Current Affairs Notes: Pesticide Pollution; Light Pollution

64% Of World’s Arable Land At Risk Of Pesticide Pollution

According to a study, published in Nature Geoscience, around 64 per cent of land used for agriculture and food crops is at risk of pesticide pollution and almost a third of these areas are considered to be at high-risk.

  • The study was conducted on agricultural land across 168 countries.
  • Asia houses the largest land areas at high risk of pollution in countries like China, Japan, Malaysia, and the Philippines.
  • Some of these areas are considered ‘food bowl’ countries, feeding a large portion of the world’s population.
    Globally, 34 per cent of the high-risk areas are in high-biodiversity regions, 19 per cent in low-and lower-middle-income nations and five per cent in water-scarce areas.
  • Pesticides can be transported to surface waters and groundwater through runoff and infiltration, polluting water bodies, thereby reducing the usability of water resources.
  • Overuse of pesticides is concerning as it might tip the balance, destabilise ecosystems and degrade the quality of water sources that humans and animals rely on to survive, the study said.

Satellites Add To Light Pollution

According to a study, to be published in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society: Letters, objects sent to space that orbit the Earth can increase the overall brightness of the night sky by 10 per cent above natural levels.

  • This additional light pollution has an impact over a larger part of the globe than ground-based sources.
  • Large fleets of communication satellites” that have been unleashed in space not just add to the light pollution but also collide and form more debris.
  • Light from this piling debris cloaks astronomical bodies like ‘the glowing clouds of stars in the Milky Way’ from human sight.
  • Growing number of artificial space objects choke the sky and disturb observations.