Pacific Ocean Current Affairs - 2019

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Scientists Discover Oil-Eating Bacteria at the Bottom of the Ocean

Scientists from Ocean University in Qingdao, China and the University of East Anglia in Norwich, England have discovered a bacteria that eats oil.

Oil-Eating Bacteria

  • The oil eating bacteria was discovered in the western Pacific Ocean’s 10,994-meter-deep Mariana Trench.
  • The team from collected samples from the trench. In the samples, they found microorganisms that eat compounds similar to those in oil.

The expedition was organised by marine explorer and film director James Cameron.

Significance of the Discovery

Hydrocarbons are organic compounds that are made of only hydrogen and carbon atoms. They are found in many places, including crude oil and natural gas. These types of microorganisms which essentially eat compounds similar to those in oil and then use it for fuel can play a significant role in degrading oil spills in natural disasters such as BP’s 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Month: Categories: Science & TechnologyUPSC

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IMD Predicts near Normal Southwest Monsoon Season Rainfall for 2019

The India Meteorological Department (IMD) predicts near-normal monsoon, at 96% of long period average. IMD in its first stage operational forecast for the southwest monsoon season (June to September) rainfall has made the following predictions:

  • The South-west monsoon seasonal (June to September) rainfall over the country as a whole is likely to be near normal.
  • The monsoon seasonal (June to September) rainfall is likely to be 96% of the Long Period Average (LPA) with a model error of 5%.
  • The LPA of the season rainfall over the country as a whole for the period 1951-2000 was 89 cm.
  • Even though weak El Nino conditions are likely to prevail during the monsoon season its intensity is expected to be reduced in the later part of the season.

IMD will issue the second stage Monsoon-2019 Forecast during the first week of June 2019.

Monsoon Predictions

Monsoon Predictions are made using a set of algorithms and climate models, both analytical and numerical. Monsoon Mission, an initiative launched by the Ministry of Earth Sciences in 2017 has two state-of-the-art dynamical prediction systems for short range to medium, extended range and seasonal forecasts.

Meteorologists keep a track on five important parameters that can dictate the fate of India monsoon:

  • The gradient in the sea surface temperatures between the North Atlantic and North Pacific Oceans.
  • The sea surface temperature over the Equatorial Indian Ocean.
  • Sea-level pressure in East Asia.
  • Air temperature of the land surface in Northwest Europe.
  • The heat content over Equatorial Pacific measured by its warm water volume.

Studies have proposed including various other indicators, such as surface pressure over the Arabian Sea, in such forecasting models to eliminate biases and to make the predictions accurate.

Month: Categories: NationalUPSC

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