon dioxide (CO₂)
D) Argon (Ar)

Correct Answer: C) Carbon dioxide (CO₂)

Onset Of Southwest Monsoon In Kerala : IMD

Southwest Monsoon rains began in Kerala, India on June 30, 2024, as reported by the India Meteorological Department (IMD). Typically, monsoon rains start in Kerala around June 1 and spread across the country by mid-July, aiding the planting of major crops like rice, corn, cotton, soybeans, and sugarcane.

  • Monsoon rains provide 70% of India’s annual water supply, vital for farming and replenishing water sources.
  • About half of India’s farmland relies solely on monsoon rains for irrigation.
  • Overall monsoon rainfall this year is predicted to be 106% of the long-term average.
  • The IMD classifies normal rainfall as 96% to 104% of a 50-year average of 87 cm (35 inches) for the June-September period.

Q: Which major crops are aided by the monsoon rains in India?

A) Wheat, barley, oats, and rye
B) Rice, corn, cotton, soybeans, and sugarcane
C) Potatoes, tomatoes, onions, and garlic
D) Apples, oranges, bananas, and mangoes

Answer: B) Rice, corn, cotton, soybeans, and sugarcane

Q: What is the 50-year average rainfall for the June-September period, according to the IMD?

A) 70 cm (28 inches)
B) 80 cm (32 inches)
C) 87 cm (35 inches)
D) 100 cm (40 inches)

Answer: C) 87 cm (35 inches)

Q.: By when do the southwest monsoon rains typically spread across the whole country?

A) Mid-June
B) End of June
C) Mid-July
D) End of July

Answer: C) Mid-July

52.9°C in Mungeshpur, Delhi on May 29, 2024, could be due to a sensor error or local factors

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) clarified that the recorded temperature of 52.9°C in Mungeshpur, Delhi on May 29, 2024, could be due to a sensor error or local factors.

  • It was reported the highest temperature reading ever recorded in Delhi and India.
  • IMD is currently examining the data and sensors as the Mungeshpur reading is an outlier compared to other stations.
  • IMD has five major climate stations in Safdarjung, Palam, Ayanagar, Ridge, and Lodi Road, which should be used to determine trends and extremes.
  • Minister of Earth Sciences, Kiren Rijiju, stated that the Mungeshpur temperature is not yet official and is very unlikely, with senior IMD officials asked to verify the report.

Q: What did the India Meteorological Department (IMD) clarify about the temperature reading of 52.9°C in Mungeshpur, Delhi on May 29, 2024?

  • A. It was officially confirmed
  • B. It could be due to a sensor error or local factor
  • C. It was recorded in all major stations
  • D. It is normal temperature

Ans : B. It could be due to a sensor error or local factor

Cyclone Remal : Landfall around midnight on May 26, 2024 in West Bangal

Cyclone Remal is the first pre-monsoon cyclone of 2024 in the Bay of Bengal. The landfall is expected between Sagar Island (West Bengal) and Khepupara (Bangladesh) around midnight on May 26, 2024.

Impact Areas:

  • West Bengal: Heavy to very heavy rain in South and North 24 Parganas, Purba Medinipur, Kolkata, Howrah, and Hooghly on May 26-27.
  • Odisha: North Odisha will experience impacts on May 26-27.
  • Northeast India: Extremely heavy precipitation on May 27-28.
  • Specific districts in West Bengal (Paschim Medinipur, Purba Bardhaman, Nadia) to receive heavy rain on May 26-27.

Alerts and Warnings:

  • Red Alert: Coastal districts of South and North 24 Parganas in West Bengal, with wind speeds of 100-110 km/h on May 26 and 90-100 km/h on May 27, along with extremely heavy rainfall.
  • Orange Alert: Kolkata, Howrah, and Purba Medinipur districts, with wind speeds of 80-90 km/h on May 26 and 70-80 km/h on May 27, with heavy to very heavy rain.
  • Yellow Warning: Isolated places in Balasore, Odisha, may receive heavy to very heavy rainfall (7-20 cm) on May 26.

Q: What is the name of the first pre-monsoon cyclone of 2024 in the Bay of Bengal, make landfall on 26 May 2024?

