Cyclone Bulbul Hits W.B. & Odisha

Originating from the Bay of Bengal, the very severe cyclone Bulbul hit the coasts of Eastern India and Bangladesh at an intensity of Category 2 hurricane, causing heavy rains and storm winds up to 135 kmph in the region. West Bengal and Odisha have been severely affected by the landfall of the cyclone.

Crux of the Matter
  • Cyclone Bulbul has taken the life of 7 people in the state of West Bengal. Deaths have been caused due to falling of trees.
  • No casualties have been reported from Odisha, but the cyclone did not fare Odisha completely as it damaged seasons standing crops in an area of around 2 lakh hectares. Also, Balasore district has been providing shelter to the cyclone-hit people from Baincha village.
  • Electricity and telecom services in the region have also been disrupted in the region. Although, power services are being gradually resumed.
  • Teams of National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and Kolkata Municipal Corporation (KMC) have been clearing water loggings and tree blockages along with rescuing people to safer shelters.

Cyclone Bulbul – Very Severe Cyclonic Storm Bulbul is an active tropical cyclone which struck the Indian state of West Bengal at Category 2 hurricane-equivalent intensity and is currently a flood and storm surge threat to Bangladesh. Originating from the remnants of Severe Tropical Storm Matmo over the southern Bay of Bengal in early November, Bulbul slowly intensified into a Very Severe Cyclonic Storm. Read More

PM Wants Better Equipment for Farmers to Counter Stubble Burning

In an effort to combat stubble burning, Prime Minister Narendra Modi instructed the Agricultural Ministry to hand out better equipment to farmers to prevent such practices. This comes in the wake of massive smog problem in Delhi and other parts of north India.

Crux of the Matter
  • This has been PM Modi’s first measure to contain the winter air pollution that plagues Delhi annually.
  • Stubble burning by farmers, especially in Punjab, has been identified as a major cause of air pollution in the Delhi NCR region.
  • Proper equipment will be provided to farmers in an effort to reduce stubble burning.

Stubble burning by farmers in these three states, especially Punjab, has been identified as a major cause of air pollution in the Delhi NCR region.Stubble burning in Punjab and Haryana in northwest India has been cited as a major cause of air pollution in Delhi. In late September and October each year, farmers mainly in those two states burn an estimated 35 million tons of crop waste from their paddy fields after harvesting, as a low-cost straw-disposal practice to reduce the turnaround time between harvesting and sowing for the second (winter) crop. Read More

India Among Top Countries in Dealing with Climate Change as per CCPI

India ranked 11th in this year’s Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI). India improved its standing by three places compared to the previous year. The CCPI report was released on Monday at the UN Climate Conference COP24 in Katowice.

Crux of the Matter
  • The Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI) 2019 is published by Germanwatch and the New Climate Institute along with the Climate Action Network (CAN).
  • India’s performance majorly improved in the Renewable Energy category, joining the group of medium performers.
  • Low levels of per capita GHG emissions and a relatively ambitious mitigation target for 2030 has given India an overall high rating in the emissions category.  
  • Sweden and Morocco are the leading countries by making significant expansion of renewable energy.
  • The countries that scored low in almost all categories are Saudi Arabia, the United States, Iran, South Korea and Taiwan.

Climate Change Performance Index (CCPI) is an independent monitoring tool of countries’ climate protection performance. It aims to enhance transparency in international climate politics and enables the comparability of climate protection efforts and progress made by individual countries. Based on standardised criteria, the index evaluates and compares the climate protection performance of 56 countries and the EU, which are together responsible for more than 90 percent of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. More Info

NCR Wakes Up to White, AQI Wakes Up in Maroon

Air Quality Index (AQI) at Delhi, NCR breached the 1000 mark (higher number is worse) over the weekend, mandating Delhites to use the N95 masks. With Delhi facing a ‘severe plus’ level air quality on account of high emissions from vehicles and construction, industrial pollution, stubble burning, fire crackers and unfavourable wind conditions, the government is seeking a plethora of measures.

Crux of the Matter
  • Particulates Measuring (PM) 2.5 and PM 10 breached the emergency levels of 300 and 500 respectively by a significant margin.
  • To put things in context, lung surgeon Dr Arvind Kumar mentioned, “A child born yesterday in Delhi would have smoked 40-50 cigarettes on the first day of his or her life.”
  • Delhi’s air carried carcinogens more than 6 times that in Beijing, another city that has grappled with epidemic air pollution in the last 2 decades.
  • Government urged citizens to avoid going out, schools were shut down and 37 flights delayed.
  • Enforcements are being sent to halt the incidents of stubble-burning – which accounts for 141 MT of Carbon Dioxide emission in India – in Haryana and Punjab.
  • In other measures, water sprinkling and the odd-even rule might give Delhites breathing space.

The Great Smog of London 1952, was a severe air-pollution event that affected the British capital of London in early December 1952. A period of cold weather, combined with an anticyclone and windless conditions, collected airborne pollutants — mostly arising from the use of coal — to form a thick layer of smog over the city. It lasted from Friday 5 December to Tuesday 9 December 1952, and then dispersed quickly when the weather changed. It caused major disruption by reducing visibility and even penetrating indoor areas, far more severely than previous smog events experienced in the past. Government medical reports in the following weeks, however, estimated that up until 8 December, 4,000 people had died as a direct result of the smog and 100,000 more were made ill by the smog’s effects on the human respiratory tract. More recent research suggests that the total number of fatalities may have been considerably greater, one paper suggesting about 6,000 more died in the following months as a result of the event. More Info

New Study predicts Mumbai may be Submerged by 2050


An international study by Climate Central published in the journal of Nature Communications predicts that by the year 2050, large portions of the Mumbai city and its suburbs may be underwater if emissions are not kept in check.

Crux of the Matter
  • Climate Central studied the effects of sea level rise globally using artificial intelligence and satellite imagery to create revised projections for 2030, 2050, and 2100 under different emission scenarios.
  • Stretches of central Mumbai, coastal areas along Navi Mumbai and Thane, and all of Vasai-Virar and Mira Bhayander are at “critical risk”.
  • The study found Mumbai’s green zones that include Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Aarey Milk Colony, Powai, Andheri, Borivali, Kandivali, Mulund, Thane, and Bhiwandi are likely to survive the rise in sea level.
  • Isolated parts of south Mumbai and other marginally-elevated zones do not face much risk.
  • It predicts that cities like Bangkok, Ho Chi Minh City and Alexandria may get submerged and lost to rising waters.

Rise in Sea Levels – Since at least the start of the 20th century, the average global sea level has been rising. Between 1900 and 2016, the sea level rose by 16–21 cm. More precise data gathered from satellite radar measurements reveal an accelerating rise of 7.5 cm from 1993 to 2017, which is a trend of roughly 30 cm per century. This acceleration is due mostly to human-caused global warming, which is driving thermal expansion of seawater and the melting of land-based ice sheets and glaciers. Between 1993 and 2018, thermal expansion of the oceans contributed 42% to sea level rise; the melting of temperate glaciers, 21%; Greenland, 15%; and Antarctica, 8%. Climate scientists expect the rate to further accelerate during the 21st century. Projecting future sea level is challenging, due to the complexity of many aspects of the climate system. As climate research into past and present sea levels leads to improved computer models, projections have consistently increased. A conservative estimate of the long-term projections is that each Celsius degree of temperature rise triggers a sea level rise of approximately 2.3 meters over a period of two millennia, an example of climate inertia. More Info