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Basics of Climate Change


Basics of Climate Change

Basics of Climate Change

‘Climate change’ as a change of climate which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and which is in addition to natural climate variability observed over comparable time periods. The major characteristics of climate change include rise in average global temperature, ice cap melting, changes in precipitation, and increase in ocean temperature leading to sea level rise.
GLOBAL WARNING
• Unprecedented warming over the last few decades.
• -0.8°C since 1880 and still continue.
• Increase in the average global temperature of Earth’s atmosphere, near the surface and in the troposphere.
Green House (Glass House)
• Cold climate areas
• Inside temperature higher than a low outside temperature
• Protects the plants from plant
Green House Effects
• Naturally occurring phenomenon that blankets the lower atmosphere and warms it, maintaining the temperature suitable for living to survive.
• Frozen and lifeless in the absence of Green House Effects, like moon
• Venus- thick atmosphere
• Average temperature – 14°C
• In the absence of green house effect- 18°C
• Green house (Conventional) v/s Green house effect (Radiative)
Gas that absorbs and emits infrared Radiation are known as Green House Gases.
Trap Heat in Atmosphere:
– Water Vapour ( H2O)
– Carbon Dioxide (CO2)
– Methane (CH4)
– Nitrous Oxide (N2O)
– Fluorinated Gases (HFCs, PFCs, SF6, etc.)
– Nitrogen Fluoride ( NF3)
Factors that determine the degree to which any GHG will influence global warming:
– Abundance
– Ability to absorb energy (global warming potential)
– Life – how long it stays in atmosphere.
Global Warming Potential (GWP)
A measure of the total energy that a gas absorbs over a particular period of time (usually 100 years) compared to CO2.

Larger than GWP, more warming the gas causes:

(CO2-1)-Carbon Dioxide (CO2):
• Fossil fuel Burning
• Energy production – Coal and natural Gas
• Transportation- petrol and diesel industry
• Industry, production of chemicals, cements etc.
(CH4- 21)-Methane (CH4):
• Wetland
• Coal Mining
• Agriculture
– Domestic Livestock
– Rice field
• Industry
• CH4- Component of Natural Gas
(N2O- 300)-Nitrous Oxide (N2O):
• Fossil fuel combustion- In industry and transportation
• Synthetic fertilizers in Agriculture
• Livestock manual and Urine- Nitrogen complexes breakdown
(F- Gases – High GWP Gases)-Fluorinated Gases:
• HFCs to replace CFCs
• PFCs in semiconductor manufacturing
• SF6 in industrial processes
Impacts of the Climate Change:
Impact on Biodiversity

