Environment Current Affairs

Everest Glaciers may disappear by 2100 due to global warming: Study

A new study has warned that Glaciers in the Everest region of the Himalayas could shrink at least 70 per cent or even disappear entirely by 2100 due to global warming.

This study was undertaken by team of researchers from International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD).

For this study, ICIMOD researchers from Nepal, France and Netherlands had studied glaciers in the Dudh Kosi basin in the Nepal Himalaya.

Key facts

  • By the end of 2100, most of the glaciers in the Mount Everest region will disappear or drastically shrink due to temperatures increase because of continuous rise in greenhouse-gas emissions.
  • The estimated 5,500 glaciers in the Hindu Kush-Himalayan (HKH) region and many of the world’s tallest peaks may reduce their volume by 70 percent to 99 percent by 2100.
  • The rate of disappearance will depend on how much greenhouse-gas emissions continue to rise and indirectly will affect temperature, snowfall and rainfall in this region.
  • Increased temperatures due to global warming will not only increase the rates of snow and ice melt, but can also result in a change of precipitation from snow to rain at critical elevations, where glaciers are concentrated.
  • It will greatly affect the farming and hydropower generation downstream of the Himalayan peaks. While, avalanches and earthquakes in this region also can breach the dams, causing catastrophic floods.
  • It can also result in the creation and growth of lakes dammed by glacial debris.

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Himachal Pradesh government sets up satellite tracking system to check forest fire

Himachal Pradesh forest department has set up the satellite tracking system to check and find the forest fire incidents during summer season.

The main aim of this tracking system is to protect the precious forest in the state from forest fires. The system is designed in such a way that, occurrence of any fire in the vicinity of forests, will immediately send SMS alerts to forest officials.

Forest department also has constituted 700 participatory committees for people participation. Along with it, more than 90 water tanks have been constructed and 100 watch towers had been erected so that the people could easily detect fire incidents.

Apart from this tracking system, state forest department also has launched awareness campaign throughout the state for protection of forests from fire and involving local people in detecting fire incidents.

Thus this initiative will help to protect the precious forest cover in Himachal Pradesh which is the main wealth and identification of this hill state. It should be noted that in every summer the forest fire is a big challenge before the state forest department and now by using satellite tracking system, continuous vigil will be kept on the forests.

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Gujarat Government initiates Sloth Habitat Project

Gujarat Government has initiated Sloth Habitat Project in Jessore wildlife sanctuary to provide better habitat to sloth bears.

The project aims at restoring the ecology of sloth bears in the sanctuary by planting fruit trees and removing unwanted plant species that have intruded in the habitat.

The planted trees will basically serve as food habitat for the sloth bears as their population increased. Nearly 293 sloth bears were found in the state forests in last census of 2011.

Unwanted encroached plant species like Lantenaspp and Prospisjuli-flora, which is called as Gando Baval in local language will be removed.

Background

State government’s decision to initiate this project comes after pilot project in this regard has shown positive results. This pilot project was implemented in Banaskantha district by state forest department in coordination with the Gujarat Ecology Commission (GEC).

However, the final testing will be conducted in the forests of Jessore sanctuary in monsoon season from June or July and after necessary process the project will be handed over to the state forest department for implementation on large area.

About Sloth bears

  • Sloth bear (Melursus ursinus) is a nocturnal insectivorous species of bears found in India.
  • Categorised as vulnerable species in International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red list.
  • It is black and dark brown in colour with yellowish patch on the chest and has large feet and claw.
  • Sloth bear is omnivorous animal and mainly eat honey, termites, fruits (mangoes and figs) and grass.

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