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June 19, 2019
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18 June Current Affairs

Monsoon set to hit the State

In News:

End to hot spell in sight, says State Disaster Management Authority.

Details:

With conditions becoming favourable for further advancement of the South west monsoon into the State in the coming four to five days, all the districts in Coastal Andhra and isolated places in Rayalaseema are very likely to receive light to heavy rainfall during the coming four days, according to the India Meteorological Department’s (IMD) forecast.

As per IMD’s inference, the upper air cyclonic circulation over the Bay of Bengal off the A.P. coast persists and lies over west central Bay of Bengal off the north AP coast. As a result, a low pressure area is likely to develop over the north Bay of Bengal during the next four to five days.

IMD:

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) is an agency of the Ministry of Earth Sciences of the Government of India. It is the principal agency responsible for meteorological observations, weather forecasting and seismology. IMD is headquartered in Delhi and operates hundreds of observation stations across India and Antarctica.Regional offices are at Mumbai, Kolkata, Nagpur and Pune.

IMD is also one of the six Regional Specialised Meteorological Centres of the World Meteorological Organization. It has the responsibility for forecasting, naming and distribution of warnings for tropical cyclones in the Northern Indian Ocean region, including the Malacca Straits, the Bay of Bengal, the Arabian Sea and the Persian Gulf.

 ‘No tree-felling in Kodagu until end of monsoon’

In News:

The Kodagu Tree Authority has resolved not to permit tree-felling in the district until the end of monsoon.

Details:

The decision comes in the wake of the recent move to cut 800 trees in K. Nidugane gram panchayat limits for construction of a resort. The decision to axe trees was withdrawn following the intervention of Chief Minister, who expressed anguish over the move.

Completely banned:

With the onset of monsoon, tree-cutting and transportation had been completely banned until September, the meeting resolved.

Observations by GSI:

Barring tree-felling for personal use, axing of trees in large numbers would not be allowed in the wake of observations by the Geological Survey of India, which has identified some places that are said to be vulnerable for landslides based on last year’s disaster.

The meeting, however, decided to allow a farmer-family to use only 300 cft of wood in a span of 15 years for their personal use.

Water rationing in Udupi to continue for some more time

In News:

Small amount of inflow in the Swarna near Shiroor village.

Details:

Though there has been rainfall, it has not been enough to withdraw water rationing in Udupi district as yet. Drinking water is supplied to Udupi city from the dam constructed on the Swarna at Baje village about 18 km from here.

There is a small amount of inflow so far from the Mundli dam and water has reached close to Shiroor village (about 25 km from here).

The scattered rainfall has not been enough to lift water rationing imposed on the city about a couple of months ago.

“This rationing of water will continue till the dam is at least half-full. But good rain in the catchment area and Karkala side can change the situation”.

Swarna river:

The Swarna takes its birth in the Western Ghats and passes close to Karkala town, where a dam is constructed against it at Mundli (to supply water to Karkala town), and from there, it reaches Shiroor and Baje villages, where there are dams across it to supply water to Udupi city. The river then passes by Manipal, Shimbra and then joins the Arabian Sea.

Jet Airways to be taken to bankruptcy court

In News:

Efforts to save leading airline fail.

Details:

As six months of efforts to save one of the country’s leading airlines, Jet Airways, failed, the lenders have now decided to take it to the bankruptcy court, which will decide the future course of action.

“A meeting of lenders was held to consider the way forward in respect of Jet Airways. After due deliberations, lenders have decided to seek resolution under IBC since only a conditional bid was received and requirement of the investor for SEBI exemptions and resolution of all creditors is possible under IBC”.

Jet Airways’ total dues to the banks are about Rs. 8,000 crore.

“Lenders have been taking efforts to find a resolution for Jet Airways outside the IBC, but in view of the above, they have decided to seek a resolution within the IBC process,”

According to bankers, the idea behind attempts to resolve the issue outside the bankruptcy court after the airline defaulted, was to preserve the value. Banks had prepared a resolution plan and invited bids from prospective buyers for the troubled airline but had not received any binding offer. Only one conditional bid was received from Etihad — the national carrier of UAE which owns 24% in Jet.

“The decision is too late to recover anything from Jet Airways. The lenders have followed the bureaucratic procedure so that nobody can question their decisions and the losses they would incur. They showed no urgency to revive Jet Airways and were more interested in recovering their money rather than salvaging the airline. Finally it were the lenders who in fact pushed Jet Airways into oblivion”.

Iran to breach uranium stockpile limit

Iran said that it would surpass from June 27 its uranium stockpile limit set under the nuclear deal with world powers, turning up the pressure after the U.S. walked away from the pact last year.

‘Govt. focus is now on raising farm income’

As India has achieved self-sufficiency in food production, the Union government has shifted the focus to empowering farmers economically by enhancing their incomes, said Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR) director-general Trilochan Mohapatra. Delivering the convocation address at the 32nd annual convocation of the University of Agricultural Sciences, Dharwad, Dr. Mohapatra said that successive governments have been pressing for high food production to meet the demand in the domestic market.