• Climate change is expected to have a significant influence on terrestrial biodiversity at all system levels – ecosystem, species and genetic diversity.
• The changing climate will stimulate species-level changes in range and abundance, life cycle and behaviour, and, over time, genetic evolutionary responses.
• These changes will in turn be linked with changes in natural disturbance patterns and changes in ecosystem structure and function.
Impact on Agriculture
• According to World Meteorological Organization, climate change can adversely impact global environment, agricultural productivity and the quality of human life.
• More importantly in developing countries, it will be difficult for farmers to carry on farming in the increased temperatures.
• While in temperate latitudes a rise in temperature would help countries increase food productivity, it will have adverse effects in India and countries in the tropics.
• The monsoon accounting for 75% of India’s rainfall significantly impacts country’s agriculture and livelihood of tens of millions of small farmers.
• Climate change is likely to intensify the variability of monsoon dynamics, leading to a rise in extreme seasonal aberrations, such as increased precipitation and devastating floods in some parts of the country as well as reduced rainfall and prolonged droughts in other areas.
Impact on fisheries and Aquaculture
• Climate change, more particularly harsher weather conditions, will have impact on the quality, productivity, output and viability of fish and aquaculture enterprises, thereby affecting fishing community.
• The small-scale fishers may be faced with greater uncertainty as availability, access, stability and use of aquatic food and supplies would diminish and work opportunities would dwindle. Aquaculture development opportunities will increase in particular in tropical and sub-tropical regions.
• The climate change in warmer regions offers new opportunities as production in warmer regions will increase because of better growth rates, a longer growing season and the availability of new fish farming areas where it was once too cold.
Impact on Demography
• Rising sea levels owing to climate change would force communities in low-lying coastal areas and river deltas to move to higher ground level.
• Similarly, increase in frequency of droughts due to climate change would force farmers and pastoralists, who rely on rainfall to raise their crops and livestock, to migrate to areas in search of land and water.
• This migration/displacement of people would result in direct conflict and competition between migrants and established communities for access to land and water.
• It may be difficult for displaced communities to maintain their farming or pastoral traditions.
Impact on Glacier
• Glaciers the world over are thinning and shrinking as the planet warms, and glaciers in the Himalayas are receding faster than anywhere else.
• If the earth keeps warming at the current rate, Himalayan glaciers are likely to disappear altogether in 25 years.
• In the absence of glaciers, rivers in the Indo-Gangetic plain will become much more seasonal, threatening the rabi crop as well as domestic and industrial water supplies in the non-monsoon months.
• In addition, more precipitation will fall as rain rather than snow and the greater water run-offs will increase flooding.
Impact on Weather
• Increasing global temperatures will lead to higher maximum temperatures, more heat waves, and fewer cold days over most land areas.
• More severe drought in some areas, combined with other factors, has contributed to larger and more frequent wildfires.
Impact on Human Health
• Changes in the greenhouse gas concentrations and other drivers alter the global climate and bring about myriad human health consequences.
• Environmental consequences of climate change, such as extreme heat waves, rising sea-levels, changes in precipitation resulting in flooding and droughts, intense hurricanes, and degraded air quality have impact directly and indirectly on the physical, social, and psychological health of humans.
Impact on Water Resources
• Climate change will have an impact on the predictability and variability in the availability of water and also increase in frequencies of droughts and floods.
