Daily Current Affairs

To The Point Notes



1. Nitrous Oxide Emissions (N2O)

India’s Challenge:

  • Second Largest Emitter: While India’s per capita emissions are lower, it’s the world’s #2 source of N2O due to its large population and agricultural practices.
  • Rapid Increase: N2O emissions have grown a worrying 40% since 1980.

Source of the Problem:

  • Agriculture Dependence: Excessive use of nitrogen-based fertilizers and animal manure management in agriculture are the main culprits.

Global Impact:

  • Ozone Depletion: High atmospheric N2O levels can weaken the ozone layer, exposing us to harmful UV radiation and worsening climate change.
  • Pollution Chain Reaction: Excess nitrogen from N2O contributes to air, water, and soil pollution, harming ecosystems and human health.

The Bigger Picture:

  • Global Warming: N2O, along with other greenhouse gases, traps heat, causing the Earth’s temperature to rise (current increase: 1.15°C compared to 1850-1900). N2O emissions contribute about 0.1°C to this warming.

Remember: While per capita emissions are lower, India’s total N2O output is significant and requires action to mitigate its impact on climate change and environmental health.

Source : https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/energy-and-environment/india-is-worlds-second-largest-emitter-of-nitrous-oxide/article68281521.ece




Science and Technology

2. Martian Craters

  • Mars’ Cratered Surface: Unlike Earth, Mars’ stable crust, minimal erosion, and lack of active lava flows have preserved a record of its history in the form of thousands of impact craters.
  • Scientific Significance: These craters offer valuable clues about the age and geological makeup of the Martian surface.

Recent Discovery by PRL, India:

  • Location: Tharsis Volcanic Region on Mars, known for extensive lava flows.
  • Newly Discovered Craters:
    • Lal Crater (named after Prof. Devendra Lal, Indian geophysicist)
    • Mursan Crater (named after a town in Uttar Pradesh, India)
    • Hilsa Crater (named after a town in Bihar, India) – all approved by the International Astronomical Union (IAU).

Basic Facts about Mars:

  • Fourth planet from the Sun, cold desert world, roughly half Earth’s size.
  • Nicknamed “Red Planet” due to iron oxide on its surface.
  • Lower gravity (⅓ Earth’s) and thin atmosphere (1% Earth’s) make space exploration challenging.
  • Dynamic planet with seasons, polar ice caps, canyons, and evidence of past activity.
  • Thin atmosphere composed of carbon dioxide, nitrogen, and argon.
  • Signs of ancient floods, but current water exists mainly in icy dirt and clouds.

Physical Research Laboratory (PRL), India:

  • Founded in 1947 by Dr. Vikram Sarabhai.
  • Conducts research in physics, space & atmospheric sciences, astronomy, and planetary & geosciences.





3. Renaming in Uttarakhand

Joshimath Renamed Jyotirmath:

  • Location: Chamoli district, Uttarakhand (6,150 ft)
  • Significance:
    • Gateway to Himalayan treks and pilgrimage sites like Badrinath.
    • One of four cardinal Hindu pīthas established by Adi Shankaracharya (8th century).
    • Believed to be originally named Jyotirmath after Shankaracharya’s enlightenment there.

Kosiyakutoli Renamed Pargana Shri Kainchi Dham:

  • Location: Nainital district, Uttarakhand
  • Significance:
    • Houses Kainchi Dham, ashram of revered spiritual leader Baba Neem Karoli Maharaj.
    • Attracts a large number of devotees.
    • Included in the Manaskhand Mandirmala Mission.

Constitutional Basis:

  • Article 3 of the Indian Constitution empowers Parliament to:
    • Form new states
    • Change state boundaries
    • Rename states/places (Article 3(e))

Source : https://indianexpress.com/article/india/uttarakhand-nainitals-kosya-kutauli-renamed-as-kainchi-dham-joshimath-as-jyotirmath-9388822/





4. Sea Cucumbers

  • Coral Reefs in Peril: Crucial marine ecosystems (25% of marine life) facing decline due to overfishing, pollution, warming oceans.
  • Sea Cucumbers to the Rescue: These natural cleaners consume bacteria and organic matter, protecting corals from harmful pathogens.
  • Overharvesting Threat: Excessive sea cucumber fishing weakens their protective role, worsening reef decline.
  • Conservation Efforts Needed: Repopulating sea cucumber populations alongside broader measures (pollution control, sustainable fishing) can buy time for reefs.
  • Symbiotic Relationship: Healthy sea cucumber populations are vital for stabilizing coral reef ecosystems and the services they provide (coastal protection, fisheries, tourism).
  • Research Shows Promise: Studies indicate corals near sea cucumbers have a lower chance of disease, highlighting their ecological importance.

Coral Reefs:

  • Biodiversity Powerhouses: Despite covering only 1% of the ocean floor, coral reefs support a quarter of marine life. This diversity is vital for ocean health.
  • Economic Engine: Reefs generate billions through tourism, fisheries, and coastal protection. They are crucial for coastal communities’ livelihoods.
  • Threats Loom Large: Overfishing, pollution, destructive fishing, and climate change (warming, acidification) endanger these ecosystems.
  • Conservation is Key: Marine Protected Areas, sustainable practices, pollution control, and restoration projects are crucial for reef survival. International cooperation is essential.
  • Climate Change – The Biggest Threat: Even slight ocean warming can cause widespread coral bleaching and death. Addressing climate change is critical for protecting these vital ecosystems.

Source : https://www.downtoearth.org.in/blog/environment/coral-reef-recovery-could-get-a-boost-from-an-unlikely-source-sea-cucumbers-the-janitors-of-the-seafloor-96645

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *