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08 Aug, 2021

19 Min Read

Sundarbans Plastic pollution

GS-III : Biodiversity & Environment Environmental Pollution

Sundarbans Plastic pollution

First, watch this lecture by Ankit Sir on Plastic pollution in India and then read this news, your retention level will increase exponentially.

  • The unregulated inflow of relief to the Sunderbans has resulted in a new crisis in the cyclone-battered region: plastic waste. Several NGOs, experts, and even officials of the District Police and the Forest Department have pointed out that the plastic accumulating on the isolated islands of the fragile ecosystem is cause for great concern.
  • Ecologist Diya Banerjee has been pointing out the issue from as early as June, days after Cyclone Yaas inundated large parts of the Sunderbans in the last week of May 2021.
  • What we are seeing is tonnes of plastic in the remote areas of the Sundarbans, like Gosaba, Mousuni, Bali, Patharpratima and Kultali.
  • People residing in these areas are not responsible in any way for the huge plastic waste; it is outsiders who are introducing and bringing a large number of plastics, completely oblivious and ignorant to its long-term impact on the region.
  • She added that a local NGO Mahajibon had recovered about 300 kg of plastic waste from the Gosaba block days after Cyclone Yaas.
  • While it is difficult to estimate the total amount of plastic waste that is arriving in about 50 inhabited islands of the Sunderbans spread across thousands of square kilometres, Sourav Mukherjee of the Kolkata Society for Cultural Heritage has estimated about 56 tonnes of plastic in the Gosaba block alone.
  • Not only conservationists, but even police officers have also raised concerns over the huge dumping of plastic waste. The police officer urged locals and NGOs to organise cleanliness drives to remove plastic from the Sunderbans.
  • Plastics would have a long-term ecological impact on the Sundarbans ecosystem.
  • The presence of plastic in saline water will increase the toxicity of water gradually and also there will be eutrophication of water. Because of the presence of plastics in the water, there will be an increase in microplastics, which will slowly enter the food system.
  • Sunderbans were connected to the sea and the increase of plastic in the region could lead to plastic waste entering the ocean.

For a complete note on Plastic waste management in India: click here

Source: TH

Pensilungpa glacier of Zanskar valley is retreating

GS-III : Biodiversity & Environment Climate Change

Pensilungpa glacier of Zanskar valley is retreating

  • The Pensilungpa Glacier located in Ladakh’s Zanskar Valley is retreating due to an increase in temperature and decrease in precipitation during winters, a recent study has found.
  • Since 2015, the Wadia Institute of Himalayan Geology (WIHG) at Dehradun, an autonomous body under the Department of Science and Technology, has been working on various aspects of glaciology – glacier health (mass balance) monitoring, dynamics, discharge, past climatic conditions, speculation for future climate change and its impact on glaciers in this region.
  • A team of scientists from the institute ventured to study the less explored region of the Himalayas at Zanskar in Ladakh.
  • Based on field observations for glacier mass balance collected via stake networking... over the glacier surface from 2016-2019, they assessed the impact of climate change through the lens of past and the present response of the Pensilungpa Glacier, Zanskar Himalaya, Ladakh.
  • In stake networking, a stake made of bamboo is installed on the glacier surface using the steam drill for mass balance measurement.
  • The study also said that field observations for four years (2015–2019) showed that the glacier is now retreating at an average rate of 6.7 plus/minus 3 metre per annum.
  • In the study published in the journal Regional Environmental Change, the team attributes the observed recessional trends of the Pensilungpa Glacier to an increase in the temperature and a decrease in precipitation during winters.
  • The study also points at the significant influence of debris cover on the mass balance and retreat of the glacier's endpoint, especially in summer.
  • Furthermore, the mass balance data for the three years (2016–2019) showed a negative trend with a small accumulation area ratio.
  • The study also suggests that due to a continuous rise in the air temperature in line with the global trend, the melting would increase, and it is possible that the precipitation of summer periods at higher altitudes will change from snow to rain, and that may influence the summer and winter pattern.

Source: TH

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