A) Cyclone Fani
B) Cyclone Amphan
C) Cyclone Yaas
D) Cyclone Remal

Ans : D) Cyclone Remal

Monsoon will arrive in Kerala towards the end of May : IMD

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) predicts the south-west monsoon will likely arrive in Kerala towards the end of this month (May 2024).

Kerala has been experiencing sporadic rains recently. These rains have significantly reduced the temperature in the state.

Q: Which monsoon normally set in over Kerala towards the end of May / first week of June every year?

A) North-east monsoon
B) South-west monsoon
C) Winter monsoon
D) Summer monsoon

Answer: B) South-west monsoon

Powerful Solar Storm hit Earth causing Celestial Light Displays in Skies from Australia to Britain

An unusually powerful solar storm hit Earth on the night of May 10, causing celestial light displays from Australia to Britain. The solar storm poses a threat of potential disruptions to Earth’s communications networks, satellites, and power grids as it continues into the weekend.

  1. The solar storm was caused by coronal mass ejections (CMEs), expulsions of plasma and magnetic fields from the Sun.
  2. It was upgraded to an ‘extreme’ geomagnetic storm, the first since the ‘Halloween Storms’ of October 2003.
  3. More Coronal Mass Ejections are expected to impact the planet in the upcoming days.
  4. Social media was filled with images of auroras from northern Europe to Australia, New Zealand, and neighboring islands in the Pacific Ocean.
  5. The solar flares originated from a large cluster of sunspots, 17 times wider than Earth.
  6. The Sun is nearing the peak of an 11-year cycle, resulting in increased solar activity.
  7. Fluctuating magnetic fields during geomagnetic storms can create currents in long wires, potentially causing power outages and issues in engineering.
  8. Spacecraft are vulnerable to high levels of radiation during solar storms, but Earth’s atmosphere shields the planet.
  9. Pigeons and other species with internal biological compasses may be impacted by geomagnetic storms.
  10. The Carrington Event, the most powerful geomagnetic storm in recorded history, occurred in September 1859.

Q: What caused the powerful solar storm that hit Earth on May 10, 2024?

a) Solar flares
b) Coronal mass ejections (CMEs)
c) Lunar eclipse
d) Solar eclipse

Ans : b) Coronal mass ejections (CMEs)

Q:What is the approximate frequency of the solar activity cycle mentioned in the passage?

a) 7 years
b) 11 years
c) 50 years
d) 100 years

Ans : b) 11 years

World Earth Day, observed on April 22

World Earth Day, observed annually on April 22, is a global event dedicated to environmental protection.

Origins and Purpose:

  • The first Earth Day was organized on April 22, 1970, by EARTHDAY.ORG (formerly Earth Day Network).
  • It mobilized millions of Americans from diverse backgrounds, marking the birth of the modern environmental movement.
  • Earth Day aims to raise awareness, inspire action, and advocate for a sustainable future.
  • Earth Day is now celebrated in over 193 countries, involving more than 1 billion people.
  • It serves as a reminder of our responsibility to protect Earth’s natural resources for future generations.

2024 Theme: Planet vs. Plastics:

Theme for Earth Day 2024 is “Planet vs. Plastics.” The goal is to end plastics for human and planetary health by demanding a 60% reduction in plastic production by 2040.

Q: Which day is celebrated as World Earth Day?

A) 21 August
B) 22 April
C) 21 December
D) 22 May

Ans : B) 22 April

Q: What was the theme of World Earth Day 2024?

A) End Plastic Pollution
B) Ecosystem Restoration
C) Time for Nature
D) Planet vs. Plastics

Ans : D) Planet vs. Plastics

Begusarai in Bihar is world’s most polluted metropolitan area.

According to Air Quality Report 2023 conducted by Swiss organisation IQAir, Begusarai in Bihar has been identified as the world’s most polluted metropolitan area. New Delhi remains the world’s most polluted capital city for the fourth consecutive year since 2018.

  • The Air Quality Report 2023 by Swiss organization IQAir reveals that Delhi’s PM2.5 levels increased from 89.1 micrograms per cubic meter in 2022 to 92.7 micrograms per cubic meter in 2023.
  • India ranks third in terms of air quality, with an average annual PM2.5 concentration of 54.4 micrograms per cubic meter, following Bangladesh and Pakistan.
  • Over one billion people in India are exposed to PM2.5 levels surpassing the World Health Organization’s recommended annual guideline level of 5 micrograms per cubic meter.