• Worst sufferers would be farmers of the rainfed agriculture, which covers 60% of all cultivated land in the country.
• The risk of crop failures will increase in semi-arid zones with prolonged dry seasons forcing people to migrate, when stability of food production cannot be assured.
• Irrigated areas in large river basins and deltas can also be at risk because of a combination of factors, such as reduced runoff, salinity, increasing floods, sea level rise, urban and industrial pollution.
Lead to Sea Level Rise
• The Bay of Bengal points to the sea rising 3.14 mm a year in the mangrove swamps of ‘the Sunderbans delta’ against a global average of 2 mm, threatening the low-lying area which is home to about 4 million people.
• A trend of sea level rise of 1 cm. per decade has been recorded along the Indian coast. The major delta area of the Ganga, Brahmaputra and Indus rivers, which have large populations reliant on riverine resources, will be affected by changes in water regimes, salt water intrusions and land loss.
• The rise in sea temperature also causes coral bleaching, which negatively affects fishes, sponges, giant clams, and other sea creatures.
• The El Nino event of 1998 resulted massive mortality of corals in the Lakshadweep and Andaman and Nicobar islands.
Threat to Cities
• The Indian cities will face the impact of climate change in various forms. Indian urban infrastructure is less advanced and over-stressed in most cities.
• The floods and heavy rains caused by climate change will devastate the urban dwellings and make havoc to the lakhs of poor lives.
• Nowadays rural population is migrating towards cities increasing the demands of power, housing and drinking water and transportation.
• The water scarcity due to glacial melting and irregular rainfalls will reduce the availability of clean drinking water.
Steps taken by India to Mitigate Climate Change:
India has adopted the National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) in 2008 which has both mitigation and adaptation measures. The eight National Missions which form the core of the NAPCC represent multi-prolonged, long-term, and integrated strategies for achieving key goals in the context of climate change.
The Eight Missions of NAPCC-
Steps taken by Government:
• India’s Energy Conservation Act ( Energy Conservation Act), 2001; The 2010 amendment to the S ENERGY CONSERVATION ACT created PAT scheme as a market-based trading scheme enable industries to meet the mandatory energy efficiency standards that had begun to be developed under the original Energy Conservation Act.
• PAT scheme is now India’s main effort-defining policy. It is overseen by the BEE and was introduced by the National Mission on Enhanced Energy Efficiency (NMEEE).
• Use of Renewable Energy-The Electricity Act 2003 together with the National Electricity Policy 2005 (NEP) and the Tariff Policy (TP) mandate promotion of electricity generation from renewable sources. The Electricity Act and these policies envisage regulatory interventions for promotion of renewable energy sources.
• Climate Friendly Transport Sector-Transport India has taken substantial initiatives to make the transport sector less emission intensive. One of the major initiatives has been upgradation of vehicular emission norms such as Bharat Stage II, Bharat Stage III and Bharat Stage IV. The commercial manufacture of battery-operated vehicles has begun in India with a view to promoting low/ no carbon emitting vehicles.
• Conservation of Agriculture, Forest and Water Resources- National Mission for Sustainable Agriculture. There are also programmes for crop improvement and drought proofing. India has launched an ambitious Green India Mission to increase the quality and quantity of forest cover in 10 million ha of land. Also an incentive-based additional special grant of US$ 1.2 billion had been announced by the central government to all states for sustainable forestry management.
• Forestry Sector- The National Forest Policy (1988), Participatory Forest Management/Joint Forest Management Programme, National Afforestation Programme, National Forestry Action Programme and National Watershed Development Project for Rainfed Areas.
