Environment & Biodiversity Current Affairs - 2019

Latest Environment Current Affairs 2019 for UPSC Exams, Bank Exams, Civil Services, SSC and other Competitive Exams. Latest developments in Environment and Climate Change 2019 all important national updates in Environment events for the year 2019.

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Cyclone Fani likely to intensify into ‘Very Severe Cyclonic Storm’

According to The India Met Department (IMD) Cyclone Fani in South East Bay of Bengal is likely to intensify from a severe cyclonic storm into a ‘very severe cyclonic storm’ as it approaches coastal Tamil Nadu by 30 April. Later, IMD issued red alert for Kerala and Tamil Nadu and asked fishermen to avoid going into sea in South East Bay and adjoining equatorial Indian Ocean and those already at sea to return immediately till further notice.

A very severe cyclonic storm means Fani will get ‘category three’ storm status on five-step Saffir-Simpson scale (or Saffir–Simpson hurricane wind scale).

The Cyclone Fani

  • It was formed at low pressure region in south east of Sumatra (Indonesian island), which further intensified into a depression.
  • It is expected to hit Tamil Nadu at speeds of over 100 kmph by 30april and is unlikely to cross Tamil Nadu coast and south Andhra coast.
  • It will result in light to moderate rainfall in coastal Tamil Nadu, Puducherry and Kerala and rainfall at isolated places in South Coastal Andhra Pradesh.
  • Currently moving in north westwards direction at a speed of 21 kilometres per hour, it is expected to slowly change direction after May 1 to north and north-eastward
  • In past similar cyclones observed during summer months which recurve leave atmosphere high and dry and results in soaring temperatures after its passes. It is yet to be seen if cyclone Fani is going to repeat same.

Cyclone in recent years:

  • In 2017 Cyclone Ockhi hit parts of Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Sri Lanka.
  • Cyclone Gaja, Cyclones Sagar (in Somalia), Cyclone Mekunu (striked Oman), Cyclone Luban (affected the Arabian Peninsula) and Cyclone Titli (made landfall near Palasa, Andhra Pradesh)were part of 2018 North Indian Ocean cyclone season.
  • Cyclone Pabuk originated over the Gulf of Thailand, in 2019

The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale

  • It classifies hurricanes or Western Hemisphere tropical cyclones that exceed intensities of tropical depressions and tropical storms into five categories or 1 to 5 rating based on intensities of their sustained winds.
  • It estimates potential property damage.
  • Cyclones reaching Category 3 and higher are considered alarming because of their potential for significant loss of life and damage.

Tropical Cyclone

  • They are also known as Hurricanes (in Atlantic), Typhoons (in Western Pacific and South China Sea), Willy-willies (in Western Australia).
  • It is an intense circular storm that originates over warm tropical oceans and is characterized by low atmospheric pressure, high winds, and heavy rain.
  • It draws energy from sea surface, maintains its strength as long as it remains over warm water, and generates winds that can exceed 119 km (74 miles) per hour.

Month: Categories: Environment & Biodiversity


Global Warming Impacts Marine Ecosystem Most: Study

According to research study conducted by Rutgers University in US and published in Journal of Nature, marine ecosystem and sea creatures are most affected by global warming. It is first research which compares cold-blooded marine and land species sensitivity to global warming and their ability of finding refuge from heat even while staying in their normal habitats.

It studied worldwide research on nearly 400 species from lizards and fish to spiders. Researchers calculated safe conditions for 88 marine and 294 land species and coolest temperatures available to each species during hottest parts of year.

Key finding

According to study, global warming can wipe out two times more ocean-dwelling species than land and dwelling species from their habitats.

Vulnerability faced by sea creatures might impact human communities relying on fish and shellfish for food and economic activity.

Loss of marine population can deplete species genetic diversity, cascade impacts on their predators and prey and can alter ecosystems that benefits human society.

Reason: It is because unlike land animals who can hide from heat in forests, shaded areas or underground, many sea animals are not open to such luxury. On average this makes marine species, more likely to live on edge of dangerously high temperatures.

Consequences: Loss of population can deplete species’ genetic diversity, have cascading impacts on their predators and prey and may significantly impact human communities that rely on fish and shellfish for food and economic activity.

Way Forward

If oceans will continue supporting human well-being, nutrition and economic activity, then new conservation efforts and more research will be required. Also, with advancement of climate change, it is important to develop understanding about which species and ecosystems will be most severely affected by global warming, as it will further guide conservation and management efforts.

Marine Ecosystem

They are Earth’s largest aquatic ecosystems and are most prevalent out of all types of ecosystems on planet. They have a high salt content in contrast with freshwater ecosystems, which have lower salt content. They are filled with life, provide nearly half of Earth’s oxygen and are home to wide varieties of species.

Month: Categories: Environment & BiodiversityUPSC