Q: Which city has been ranked as the world’s most polluted capital city for four consecutive years since 2018?

a) Mumbai
b) New Delhi
c) Beijing
d) Tokyo

Ans : b) New Delhi

Q: Which Indian city has emerged as the world’s most polluted metropolitan area?

a) Mumbai
b) Kolkata
c) Chennai
d) Begusarai

Ans : d) Begusarai

Female cheetah Gamini gives birth to five cubs in Kuno National Park

Female cheetah Gamini, originally from South Africa, gave birth to five cubs in Kuno National Park on March 10, 2024.

  1. Gamini is approximately five years old.
  2. This brings the total count of Indian-born cheetah cubs to 13.
  3. The current population of cheetahs in Kuno National Park, including the new cubs, is twenty-six.
  4. The cheetah reintroduction project involved releasing eight Namibian cheetahs (five females and three males) into enclosures at Kuno National Park on September 17, 2022.
  5. In February 2023, an additional 12 cheetahs were brought to the park from South Africa, including Gamini.

Q: Which female cheetah recently (in March 2024) gave birth to five cubs in Kuno National Park?

a) Gauri
b) Gamini
c) Chitra
d) Laila

Ans : b) Gamini

Leopard population in the country has increased by more than 1,000 in last four years

The leopard population in the country has increased by more than one thousand from 2018 to 2022.

  1. The Environment, Forest, and Climate Change Ministry released a report indicating the leopard population has reached 13,874, up from 12,852 in 2018.
  2. Union Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav released the report in New Delhi.
  3. Central India, particularly Madhya Pradesh, recorded the highest leopard population with 3,907 individuals.
  4. The fifth cycle leopard population estimation was conducted by the National Tiger Conservation Authority and Wildlife Institute of India in collaboration with State Forest Departments.
  5. This exercise is crucial for conservation efforts, highlighting the importance of Protected Areas in conserving leopard populations.

Q: Which Indian state recorded the highest leopard population according to the report?

a) Rajasthan
b) Kerala
c) Madhya Pradesh
d) Uttar Pradesh

Ans : c) Madhya Pradesh

India has 718 snow leopards, as per first-ever Snow Leopard Population Assessment

 The first-ever Snow Leopard Population Assessment in India (SPAI) has been released on 30 January 2024.

  • First-ever scientific assessment: Conducted over 70% of potential snow leopard range in India (4 years).
  • Population estimate: 718 snow leopards in India, highest in Ladakh (477) followed by Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, and Jammu and Kashmir.
  • Habitat: Occupancy recorded in over 93,000 sq km, estimated presence in over 100,000 sq km.

Q: What is the estimated total number of snow leopards in India according to first-ever Snow Leopard Population Assessment in India (SPAI) ?

a) 500
b) 718
c) 1000
d) 2000

Ans : b) 718

Q: Which state has the highest number of snow leopards in India as per the Snow Leopard Population Assessment in India (SPAI)?

a) Uttarakhand
b) Himachal Pradesh
c) Ladakh
d) Sikkim

Ans : c) Ladakh – highest in Ladakh (477)

Suchetha Satish sets new world record for singing in most languages during single concert

  • Suchetha Satish, from Kerala, has set a new world record for singing in the most languages during a single concert at the Indian Consulate Auditorium in Dubai..
  • The achievement is officially recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records.
  • Suchetha’s performance was part of the Concert for Climate, an initiative focused on raising awareness about climate change.
  • She sang in an unprecedented 140 languages during the concert.

Q: How many languages did Suchetha Satish sing in during the record-setting concert in Dubai?

a. 100 languages
b. 120 languages
c. 140 languages
d. 160 languages

Ans : c. 140 languages

Nations at COP28 Reach Landmark ‘UAE Consensus’ for a transition away from fossil fuels for net zero by 2050