• Coastal Area- Coastal Ocean Monitoring and Prediction Systems (COMAPS), Land Ocean Interactions in the Coastal Zone (LOICZ), Integrated Coastal and Marine Area Management (ICMAM), and Society of Integrated Coastal Management (SICOM).
• Enhancing Adaptive Capacity- the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) is India’s National Implementing Entity (NIE) for the Adaptation Fund created under the UNFCCC. At present, NABARD is the only NIE in the Asia Pacific Region.
India is a part of the international collaboration for mitigating climate change; such as- international forum, regional forum, negotiation group etc.
‘Terms in News Related to Climate Change’
1. Black Carbon:
• Aerosol/ soot/ fine particulate matter
• Almost pure carbon
• Due to incomplete combustion- due to anthropogenic activity
• Strongly absorbs by light and convert the energy into heat.
Effects:
• Global warming- Tropospheric Temperature: Deposited on snow and ice – decreases Albedo
• Public Health – Morbidity: Cancers- respiratory illness
• Life time days to weeks
Fossil fuel Combustion: Climate change, Public health and Economic Development.
2. Project ‘Surya’:
• NGO, project from UNEP, Solar (or biomass) stove and solar lights
• Indoor Air Pollution: Respiratory illness asthma, cancers.
3. Ozone hole:
Ultra Violet Radiation from Sun:
• Adverse effect from human: skin cancer, cataracts
• Adverse effect on Biosphere: inhibiting plant growth and damaging ecosystem.
• Adverse effect on physical infrastructure: degradation of material
4. Carbon Sequestration:
• Carbon uptake
• Carbon capture and storage
• Taking up CO2 from the atmosphere and long term storage.
5. Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR):
• Set of a technique that aims to remove CO2 directly from atmosphere, by either
– Increasing natural sink for carbon or
– Using engineering techniques to remove CO2 with the intent of reducing CO2 concentration.
• Ocean- iron fertilizers
• Land- large scale afforestation
• Technical- direct capture a CO2 from atmosphere by chemical means.
6. Iron fertilization:
• Deliberate introduced of iron on upper ocean surface to enhance biological productivity which can sequester additional atmospheric CO2 in ocean.
• Added advantage- to marine food chain.
7. Carbon Sink: Reservoir that stores carbon containing material for an indefinite period.
Natural and Artificial:
Natural:
• Forest tropical, mangroves (bio-sequenstration)
• Oceans
• Wetlands
Artificial:
• Geological sequestration: landfill, pumping CO2 directly in oil and gas wells.
• Ocean sequestration: Pumping CO2 deep into the ocean, artificial trees
8. Geo Engineering/ Climate Engineering:
• Broad set of methods and technologies that, aims to deliberately alter the climate system in order to alleviate the impacts of climate change.
• By either,
a) Reduce the amount of absorbed solar energy
b) Increased net carbon sinks at sufficiently large scale to alter climate.
Solar Radiation Management:
• Intentional modification of earth’s shortwave radiative budget with the aim to reduce climate change.
• Artificial injection of stratospheric aerosol
• Cloud brightening
CO2 removal techniques: Denoting a nuclear bomb on the lunar surface.
9. Carbon Credit: A tradable certificate/ permit representing the right to emit one tones of carbon or CO2 equivalent.
Way to earn the carbon credit:
• Produce one tone less of Carbon of CO2 equivalent than the standard level allowed for its activity.
• The credit can be trades in exchanges.
• International emission trading – a ‘Kyoto mechanism’
• 1 billion- multi commodity exchange – Carbon trading.
10. Carbon offsetting: Credit of reduction in GHG emission made at another location mostly from renewable energy projects.
11. Carbon Tax: Direct tax based on amount of the carbon in fossil fuel, equivalent to emission tax on CO2 emission.
Climate change is a global phenomenon that we have to address in a spirit of cooperation taking into account the historical responsibilities and capabilities of countries. The direct fallout of this environmental decline will be borne by the poor and the already deprived. Therefore each action in this context must be seen from the perspective of the most underprivileged. The entire global community has to work towards this issue.

