Malnutrition Current Affairs - 2019

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State of Global Air 2019

The US-based organisation Health Effects Institute (HEI) has released the State of Global Air 2019. The findings of the Study are:

  • Overall long-term exposure to outdoor and indoor air pollution contributed to nearly five million deaths from stroke, diabetes, heart attack, lung cancer, and chronic lung disease in 2017.
  • Out of these, three million deaths are directly attributed to PM 2.5, half of which were from India and China.
  • South Asia viz. Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan is the most polluted region, with over 1.5 million air-pollution-related deaths.
  • China and India together were responsible for over half of the total global attributable deaths from air pollution in 2017.
  • The life of a South Asian child born today is shortened by two years and six months growing up in current high levels of air pollution, while the global life expectancy loss is 20 months.
  • Worldwide, air pollution is responsible for more deaths than many better-known risk factors such as malnutrition, alcohol use and physical inactivity.
  • More people globally die from air pollution-related diseases than from road traffic injuries or malaria every year.
  • Nearly half of the world’s population, a total of 3.6 billion people — were exposed to household air pollution in 2017.
  • Rapid phasing out of fossil fuels could prevent three million premature deaths annually worldwide.

Findings about India

  • Exposure to outdoor and indoor air pollution contributed to over 1.2 million deaths in India in 2017.
  • Air pollution is the third highest cause of death among all health risks, ranking just above smoking in India.
  • In India, 60 per cent of the population still uses solid fuels. This underscores the importance of achieving success in government initiatives to address the problem.
  • Household air pollution can be a major source of impact in outdoor air, with indoor pollution emitted to the outdoor air being the largest cause of health impacts from among all sources in India, contributing to one in four outdoor air pollution-related deaths.

The report notes that India has initiated major steps to address pollution sources like the Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana, accelerated Bharat Stage VI clean vehicle standards and the new National Clean Air Programme. These and other future initiatives have the potential if fully implemented as part of a sustained commitment to air quality, to result in significant health benefits in coming years.

Month: Categories: Environment & BiodiversityUPSC

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State of the Global Climate in 2018

The World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) unveiled the State of the Global Climate in 2018 Report. The highlights of the report are:

  • Extreme weather events impacted close to 62 million people in 2018 and displaced more than two million as of September of that year.
  • The physical signs and socio-economic impacts of climate change are accelerating as record greenhouse gas concentrations drive global temperatures towards increasingly dangerous levels
  • 2018 witnessed a record sea level rise and high land and ocean temperatures.  2018 was the fourth warmest year on record, and the four warmest years on record all took place between 2015 and 2018. The average global temperature is now around one degree Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
  • 2018 also sets a new record for ocean heat in the top 700 meters (approximately 2,297 feet) and top 2,000 meters (approximately 6,562 feet).
  • Carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere have jumped from 357 parts per million (ppm) in 1994 to 405.5 ppm in 2017.
  • Flooding which was the climate-related disaster that impacted the largest number of people in 2018 more than 35 million.
  • The global mean sea level hit a new record and was around 3.7 millimetres higher than in 2017.
  • Arctic sea ice extent registered record lows for February and January of 2018. The maximum extent in March of that year was the third lowest in the 1979 to 2018 satellite record.
  • Climate change could reverse progress made in fighting global malnutrition. In 2017, the number of people suffering from malnutrition increased to 821 million, and this was partly due to by droughts related to El Niño.
  • Around 125 million more people were exposed to heat waves between 2000 and 2016and the average heat wave grew 0.37 days longer compared to heat waves between 1986 and 2008.

WMO has warned that the world would witness temperatures increase 3-5C by the end of the century. Unveiling the report the UN Chief called on countries to come with concrete plans at an upcoming climate summit.

Month: Categories: Environment & BiodiversityUPSC

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