  • Landmark agreement in Dubai, the ‘UAE Consensus,’ calls for a transition away from fossil fuels for net zero by 2050.
  • COP28, ending on 14 Dec 2023, is a turning point in global climate change efforts, with 198 participating Parties aiming to limit global warming to 1.5°C.
  • COP28 President, Dr. Sultan Al Jaber, emphasizes the historic achievement, highlighting inclusivity across diverse sectors, including private and public sectors, civil society, faith leaders, youth, and indigenous peoples.
  • UAE Consensus encourages economy-wide Nationally Determined Contributions, targeting tripling renewables and doubling energy efficiency by 2030.
  • COP28’s ‘Action Agenda’ includes bold steps in fast-tracking energy transition, fixing climate finance, focusing on people and nature, and fostering inclusivity, mobilizing an unprecedented $85 billion for climate action.
  • Key achievements involve the launch of ALTÉRRA, a $30 billion private finance vehicle by the UAE, the endorsement of the ‘COP28 UAE Declaration on Agriculture, Food, & Climate,’ and the ‘COP28 UAE Declaration on Climate and Health.’
  • Global Decarbonisation Accelerator (GDA) introduces initiatives like the Global Renewables and Energy Efficiency Pledge and the Oil and Gas Decarbonisation Charter.
  • COP28 delivers historic negotiated outcomes, including operationalization of Loss and Damage, $792 million in early pledges, advancement of the Global Goal on Adaptation (GGA), and institutionalization of the Youth Climate Champion.
  • Focus now shifts to implementing agreements at COP29 and COP30, with collaboration agreements signed with Brazil (COP30 host) and efforts with Azerbaijan (COP29 host) for ambitious updated climate plans.
  • COP28 sets a precedent for future conferences, providing a blueprint for ambitious and inclusive global climate action.

MCQs

  1. What is the primary focus of the ‘UAE Consensus’ reached in Dubai at COP28 ?
    • a) Transitioning to renewable energy
    • b) Achieving net-zero emissions by 2050
    • c) Enhancing climate finance
    • d) Strengthening global partnerships
  2. What does COP28 aim to achieve in terms of global warming?
    • a) Limiting it to 2°C
    • b) Limiting it to 1.5°C
    • c) Reducing emissions by 50%
    • d) Achieving complete carbon neutrality

Severe Cyclonic Storm Michaung crosses south Andhra Pradesh coast

  1. Cyclone “Michaung” Crossing and Movement:
    • On December 5, 2023, Severe Cyclonic Storm ‘Michaung’ crossed the South Andhra Pradesh coast close to Bapatla at 1330 hours.
    • Moved northwards with a speed of 10 kmph during the past 06 hours.
  2. Weakening and Wind Speed Forecast:
    • The storm is expected to weaken into a cyclonic storm.
    • Forecasted maximum sustained wind speed of 80-90 kmph, gusting to 100 kmph.
  3. Impact on Odisha:
    • Anticipated heavy rains in most parts of southern Odisha and the coastal region of the state.
  4. Impact on Tamil Nadu and Puducherry:
    • North coastal Tamil Nadu and Puducherry expected to experience light to moderate rainfall in most places.
    • Isolated heavy rainfall forecasted on Tuesday morning, decreasing thereafter.

Q: Severe Cyclonic Storm Michaung crossed which state’s coast in December 2023?

a) Tamil Nadu
b) Kerala
c) Andhra Pradesh
d) Odisha

Ans : c) Andhra Pradesh

COP28 Summit in Dubai from 30 November to 12 December 2023

  • The 28th session of COP (Conference of the Parties) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change started in Dubai on November 30, 2023, and will run until December 12.
  • The conference has a central theme of accelerating collective climate action and increasing ambition in response to the growing Climate Crisis.
  • Prime Minister Narendra Modi is on a two-day visit to the UAE to participate in the World Climate Action Summit, which is the High-Level Segment of COP-28.
  • During the Summit, PM Modi will address the audience and take part in three high-level side events in Dubai.

Q: Where is 28th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP28) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change taking place?

a. New York, USA
b. Geneva, Switzerland
c. Dubai, UAE
d. Paris, France

Ans : c. Dubai, UAE

World’s Largest Single-Site Solar Power Plant in Abu Dhabi inaugurated

The United Arab Emirates inaugurated the world’s largest single-site solar power plant, the 2-gigawatt Al Dhafra Solar Photovoltaic Independent Power Project (IPP), located 35 kilometers from Abu Dhabi.

  1. The solar plant will generate enough electricity to power almost 200,000 homes and is expected to displace 2.4 million tonnes of carbon emissions annually.
  2. The inauguration comes ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28), and Sheikh Hazza highlighted the UAE’s commitment to clean energy, reducing carbon emissions, and supporting global climate action.
  3. United Arab Emirates will host the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) from November 30th to December 12 2023.