The Pallavas/The Chalukyas/The Cholas


The PallavasThe Chalukyas The Cholas

The Pallavas

• After the decline of the Sangam Age in the Tamil country, the Kalabhra rule lasted for about 250 years.
• Thereafter, the Pallavas established their kingdom in Tondaimandalam with its capital at Kanchipuram. Their rule continued till Tondaimandalam was captured and annexed by the Imperial Cholas in the beginning of the tenth century A.D.
Origin of the Pallavas
• According to one school, they were a branch of Parthians, but there is no evidence for the migration of the Parthians into the south.
• Another school opines that the Pallavas were a branch of the Brahmin royal dynasty of the Vakatakas of the Deccan, but again there is no direct evidence of any connection between the Vakatakas and the Pallavas.
• The third school maintains that it was an indigenous dynasty and rose to power after the dismemberment of the lkshvaku kingdom. In other words, they were the indigenous Nagas.
Political History
• Sirnhavishnu (560-90)
• He is considered the first important Pallava ruler, though Pallavas existed even during the time of Samudragupta’s invasion of south India.
• He is credited with capturing the territory of the Cholas and humiliating his other southern neighbours including Ceylon.
• He followed Vaishnavism, as is evident from archaeological evidence.
• Mahendravarman I (590-630)
• During his reign began the long drawn out struggle between the Pallavas and the Chalukyas.
• He was defeated by Pulakesin II and a part of his kingdom was occupied.
• Narasimhavarman I (630-68)
• He is considered the greatest of the Pallava rulers and is credited with repelling the second invasion of Pulakesin II, killing him and capturing the Chalukyan capital, Badami. Hence he assumed the title of `Vatapikonda’ (Conqueror of Vatapi).
• He also defeated the Cholas, the Cheras and the Pandyas, thus becoining supreme in south India.
• He sent two naval expeditions to Ceylon and helped his ally, a Ceylonese prince, to capture the throne of Ceylon.
• He was a great builder having constructed Mamallapuram and the various buildings in it.
• Another significant thing about his reign was the visit of Hiuen Tsang to Kanchi.
• Mahendravarman II (668-70)
• He ruled for a very short period, since he was killed by Chalukya king, Vikramaditya I (son of Pulakesin II).
• Paramesvaravarman 1 (670-700)
• He had to face the invading forces of Vikramaditya I, but finally succeeded in defeating and driving them back after repeated efforts.
• Narasimhavarman II (100-28)
• His rule is marked by peace and prosperity, literary activity, and the construction of large and beautiful temples like the Shore temple at Mamallapuram and the Kailasanatha temple at Kanchi.
• He is also said to have sent embassies to China; and maritime trade flourished during his reign.
• Paramesvaravarman II (728-31)
• The Pallava kingdom again had to face defeat and humiliation during his reign.
• The Chalukya, Vikramaditya II attacked the Pallava capital and Paramesvaravarman had to conclude a humiliating treaty with him.
• When the Pallava ruler tried to retaliate, he was killed by the Ganga ally of the Chalukyas.
• Nandivarman II (731-96)
• The Chalukya, Vikramaditya II again invaded and captured the Pallava capital during his reign, but Vikramaditya showed consideration and restraint in treating the vanquished, the only instance of restraint in the whole of the suicidal Chalukya-Pallava conflict, and withdrew from Kanchi without destroying it.
• Nandi soon strengthened himself and defeated the Chalukya ally, the Gangas. But he had to meet defeat at the hands of the Pandyas. And after this defeat, he concentrated on domestic matters.
• He was a worshipper of Vishnu and a great patron of learning.
• During his reign, several old temples were renovated and new ones like the Vaikuntaperumal temple at Kanchi were constructed.
• Successors of Nandivarman II were Dantivarman (796-847), Nandivarman III (847-69), Nripatunga (869-99) and Aparajita (899-903).
• The last nail in the coffin was driven by Aditya Chola by defeating Aparajita Pallava towards the end of the ninth century AD.
• However, the Pallava chiefs continued to exist till the end of the 13th century AD as feudatories.
Administration of the Pallavas
• The Pallavas had a well organized administrative system.
• The Pallava state was divided into Kottams.
• The Kottam was administered by officers appointed by the king.
• The king was at the centre of administration in which he was assisted by able ministers.
• The king was the fountain of justice.
• The king maintained a well-trained army.
• The king provided land-grants to the temples known as Devadhana and also to the Brahmans known as Brahmadeya.
• It was also the responsibility of the central government to provide irrigation facilities to the lands. A number of irrigation tanks were dug by the Pallava kings.
• The irrigation tanks at Mahendravadi and Mamandoor were dug during the reign of Mahendravarman I.
• Detailed information on the tax system could also be traced from the Pallava inscriptions.
• Land tax was the primary source of the government revenue.
• The Brahmadeya and Devadhana lands were exempted from tax.
• Traders and artisans such as carpenters, goldsmiths, washer-men, oil-pressers and weavers paid taxes to the government.
• The Pallava inscriptions throw much light on the village assemblies called sabhas and their committees.
• They maintained records of all village lands, looked after local affairs and managed temples.
Society under the Pallavas
• The Tamil society witnessed a great change during the Pallava period.
• The caste system became rigid.
• The Brahmins occupied a high place in the society. They were given land-grants by the kings and nobles. They were also given the responsibility of looking after the temples.
