Drought Current Affairs - 2019
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El-Nino disturbs the atmospheric conditions across the world. El-Nino occurs every two-to-seven years with very strong El Niño’s occurring about every 15 years results in droughts, floods, wildfires, dust and snow storms, fish kill, and even elevated risks of civil conflicts.
The El-Nino is measured by studying the averages sea surface temperature anomalies over the central-eastern tropical Pacific. A study which analyses the impact of global warming on El-Nino has been published in the journal Nature in December 2018.
Findings of the Study
The important findings of the study are:
- The study serves a warning to the countries on all continents that suffer from these extreme weather events during strong El Niño events such as the ones during 1982-83, 1997-98 and 2015-16.
- The study notes that eagerly-awaited winter rain and snow storms over California did not occur during the latest extreme El Nino. Hence it is unclear whether global warming is already affecting El Nino and its remote impacts.
- The study argues that it is unclear if the impact of global warming on El Nino can easily be extracted considering its intrinsic tendencies and its dependency on so many factors that are not easily predictable.
The study concludes that various models to study El-Nino deliver a slightly different rendition of El Niño compared to nature. Hence it is imperative that models be held to very stringent standards on their performance of El Niño behaviour during historic periods, especially the 20th century, as a test of their reliability for future projections. As a result it is difficult to conclude how reliably the models can project El Niño response to global warming in addition to how the models perform in reproducing floods and droughts of 20th century.
According to United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) 2018 report, number of hungry people in world has risen for first time in more than decade. There are now approximately 38 million more undernourished people in the world, rising from 777 million in 2015 to 815 million in 2016.
The report is an overview of progress towards achieving 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (SDG), which consists of 17 goals and 169 targets. It was adopted at t UN Sustainable Development Summit on September 25, 2015. The deadline to meet them is 2030.
Key Highlights of report
Key Factors for rinsing Hunger: Conflict, drought and disasters linked to climate change are among the key factors causing this reversal in progress. Violent conflict is now one of the main drivers of food insecurity in 18 countries and it has led to the forced displacement of record high 68.5 million in 2017.
Improvements: The number of people living on less than $2 a day declined from 26.9% of the world’s population in 2000 to 9.2% in 2017. The mortality rate for children under five has dropped by almost 50% the least developed countries.
South Asia: The region (which also includes India) has seen child marriage rates plunge, with girl’s risk of getting married in childhood dropping by 40% from 2000 to 2017. The water stress levels for many countries in region are above 70%, indicating fast-approaching water scarcity. More than nine out of 10 people living in urban areas around world are breathing polluted air, with southern Asia scoring worst in this area. While electricity and sanitation deficits in south Asia are still poor, but efforts are being made to close the gap.
Need to achieve deadline: Just 12 years left to 2030 deadline, achieving 2030 SDG Agenda requires immediate and accelerated actions by countries along with collaborative partnerships among governments and stakeholders at all levels.