April 1, 2023

Geography and Disaster Management

General Studies Paper 1 Context: According to recent studies, the changing character of Western Disturbances might be the primary cause of the abnormal winter seasons in India. India has not experienced a normal winter season in the past three years. The second wettest season in the country after the  monsoons has remained unusually dry and hot. How Western Disturbances Affected Winters in India Recently? The northwest region of India, which receives almost 30% of its annual rainfall during the winter season, saw an 83% and 76% rainfall deficit in December 2022 and February 2023 respectively. The absence of Western Disturbances caused the north Indian plains to experience severe cold....Read More

General Studies Paper 1 Context: The 3rd Session of the National Platform for Disaster Risk Reduction (NPDRR) has concluded in New Delhi. About the Session: The session deliberated on  10-point agenda on Disaster Risk Reduction given by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi and the Sendai Framework apart from other issues. Organized by: Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA)+ National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA)+ National Disaster Response Force (NDRF)+ National Institute of Disaster Management (NIDM) Theme: “Building Local Resilience in a Changing Climate PM’s 10-Point Agenda: Importance of Local Resilience in Disaster Risk Reduction E.g. Prime Minister’s 10-Point Agenda: Building local capacities and initiatives Kutch....Read More

General Studies Paper 1 Context:   Forest fires continued to remain unabated in Odisha after the state recorded 542 such cases in the last seven days making it the highest among all states in the country. Forest fires in India: Causes of a Forest fire: Natural:Such as lightning, high atmospheric temperatures, and dryness (low humidity) offer favourable circumstances. Man-made:When a source of fire like naked flame, cigarette, or bidi comes into contact with inflammable material. Types of a forest fire: Surface fire:Spread along the surface litter (leaves, twigs, dry grasses) on the forest floor. Ground fire: Fires in thes ubsurface organic fuels,....Read More

General Studies Paper 1 Context: The climate crisis is no longer a distant event that might happen in the future. Indications of the impending climate crisis: Temperatures are rising, rainfall patterns are shifting, and extreme events such as record-high temperatures, etc. For example,the month of February (this year) in India was the hottest since 1901. According to a 2021 study (The Lancet), more than five million people died(between 2000-2019) on average each year worldwide because of extreme temperatures. The IPCC 6th Assessment Report states that extreme heat events will grow with increasing global warming. The case of India: A study shows that the temperature in....Read More

General Studies Paper 1 Context: All 12 districts of Himachal Pradesh have figured on a list prepared by the National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC) of locations prone to landslides. The Landslide Atlas of India was released by Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) at the “National Meet on Disaster Risk Management — Trends & Technologies” held at Hyderabad. The NRSC, one of the centres of ISRO, manages data from aerial and satellite sources. About Landslide: A landslide is “a movement of a mass of rock, earth or debris down a slope”. Types of flows Debris flows: It is a form of rapid mass movement in which a combination....Read More

General Studies Paper 1 Context: The destruction caused by earthquakes in Turkey should be alarming for us as the geologists have warned of a probable massive earthquake in the Himalayan state. India’s Vulnerability: Earthquakes are a prominent danger in India’s disaster profile which has caused huge loss of life and material. India has seen some of the greatest earthquakes in the last century. Nearly 58 percent of the Indian landmass is vulnerable to earthquakes. Frequent tremors: In recent period earthquakes in different parts of India, albeit of small magnitudes, have occurred. Few experts warn that frequent tremors were a matter of concern in....Read More

Winter heatwaves

General Studies Paper 1 Context: In March of last year (2022), meteorologists in India issued the first heat wave warning of the year. They were anticipating an exceptionally early summer with some of India’s highest temperatures ever recorded. But, this year, India Meteorological Agency issued the year’s first heat wave advisory in February. It stated that regions of India’s western region could reach temperatures of 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit or higher (37C). Some parts of India, on the other hand, are experiencing temperatures that are exceptional for mid-March and are at least 9 degrees above averag Experts are concerned about the exceptionally high....Read More

General Studies Paper 1 Context: Over the past week, maximum temperatures have been 5-11 degrees C higher than normal inmost parts of northern and western India. Reasons for abnormal heat: According to the IMD, an anticyclonic formation over south Gujarat is one of the main reasons for the warming on the west coast. Around Maharashtra and Goa, a weaker-than-usual sea breeze along the Konkan coast was aggravating the effects of the This year is widely expected to be a little hotter than the previous two years, mainly because of the expected end of the strongest-ever La Niña What are heat domes? A heat dome is....Read More

General Studies Paper 1 Context: The La Niña itself is going on for a record-breaking third consecutive year; forecasts for 2023 are predicting that El Niño  will occur with more than a 50% probability. About El Niño and La Niña: El Niño refers to a band of warmer water spreading from west to east in the equatorial Pacific Ocean. Similarly, a La Niña occurs when the band of water spreads east-west and is cooler. Both phenomena affect the weather worldwide and can have drastic effects on economies that depend on rainfall. Together, El Niño and La Niña make up a cyclical process called the El....Read More

General Studies Paper 1 Context: On December 24, 2009, a tunnel boring machine in Joshimath, Uttarakhand,hit an aquifer about 3kms from Selang village. Resulted in the loss of nearly 800 liters of water per Land subsidence: It is the sinking of the ground because of underground material movement. Subsidence can be caused by gradual settling or sudden sinking of the Earth’s surface (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA, USA)). The causes for subsidence generally are: Natural causes– earthquakes, glacial isostatic adjustment, soil compaction, erosion, sinkhole formation, etc. Resource extraction– extracting resources such as oil, water, minerals, natural gas, etc. from the ground by mining, fracking or....Read More

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