• The Pallava period also witnessed the rise of Saivism and Vaishnavism and also the decline of Buddhism and Jainism.
• The Saiva Nayanmars and the Vaishnava Alwars contributed to the growth of Saivism and Vaishnavism. This is known as the Bakthi Movement. They composed their hymns in the Tamil language. These hymns revealed the importance of devotion or Bakthi. The construction of temples by the Pallava kings paved the way for the spread of these two religions.
Education and Literature
• The Pallavas were great patrons of learning and their capital Kanchi was an ancient centre of learning.
• The Ghatika at Kanchi was popular and it attracted students from all parts of India and abroad.
• The founder of the Kadamba dynasty, Mayurasarman studied Vedas at Kanchi.
• Dinganaga, a Buddhist writer came to study at Kanchi. Dharmapala, who later became the Head of the Nalanada University, belonged to Kanchi.
• Bharavi, the great Sanskrit scholar lived in the time of Simhavishnu. Dandin, another Sanskrit writer adorned the court of Narasimhavarman II.
• Mahendravaraman I composed the Sanskrit play Mattavilasaprahasanam.
• Tamil literature had also developed and the Nayanmars and Alwars composed religious hymns in Tamil.
• The Devaram composed by Nayanmars and the Nalayradivyaprabandam composed by Alwars represent the religious literature of the Pallava period.
• Perundevanar was patronized by Nandivarman II and he translated the Mahabharata as Bharathavenba in Tamil.
• Nandikkalambagam was another important work but the name of the author of this work is not known.
• Music and dance also developed during this period.
Religion
• The Pallavas were orthodox Brahmanical Hindus and their patronage was responsible for the great reformation of the medieval ages.
• Most of the Pallava kings were devotees of Siva, the exceptions being Simhavishnu and Nandivarman who were worshippers of Vishnu.
• Mahendravarman I was the first to be influenced by the famous Saivite saints of the age.
• Besides worshipping Siva, he also showed reverence to other Hindu gods.
• Pallavas were tolerant towards other religions like Buddhism and Jainism. However, some of the sects like Buddhism were losing their former glory to Saivism.
• The Vedic tradition in general bossed over the local tradition. Sankaracharya in fact gave this stimulus to Vedic tradition.Tamil saints of the sixth and seventh centuries AD were the progenitors of the bhakti movement.
• The hymns and sermons of the Nayanars (Saivite saints) and Alvars (Vaishnavite saints) continued the tradition of bhakti.
• Saivite saints were Appar, Sambandar, Sundarar, and others. Most remarkable thing about this age was the presence of women saints such as Andal (an Alvar).
Pallava Art and Architecture
• The Pallavas introduced the art of excavating temples from the rock. In fact, the Dravidian style of temple architecture began with the Pallava rule.
• It was a gradual evolution starting from the cave temples to monolithic rathas and culminated in structural temples.
• The development of temple architecture under the Pallavas can be seen in four stages.
• Mahendravarman I introduced the rock-cut temples. This style of Pallava temples are seen at places like Mandagappattu, Mahendravadi, Mamandur, Dalavanur, Tiruchirappalli, Vallam, Siyamangalam and Tirukalukkunram.
• The second stage of Pallava architecture is represented by the monolithic rathas and Mandapas found at Mamallapuram. Narasimhavarman I took the credit for these wonderful architectural monuments. The five rathas, popularly called as the Panchapanadava rathas, signifies five different styles of temple architecture. The mandapas contain beautiful sculptures on its walls. The most popular of these mandapas are Mahishasuramardhini Mandapa, Tirumurthi Mandapam and Varaha Madapam.
• In the next stage, Rajasimha introduced the structural temples. These temples were built by using the soft sand rocks. The Kailasanatha temple at Kanchi and the Shore temple at Mamallapuram remain the finest examples of the early structural temples of the Pallavas. The Kailasanatha temple at Kanchi is the greatest architectural master piece of the Pallava art.
• The last stage of the Pallava art is also represented by structural temples built by the later Pallavas. The Vaikundaperumal temple, Muktheeswara temple and Matagenswara temples at Kanchipuram belong to this stage of architecture.
• The Pallavas had also contributed to the development of sculpture.
• Apart from the sculptures found in the temples, the ‘Open Art Gallery’ at Mamallapuram remains an important monument bearing the sculptural beauty of this period.
• The Descent of the Ganges or the Penance of Arjuna is called a fresco painting in stone.
• The minute details as well as the theme of these sculptures such as the figures of lice-picking monkey, elephants of huge size and the figure of the ‘ascetic cat’ standing erect show highly evovled sculpture era.
Fine Arts
• Music, dance and painting had also developed under the patronage of the Pallavas.
• The Mamandur inscription contains a note on the notation of vocal music.
• The Kudumianmalai inscription referred to musical notes and instruments.
• The Alwars and Nayanmars composed their hymns in various musical notes.
• Dance and drama also developed during this period.
• The sculptures of this period depict many dancing postures.
• The Sittannavasal paintings belonged to this period.
• The commentary called Dakshinchitra was compiled during the reign of Mahendravarman I, who had the title Chittirakkarapuli.
Spread of Indian Culture
• Pallavas were also instrumental in spreading Indian culture in South-East Asia.
• Till the eighth century AD Pallava influence was predominant in Cambodia. Saivism enjoyed official patronage in these countries.
• The Pallava type of sikhara is to be found in the temples of Java, Cambodia and Annam.

