Environment Current Affairs

Environment Current Affairs, Important for Competitive Exams.

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

Ministry of Jal Shakti Conducts First-Ever Census of Water Bodies

The Ministry of Jal Shakti has conducted the first-ever census of water bodies across India.

The census provides an inventory of India’s water resources, including natural and man-made water bodies like ponds and lakes.

Over 24.24 lakh water bodies have been enumerated in the census, with more than 23 lakh in rural areas and nearly 69,000 in urban areas.

The top five states in terms of number of water bodies are West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Odisha and Assam, which constitute around 63% of the total water bodies in the country.

The census highlights disparities between rural and urban areas and varying levels of encroachment. The census provides crucial insights into the country’s water resources.

Q.: How many water bodies were enumerated in the first-ever census conducted by the Ministry of Jal Shakti?
a) Over 1 lakh
b) Over 5 lakh
c) Over 10 lakh
d) Over 24 lakh

Ans : d) Over 24 lakh

Two-day global conference on Compressed Biogas (CBG) in New Delhi on April 17 and 18, 2023

The IFGE-CBG Producers Forum is organizing a two-day global conference on Compressed Biogas (CBG) in New Delhi on April 17 and 18, 2023. The conference, supported by the Ministry for Petroleum & Natural Gas of the Government of India, aims to apprise the industry of the initiatives taken by the government for the development of the CBG industry and to identify areas where policy modifications are required. The theme of the conference is “Towards Progressive Policy Framework for a Robust CBG Foundation and Growth.”

CBG has properties similar to CNG and can be utilized as a green renewable alternative to CNG in automotive, industrial, and commercial areas. The discussion will focus on feedstock availability, CBG offtake, fermented organic manure, carbon credits, incentives, investment, and financing for the CBG industry and biofuel policies of different states and CBG producers on state policies and international experiences.

The conference is being supported by various organizations and institutions such as TERI, NAMA Facility, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH, LCB Forum (Low Carbon Biofuel Forum), Greece, Indian Oil Corporation, Verbio India, Canara Bank, IndianOil Adani Ventures Limited – IAV Biogas, SBI Capital, SIDBI, Praj Industries, and Maschinenfabrik Bernard KRONE GmbH. The conference is expected to have over 200 delegates, including CBG plant developers, LOI holders of CBG plants, contractors, prospective investors, consultants, policy makers, representatives from the central and state government, and OMCs like IOCL, HPCL, GAIL. The Hon’ble Union Minister for Petroleum & Natural Gas and Housing & Urban Affairs, Government of India, Shri Hardeep Singh Puri, will inaugurate the conference.

About IFGE: CBG Producer Forum

Indian Federation of Green Energy (IFGE) : CBG Producer Forum is dedicated forum for CBG Producers which aims the training and awareness programmes.

Q.: What is the theme of the Two Day Global Conference on Compressed Biogas being organized by IFGE-CBG Producers Forum?
a. Towards a Sustainable Future
b. Towards Progressive Policy Framework for a Robust CBG Foundation and Growth
c. Towards a Greener Tomorrow
d. Towards Efficient Energy Utilization

Answer : b. Towards Progressive Policy Framework for a Robust CBG Foundation and Growth

IMD predict that Southwest Monsoon 2023 Rainfall to be normal

The monsoon season 2023 rainfall from June to September (Southwest Monsoon) is predicted to be 96% (normal) of the Long Period Average (LPA) with a model error of 5%. The LPA for seasonal rainfall over India for the period 1971-2020 is 87 cm.

  • La Nina conditions have changed to neutral conditions over the equatorial Pacific. The latest Multi-Model Ensemble (MME) coupled forecast system (MMCFS) and other climate model forecasts indicate that El Niño conditions are likely to develop during the monsoon season.
  • Coastal Indian Ocean Dipole (IOD) conditions are currently prevailing over the Indian Ocean, and the latest climate model forecasts indicate that positive IOD conditions are likely to develop during the southwest monsoon season.
  • The snow cover area of Northern hemisphere areas during February and March 2023 was less than normal.
  • Winters and spring snow cover over Northern Hemisphere and Eurasia has a tendency of general inverse relationship with the summer monsoon rainfall.
  • IMD will issue an updated forecast for the monsoon season rainfall in the last week of May 2023.

Question : What is the Long Period Average (LPA) for seasonal rainfall over India for the period 1971-2020 ?
a) 98 cm
b) 92 cm
c) 87 cm
d) 82 cm

Ans : c) 87 cm

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