Environmental Ecology, Biodiversity, And Climate Change Notes: October 7, 2020

World Risk Index (WRI) 2020

  • India was ‘poorly prepared’ to deal with ‘climate reality’, due to which it was more vulnerable to extreme natural disasters, according to the World Risk Index (WRI) 2020.
  • India ranked 89th among 181 countries on the WRI 2020. The country was fourth-most-at- risk in south Asia on the index, after Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan.
  • Sri Lanka, Bhutan and the Maldives fared better than India in their abilities to cope with extreme disasters.
  • India and other south Asian nations did improve their ranking marginally in the World Risk Index during the course of a year. Bhutan improved its ranking the most, followed by Pakistan.
  • The index showed that Oceania was the continent most at risk, followed by Africa and the Americas. Vanuatu was the country with the highest disaster risk worldwide. It was followed by Tonga and Dominica.
  • Small island states, especially in the South Pacific and the Caribbean, were disproportionately represented among high-risk countries, due to their high exposure to extreme natural events.

NASA’s Terra Satellite

  • The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer on NASA’s Terra satellite has photographed the enormous amount of Andes mountain sediment deposited by the Amazon river into the Atlantic Ocean.
  • Most of the sediment that the Amazon carried to the Atlantic came from three rivers flowing in the western part of the basin, namely the Marañón, the Ucayali and Mamoré.

Greenland Ice Melting Fastest

  • The Greenland Ice Sheet (GIS) is melting rapidly — faster than at any other time in the last 12,000 years, according to a study published in Nature.
  • The increased loss of ice is likely to lead to sea level rises of between 2 centimetres (cm) and 10 cm by the end of the century from Greenland alone.
  • Under a high-emissions Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) 8.5 scenario, the rate of mass loss could be about four times the highest values experienced over the past 12,000 years.
  • RCP is a greenhouse gas concentration trajectory adopted by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. In RCP 8.5, emissions continue to rise throughout the 21st century.

Conclave On Compressed Biogas

  • Compressed biogas has the potential to minimise India’s need to import fuel.
  • Recently a conclave on compressed gas was organised by the Indian Oil Corporation Ltd (IOCL) September 25, 2020.
  • The conclave, a virtual dialogue on compressed biogas generation technology, was aimed at attracting entrepreneurs from Tamil Nadu to invest in the technology.
  • Recently, Namakkal compressed biogas plant (CBG) was inaugurated in Tamil Nadu.
  • The plant uses poultry feedstock to generate biogas that is bottled and marketed by IOCL.
  • CBG can be produced from waste, including municipal solid waste, sludge from wastewater treatment plants, market residues, agricultural residues, cattle dung, sugarcane press mud, sago waste, etc.
  • The Union government had launched the Sustainable Alternative to Affordable Transport (SATAT) in October 2018 to promote the technology. The scheme targeted production of 15 million metric tonnes (MMT) of CBG by 2023.

Photo by Li-An Lim on Unsplash

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