Harmful impact of Modern Agriculture on Environment


Harmful impact of Modern Agriculture on Environment

In modern agriculture, high yielding varieties (HYV) are grown which require large amount of water supply, chemical fertilizers and pesticides. Hence it leads to following environmental problems:
a) Soil Erosion
Excessive water-supply and wind removes the top fertile layer of the farm. Loss of nutrient rich soil not only reduces productivity, but also results in silting of water bodies and streams and induces release of soil carbon from particulate organic material, which contributes to global warming.
b) Ground water contamination
Leaching of nitrates (NPK fertilizers) may cause ground-water pollution. E.g. haemoglobin combines with nitrite to from methaemoglobin which is unable to carry the oxygen so reduces oxygen uptake in the lungs.
c) Water-logging and salinity
Due to improper drainage, water gets accumulated in the farm known as water-logging. When water evaporates, it causes salinity in the soil. As a result the crop plants die.
d) Eutrophication
When the water runoff with chemical fertilizers reach to the nearby water body small water plants grow in excess known as Algal Bloom. It prevents or stops intermixing of atmospheric oxygen to dissolved oxygen in water. The water plants and animals start dying due to lack of oxygen. The dead parts will deposit at the bottom of the water body. The process continues and cause threat to the water-body. The process is known as Eutrophication. The water body is known as eutrophic water body e.g. Chilka Lake in Orissa.
e) Biomagnification
Concentration of the toxic substance increases several times when it is transferred from one organism to another, in the food-chain known as Biomagnification. E.g. increase in DDT concentration caused reproductive failure in birds i.e. their eggs hatch before time.
f) Seed Suicide
High yielding varieties (HYV) are used in modern agriculture, to produce more crop yield. They require large amount of water and fertilizers i.e. HYV are irrigation and chemical fertilizer intensive.
Hence excessive use of chemical fertilizers and pesticides kills the useful pests too.
However growing the same kind of seeds again and again also increases the chances of pest-attack. Thus the crop becomes vulnerable to pest attack. E.g. potato famine occurred in Ireland in 1969 due to pest attack on the complete crop due to monoculture.
Seeds of HYV do not germinate i.e. lose their viability every season due to terminator technology being used in their genes. Thus, farmers used to buy these seeds every year.
Seeds of High yielding varieties are very costly. Farmers are compelled to use these high yielding varieties seeds to increase their crop production and to gain profit.

