▼ IITM, INCOIS and NCMRWF join hands to propose coupled ocean atmospheric model [07-29-16]
As per the National Monsoon Mission, Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology Pune, Indian National Centre for Ocean Information Services/INCOIS Hyderabad and National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting (NCMRWF) Noida have moved towards an advanced ocean atmospheric model.
- The model engages in improved prediction of monsoon rainfall on extended range to seasonal time scale (16 days to one season).
- Improved prediction of rain, temperature and extreme weather events on short to medium range time scale up to 15 days so forecast skill experiences quantitative improvement for operational services of IMD.
▼ New species of Gecko found in Chattisgarh [07-22-16]
A new species of Gecko called Eublepharis Satpuraensis has been discovered for the first time in Chattisgarh’s rich biodiverse forest at Kawardha district’s Bhoramdeo Wildlife Sanctuary.
- The population of the new species is dense and indicates that further conservation is possible in this ecosystem.
- This gecko species was earlier found in only MP.
- It was spotted during tiger census conducted on the hills of Satpuda range.
▼ Global warming associated with melting of glaciers [07-20-16]
Global warming has led to bleaching of the Great Barrier reef as well as wildfires.
- Another such problem is that majority glaciers in India including Gangotri are melting at varying rates ranging from five to 20 metre per year.
- "The studies carried out by ISRO, Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology (WIGH) Dehradun and other institutions have revealed that majority of the glaciers are retreating (melting) at varying rates from 5-20 metre per year," Environment Minister Anil Madhav Dave said in a written reply.
▼ NOAA: June 2016 hottest month in modern history for this period [07-20-16]
Last month was the hottest June in modern history
- This is the 14th consecutive month that international heat records have been broken according to NOAA.
- "The globally averaged temperature over land and ocean surfaces for June 2016 was the highest for the month of June in the NOAA global temperature dataset record, which dates back to 1880," the agency said in a statement.
▼ Air quality in China’s largest cities improve [07-18-16]
Air quality in China’s largest cities continued to improve the first 6 months of 2016 according to the environment ministry of the country.
- China’s largest 338 cities have experienced more clean air days in the first half compared with the same period of 2015.
- 76.7 percent of January to June days had clean air.
- This is an increase of 4 percentage points from the earlier year.
- In the capital city of Beijing, levels of PM 3.5 fell 17.9 percent from the earlier year.
▼ Rare Marbled Map butterfly sighted in Eastern Ghats for first time [07-18-16]
The rare marbled map butterfly was sighted in the Eastern Ghats near PM Kota Village of Maredumilli mandal in East Godavari district of AP.
- This marks the first time the butterfly was sighted in S. India. It is usually found in NE regions of the nation.
- Butterfly was found by a group of ecological enthusiasts led by Indian Forest Service officer N. Chandramohan Reddy.
- The rare marbled map butterfly is confined to forested areas in India (AP, Jharkhand and Sikkim) and Bhutan and Myanmar.
▼ Luzon island in the Philippines home to greatest concentration of unique species of mammals [07-18-16]
Luzon Island in the Philippines has undergone massive deforestation and is host to the world’s greatest concentration of unique species of mammals.
- After studying the forest of Luzon for 15 years, scientists discovered there are 56 species of non-flying mammals of which 52 are nowhere else in the world.
- At over 100,000 square kilometre, Luzon is the largest island in the Philippines and includes the Filipino capital of Manila.
- Luzon has never been connected to any continental land-the species have been isolated.
- The island of Luzon has another feature causing it diversity- it is covered by mountains and mountaintops form what scientists call “sky islands” which are pockets of distinctive habitat that the animals adapt to.
- Among the 28 new species discovered by the team, are four species of tiny tree mice with with whiskers that reach to the ankles.
- Most of the new species are in tropical cloud forests located high in the mountains where typhoons can drop 4-5 metres of rain per year.
▼ New orchid with devil’s head in heart discovered [07-13-16]
A colourful orchid species which has a devil’s head in its heart and therefore called Telipogen diabolical was discovered.
- It was discovered by Marta Kolanowska and Dariusz Szlachetko, both affiliated with the University of Gdansk, Poland, together with Ramiro Medina Trejo of Colombia,
- The new orchid grows a stem measuring between 5.5-9 cm in height.
- The orchid is assigned as a Critically Endangered species in the IUCN Red List.
▼ IUCN qualifies the Bornean orangutan for listing as critically endangered [07-12-16]
IUCN findings indicate that habitat loss, degradation and illegal hunting have reduced the population of the Bornean orang-utan by 80 percent between 1973 and 2025.