Q.: When is the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) scheduled to be hosted by the United Arab Emirates?

a. October 15-25, 2023
b. November 30-December 12, 2023
c. January 5-15, 2024
d. February 20-March 2, 2024

Ans : b. November 30-December 12, 2023

Q.: Where is world’s largest single-site solar power plant located ?

a. Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
b. Beijing, China
c. California, United States
d. London, United Kingdom

Ans : a. Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

UN’s World Meteorological Organization (WMO) reported record-high levels of climate-heating gases in the atmosphere

The UN’s World Meteorological Organization (WMO) reported record-high levels of climate-heating gases in the atmosphere in 2022.

  1. The heating effect of greenhouse gases increased by 50% between 1990 and 2022, with the primary driver being the burning of fossil fuels.
  2. Carbon dioxide concentration is now 50% higher than pre-Industrial Revolution levels.
  3. The concentrations of the two other major greenhouse gases, methane and nitrous oxide, also experienced growth.
  4. The WMO released this report in anticipation of the UN’s Cop28 climate summit, scheduled to begin on November 30.

Q.: What did the UN’s World Meteorological Organization (WMO) report about climate-heating gases in 2022?

a. Decreased levels
b. Record highs
c. Stable levels
d. No change

Ans : b. Record highs

Pusa-2090, a high-yielding short-duration paddy variety developed by IARI

The Indian Agricultural Research Institute in Delhi has successfully developed a high-yielding short-duration paddy variety called Pusa-2090.

  1. Purpose of Development: The new variety aims to address challenges associated with paddy stubble burning and air pollution in the Delhi-NCR region.
  2. Stubble Burning Issue: The traditional paddy crop, transplanted in June, is usually ready for harvest by late October, leaving farmers with minimal time to prepare fields for the next wheat crop. Stubble burning has been a common practice due to this time constraint.
  3. Comparison with Existing Variety: Pusa-2090 is an improved version of the existing Pusa-44 variety. The new variety matures in 120 to 125 days, providing farmers with approximately 30 more days compared to Pusa-44, which takes 155 to 160 days to mature.
  4. Advantages of Pusa-2090: The shortened maturity period of Pusa-2090 allows farmers more time to ready their fields for the subsequent crop, reducing the reliance on stubble burning.

Q.: How does the maturity period of Pusa-2090 compare to the existing Pusa-44 paddy variety?

a. Pusa-2090 takes longer to mature
b. Pusa-2090 and Pusa-44 have similar maturity periods
c. Pusa-2090 matures faster than Pusa-44
d. None of the above

Ans : c. Pusa-2090 matures faster than Pusa-44

Q.: Why do farmers in the Delhi-NCR region resort to burning paddy stubble?

a. Tradition and cultural practices
b. Lack of awareness
c. Short time between paddy harvest and sowing wheat
d. Soil enrichment

Ans : c. Short time between paddy harvest and sowing wheat

All schools in Delhi to be closed from November 9 to 18, 2023

  1. All schools in Delhi will be closed from November 9 to 18, 2023.
  2. The decision to close schools was made by the Education Department of Delhi.
  3. The reason for this closure is the adverse weather conditions and rising pollution levels in the national capital.
  4. The Delhi Government issued an order stating that the winter break will be observed during this period, and further orders for the remaining portion of the break will be issued later.
  5. The decision to close schools is due to the implementation of GRAP-IV measures in response to severe air quality issues in Delhi and the prediction of no improvement in the near future by the IMD (Indian Meteorological Department).
  6. The Delhi Environment Minister, along with Transport and Revenue Ministers, chaired a meeting to ensure compliance with instructions given by the Supreme Court regarding pollution control.

Q.: Why are all schools in Delhi were closed from November 9 to 18, 2023?

A) Due to a teacher’s strike
B) Adverse weather conditions and rising pollution levels
C) Summer vacation
D) Scheduled maintenance work

Ans : B) Adverse weather conditions and rising pollution levels

Odd-Even vehicle system in Delhi for one week, from the 13th November

The Odd-Even vehicle system will be implemented in Delhi for one week, from the 13th to the 20th of the current month, in response to air pollution concerns. This decision was communicated by Delhi Environment Minister Gopal Rai.

