Daily Current Affairs

To The Point Notes


1.A Landmark Ruling: The ITLOS Pronouncement on Climate Change and the Oceans


  • The International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea (ITLOS) issued a historic decision on climate change’s impact on marine environments.

Key Obligations for Countries

  • Combat Marine Pollution: Reduce and control pollution caused by human-induced greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
  • Protect Marine Environment: Address threats like ocean warming, sea-level rise, and acidification.
  • Due Diligence and Precautionary Approach: Take necessary measures based on best science, even in situations of scientific uncertainty.
  • Compliance with UNCLOS and Climate Treaties: Ensure actions align with the Paris Agreement and other relevant treaties.


  • National Frameworks: Establish strong legal and administrative systems to enforce these obligations.
  • Enhanced Measures: Implement stricter marine protection measures, consistent with international law.

Significance of the Ruling

  • Climate Change Interpretation: Expands the definition of marine pollution under UNCLOS to include GHG emissions.
  • Legal Framework: Integrates climate change considerations into the existing UNCLOS regime.
  • Legal Precedent: Sets an example for including climate aspects in marine environmental laws.
  • Enhanced Protection: Strengthens legal obligations to safeguard marine ecosystems from climate change.
  • Policy Influence: Likely to shape national and international marine policies and climate actions.

Source : https://www.downtoearth.org.in/blog/climate-change/top-oceans-court-delivers-advisory-opinion-on-climate-change-96357


Science and Technology

2.NASA’s PREFIRE Mission

Mission and Context

  • Launched by NASA, PREFIRE (Polar Radiant Energy in the Far-InfraRed Experiment) aims to study far-infrared emissions from Earth’s poles.

PREFIRE Satellites

  • Two 6U CubeSats (90cm x 120cm with deployed solar panels)
  • Near-polar orbit at 525 km altitude
  • Each carries a miniaturized infrared spectrometer (0-45 μm range)

Mission Objectives

  • Quantify Far-Infrared Emission: Measure variations in energy radiated by Earth’s poles (5 μm to 45 μm), especially the uncharted far-infrared (>15 μm) range – nearly 60% of Arctic emissions.
  • Anchor Climate Predictions: Improve Arctic climate predictions by providing data on far-infrared radiation, a key factor in Arctic warming, sea ice loss, ice sheet melt, and sea level rise.
  • Earth’s Thermostat: The Arctic regulates Earth’s climate by venting excess heat. PREFIRE data will improve understanding of Arctic heat emissions and global climate dynamics.

Significance: Filling the Gap in Knowledge

  • Understanding Earth’s energy balance (incoming solar radiation vs. outgoing heat) is vital for predicting climate change.
  • Far-infrared radiation (3 μm to 1,000 μm) – a significant portion of heat escaping from the poles – remains largely unmeasured.
  • PREFIRE bridges this gap by capturing spectral data (5 μm to 45 μm) over various timescales (hourly to seasonal).

Source : https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-sci-tech/nasa-satellite-heat-earth-pole-9355246/


Science and Technology

3.Caterpillar’s Superpower

New Discovery

  • Recent study suggests caterpillars possess a unique sense – electroreception.

What is electroreception?

  • Ability to sense electric fields present in the surrounding environment.
  • Previously observed in aquatic animals but not in most land-based creatures.

Caterpillars and Electroreception

  • Caterpillars can sense electric fields using tiny bristles (setae) on their bodies.
  • This ability might help them detect approaching predators (insects) that generate electric fields.

Electroreception in Arthropods

  • Found in bumblebees, hoverflies, and spiders, but not used for predator defense.
  • Caterpillars, also arthropods, might be the first to utilize it for this purpose.

Source : https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/science/caterpillars-may-sense-threats-using-electric-fields/article68221219.ece


Science and Technology

4.Unveiling the Science Behind Colors

Our Colorful World

  • Colors are a vital part of our experience, adding beauty and meaning to the world around us.

Understanding Color

  • Not a property of objects themselves, but rather our perception based on light interaction.
  • Objects absorb, reflect, or scatter specific light wavelengths, leading to our perception of color.

The Role of Our Eyes

  • Rod cells: Detect brightness.
  • Cone cells (3 types in humans – we are trichromats): Detect wavelengths interpreted by the brain as color.
  • Human vision is limited to the 400 nm – 700 nm range (visible spectrum).
  • Some animals (bees, mosquitoes) can see beyond this range (ultraviolet, infrared).

The Science of Color Creation

  • Two main methods: additive and subtractive.

Additive Coloring:

  • Mixing light of different wavelengths to create a new color.
  • Used in smartphone screens, TVs, and LEDs.
  • Combines light to produce a brighter result.

Subtractive Coloring:

  • White light passes through a medium, which absorbs certain wavelengths and reflects others.
  • Reflected wavelengths determine the perceived color.
  • Used in dyes, pigments, and inks.
  • Creates colors by subtracting light.

Source : https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/science/what-are-colours-and-how-do-people-understand-them-explained/article68218179.ece



Science and Technology

5.Combating Space Debris

Context and Details

  • Twelve nations and the European Space Agency (ESA) signed the Zero Debris Charter at the ESA/EU Space Council.
  • Launched in November 2023, the Charter aims to ensure the long-term sustainability of space activities by minimizing space debris.

Key Objectives

  • Debris Neutrality by 2030: Signatories aim to achieve “debris neutrality,” creating no new debris and actively removing existing debris.
  • International Collaboration: Fosters global cooperation among spacefaring nations and organizations to tackle the space debris issue collectively.


  • Countries: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Estonia, Germany, etc. (12 total)
  • Organizations: Over 100 organizations (space agencies, manufacturers, startups, etc.) have pledged support.

Significance of the Charter

  • Leadership in Space Sustainability: Positions Europe at the forefront of sustainable space practices.
  • Mitigation and Remediation: Encourages technologies to prevent new debris creation and remove existing debris.
  • Risk Reduction: Aims to minimize hazards posed by space debris to operational satellites and astronauts.

Challenges Addressed

  • Exponential Debris Growth: ESA estimates over 1 million debris objects larger than 1 cm orbit Earth, posing significant collision risks.
  • Potential Hazards: Uncontrolled debris growth could render certain orbits unusable.

ESA’s Role

  • Space Safety Programme: ESA is revising its internal space debris mitigation requirements.
  • Facilitation and Coordination: ESA’s “Protection of Space Assets” Accelerator played a key role in developing the Charter.



6.Hampi’s Virupaksha Temple

Location and Context

  • Hampi, Karnataka, India (UNESCO World Heritage Site)
  • Recent partial collapse of a pillar holding up the pavilion due to heavy rains

Historical Significance

  • 7th century CE or even earlier (predates Vijayanagara Empire)
  • 14th-16th centuries: Extensive expansion and religious/cultural center under Vijayanagara rulers (founded by Harihara I of Sangama dynasty)

Architectural Marvels

  • Vijayanagara Empire (1336-1646): Dravidian-style temples and palaces
  • Virupaksha Temple: Towering gopurams, pillared halls, shrines
  • Vitthala Temple (complex): Pinnacle of Vijayanagara architecture, grand bazaar street, stepped tank, carved mandapas

Religious Significance

  • Dedicated to Lord Virupaksha (form of Lord Shiva)
  • Associated with local goddess Pampadevi (linked to Tungabhadra River)
  • Continuous worship for centuries despite the city’s destruction in 1565

Source : https://indianexpress.com/article/explained/explained-history/hampi-virupaksha-temple-collapse-history-9352962/


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