Environment - Current Affairs Questions and Answers

Dear Readers, Welcome to daily Current Affairs quiz questions with answers on Environment. These objective type (MCQ) questions on Environment are useful for competitive exams like IBPS, Bank PO, SBI PO, RRB, RBI, LIC, Specialist Officer, Clerk, SSC, UPSC, Railway etc.

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Learn and prepare with these daily current affairs quiz and practice test questions on Environment to crack current affairs section of any competitive exam.

1)   Which country has the highest incidence of pollution linked deaths in the world?
- Published on 23 Oct 17

a. China
b. Bangladesh
c. India
d. Kenya
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: India

Explanation:
India is ranked number one globally on the toll taken by pollution, with a staggering 2.51 million deaths in 2015, an international commission has reported.

Of an estimated 9 million premature deaths linked to pollution worldwide, the country accounted for about 28%.

Air pollution, the leading cause, killed 6.5 million people around the world. India and Bangladesh recorded the largest increases in pollution-related deaths among the 10 most populous countries for the year.

The results of the study were published in the journal The Lancet.

Nearly a quarter of all deaths in India in 2015 were attributed to pollution; Pakistan, China, Bangladesh, and Kenya too reported one in four deaths due to the same cause.

Again, air pollution took the heaviest toll in India (1.81 million), followed by water (0.64 million).

Ambient air pollution was the leading cause in the country, while deaths from household air polluted by solid fuels came a close second, at 0.97 million.

Half a million deaths were caused by unsafe water sources, while unsafe sanitation was behind 0.32 million deaths.

China had the second highest mortality from air pollution at 1.58 million, while water pollution in the neighbouring country was linked to about 34,000 deaths, compared with 0.64 million in India.

Particulate matter pollution in the air was severe in several cities in India and China: average annual concentrations of PM 2.5 (particulates less than 2.5 microns in width) were greater than 100 microgrammes per cubic metre.

More than half of all global deaths due to ambient air pollution occurred in India and China during the year of study, the report said.

Diseases Due to Air Pollution: Know More

  • Deaths linked to air pollution were a result of heart disease, stroke, lung cancer, and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
  • Pollution has been responsible for most non-communicable disease deaths, The Lancet said, pointing to industrialisation, urbanisation and globalisation as the drivers, and calling for remedial measures.
  • In 2015, all forms of pollution combined were responsible for 21% of all deaths from cardiovascular disease, 26% due to ischaemic heart disease, 23% due to stroke, 51% due to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and 43% due to lung cancer.
  • Pollution was also responsible for three times as many deaths as AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria combined.
  • The Lancet Commission on Pollution and Health is a two-year project that involved over 40 international health and environmental authors.


2)   Which species of geckos or house lizards have been found in Chhattisgarh in Oct 2017?
- Published on 23 Oct 17

a. Hemidactylus kangerensis
b. Eublepharis macularius
c. Hemitheconyx caudicinctus
d. Rhacodactylus ciliatus
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Hemidactylus kangerensis

Explanation:
Geckos or house lizards usually evoke in us varying degrees of disdain. But a team of scientists’ fascination for these reptiles led them to discover a new species from the Eastern Ghats.

The Kanger valley rock gecko Hemidactylus kangerensis is the newest addition to India’s lizard species.

According to a paper published in the taxonomic journal Comptes Rendus Biologies on Wednesday, researchers, led by Zeeshan Mirza of the National Centre for Biological Sciences, discovered the gecko from Chhattisgarh’s Kanger Ghati National Park.

Though named after this park, the species is also found in Jagdalpur and Sukma in Chhattisgarh and in Khamman in the adjoining State of Telangana, which are part of the Eastern Ghats.

Growing to over eight inches long, the adult Kanger valley rock gecko is fairly large.

The researchers found them in abandoned houses in the national park and juveniles on termite mounds and tree trunks.

Though several researchers and reptile buffs had spotted the species before, they had mistaken it for the commonly-found rock gecko which it resembles.