  1. The ban on BS-III petrol vehicles and BS-IV diesel vehicles will continue in GRAP-4 (Graded Response Action Plan – Level 4).
  2. Entry of trucks, except for LNG, CNG, and electric trucks carrying essential commodities and essential service vehicles, is prohibited in Delhi.
  3. Despite the measures taken, the air quality in the National Capital Delhi remains in the severe category, with the city covered in a thick haze.
  4. The Central Pollution Control Board recorded an air quality index of 435 at 12 Noon, reflecting the high level of air pollution.

What is Odd-Even vehicle system

The Odd-Even vehicle system, also known as the Odd-Even scheme, is a traffic management measure implemented in several cities, including Delhi, to curb air pollution and reduce traffic congestion. The system typically operates as follows:

  1. Alternate Days: On specific days, vehicles with license plate numbers ending in odd digits (such as 1, 3, 5, 7, 9) are allowed to ply on the roads, while on other days, vehicles with license plate numbers ending in even digits (such as 0, 2, 4, 6, 8) are permitted.
  2. Exemptions: The system often exempts certain categories of vehicles from the restrictions, such as public transport, emergency vehicles, and vehicles running on alternative fuels like compressed natural gas (CNG) or liquefied natural gas (LNG).

Q.: What is the purpose of the Odd-Even vehicle system in Delhi?

a. To reduce noise pollution
b. To promote the use of bicycles
c. To address traffic congestion
d. To combat air pollution

Answer: d. To combat air pollution

Government implemented GRAP-IV restrictions, Delhi-NCR faces additional curbs as air quality worsens

The government implemented Graded Response Action Plan (GRAP) -IV restrictions, which represent the final stage of the air pollution control plan, with immediate effect on November 5, 2023.

  1. Delhi-NCR is facing worsening air quality, leading to additional curbs being imposed by the central government.
  2. The restrictions include a ban on several vehicle categories, a requirement for 50% of employees to work from home, and the possibility of school closures.
  3. The Central Pollution Control Board reported that Delhi’s average air quality index reached 463, categorizing it as ‘severe.’
  4. Key restrictions under GRAP-IV include limiting truck traffic entry into Delhi, allowing only certain types of vehicles to enter Delhi, banning certain types of diesel vehicles in the city, and suspending certain construction and development activities.
  5. Decisions regarding the discontinuation of physical classes for certain school levels, work arrangements in public and private offices, and emergency measures are to be made by relevant state and central authorities.

Q.: What does GRAP-IV stand for in the context of air quality control?

a. Greenhouse Reduction Action Plan – Level IV
b. Government Restrictions on Air Pollution – Phase IV
c. Graded Response Action Plan – Stage IV
d. Greater Restriction on Airborne Particles – Version 4

Ans : c. Graded Response Action Plan – Stage IV

Only electric, CNG, and BS-VI diesel-compliant buses can ply between Delhi and neighbouring States from 1 November 2023

Starting from the 1st November 2023, only electric, CNG (Compressed Natural Gas), and BS-VI diesel-compliant buses are permitted to operate between Delhi and neighboring States of Haryana, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh.

  1. This move aims to promote cleaner and more sustainable public transport services within the National Capital Region (NCR), with a focus on reducing emissions and improving air quality.
  2. According to the Ministry of Environment’s action plan, the complete transition to only electric, CNG, and BS-VI compliant diesel buses in the entire NCR is expected to be effective from the 1st of July, 2024.
  3. The Transport Department and Traffic Police Department of Delhi, as well as NCR States, have been tasked with ensuring strict compliance through regular monitoring of field-level implementation, including bus services operated by both State Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) and private entities.
  4. The Haryana, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh governments have been instructed to strictly implement the targeted timelines for inter-city and inter-state bus services serving Delhi and other cities in the NCR.

Q.: What is the main objective of the decision to restrict bus types in the National Capital Region (NCR)?

a. Reducing road congestion
b. Promoting tourism
c. Reducing emissions and improving air quality
d. Increasing inter-state trade

Ans : c. Reducing emissions and improving air quality

Indian-origin professor Dr Joyeeta Gupta receives Spinoza Prize in field of climate change

Dr. Joyeeta Gupta, an Indian-origin professor, received the prestigious Spinoza Prize in the Netherlands. Dr. Gupta is an environmental scientist and holds the position of professor of Environment and Development in the Global South at the University of Amsterdam.

