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ENVIRONMENT - October 2022

Oct 2022

Mar 15, 2023

India Home to 39 of 50 Most Polluted Cities

  • According to a report by Swiss firm IQAir, India home to 39 out of the world's 50 most polluted cities, was ranked the world's eighth-most polluted nation in 2022. Delhi was placed as the world's fourth-most polluted city on the planet.
  • The average yearly PM2.5 reading in India was more than 10 times the upper limit prescribed by the World Health Organization (WHO), while Delhi's pollutant levels were more than 18 times what is considered safe.
  • Bhiwadi in Rajasthan retained its position as India's most polluted city ranking and the city with the third-worst air in the world.
  • The World Air Quality Report, 2022, classified over 7,300 cities across 131 countries and ranked them on the basis of the average recorded annual PM2.5 concentration in micrograms per cubic metre (μg/m3).

Mar 13, 2023

Indonesia's Merapi Volcano Erupts

  • Indonesia's Mount Merapi erupted with avalanches of searing gas clouds and lava, forcing authorities to halt tourism and mining activities on the slopes of the country's most active volcano.
  • Merapi, on the densely populated island of Java, unleashed clouds of hot ash and a mixture of rock, lava and gas that travelled up to 7 kilometres down its slopes.
  • It was Merapi's biggest lava flow since authorities raised the alert level to the second-highest in November 2020.
  • The 2,968-metre (9,737-foot) mountain is about 30 kilometres (18 miles) from Yogyakarta, an ancient centre of Javanese culture and the seat of royal dynasties going back centuries.
  • Merapi volcano is the most active of more than 120 active volcanoes in Indonesia and has repeatedly erupted with lava and gas clouds.

Uttarakhand's Rudraprayag, Tehri Top Landslide Index

  • Uttarakhand's Rudraprayag district, which houses the Kedarnath shrine, has "maximum exposure to landslide risk in the country", according to the 'Landslide Atlas' report prepared by Hyderabad-based National Remote Sensing Centre (NRSC) of the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO).
  • Rudraprayag has 32 chronic landslide zones, with the maximum located on NH-107 that leads to the holy town.
  • Another Uttarakhand district, Tehri Garhwal is at the second spot in the list of landslide prone districts. It has over two dozen landslide zones, including Totaghati which was identified as a "very chronic landslide site".
  • The ISRO database covered landslide vulnerable regions in 17 states and two UTs of India in the Himalayas and Western Ghats.

Mar 12, 2023

New Wildlife Corridor Comes up after Reintroduction of Tigers in MNP

  • Union Minister Jyotiraditya Scindia said that a new wildlife corridor was formed between Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan after three tigers were released in Madhav National Park (MNP) in MP's Shivpuri district.
  • Three tigers were released at MNP where the deafening roar of the big cats fell silent 27 years ago.
  • Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan along with Scindia and state Forest Minister Vijay Shah released a tiger captured on the premises of an institute in Bhopal and two tigresses into enclosures in a bid to revive the big cat population in MNP.

Mar 11, 2023

NASA and Italian Space Agency Join Hands for Satellite Mission to Monitor Air Pollution

  • NASA is partnering with the Italian Space Agency ASI (Agenzia Spaziale Italiana) to build and launch MAIA, or the Multi-Angle Imager for Aerosols missions. The joint mission between the two national space agencies will investigate the health impacts of air pollution in the world's most populated cities.
  • According to NASA, MAIA is the first mission by the agency whose primary goal is to benefit societal health. Epidemiologists and public health researchers will be directly working on the development of a satellite mission.
  • The MAIA observatory, which is set to launch before the end of 2024 will consist of the PLATiNO-2 satellite, which will be provided by ASI, and a science instrument that will be built at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). The MAIA mission will collect and analyse data from the observatory, sensors on the ground and atmospheric models.

Mar 07, 2023

UN inks 'High Seas Treaty' in a Bid to Protect Ocean Bodies of the World

  • The United Nations inked the first 'High Seas Treaty' in a bid to protect the ocean bodies of the world that lie outside the national boundaries and form almost two-thirds of the world's oceans.
  • The treaty is an outcome of a decade of talks on this environmental concern. The agreement was reached after 38 hours of talks, at UN headquarters in New York. The previous negotiations failed to conclude due to disagreements on funding and fishing rights. The last international agreement on ocean protection was signed 40 years ago in 1982 - the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.
  • The UN High Seas Treaty now brings 30 per cent of the world's oceans into the protected domain, puts more money into marine conservation and sets new rules for mining at sea.
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