The distinct black-bordered beige bands that the new species sports right from its neck to its tail tip and specific scales on its thighs (which are visible only on closer inspection) set the Kanger valley rock gecko apart from the commonly-found rock gecko.

According to the researchers, the discovery highlights the need for dedicated surveys across the Eastern Ghats, where biodiversity has not been quantified too well.

Most areas here also need protection from various anthropogenic pressures.


3)   Paris City Hall is planning to ban gas powered cars by which year?
- Published on 18 Oct 17

a. 2020
b. 2030
c. 2040
d. 2050
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: 2030

Explanation:
In its latest initiative to reduce pollution, Paris City Hall is planning to ban gas-powered cars by 2030.

The controversial move follows Mayor Anne Hidalgo's plan to ban all diesel cars from the city by 2024, when Paris will host the Summer Olympics.

Parisians have planned the end of thermic vehicle use, and therefore of fossil energies, by 2030."

Hidalgo has angered many Parisians with her efforts to make Paris a greener city, notably by adding cycling paths that have slowed vehicle traffic along the Seine River.


4)   Which type of whale has a brain six times larger than that of human beings?
- Published on 18 Oct 17

a. Killer Whale
b. Blue Whale
c. Humpback Whale
d. None of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: None of the above

Explanation:
Cetaceans - whales and dolphins - are among the brainiest of beings.

In terms of sheer brain size, the sperm whale is top on Earth, with a brain six times larger than that of a human being.

Now, scientists have identified key differences among cetaceans linked to brain size.

A study of 90 cetacean species found that those with larger brains exhibit greater complexity in social structures as well as behaviours, with species like the killer whale and sperm whale leading the way.

Dolphin and whale societies are at least as complex as what we have observed in primates.

They are extremely playful, they learn from each other, have complex communication.

One problem for understanding just how smart they are is how difficult it is to observe them and to understand their marine world.

Therefore, we have only a glimpse of what they are capable of.

The researchers created a comprehensive database of brain size, social structures and cultural behaviours across cetacean species.

The group of species with the largest brain size relative to body size was the large whale-like dolphins such as the killer whale, the similar-looking false killer whale and the pilot whale.

Killer whales have cultural food preferences, have matriarchs that lead and teach other group members, and cooperatively hunt.

In terms of intra-species food preferences, certain killer whale populations, also known as orcas, prefer salmon whereas others prefer seals or other whales or sharks depending on their group’s culture.

Other big-brained cetaceans also demonstrate sophisticated behaviours.

Mother sperm whales organise babysitting duties using other members of their pod to protect their young while they hunt for food down deep.

The distinctive vocalisations sperm whales use to communicate sometimes differ depending upon where they live, much like regional dialects in human language.


5)   What are waterwheel plants?
- Published on 18 Oct 17

a. Rootless plants
b. Floating plants
c. Mountain plants
d. Aquatic plants
e. Only a, b and d
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Only a, b and d

Explanation:
Researchers have found a large number of an endangered species known as waterwheel plants, in a wetland in China's Heilongjiang province.

Researchers from the Qixinghe National Nature Reserve identified more than 5,000 waterwheel plants scattered in an area of over 600 sq.metres in the reserve during an observation tour between September 20 and 23.

Waterwheel is a rootless and free-floating plant, like an aquatic Venus flytrap.

It was under class one national protection in 1999 and listed as an endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Waterwheel plants have strict requirements for water, which needs to be shallow, warm and extremely clean.

China has 577 nature reserves and 468 wetland parks. The push for preservation has gone as far as becoming part of the criteria for assessing local government officials in some regions.

Waterwheel plants are found in Europe, Asia, Africa and Australia.


6)   Which of the following refer to clouded leopards?
- Published on 18 Oct 17

a. Kelral
b. Sanghar
c. Marbled cats
d. Only a and c
e. All of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: All of the above

Explanation:
Mizoram's Dampa Tiger Reserve now holds the distinction of housing the highest number of clouded leopards in Southeast Asia.