  • The Spinoza Prize is the highest honor in Dutch science.
  • The award ceremony took place in The Hague on October 5, 2023.
  • The prize, worth 1.5 million euros, was presented by the Netherlands’ Minister for Education, Science, and Culture, Robert Dijkgraaf.
  • The prize is awarded by the Dutch Research Council (NWO).

MCQs

Q.: Recently, Indian-origin professor Dr. Joyeeta Gupta received the prestigious Spinoza Prize in the Netherlands. What does the Spinoza Prize represent?

a) A Dutch cultural award
b) A global environmental recognition
c) The highest honor in Dutch science
d) An Indian scientific achievement

Ans : c) The highest honor in Dutch science

Massive wildfire in Greece : EU sends Firefighters

A massive wildfire has been raging in northeastern Greece for over a week. The fire, which started on August 19, has tragically claimed the lives of 20 individuals. The fire has scorched an area of over 810 square kilometers, marking the largest wildfire in the European Union (EU).

  • Despite efforts, the blaze remains uncontrolled within Dadia National Park, an important habitat for birds of prey in the northeast region.
  • Greece has suffered from multiple fires this summer, which the government attributes to the effects of climate change.
  • The European Union has dispatched eleven planes and one helicopter, along with 407 firefighters, to assist Greece in tackling a fire north of Alexandroupoli.

Q.: What makes the recent wildfire in northeastern Greece notable?

a) It has been burning for three days
b) It is the largest wildfire in EU history
c) It has been contained within a city
d) It has affected primarily urban areas

Answer: b) It is the largest wildfire in EU history

India’s Tiger Population Reaches 3,925 with 6.1% Annual Growth Rate, Holds 75% of Global Wild Tiger Population

India’s tiger population is estimated to be 3,925 with an annual growth rate of 6.1% per annum. The report was released by Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Ashwini Kumar on Global Tiger Day on 29 July 2023.

  1. Last year, minimum tiger population was 3,167 based on the camera-trapped area.
  2. The new estimate of 3,925 tigers comes from further analysis of data done by the Wildlife Institute of India, considering both camera-trapped and non-camera-trapped tiger presence areas.
  3. India currently harbors almost 75 percent of the world’s wild tiger population.
  4. The states with the largest tiger populations are Madhya Pradesh (785), Karnataka (563), Uttarakhand (560), and Maharashtra (444).
  5. Among the Tiger Reserves, Corbett has the highest tiger abundance with 260 tigers, followed by Bandipur with 150 and Nagarhole with 141 tigers.

Question: What is the estimated tiger population in India, as per the report released by the Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change on Global Tiger Day on 29 July 2023?

A) 2,500 B) 3,167 C) 3,682 D) 3,925

Answer: D) 3,925

Eco-Friendly ‘Bahu Balli’ Bamboo Barriers to replace Steel barriers on Highways

The government plans to replace steel barriers on highways with special ‘Bahu Balli’ barriers made of Bamboo. Union Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari revealed that a pilot project using bamboo barriers has already started in Chhattisgarh and will soon be implemented in other states.

  1. The decision to use bamboo barriers is driven by their eco-friendliness and the potential to boost the bamboo industry and create employment opportunities in the north-eastern regions and tribal areas.
  2. These bamboo barriers will also be utilized in access control areas on highways to prevent the entry of pedestrians, animals, and vehicles onto the Expressway.
  3. The current standards for Expressways and green-field access controlled National Highways involve the use of mild steel sections and welded steel wire mesh for fencing. However, guidelines issued by the Ministry propose the adoption of precast concrete boundary walls in these areas.
  4. A proposal has been received and an order placed for the feasibility and demonstration of the ‘Bahu Balli Fences,’ made of bamboo, as an alternative to the traditional barriers.

Question: What material will be used to replace steel barriers on highways according to the government’s plan?

A) Concrete
B) Wood
C) Bamboo
D) Plastic

Answer: C) Bamboo

Heatwaves and Extreme weather have affected most parts of the world

The United Nations’s World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has warned that heatwaves and extreme weather have affected most parts of the world, including Europe, the US, and Asia.

