February 28, 2024

Environmental Issues


General Studies Paper-3 Context: Recently, the Wildlife officials of Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh informed about the birth of seven cheetah cubs. About Cheetah (Acinonyx Jubatus): It is the fastest terrestrial animal on earth, and native to Africa and central Iran. The Gestation Period:93 days; Cub Mortality:Higher in Protected Areas (like National Parks and Wildlife Reserves); It  can be as high as 90%; Average Life Span (in the wild):10 – 12 years. Adult male about 8 years (Adult mortality is one of the most significant limiting factors for the growth and survival of the wild cheetah population). Cheetah in India....Read More

General Studies Paper -3 Context: India’s first nationwide report, ‘Status Report of Snow Leopards in India’, was released by the Government of India recently. The assessment estimates 718 snow leopards in India based on systematic surveys covering over 70% of their potential habitat from 2019-2023. For this, the Wildlife Institute of India coordinated the Snow Leopard Population Assessment in India (SPAI) program across snow leopard range states. The SPAI used a two-step approach aligned with Ministry guidelines. The first step mapped snow leopard spatial distribution and habitat analysis. The second step estimated abundance through camera traps in identified areas. Until recently, snow leopard ranges....Read More

Humboldt’s Enigma

General Studies Paper -3 Context: Humboldt’s enigma is one of many puzzles of mountain biodiversity. The world’s tropical areas receive more energy from the Sun and have greater primary productivity, which facilitates greater biological diversity. Alexander von Humboldt, has observed that mountains contribute disproportionately to the terrestrial biodiversity of Earth, especially in the tropics, where they host hotspots of extraordinary and puzzling richness. What is Humboldt’s enigma? Humboldt’s enigma held that the earth’s tropical areas don’t contain all the biodiverse regions. There are many areas outside the tropics that are highly biodiverse. These places are mountains. There is a relationship between....Read More

General Studies Paper -3 Context: The article discusses the issues with climate change treaties and the steps that can be undertaken to tackle them. According to the author, the Dubai Agreement, as part of the UN Climate Change Conference in Dubai (COP28), will not have much impact on combating climate change. What are the issues with Climate Change Treaties? Voluntary Commitments Not Working: Voluntary commitments entail no accountability. For instance, at the formation of the UNFCCC in 1992, all countries committed to preventing climate change, but emissions have continued to rise. Issues with Economic Models: Economic models that intend to identify optimal....Read More

General Studies Paper -3 Context: The National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) recently completed five years. About National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change launched the NCAP in 2019 as a long-term, time-bound, national level strategy to tackle the rising air pollution. The NCAP’s initial target was to reduce two key air pollutants, PM10 and PM2.5, by 20-30% by 2024, with 2017 levels as the base. In September 2022, the Centre revised this to a 40% reduction by 2026. The plan includes 131 non-attainment cities, across 23 states and Union territories, which were identified by....Read More

General Studies Paper -3 Context: The article discusses the challenges in front of India, especially its electricity policies, in transitioning to non-fossil energy. It also highlights other negative outcomes of India’s electricity policies. The 2023 UN Climate Change Conference (COP28) concluded with a statement calling for the phase-out of fossil fuels. However, achieving these climate targets will be difficult without immediate and decisive action by India, the world’s third-largest greenhouse-gas (GHG) emitter. India accounted for 7.6% of global GHG emissions in 2022. What are the challenges in front of India in transitioning to non-fossil energy? Taxation Policy on Petroleum Products:....Read More

General Studies Paper -2 Context: The article discusses how India’s Project Tiger, started in 1973, has expanded tiger reserves and increased tiger numbers. It also covers the challenges faced by forest-dwelling communities due to these conservation efforts, including issues related to their relocation and the recognition of their rights. What is Project Tiger? Project Tiger was launched in 1973 to promote conservation of the tiger. It came at a time when the population of tigers in India was rapidly dwindling, due to unfettered hunting and habitat loss. How Did the Wildlife Laws Evolve? 1972 Wildlife (Protection) Act (WLPA): National Parks....Read More

General Studies Paper -3 Context: The International Energy Agency (IEA) released a report titled “The Role of E-fuels in Decarbonising Transport”. The report extensively explores the potential and challenges of e-fuels as a solution for decarbonizing the transport sector. Key Findings Rapid deployment of low-emission fuels:Significant reductions in fossil fuel demand are possible in road transport through fuel efficiency improvements and surging sales of electric vehicles (EVs).  E-fuels crucial for deep decarbonization:Fuels obtained from electrolytic hydrogen, or e-fuels, could be a viable pathway and scale up rapidly by 2030, underpinned by a massive expansion of cheaper renewable electricity and anticipated cost reductions of electrolysers. The report highlights....Read More

General Studies Paper - 3 Context: The article discusses how 2023 was India’s second-warmest year, causing various weather issues and affecting the economy, agriculture, and employment due to climate change. How did the year 2023 bring a grim retrospect from the India Meteorological Department (IMD)? Temperature Rise: 2023 was marked as the second warmest year since 1901, with the average temperature 0.65°C above the long-term mean. Extreme Rainfall: December 2023 saw rainfall 60% above normal, making it an exceptionally wet month, except in the north and Northeast regions. Tropical Storms: The Indian Ocean experienced six tropical storms, significantly higher than....Read More

A PATCHY CLIMATE REPORT

General Studies Paper – 3 Context: There were numerous pledges made at the COP28 summit in Dubai, but India decided not to sign any legally-binding agreements and instead to support statements of intent that were centred around low-carbon hydrogen and financial accessibility. But because nations are reluctant to codify these endorsements into legally enforceable agreements, questions are raised about these endorsements’ efficacy. Global Temperature Projections: Even if all of this year’s commitments are fulfilled, the UN projects a rise in temperature of 2.5 to 2.9 degrees Celsius. Given that the world is expected to rise above the 1.5 degree Celsius limit set at COP21....Read More

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