Asian Waterbird Census


Asian Waterbird Census

The Asian Waterbird Census (AWC) is an international programme that focuses on monitoring the status of waterbirds and wetlands. It also aims to increase public awareness on issues related to wetland and waterbird conservation. The census is carried out each January as a voluntary activity at national and local level.
The AWC is co-coordinated by Wetlands International- as part of global programme, the “International Waterbird Census”.
The census has three major objectives:
1. To obtain information on an annual basis of waterbird populations at wetlands in the region during the non-breeding period of most species (January), as a basis for evaluation of sites and monitoring of populations
2. To monitor on an annual basis the status and condition of wetlands
3. To encourage greater interest in waterbirds and wetlands amongst people, and thereby promote the conservation of wetlands and waterbirds in the region.
The data collected for the AWC is being used to provide information on wetlands and waterbirds and to encourage local or national conservation measures for important wetlands. The primary role of Wetlands International in coordinating the census is to raise awareness on the importance of waterbirds and wetlands at international level and for this it collates information at regional level. The census is primarily carried out by volunteers from all walks of life: university and school staff and students, nature club members, amateur and professional ornithologists, government and non-governmental agencies and others. Sites covered include rivers, lakes, reservoirs, tanks, swamps, coastal sites, mangrove and mudflats, reefs, sandy beaches, etc. All species of waterbirds associated with wetlands are entered onto standardized count forms.
In India, the AWC is annually coordinated by the Bombay Natural history Society (BNHS) and Wetlands International.
BNHS is a non government Organisation (NGO) founded in the year 1883. It engages itself in the conservation of nature and natural resources and also in the research and conservation of endangered species. Its mission is to conserve nature, primarily biological diversity through action based on research, education and public awareness.

Marine Protected Areas


Marine Protected Areas

Introduction:
• Marine protected areas (MPA) are protected areas of seas, oceans, estuaries or large lakes.
• It is a clearly defined geographical space, recognized, dedicated and managed, through legal or other effective means, to achieve the long-term conservation of nature with associated ecosystem services and cultural values”.
• MPAs restrict human activity for a conservation purpose, typically to protect natural or cultural resources. Such marine resources are protected by local, state, territorial, native, regional, national, or international authorities and differ substantially among and between nations.
• This variation includes different limitations on development, fishing practices, fishing seasons and catch limits, moorings and bans on removing or disrupting marine life.
• MPA is an umbrella term to describe a wide range of protected areas for marine conservation around the world.
Several types of compliant MPA can be distinguished:
• A totally marine area with no significant terrestrial parts.
• An area containing both marine and terrestrial components, which can vary between two extremes; those that are predominantly maritime with little land
• For example, an atoll would have a tiny island with a significant maritime population surrounding it), or that is mostly terrestrial.
• Marine ecosystems that contain land and intertidal components only.
• For example, a mangrove forest would contain no open sea or ocean marine environment, but its river-like marine ecosystem nevertheless complies with the definition.
Why Marine Protected Area (MPA)?
• Marine protected areas are essential to safeguard biodiversity and to sustain vibrant seas and can increase biomass and biodiversity in tropical and temperate ecosystems
• They serve as insurance policies against the impacts of fishing and other destructive activities.
In India:
• India has a coastline of 8,118 km, with an exclusive economic zone (EEZ) of 2.02 million sq km and a continental shelf area of 372,424 km², spread across 9 maritime States and seven Union Territories, including the islands of Andaman and Nicobar, and Lakshadweep.
• The important species found in the Indian waters include, Dugongs, Whales, Dolphins, Olive Ridley Turtles, a variety of fishes including the Whale Sharks & other sharks, Giant Groupers, Sea cucumbers, horseshoe crabs, sea shells, soft & hard corals, etc.
• India has at present following designated Marine Protected Areas:
– Gulf of Mannar National Park, Tamil Nadu
– Gulf of Kutch Marine National Park, Gujarat
– Gulf of Kutch Marine Sanctuary, Gujarat
– Malvan (Marine) Wildlife Sanctuary, Maharashtra
– Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park, Andaman & Nicobar Islands
– Gahirmatha Sanctuary, Orissa.
• In India, all marine protected areas fall under the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF). It is the nodal agency at the central level and responsible for:
– Planning,
– Promotion,
– Co-ordination and
– Overseeing the implementation of environmental and forestry programmes (Integrated Coastal Zone Management Project, 2012).
• At the state level the Department of Forests (under the Ministry of Environment and Forests) acts as the nodal agency for the same.
• Departments of Fisheries are responsible for managing the fisheries resources in their particular state.
• The Ministry of Earth Sciences (MoES) deals with the science and technology research of exploitation of ocean resources (living and non-living).
Economics:
• MPAs can help sustain local economies by supporting fisheries and tourism.

Sai Praveen

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