Environment 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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World Biofuel Day: August 10

World Bio-fuel Day (The International Biodiesel Day) is observed every year on August 10 to create awareness about the importance of non-fossil fuels i.e. Green Fuels or Bio-fuels an alternative to conventional fossil fuels. Bio-fuels are renewable, bio-degradable, sustainable and environment friendly fuel. It can be seen as alternative to conventional fossil fuels.

Significance of Day

On this day in 1893, Sir Rudalph Diesel (inventor of the diesel engine) for the first time successfully ran mechanical engine with Peanut Oil. His research experiment had predicted that vegetable oil is going to replace the fossil fuels in the next century to fuel different mechanical engines.

Observances

In India, World Biofuel Day is being observed by the Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas. This year it had organized World Biofuel Day programme at Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi. It had conducted separate interactive sessions on ethanol, bio-diesel, bio-CNG and 2nd Generation biofuels.

Government initiatives to promote biofuels

Considering benefits of biofuels in reducing import dependency on crude oil, asmclean environment fuel and generating additional income to farmers and employment generation in rural areas, Government has undertaken number of initiatives such biofuels programme and increasing blending of biofuels etc.

The biofuels programme is in synergy with Government’s other initiatives for Make in India, Swachh Bharat and doubling farmers’ income by 2022. Government’s major interventions in this sector includes administrative price mechanism for ethanol, simplifying procurement procedures of OMCs, amending provisions of Industries (Development & Regulation) Act, 1951 and enabling lignocellulosic route for ethanol procurement.

Oil PSUs are also planning to set up 12 Second Generation (2G) Bio-refineries to augment ethanol supply and address environmental issues arising out of burning of agricultural biomass especially in North India. Government also has approved National Policy on Biofuels-2018 in June 2018. It aims at reaching 20% ethanol-blending and 5% biodiesel-blending by year 2030.

It also has  expanded scope of feedstock for ethanol production and has provided for incentives for production of advanced biofuels. Government also has increased price of C-heavy molasses-based ethanol to boost to Ethanol Blending Programme (EBP). It also has fixed price of B-heavy molasses-based ethanol and sugarcane juice-based ethanol for the first time at Rs. 47.40.

It also has reduced GST on ethanol for blending in fuel from 18% to 5%. Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas is making all efforts to increase ethanol supply for petrol and has taken several steps in this direction.

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Earth at risk of becoming irreversible hothouse: Study

According to recent study, earth is at the risk of entering an irreversible hothouse condition – where the global temperatures will rise by four to five degrees even if targets under 2015 Paris climate deal are met. Hothouse Earth climate will in long-term stabilise at global average of 4-5 degrees Celsius higher than pre-industrial temperatures with sea level 10-60 metres higher than today.

Key Highlights of Study

Currently, global average temperatures are just over 1 degree Celsius above pre-industrial and rising at 0.17 degree Celsius per decade. Keeping global warming to within 1.5-2 degrees Celsius as agreed in 2015 Paris climate agreement by around 200 countries may be more difficult than previously assessed.

Human-induced global warming of two degrees Celsius may trigger other Earth system processes often called feedbacks that can drive further warming even if greenhouse gases emissions are stopped. Avoiding this scenario will require redirection of human actions from exploitation to stewardship of Earth system.

The study consider ten natural feedback processes, some of which are tipping elements that lead to abrupt change if critical threshold is crossed. These feedbacks can turn from being friend that stores carbon to foe that emits it uncontrollably in warmer world.

These feedbacks include permafrost thaw, weakening land and ocean carbon sinks, loss of methane hydrates from ocean floor, increasing bacterial respiration in oceans, boreal forest dieback, Amazon rainforest dieback, reduction of northern hemisphere snow cover, loss of Arctic summer sea ice and reduction of Antarctic sea ice and polar ice sheets. These feedbacks tipping elements can potentially act like row of dominoes. Once one is pushed over, it pushes Earth towards another.

Month: Categories: Environment

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