Global Warming Current Affairs - 2020

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Sikkim Glaciers are being lost at faster rate than other parts of Himalayan parts

The Scientists of Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology, Dehradun conducted a study and have found that glaciers in Sikkim region are melting at faster rates as compared to other Himalayan regions.

Key Findings

The study has assessed around 23 glaciers and their spread since 1991 to 2015. The larger glaciers are thinning in size and smaller glaciers are retreating. During these years, major shift in behavior was noted since 2000. Since 2000, the western and central Himalayan glaciers have sowed reduced melting. Whereas in case of Sikkim Glaciers, the melting rate has increased. Summer temperature increase is the main reason for glacier changes.

Study-First of its Kind

This study is the first in India to study about multiple parameters of glaciers namely length, Debris cover, area, glacial lakes, snow line altitude.

Wadia Institute of Himalayan Technology

The Institute operates under Department of Science and Technology. It was established in 1968. The institute provides advisory and consultancy services to various organizations. It also gives advises on geotechnical feasibility of hydel projects, their foundation and site selection.

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Facts Box: Methanotrophic Bacteria Culture first time in India

The Agharkar Research Institute of Pune has isolated 45 strains of methanotrophic bacteria. These bacteria are capable of reducing methane emissions in rice plants.

Highlights

Apart from isolating the strains, the scientists have also created methanotrophic culture. The isolated bacteria were from southern and western India.

What are Methanotrophs?

Methanotrophs are environmental organisms that have a major role in cycling of methane. They oxidize methane in the environment. The methanotrophic bacteria oxidize methane through anaerobic metabolism. The methanotrophs are used as bio-inoculants.

What are Bio-Inoculants?

Bio-Inoculant are strains of bacteria, algae or fungi. They take in nitrogen from atmosphere and prepare nitrates required for plants. By this, use of fertilizers are reduced. They also increase zinc and phosphorous availability for plants.

Benefits

After carbon-dioxide, methane is the second largest green house gas contributor. With the use of methanotrophic bacteria in agriculture, emission of methane shall be greatly reduced. Methane traps 84 times of heat trapped by carbon-dioxide.

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