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.

New Kiln technology in Punjab: 70% emissions cut

Following orders from NGT (National Green Tribunal) and CPCB (Central Pollution Control Board) the Punjab Government had ordered the closure of traditional kilns in March 2019. This was mainly to control the toxicity of the NCR (National Capital Region). The stubble burning, industrial and kiln smoke from Punjab, brought by the retreating monsoon during this time, slogged Delhi making lives difficult. Schools are closed and the routine normal life is highly disrupted.

Scenario in Punjab

The new Kiln Technology cuts the emissions by 70-80%. It also saves fuel for the users. The districts of Punjab like Barnala and Sangpur have seen 100% conversion. Around 800-900 kilns in Punjab are yet to convert to the new technology according to Department of Science and Technology (DST).

The kiln industry in Punjab employs 5 lakh workers. It contributes to 8% of brick production in the country producing 15-20 billion bricks.

Implementation

The new technology is being implemented by the DST. The DST provides technical assistance to the traditional kilns to get converted. This is being done through the Punjab State Council for Science and Technology

About the Technology

In the new kiln technology, the bricks are arranged in zig-zag pattern. This allows hot air to cover long path unlike traditional kilns. The heat transfer is improved due to zig-zag pattern. This makes the operation more efficient and reduces coal consumption by 20%. It also uses fans to regulate air.

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Switzerland Glaciers Shrink 10%

Switzerland Glaciers have lost a tenth in their volume in the past five years. The melting is the largest in the last 5 years of observation. The Cryospheric commission at the Swiss Academy of Sciences published the annual study on the state of glaciers. According to the study, around 20 glaciers have shown melt rates that have reached record levels

Highlights of the study

  • In April and May the snow cover in the glacier was 20% to 40% higher than usual and reached depths of 6 meters.
  • In late June and July, the volume of snow and ice that melted was equal to the country’s total annual consumption of drinking water
  • Though the snow cover is higher, the ice that is lost has increased voluptuously. In the last 12 months Switzerland has lost 2% of total glacier volume despite of increased snowing.
  • The rate of melting has also increased by 10% in the last 5 years

About Swiss Glaciers

There are more than 500 glaciers in the country. There are campaigns and awareness programs being conducted all over the country about the fast melting of the glaciers. Recently, “Funeral March” was undertaken to mark the disappearance of Pizol Glacier in the beginning of 21st century.

More than 4,000 glaciers are to disappear from the Alps at the end of this century if green house gas emissions are not controlled

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