Warming Seas a Breath of Foul Air (Download PDF)


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The sea level rose globally by about 15 cm relative to 1986 - 2005 on an average during the 20th century. This warming of seas is expected to rise twice as fast and could reach up to 60 cm by 2100. On September 23,2019 according to the reports of UN Climate Action Summit (UNCAS), held in New York it has been proposed to act upon five-fold increase in nationality thereby determining the contributions to NDCs being volunteered by countries under the 2015 Paris Agreement, to limit global warming to within 1.5 above pre-industrial levels and a threefold increase to stay below 2. Four of the top 15 highest net emitters of greenhouse gases namely the US, Japan, Brazil and Australia (UPSC 2020 MCQ Prelims) refused to revise their commitments towards UN Climate Change Summit and the oil-rich Saudi Arabia and South Africa did not participate.

Warming Seas a Breath of Foul Air

Warming Seas a Breath of Foul Air

Warming Seas a Breath of Foul Air

  • 65 countries are committed to enhance their NDCs and cut greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050.
  • It has also been projected that with the current rate of emission the world can end up with an average warming of anywhere between2.7and3.7.

Mudumalai Tiger Reserve Issue

  • As many as 21 tribal families say forest officials allied with property dealers to dupe them of the money they received for relocating from Tamil Nadu’s Mudumalai Tiger Reserve.
  • These tribal people were looking forward to the relocation programme that would have finally given them land ownership, have suffered a serious setback.
  • Recently on 3 September 2019,21 tribal people file an FIR saying they have been duped of a total Rs. 2 crore.
  • The responsible persons have been made accused of criminal conspiracy, forgery, cheating, fraud, falsification of accounts and dishonesty as per the charges under the Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989.

Ravines in Gujarat

  • The four districts namely Kheda, Panchmahal, Vadodara and Anand are the four districts where Soil erosion has triggered expansion of ravines.
  • The agriculture and livelihood have been threatened due to the expansion of ravines.
Ravines in Gujarat

Ravines in Gujarat

Ravines in Gujarat

  • Almost all of India’s Ravines are in the Vicinity of the Vindhyas. Nearly 60 % of the ravines are in Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan.
  • The Foundation for Ecological Security (FES) has been working in the region. The FES is an Anand based non-profit ravine reclamation since 1987 and is currently undertaking initiatives in about 60 ravine-affected villages in the four districts.
  • Blocking gullies and planting trees can arrest spread of ravines according to Khorwad village in Anand district.
  • The Indian Council of Agricultural Research is already talking about bamboo plantation in ravine-affected areas.
  • Check dams are being built in the affected areas along with large-scale bamboo plantation.

WMO wants private companies to play a greater role in forecasts

  • In June 2019 the World Meteorological Organization rolled out its open consultative process to debate the roles of private players in weather data management.
  • In 1955 the first operational numerical weather predictions started as a joint project of the army, navy and weather agencies.
  • In 2015 The Weather Company published the first weather forecast without human intervention.
WMO wants private companies to play a greater role in forecasts

WMO Wants Private Companies to Play a Greater Role in Forecasts

Other Areas of Cooperation in IMO

  • Encouraging WMO member countries to introduce curricular in meteorology and hydrology in primary and Secondary Schools.

  • Training Centre to organize training activities for School Teachers.

  • Promoting specialised training courses in areas of concerns of member countries such as in climate related activities, food security, natural disaster preparedness etc.

  • To reinforce international scientific collaboration and research for developing innovative environment/science/technology educational projects.

Big Data on Weather

  • IBM’s (information and technology behemoth) announced this year that its Weather Company had created a powerful new global weather forecasting system.

  • The company claims that its new Global High-Resolution Atmospheric Forecasting System, or GRAF, will provide the most accurate local weather forecasts ever seen worldwide.

  • As many as 600 meteorologists, data analysts and supercomputers at Weather Company’s office in Brookhaven, in US analyse weather-related information gathered by governments and intergovernmental agencies through their weather stations, sophisticated radars, aeroplanes and spy satellites, and feed those into graf.

  • The US government, whose National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is the world’s largest weather and climate data provider, also appears to be pushing for an increased role of private players in the management of weather data.

  • NOAA came into being in February 10,1807. It warns of dangerous weather, charts seas and guides the use and protection of ocean and coastal resources.