Vayu no longer a cyclone, to cross as low pressure

In News:

Cyclone Vayu has dissipated earlier than anticipated and will not make a landfall over Gujarat.

Details:

‘Vayu’ was expected to make cross over by Monday midnight.

“It has already become a ‘depression’ and by midnight will cross over the Gujarat coast as a well marked low pressure’’.

While this would still bring rains and winds — and fishermen have been warned to stay away — it effectively means that ‘Vayu’ no longer poses a threat to Gujarat.

A ‘well marked low pressure’ refers to a state when a tropical storm has lost is strength and no longer possesses an ‘eye’ or a centre, which is the hallmark of a cyclone. “For a landfall, it has to be atleast a depression”.

‘Tricky process’:

“Forecasting the track of this cyclone was tricky because there were complications posed by the monsoon pressure systems,” he said. Now that ‘Vayu was over, the monsoon could continue its journey along India’s Western coast.

The branch of the monsoon that gives rain along India’s western coast reached Kerala nearly a week later than its scheduled date of June 8. Currently, India has got only about 60% of the monsoon rain that it normally gets in the first fortnight of June.

India to host UN meet on land degradation in September

In News:

India for the first time will host the 14th session of the Conference of Parties (COP-14) of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) in September.

Details:

It will see participation from at least 5,000 delegates from nearly 197 countries and will be held between September 2 and 14 in Delhi.

Ahead of the COP-14, Union Environment Minister launched a flagship project, part of a larger international initiative called the Bonn Challenge, to enhance India’s capacity for forest landscape restoration (FLR).

Building capacity:

It will be implemented during a pilot phase of three-and-a-half years in Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Nagaland and Karnataka. The project will aim to develop and adapt the best practices and monitoring protocols for the country, and build capacity within the five pilot States.

This will eventually be scaled up across the country.

Connecting Previous COPs:

India faces a severe problem of land degradation, or soil becoming unfit for cultivation. A 2016 report by the Indian Space Research Organisation found that about 29% of India’s land (in 2011-13) was degraded, this being a 0.57% increase from 2003-05.

At the previous edition of the COP, India had committed to restore 13 million hectares of degraded and deforested land by the year 2020, and an additional 8 million hectares by 2030.

The Bonn Challenge is a global effort to bring 150 million hectares of the world’s deforested and degraded land under restoration by 2020, and 350 million hectares by 2030.

The United Nations has three major Conventions: the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) and the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD). Established in 1994, the UNCCD is the only legally binding international agreement linking environment and development issues to the land agenda.

EU leaders to debate push for zero emissions by 2050

In News:

Stress on climate action after Green parties made gains in EU Parliament.

Details:

EU leaders will discuss setting a target of zero net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

European Union leaders meeting in Brussels will debate the 2050 target of “climate neutrality” that the environmental group WWF says now has the support of 16 of the EU’s 28 countries. “We urgently need to step up our action to manage this existential threat,” a draft of the EU’s strategic agenda for the next six years.

“The EU must lead the way, by engaging in an in-depth transformation of its own economy and society to achieve climate neutrality,” according to the draft.

The draft contained a footnote, saying the wording may be adjusted to reflect the results of the summit debate, which an EU source said would focus on the 2050 target.

Sixteen ‘on board’:

The World Wildlife Fund said Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Britain are “on board” for the 2050 goal.

The British government last week presented draft legislation to reduce carbon emissions to net zero by 2050.

The WWF said Austria and Ireland appeared increasingly likely to support the target. Still uncertain or hesitant, it added, are Belgium, Croatia, Estonia, Lithuania and Slovakia, though they are “unlikely to block” it. It said Bulgaria, the Czech Republic and Bulgaria remain “strongly opposed,” but Hungary and Romania could overcome opposition to do a deal.

Under the 2015 Paris climate change treaty, the EU pledged to reduce its carbon emissions by 40% below 1990 levels by 2030.

Bitcoin use causing huge CO2 emissions: Study

In News:

The use of cryptocurrency Bitcoin emits 22 megatonnes of carbon dioxide annually, comparable to the emissions of cities such as Las Vegas and Vienna.

Details:

Researchers in Germany carried out the most detailed calculation of the carbon footprint of the Bitcoin system to date. For a Bitcoin transfer to be executed and validated, a mathematical puzzle must be solved by an arbitrary computer in the global Bitcoin network. The network, which anyone can join, rewards the puzzle solvers in Bitcoin.

The computing capacity used in this process — known as Bitcoin mining — has increased rapidly in recent years.

Statistics show that it quadrupled in 2018 alone.

Consequently, the Bitcoin boom raises the question of whether the cryptocurrency is imposing an additional burden on the climate.

 

 

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