Ecology and Environment Current Affairs
Paris Pact on Water and Climate Change Adaptation
- A broad coalition of nations, river basin organizations, business and civil society announced on December 2, 2015 about the creation of the international Paris Pact on Water and Climate Change Adaptation to make water systems, the very foundation of sustainable human development and more resilient to climate impacts.
- The pact encompasses individual commitments to implement adaptation plans, strengthening water monitoring and measurement systems in river basins and promoting financial sustainability and new investment in water systems management.
- Climate changes, coupled with unsustainable use of water, are causing widespread impacts on societies and economies, creating droughts, floods and warming which affect all water systems and trigger negative and often fatal impacts. These major collaborative projects combined represent over $ 20 million in technical assistance and potentially over $ 1 billion in financing.
2015 Set to be Hottest Year on Record UN
- World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), UN’s weather agency said on November 25, 2015 that 2015 is likely to be the hottest year on record, with ocean surface temperatures at the highest level since measurements began.
- As per the report, the first 10, months of the year suggested temperatures over land and sea would tick in at their highest level ever measured this year, after already reaching record highs in 2014, It showed the global average surface temperature has reached “the symbolic and significant milestone” of 1.0° Celsius above mid- 19th century levels.
- Global surface temperatures in 2015 are also about 0.73° Celsius above the 1961-1990 average of 14° Celsius. WMO released its preliminary findings to inform negotiators at the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris set to gather at Paris on November 30, 2015.
Read Also – Economy & Banking Current Affairs Dec 2015
New Species of Tree Frog Discovered
- A new species of tree frog was discovered and another species of bush frog was rediscovered by a team of researchers during then- recent exploration in the Western Ghats. The discovery was published in the international taxonomic journal ‘Zootaxa’ in the month of November, 2015.
- The team discovered a new species of Rhacophorid tree-frog of the genus Ghatixalus. The new species is named Ghatixalus magrtus after its large size making it the biggest known tree frog from the Western Ghats.
- The team has also rediscovered a frog that had been evading for the past many decades. Raorchestes flaviventris, a species of rhacophorid bush frog described from the Western Ghats by George Albert Boulenger in 1882, had never been reported from the region since its description.
- Interestingly, both these frogs were discovered from Kadalar in the high ranges of Idukki distrct, a place which has yielded several new species of amphibians in the past, indicating the need to focus conservation efforts.
New Long-haired Wasp Species Found in India
- As on November 10, 2015, Indian researchers 1 have discovered five new long-haired species of wasps from different parts of the country. Veenakumari Kamalanathan. Prashanth Mohanraj and FR Khan of the National Bureau of Agricultural Insect Resources in India have named them adikeshavus, which means ‘first one to have long hairs” in Sanskrit.
- The tribe to which the new five wasp species belong is characterised by its exclusive preference for spider eggs. Parallel evolution accounts for the tiny wings of these wasps which allows them to slip through the silk strands of the egg sacs which are deposited in leaf litter by the spiders.
- These species have a, uniform length of 1 to 2 mm as a result of their getting used to parasitising relatively medium-sized spider eggs. According to the authors, it was highly likely that this group of wasps would yield a much larger number of species of parasitoids attacking spider eggs in India.
Dracula Ant Discovered in Western Ghats
- A Dracula ant was identified in the month of November, 2015 by Manoj Vembayam, Kalesh Sadasivan and Vinay Krishnan, members of the TNHS Ant Research Group, a wing of the Travancore Natural History Society. They have found the ant from the Western Ghats region of the State Kerala.
- They arebelongs to Stigmatomma group and was commonly referred to as Dracula ant because at times of scarcity, they puncture the bodies of their own larvae and drink the hemolymph. The subterranean ants, nearly 1 cm long, have poor vision and feed on centipedes.
Cyclone ‘Megh’ Struck Yemeni Island of Socotra
- The second cyclone in a week slammed into an island off Yemen’s coast on November 8, 2015 with 127-mph winds. It is equivalent to a Category 3 hurricane. The cyclone named ‘Megh’ hit the eastern portion of the Yemeni island of Socotra.
- Megh is the record 28th storm in the Northern hemisphere this year that is Category 3 or stronger, according to hurricane expert Phil Klotzbach of Colorado State University.
- Earlier, cyclone ‘Chapala’ made an extremely rare landfall on November 3, 2015 triggering massive rainfall flooding in a desert location unaccustomed to tropical cyclone landfalls. The center of Chapala made landfall about 44 miles (71 km) South-West of A1 Mukalla, Yemen.
Check this also – Economy & Banking Current Affairs Nov 2015.
Odisha Banned Fishing to Protect Olive Ridley Turtles
- As per Odisha Marine Fishing Act (OMFA), the Odisha forest department on November 1, 2015 imposed a seven-month ban on fishing along the odisha seacoast i.e., from November 1 to May 31, 2016. The State has three nesting sites Gahirmatha beach in Kendrapada district, Devi river mouth in Puri district, and Rushikulya river mouth in Ganjam district.
- The move is in order to protect the endangered Olive Ridley sea turtles that arrive during winters for nesting. The endangered Olive Ridley turtles arrive every year during winters for mass nesting in Rushikulya river mouth and Gahirmatha marine sanctuary.
- Trawlers and fishermen have been directed not to fish within 20 km off the coastline in the turtle nesting sites. Use of motor boats and mechanized trawlers for fishing within 5 km from the coast between Astarang and Baliharchandi in Puri district has been prohibited.
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