  • Sardinia in Italy could see temperatures of more than 47 degrees Celsius, and several Italian cities could reach 40 degrees.
  • Heatwaves this summer have coincided with wildfires and deadly flooding in various parts of the world.
  • The WMO has warned that the world needs to prepare for increasingly intense heatwaves and that the current heatwave in the northern hemisphere is set to intensify.
  • Temperatures in North America, Asia, North Africa, and the Mediterranean are expected to be above 40 degrees Celsius for a prolonged period this week.
  • Overnight minimum temperatures are also expected to reach new highs, increasing the risk of heart attacks and deaths.

Q.: Which organization issued a warning about the impact of heatwaves and extreme weather worldwide?
a) World Health Organization (WHO)
b) World Meteorological Organization (WMO)
c) United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)
d) International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

Ans : b) World Meteorological Organization (WMO)

Peru Declares State of Emergency around Ubinas Volcano; Part of the “Ring of Fire”

Peru has declared a state of emergency for sixty days in areas surrounding the Ubinas volcano. The volcano has been emitting ash and gas since earlier in the week, as reported by the Geophysical Institute of Peru.

The smoke cloud from the volcano has reached towns located 10 kilometers away from the volcano. Approximately 2,000 people reside in the affected areas. The region where Ubinas is located, Moquegua, is 1,200 kilometers southeast of the capital city Lima.

Ubinas is the most active volcano in Peru and is situated in a region known for volcanic activity and earthquakes, called the “Ring of Fire” along the edges of the Pacific Ocean.

What is “Ring of Fire”

The “Ring of Fire” is a horseshoe-shaped area around the Pacific Ocean known for frequent earthquakes and volcanic activity. It stretches for approximately 40,000 kilometers and includes countries such as Chile, Japan, the Philippines, Indonesia, and the western coast of the United States. The region experiences a high concentration of earthquakes and is home to many active volcanoes. It poses risks to the populations living in these areas, including the potential for tsunamis.

Q.: The “Ring of Fire” is known for:
a) High precipitation levels
b) Frequent earthquakes and volcanic activity
c) Rich biodiversity
d) Historical cultural sites

Answer: b) Frequent earthquakes and volcanic activity

World’s hottest day : 3 July 2023, El Niño Weather Pattern to Blame

The U.S. National Centers for Environmental Prediction has reported that 3 July 2023 marked the World’s hottest day ever recorded globally. The average global temperature reached 17.01 degrees Celsius, surpassing the previous record set in August 2016. The heatwaves experienced around the world have been attributed to the El Niño weather pattern.

In the United States, an intense heat dome has caused extreme weather conditions in recent weeks. China has also been grappling with a persistent heatwave, with temperatures exceeding 35 degrees Celsius. North Africa has witnessed temperatures nearing 50 degrees Celsius, while the Middle East has experienced unusually scorching heat during the Hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia.

Even Antarctica, in its winter season, has recorded abnormally high temperatures. Ukraine’s Vernadsky research base on the Argentine Islands in Antarctica recently broke its July temperature record with a reading of 8.7 degrees Celsius. Scientists have expressed concern about the climate crisis, which has been exacerbated by the El Niño weather pattern. The United Nations’ World Meteorological Organization (WMO) issued a warning this week about the onset of the latest El Niño event.

Q.: Which day was recorded as the World’s hottest day according to data from the U.S. National Centers for Environmental Prediction?

A) 5 August 2016
B) 3 July 2023
C) 21 August 2022
D) 22 June 2019

Answer: B) 3 July 2023

India to launch heat index to quantify heat hazard, generate impact-based heat wave alerts for specific locations

India will launch its own heat index next year to quantify the impact of heat on its population and generate impact-based heatwave alerts for specific locations.

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) began issuing an experimental heat index last week, taking into account air temperature and relative humidity to determine how hot it really feels.

The new heat index will integrate other parameters such as wind and duration of exposure to provide an effective indicator of heat stress for people.

The hazard score for the heat index will be ready in around two months, and it will be operational in the next summer season.

Question : What is the purpose of India launching its own heat index?
a) To quantify the impact of heat on the environment
b) To generate impact-based heatwave alerts for specific locations
c) To predict natural disasters
d) To measure air pollution levels

Answer: b) To generate impact-based heatwave alerts for specific locations

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