The density of population of clouded leopards, locally known as 'Kelral', is 5.14 per 100 sq km in the reserve, situated along the Mizoram-Bangladesh-Tripura.

The area of the reserve is around 80 sq km, the release said, adding, the density of population of marbled cats, also known as 'Sanghar', is 5.03 per 100 sq km.

The state's environment, forests and climate change department placed several camera traps at different places across the Dampa Tiger Reserve, which captured the clouded leopards 84 times and the marbled cats 36 times.


7)   Which three species are collectively called chondrichthyans?
- Published on 12 Oct 17

a. Sharks, rays and chimaeras
b. Sharks, rays and dolphins
c. Sharks, rays and whales
d. Sharks, rays and seals
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Sharks, rays and chimaeras

Explanation:
Are these three marine species extinct?

Three marine species, the Pondicherry Shark, the Red Sea Torpedo and the Tentacled Butterfly Ray might have become possibly extinct in the oceanic waters of the Arabian Seas Region (ASR) since no evidence of its existence has surfaced in the last three decades.

Scientists are also worried about the possible disappearance of other species from the region even before they were known to science.

The first ever assessment of the conservation status of sharks, rays, and chimaeras (collectively called chondrichthyans) in the region has left the scientists grim-faced as 78 of the 153 species revived were found fighting for survival.

The Guitar fish found in coastal waters of Kerala and Tamil Nadu and the Ganges Shark found in Arabian Sea were classified as Critically Endangered, among others.

The extinction risk and conservation status of all chondrichthyans naturally reproducing in the region were reviewed by the IUCN Species Survival Commission Shark Specialist Group.

Though 184 species of sharks, rays, and chimaeras occur in the region, only the confirmed 153 species were considered for the analysis.

The ASR covers the waters of the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden, Arabian Sea, Sea of Oman, and the Gulf.

The region is also bordered by 20 countries including India, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Israel and Pakistan.

The assessment also revealed that 27 species were near threatened and 19 others were of least conservation concerns.

It was also known that less was known about 29 to evaluate their risk of extinction.

By-catch was found to be the biggest threat to the majority of chondrichthyan fishes besides the “pressure from artisanal and industrial fisheries.”

The assessors were of the view that the increasing decline in the extent and quality of habitat as a result of coastal development and other anthropogenic disturbances, particularly for those critical habitats that many species depend on coral reefs, mangroves, sea grasses pose a serious threat to the survival of many species.

India, which banned the exploitation and trade of 10 species of sharks and rays, had in 2015 banned the export and import of shark fins of all species.


8)   For the first time, scientists have created algae footwear that is _________.
- Published on 11 Oct 17

a. Eco-friendly
b. Economical
c. Biodegradable
d. Both a and c
e. All of the above
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: Both a and c

Explanation:
Scientists have developed algae-based, renewable flip-flops that could be an environment friendly alternative to petroleum-based slippers-the go-to footwear in countries like India and China.

Three billion petroleum-based flip-flops are produced worldwide each year, eventually ending up as non-biodegradable trash in landfills, rivers and oceans around the globe.

These are the shoes of a fisherman and a farmer.

This is the number one footwear in India, China and in Africa.

One of the largest pollutants in the ocean is polyurethane from flip-flops and other shoes that have been washed or thrown into rivers and flow into the ocean.

The flip flops consist of a flexible, spongy slipper and a simple strap.

Petroleum comes from algae that lived in the ancient oceans hundreds of millions of years ago.

A lot of people do not know that. But what that means is that anything we can make from petroleum we can ultimately make from algae.

The flip-flops, shoe soles and other polyurethane products scientists make from living algae oil are "sustainable" because the carbon to construct them was pulled from the atmosphere, rather than underground oil reserves.

Scientists are seeking to also make them "biodegradable," by chemically converting the algae oil into polyurethane in manner that will allow the carbon bonds to be degraded by microorganisms.


9)   National Mission for Clean Ganga has approved how many projects worth INR 700 crore?
- Published on 10 Oct 17

a. 7
b. 8
c. 10
d. 11
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: 8

Explanation:
National Mission for Clean Ganga has approved eight projects worth INR 700 crore, out of which four pertain to sewage management in Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and West Bengal, three are related to treatment of drains through bio-remediation and one of inventorisation and surveillance of river Ganga.