- This qualifies the orangutan for listing as Critically Endangered.
- The whale shark, the largest fish has also been placed on the list.
- Bornean orangutan is related to the genus of Sumatran orangutan.
▼ Climate change is likely to kill 250,000 people by 2030 [07-11-16]
Climate change will kill around 250,000 more people each year by 2030, latest assessment by the WHO shows.
- Many of these deaths are caused by malaria, heat stress, malnutrition and diarrhoea disease.
- India is expected to contribute significantly to the global death toll.
- Heaviest burden of climate change will fall on elderly, children and women as well as the poor creating further health inequalities
- UN agency has set up an agenda and proposed key actions for implementation during the recent Paris meet.
- WHO estimates that climate change is causing tens of thousands of death every year
- Deaths arise from epidemics like cholera and dengue as well as extreme weather events.
▼ Kuji mendha sheep granted rare and singular species tag by the central government [07-11-16]
A threatened breed of sheep found in coastal Odisha has been conferred rare and singular species tag by the central government.
- National Bureau of Animal Genetic Resources has accorded genetic recognition to the breed of sheep called fuji mendha.
- These are fast breeders giving multiple births.
- Fisheries and Animal resources development department, Odisha Livestock Resources Development Society and College of Veterinary Science and Animal Husbandry had earlier conducted the study and found the sheep to be carrying a rare genetic mutation.
- In Sunderbans area of West Bengal also Garol breed sheep are found; these are multiple breeders.
▼ Amazon forest carbon sink closed by 2010 drought: Scientists [07-8-16]
Amazon forest spanning across Brazil, Columbia, Peru and other South American countries is the world’s largest forest covering 5.5 million square kilometres.
- Scientists have estimated that the forest stores 100 bt of carbon in its biomass and changes can have global consequences
- This forest suffered a mjor drought in 2005, then 2010
- 2010 drought shut down the Amazon Basin carbon sink by destroying trees and slowing growth
- Amazon may be losing the capacity to take carbon from the atmosphere as a result of this
- This marks the first basin wide study of the impact of the 2010 drought and its interaction with previous droughts
- Using long term measurements from the RAINFOR network spanning close to 100 locations across the Amazon basin, the first and second drought were found to have temporarily lost biomass
▼ Scientists discover new species of tarantula [07-8-16]
Scientists have discovered a new species of tarantula (big hairy spider0 named as Kankuamo Marquezi
- The famed Colombian novelist and 1982 Nobel Prize in Literature winner Gabriela Garcia Marquez was the person after whom the spider has been named
- Species was discovered in large number in an isolated mountain range in Caribbean Colombia
- It was named after him as homage to the country it was located
- The arachnid has a defence mechanism includes releasing stinging hairs that dig into the eyes and skin of attackers
- The upper area of the mountain 2200 m high in a rainy cold environment is the home of this arachnid
▼ Centre gives assistance to IIT-B for SoUL [07-6-16]
Government of India has provided INR 1800 crore assistance to IIT-B for SoUL or the Solar Urja Lamp programme.
- Under the programme, the institution will disseminate solar lamps to 10 crore school children across the country
- Mission commissioned will scale up the program to INR 1800 crore
- IIT-B has partnered NGOs having presence at grass root level
▼ Ghariyal rehab centre set up in 1975 declared biodiversity heritage site [07-4-16]
The ghariyal rehabilitation centre was set up in 1975 with around 300 ghariyals, in Kulrail.
- Since then, this centre has been artificially rearing ghariyal eggs.
- It was a biodiversity heritage site approved as endangered species of the forest department gave its sanction
- Proposal has been approved by the state cabinet and there are 13 species of turtles as well.
- At least three of the species breed at the centre
- Spread over 10 ha, the centre is a visible ecosystem in urban settings and offers ecological security
▼ China bans hunting, sale and purchase of food products of state wild animals [07-4-16]
China on July 2nd adopted a revised law on state protected wild animals banning their hunting as well as selling and purchase of food products made from them. Law was adopted by the national legislature after the bimonthly session of the National People’s Congress Standing Committee
- Law was adopted and will take effect on January 1 2017 banning the production and sale of foods made from state protected wild animals and products derived from them
- The law also bans illegal purchase of state protected wild animals and derived products for food
- Offenders face criminal penalties according to State run Xinhua news agency
- Ban also strengthens protection of state wild animals or derived products unless for scientific research, captive breeding, population regulation and monitoring of diseases or other purposes
- Additionally, the law stipulated that animals bred under controlled conditions through mature methods may be moved from the China special state protection list