General Studies Contemporary Issues 07

Locusts Attack In Winter And Its Links With Climate Change

General Studies Contemporary Issues 07; UPSC 2020/IAS2020/Ecology & Environment: We have enough evidences that suggest that recent Australian bush fires has a clear link with climate change and global warming. Although, bush fires are common in Australia, but increasing level of heat has increased its intensity. Prolonged drought is another factor responsible for uncommon bush fires.

  • When the world is occupied with the debate around bush fire, we have a much worse human tragedy that demands our attention. And this tragedy also has its links with climate change.
  • In December 2019, agricultural fields in Rajasthan and Gujarat were invaded by hordes of locusts. These locusts devoured standing crops causing irreparable loss to farmers’ livelihood.

General Studies Contemporary Issues (07): Mains Study Material

Linkages that Need Scrutiny

  • Unseasonal rain in Pakistan’s Sindh province and western Rajasthan.
  • Cyclone Mekunu in May 2018 and then cyclone Luban in October 2018 brought extreme rain to the Arabian Peninsula. These cyclones created lakes in the desert. These lakes became ideal breeding ground for the insect.
  • Unseasonal rain in in the red Sea coast in January 2019.
  • Locusts also move with the winds. We have had more cyclones, hence more severe form of locust attacks.
  • Appearance of locust in winter months is a new phenomenon and may be linked to climate change events.
  • According to the Punjab Agricultural University (PAU), India’s border districts need constant monitoring to avoid any full-blown locust attack.
  • Post-winter temperature rise and availability of crop vegetation over large contiguous area may attract new attack. Hence, farmers need to be on guard to protect their crops.

Safety Measures against Locust Attack

  • Excursions of desert locust are being monitored.
  • There are enough safety control measures in place.
  • Farmers have been asked to be vigilant against desert locust
  • Over reliance on pesticides must be avoided.

Feature Image by Joshua Hoehne on Unsplash