Australia Current Affairs - 2020

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14,100 tonnes of the rare metal, Lithium Reserves found in India

The researchers at the India’s Atomic Energy Commission have found Lithium Reserves of 14,100 tonnes in Mandya. Mandya is 100 km away from Bengaluru, Karnataka. Being a very rare metal Lithium is mainly used in manufacturing batteries for electric vehicles.

Highlights

The reserves found is very little as compared to the world’s leading producers of Lithium. Of the major producers Chile produces 8.6 million tonnes, Australia produces 2.8 million tonnes and 1.7 million tonnes in Argentina.

India’s Scenario

Currently, India imports 1.2 billion USD worth lithium batteries (2019). This has increased significantly. In 2017, India imported 384 million USD worth lithium batteries.

Issues

Though India has very little reserves of Lithium and are spread in different places, they can be of significant use. But these reserves are not yet mapped. These reserves can be of good help to promote the clean-energy wave in India. GoI is on the path of implementing 1.4 billion USD plan to make India a manufacturing hub of electric vehicles.

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Australian Koalas become endangered in bush fires

The Australian Koalas population suffered an extraordinary hit in the bush fires of Australia. It took 3 months for the firemen to control the fires.

Highlights

Australia recorded 2019 as its hottest year on record. Around 1.25 billion animals are believed to be dead in bush fires. It has also destroyed more than 10 million hectares of land.

The Australian Koalas are to be put under “endangered” from “vulnerable” as 30% of their habitat were destroyed by the fires. The Australian Government has announced 50 million Australian Dollars emergency fund to save the wildlife affected due to the fires.

Australian Koalas

The Australian Koalas is herbivorous animals that are native to Australia. They are found in coastal areas of New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria and South Australia. The IUCN red list currently puts Australian Koala under Vulnerable Category.

Why were the bush fires severe?

The Indian Ocean Dipole was in its positive phase in 2019. This means, the eastern Indian Ocean (lying in the north west of Australia) was cooler than the western Indian. This drew away the moisture from Australia raising temperatures in Australia. The westerlies blowing hot air into the continent increased the fires further fanning them.

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