Environment Current Affairs - 2020

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.

Ozone Hole: Smallest on record

NASA reported that ozone hole near south pole is in its smallest size since it was discovered. In 2006, the hole was 10.3 million square miles. However, recently it has reduced to 3.6 million square miles. Scientists say that the hole is smaller than it was found in 1985.

Every year, the ozone hole reaches its peak in September and October and disappears by late December.

Significance

Earth’s ozone layer shields life from harmful solar radiation. The man-made chlorine compounds that can last in air for 100 years nibbled at the Ozone particles. This led to thinning of the Ozone layer in the Southern Hemisphere.

After it was found in 1985, the International Montreal Protocol was framed in 1987. It is the only protocol ratified at the United Nations that bans chlorine compounds in refrigerators and aerosols.

Unfortunately, the reason for the reduction of ozone hole is not the steps to reduce the usage of chlorine compounds. It is because of climate change.

Climate Change-a Reason

Chlorine in air requires cold temperatures in stratosphere to form chemical clouds that actually react with ozone. The clouds now go away as they are being warmed up due to elevated temperatures. The temperatures were 29 degrees warmer than the average. The winds dropped from 161 miles per hour to 67 miles per hour.

Though Climate change is the sole reason, it is being hastened by global warming. The Southern Polar Vortex just like the northern one started to break down. This is the main reason for the sudden and huge reduction in ozone hole.

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Facts Box: Vizag’s Battle against Plastics

The Vishakhapatnam Municipal Corporation has achieved great results from its long battle against plastic bags. The measures taken by the corporation and their strict implementation is the sole success in the battle.

Measures against use of Plastics

The corporation framed strict guidelines, fines against the local community using plastic bags. Especially, they were extended to the shop-keepers and vendors.

Fine

A fine of Rs 2,000/- was imposed on persons found using plastic carry bags. The Corporation has collected Rs 20 Lakh as fine in the last few months. An alternate of providing reusable bags on payment was encouraged among the shop keepers and street vendors.

Strict Vigil

The sellers, shop keepers and vendors were scrutinized largely as compared to the public. There around 40,000 shops in and around Vizag. Though it is difficult to keep an eye on every shop, around 20,000 of them are under strict vigil.

BRING YOUR OWN (BYO)

The Bring Your Own Campaign that was launched locally was a huge success. The effect is visible even at departmental stores.

After the imposition of the strict rules, the plastic waste being collected has greatly reduced. The Vizag Municipal Corporation collects 1,000 tons of garbage every day. Of this the plastic waste that contributed 10% has reduced to 6% after the implementation of rules and regulations. Of this 8% of the plastic waste collected is being used as substitute for bitumen in laying roads.

Recycling

Apart from this, the corporation had also encouraged recycling greatly. With the help of NGOs, the corporation has set up few recycling plants. Though their capacities are low (about 15-20 tons a day), they are expected to grow eventually.

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