Environment Current Affairs 2017

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Majuli set to become country’s first ever carbon neutral district

Assam government has launched ‘Sustainable Action for Climate Resilient Development in Majuli’ (SACReD, Majuli) to make river island Majuli country’s first ever Carbon Neutral district by 2020.

The project has been initiated by Assam’s department of Environment and Forest to combat climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It presents a vision and roadap for a carbon netural Majuli.

Key Facts
  • SACReD, Majuli project is part of the French Development Agency assisted Assam Project on Forest and Biodiversity Conservation (APFBC).
  • Under it, mitigation through forestry activities and biodiversity conservation will be the starting points for carbon neutral agenda followed by other interventions over the next three years.
  • The project will be designed and implemented in partnership with other departments of island district for which a district level committee under chairmanship of Deputy Commissioner has been constituted.

About Majuli


Union Cabinet approves India’s approach to climate change negotiations at COP22 to UNFCCC

The Union Cabinet approved India’s approach to Climate Change Negotiations at the 22 Conference of Parties (COP) to United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), held in Marrakesh, Morocco in November 2016.

The approval aims to safeguard interest of poor and vulnerable groups by laying stress on adaptation, damage and loss while protecting the development space.

What is India’s approach?

Growth and development of a country are linked with Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions. The development space for India and developing countries needs to be preserved while combating the ill-effects of climate change. It seeks to address the adaptation needs of the country to combat the ill-effects of climate change and also enables the achievement of developmental goal. The approach incorporates the interest of all strata of society in the country.


India in the 22 COP to UNFCCC had participated constructively to ensure that actions are based on the principles of equity and climate justice. India in along with other developing countries was able to ensure that climate actions are based on the principles of equity and common but differentiated responsibilities (CBDR) and climate justice.


Ammonia detected for first time in upper Troposphere

Scientists for the first time have detected ammonia in the upper troposphere, the lowest atmospheric layer of Earth.

It was detected by team of researchers from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology in Germany. They had analysed satellite data collected from various parts of the troposphere between June 2002 to April 2012.

Key Findings 
  • The ammonia (NH3) was released into the atmosphere as agricultural emission from livestock farming and fertilisation.
  • It was found in highest concentrations above Asian monsoon regions of India and China. Similar levels of ammonia were detected nowhere else on Earth.
  • The ammonia concentration was up to 33 pptv (33 ammonia molecules per trillion air molecules) above Southeast China and North India.
  • The ammonia released due to agricultural processes survives all the way to the troposphere, where it ends up in monsoons.
  • It is not washed out completely when air ascends in monsoon circulation. It enters the upper troposphere from the boundary layer close to the ground, where the gas occurs at relatively high concentrations.
  • The detected ammonia may be playing a role in formation of aerosol (tiny particles made from super-fine solid particles) in the troposphere.
  • The aerosol may have influence cloud formation and altering properties of existing clouds
  • It is thought that accumulation of ammonia in the troposphere could have a cooling effect.
  • It can be compensating in part for the human-caused greenhouse effect. Thus, it can help to mitigate the effects of global warming

Earth’s troposphere: It extends from 7 to 20 km above sea level. It contains up to 80% of the planet’s atmosphere, and all weather phenomena.