On sewage management front, a project for pollution abatement in river Ganga at Bally in West Bengal has been approved at an estimated cost of INR 200.07 crore that would include construction of a 40 MLD STP under Hybrid Annuity based PPP model among other works.

Similarly, construction of a 65 MLD STP under Hybrid Annuity model has been approved for Bhagalpur in Bihar at an estimated project cost of INR 268.49 crore.

In Uttar Pradesh, sewage treatment related works at an estimated cost of INR 213.62 crore have also been approved that includes construction of two STPs (28 MLD + 05 MLD) in Farrukabad and one 2 MLD STP at Bargadiya drain in Fatehpur.

Pollution abatement works for river Ganga like interception, diversion and treatment of sewage in Bithoor have also been approved at an estimated cost of INR 13.40 crore.

Three projects of treatment of drains using bio-remediation technology have also been given a green signal at an estimated cost of INR 4.29 crore.

These are for Rajapur drain and Digha drain in Patna and Laksar drain in Haridwar.

One project for pollution inventorization, assessment and surveillance on river Ganga has also been approved at an estimated cost of INR 42.9 crore.

Continuation of an ongoing exercise, the project aims to strengthen environmental regulation and water quality monitoring vis-à-vis river Ganga.


10)   What is Impatiens walongensis?
- Published on 09 Oct 17

a. New species of balsam
b. A type of butterfly
c. A marine creature
d. A bacteria
Answer  Explanation 

ANSWER: New species of balsam

Explanation:
In August 2017, a research paper describing Impatiens walongensis, a new species of balsam, was published in the peer-reviewed scientific journal Phytotaxa.

The species was discovered from Arunachal Pradesh’s Anjaw district, one of India’s easternmost.

About a meter tall with ovate elliptical leaves and light pink flowers, the plant was named after Walong, the locality where it was found.

Impatiens walongensis is the latest but not the only new discovery of balsam in Arunachal Pradesh.

In 2017 alone, scientists discovered and published their findings on five other new species of balsam, taking the total number of balsam species discovered this year to six.

Impatiens arunachalensis, which bears purple flowers and a pink throat, was discovered from the Upper Siang district.

Since only 50 plants of the species were found at a particular location, scientists described the conservation status of the plant as critically endangered.

Another species, Impatiens zironiana, with lanceolate pale yellow floral buds flowering and fruiting in the rainy season from July to September, was discovered from the Lower Subansiri district.

Two more species of balsam, Impatiens rugosipetala from the State’s Lower Dibang valley, and Impatiens tatoensis from the West Siang district, were also discovered and described earlier this year.

Three new species of balsam were discovered from Arunachal Pradesh in 2016, and five [were discovered] in 2015.

Since 2013, at least 16 new species of plants under the genus Impatiens, commonly referred to as balsam, have been discovered from Arunachal Pradesh.

Botanists have found 55 species of balsam from the northeastern State, 16 of which are new discoveries to science.

Balsam: Know More

  • Known for their starkly differing flower shapes, which are produced along the stem with vivid colours like pink, red, white, purple and yellow, balsams grow in rich moist soil.
  • Across the world, about 1,000 species of these angiosperms or closed seeded plants are known to occur.
  • In India, about 210 balsam species were known till these new discoveries from Arunachal Pradesh emerged. Now, the number of balsam species has increased to 230.
  • What makes the Impatiens interesting is the high endemism among these plants.
  • In most cases, while collecting the specimens, only a handful of plants are spotted.
  • Since these plants have a very small habitat, they face a threat from the fast-changing landscape of the region.
  • Balsams have immense horticultural importance.
  • Studies on hybrids of the plants have been undertaken in parts of the country to produce flowers that can sustain in different environmental conditions.
  • Different hybrids can be created from wild balsam species, so it is important to know the actual number of balsam species in the wild.


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