Business Aspect with respect to Private Players competing with governments

  • World Meteorological Organization (WMO) provides services worth $100 billion annually.

  • Similarly, National Weather Service, USA, provides services worth $30 billion annually.

AccuWeather’s Barry Myers

  • Barry Lee Myers is an American attorney and businessman who served as chief executive officer and general counsel for AccuWeather.

  • AccuWeather is a privately owned for-profit weather-forecasting company founded by his elder brother, Joel Myers in Pennsylvania (USA).

  • Barry Myers has stated recently that weather information, which is free now, must be paid by customers.

  • As the weather data under private parties, the consequent financial burden on countries would force governments and authorities to charge citizens for weather information.

  • It is expected that if Myers becomes the administrator of NOAA, then NWS will become a subsidiary arm of AccuWeather, which would use NWS infrastructure and resources to churn.

Role of Private Sectors in Weather Service Industry or Public Private Partnership

  • The private weather industry and the NWS will work together to protect the free and open international exchange of meteorologic, hydrologic, and oceanographic data.

  • The Private Weather Industry provides tailored weather, river, and water resources forecasts detailed hydro meteorological information, consultation, and data for weather, river, and water resources sensitive industries.

  • The National Weather Service shall be responsible for Collect and exchange hydro meteorological data and information on a national and international basis.

  • A cooperative relationship between the National Weather Service (NWS) and the private sector aims towards providing both the industry and the general public more accurate and timely weather and river forecasts and other hydro meteorological products.

  • This concept of a public-private partnership is not intended towards discouraging the private sector from providing comments and advice on publicly issued warnings and forecasts.


  • Public Private Partnership ensures better infrastructure solutions than an initiative that is completely public or private.

  • It ensures faster project completion thereby reducing unnecessary delays.


  • PPP model can increase government costs.

  • If the expertise in the partnership relies heavily on the private side, the government is at an inherent disadvantage.

The weather forecasting systems market

  • The weather forecasting market has been projected to grow from an estimated $2.3 billion in 2019 to $3.3 billion by 2025.

  • Climacell a start-up based in Boston, USA, with 105 employees is integrating data from the Internet of Things devices like mobile phones, smart vehicles, street cameras, aeroplanes and other wireless communication networks, instead of relying just on government provided sources.

  • Climacell has till now sold forecasts to over 1,000 companies which include Ford Motors, Tata Group and events like the US Open.

  • The Private firms are also launching their own satellites as they donot have access to detailed satellite-related data from public institutions.

Other Companies Dealing with Weather Forecasting

  • XShip a Kochi based Company in Kerala (India) has been developing software to help in the Weather Forecasting by providing appropriate data.

  • Skymet (set up in India in 2003) serves more than 20 clients from sectors like agriculture, power, oil and gas, insurance and banking.

  • The US based Weather Company (The Weather Company’s B2B, mobile and cloud-based web properties) acquired by IBM (is a global technology company that provides hardware, software, cloud-based services and cognitive computing) collects data every 15 minutes with a resolution of 500 metres to provide hyper-local forecasts.

Geographical Indicators or Silly GIs

  • The GI or Geographical Indicator trademark is provided by the office in Chennai that hands out these special trademarks to goods which are specific to a certain region.

  • According to the global definition, GI is given to goods where a given quality and reputation are drawn from its geographic origin.

  • This tag is being provided to protect such items from imitations.

  • India has more than 600 GI products in defiance of logic, rules and any economic rationale.

  • Some of the GI tagged products in India are Rasgullas from West Bengal, Madhubani Paintings from Bihar, Oranges from Nagpur, Tulapanji Rice from West Bengal etc.

  • Recently a Murugan temple in Tamil Nadu has secured a GI for its prasadam (an offering made to the deity and given to devotees), a mix of banana, Jaggery and ghee.

  • The Department of Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) recently registered GIs for Palani Panchamirtham in Palani Town, Tamil Nadu, Tawlhlohpuan and Mizo Puanchei from Mizoram and Tirur Betel leaf from Kerala.

  • GI products can benefit the rural economy in remote areas, by supplementing the incomes of artisans, farmers, weavers and craftsmen

    GI tags a requirement of TRIPS agreement.

  • India, as a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO), enacted the Geographical Indications of Goods (Registration & Protection) Act, 1999 has come into force with effect from 15th September 2003.

