Climate Change Current Affairs - 2019

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World’s Highest Weather Stations installed on Mt Everest

The National Geographic Society (NGS), a US based non-profit scientific and educational organizations announced successful installation of world’s highest operating weather stations on Mount Everest. This installation was part of National Geographic and Rolex’s Perpetual Planet Extreme Expedition to Everest.

Key Highlights

Climate scientists and the multi-disciplinary team created the history by installing world’s highest operating weather station at Mount Everest’s Death Zone, some other automated stations on other parts of the mountain.

Station Locations: These world’s two highest operating automated weather stations (a 7-foot- building) were installed at Balcony area (8,430 m) and South Col (7,945 m)that can withstand extreme winds and cold weather. Three other weather stations were also placed on Mount Everest at Camp II (6,464 m), Everest Base Camp(5,315 m) and Phortse (3,810 m).

Balcony area weather station is first weather station installed at elevation of more than 8,000 metres thus it will also be 1st to sample stratosphere. It is significant as natural variations in atmospheric boundaries change over time.

Functions: It will provide researchers, climbers, and public with near real-time information about mountain conditions. Each weather station will record data on temperature, relative humidity (amount of water vapour present in air), barometric pressure, wind speed, as well as wind direction.  They will also give scientists direct observations to understand jet stream, and will help them understand how the Himalayas are getting affected by climate change. Data so collected from these weather stations will help communities respond to climate risks that threaten lives and livelihoods of more than 1 billion people in region.

Significance: The stations installation is aimed at breaking new grounds in monitoring and understanding of climate change as they will help continuously monitor upper reaches of atmosphere (such as stratosphere), which is critical to tracking and predicting weather patterns around the world.

National Geographic and Rolex’s Perpetual Planet Extreme Expedition to Everest

It was multipurpose scientific expedition held from April to June 2019. It was most comprehensive single scientific expedition to mountain in history. It included International team of scientists, climbers and story-tellers, led by researchers from National Geographic Society (NGS) and Tribhuvan University in Nepal and supported in partnership with Rolex.

The series of experiments that were part of expedition included collecting ice core samples (at 8020 metres) from highest point ever and performing a helicopter-based LIDAR scan from most extreme height ever accomplished.

Month: Categories: Environment & BiodiversityPlaces in News

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Global Peace Index 2019: India ranked 141

In the recently released Global Peace Index (GPI) of Institute for Economics and Peace (IEP), India’s rank slipped by five places to 141 among 163 countries on GPI 2019 and Iceland was ranked 1st. India was ranked 136 in GPI 2018.

Key Findings of Report

Most Peaceful Country: Iceland with rank 1st remains the most peaceful country in world. It has held this rank since 2008. Other countries at top of GPI are New Zealand, Austria, Portugal, and Denmark.

Least Peaceful Country: As per GPI 2019 Afghanistan is now ranked as least peaceful country in world. It has replaced Syria, which is now the 2nd least peaceful. Other least peaceful countries includes South Sudan, Yemen, and Iraq.

Countries with highest risk of multiple climate hazards: includes China, Japan, India, Philippines, Myanmar, Vietnam, Indonesia, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Countries with largest total military expenditure: United States (US), China, India, Russia and Saudi Arabia.

South Asia: Bhutan topped the index in South Asia with its 15th rank. Other countries of region include Sri Lanka (72), Nepal (76) and Bangladesh (101). The neighbouring country Pakistan is ranked 153rd on index.

Both India and Pakistan had highest rating at five in the score for internal conflicts fought. Only deaths from internal conflict showed improvement, with fewer fatalities in Afghanistan, Pakistan and India than the year before.

The report observed that China, India and Bangladesh score in bottom half of GPI and have significant exposure to climate hazards, with over 393 million people in high climate hazard areas

Report Analysis

As per the index findings, although global peacefulness improved for first time in past five years but world now remains less peaceful than a decade ago.

The GPI 2019 report includes new research on possible effects of climate change on peace. It also revealed that since 2008 global peacefulness has deteriorated by 3.78%.

While the state sponsored terror has declined significantly over the last decade, with 62 countries improving their scores and only 42 deteriorated but imprisonment data shows the opposite trend with 95 countries increasing the imprisonment rate compared to 65 that improved.

The score of South Asia for every indicator in ongoing conflict is less peaceful than total global average, with four out of six deteriorating in 2018 itself.

About GPI

It was founded by Steve Killelea, an Australian technology entrepreneur and philanthropist.

The report covers 99.7% of world’s population. It uses 23 quantitative and qualitative indicators from highly respected sources to compile the index.

Institute for Economics & Peace (IEP), an Australian think tank ranks countries according to their level of peacefulness. This is based on three thematic domains-

  • level of societal safety and security
  • extent of ongoing domestic and international conflict
  • degree of militarisation.

Month: Categories: Reports & IndicesUPSC

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