  • The Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) is an international legal agreement between all the member nations of the World Trade Organization (WTO).

Poor are no longer moving to higher income bracket

  • From a long time people from lower income groups were earning more and moving into the higher income bracket as a result of which they were shifting along towards a reasonable income growth.

  • For the past two or two-and-a half years, this process has stalled.

  • The income of the families belonging to middle class and the upper-middle class is growing but their demands have reached a saturation point. This is due to the fact that they have already acquired the major consumer goods.

  • The impact of a stagnant middle and upper middle class is that they after a while start buying imported goods and prefer foreign holidays which in turns put a downward pressure on the domestic economy.

India’s agricultural production and the rural income

  • At present India’s agriculture production is growing at 3 per cent annually which means farmers are producing more every year.

  • The income of these farmers still has not shown any improvement because the prices have either gone down or remained flat.

  • The real income or purchasing power of the people is actually going down.

  • The government has introduced UPI (unified payments interface) and Bhim mobile app for online payments. But the infrastructure, particularly in rural areas, simply does not exist. A poor person, who needs to buy food on a daily basis, cannot wait for a stable connectivity.

Urban Rural Conundrum

  • As per Census 2021 preparations one of the first tasks the office of the Registrar General & Census Commissioner, India was to identify the country’s urban and rural areas.

  • It has been revealed that many of the urban areas identified in Census 2011 have expanded while thousands of villages have turned into towns.

  • The demography, geography and economy of the country i. e India is changing from rural to urban at a rapid pace.

  • Urbanisation doesn’t provide basic livelihoods to people who have migrated from rural areas.

Catch-22 Rural-urban Situation

  • A Catch-22 (rules, regulations and procedures) is a paradoxical situation wherein an individual cannot violate because of contradictory rules or limitations.

  • Catch-22 is a situation in which someone is in need of something that can only be had by not being in need of it (e. g, a bank will never issue someone a loan if they need the money)

  • A habitation is declared urban (excluding a municipality, corporation, cantonment board and a notified town area committee) if it has a minimum population of 5,000. At least 75 per cent of the male working population is engaged in non-agricultural pursuits and the population density is at least 400 people per sq km. Such habitations are also called the Census Towns.

Know the MCQs

  • Mudumalai Tiger Reserve is in the South Indian State of Tamil Nadu (India). The Kattunayaks and Kurumbas belong to Mudumalai tiger Reserve in Tamil Nadu.

  • Jolokia or Bhut jolokia also known as ghost pepper, ghost chili pepper and ghost chili is an interspecific hybrid chili pepper cultivated in the Northeast Indian states of Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Nagaland and Manipur.

  • Fortification of grains with micronutrients, like vitamin B12, iron and folic acid is bad for health and the environment.

  • The Oraon tribe also called Kurukh is an ethnic group inhabiting states of Jharkhand, Odisha and Chhattisgarh. They are also spelled as Oraon or Oram.

  • International Day of Climate Action is celebrated on 24th October.

  • Hurricane Lorenzo hits the Azores islands of Portugal on October 2,2019.

  • Kheda, Mahi, Panchmahal are the other districts from Gujarat where Soil erosion has triggered expansion of ravines.

  • Khorwad village is situated in Anand district of Gujarat has shown that blocking gullies and planting trees can arrest spread of ravines. A pilot project started in the village brought a turnaround for the degraded land and people’s livelihood.

  • The Weather Company published the first weather forecast without human intervention in 2015.

  • WMO with its headquarter in Geneva, Switzerland shares information with 193 countries through its 15 telecom hubs.

  • IBM with its headquarter situated Armonk, New York, United States the largest weather forecasting company collects information through 0.5 billion smartphones globally.

  • Weather forecasting computers can process over 40 million observations in a day and can compute 90 trillion calculations per second. IBM’s supercomputer can store 3,500 terabytes.

  • The National Centre for Medium Range Weather Forecasting is in Noida, Uttar Pradesh.

  • The cyclone Fani is the first severe cyclonic storm of the 2019 North Indian Ocean cyclone season. The name of the Cyclone ‘Fani’, pronounced as ‘Foni’ was suggested by Bangladesh. It means ‘Snake’ or ‘hood of snake’.

- Published/Last Modified on: November 7, 2019


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