March 2019 - Environment News



  • Even after waiting for almost a month, Olive Ridley turtles have not yet arrived for mass nesting at Odisha’s Rushikulya rookery and Devi river mouth. The reasons are not fully understood yet. Mass nesting has already occurred at the Gahirmatha coast of the State. Wildlife Institute of India’s (WII) scientist Bivash Pandav said it could not be said for sure whether mass nesting would occur or not at the Rushikulya rookery this year.

    Till now, lakhs of impregnated female Olive Ridleys are continuing to congregate in the sea near the Rushikulya rookery, but they aren’t approaching the beach for mass nesting. The Forest Department has readied six artificial hatcheries to incubate eggs resulting from sporadic nesting. The beach has been cleaned up. A metal net fences a stretch of over five kilometers from Gokharkuda to Prayagi — this fencing is expected to protect Olive Ridleys and their eggs from predators and human intervention. CCTV cameras continue to keep a watch on the nesting beach.

    This year, the Forest Department also prepared a three-km-long coast near the Bahuda river mouth, from Sunapur to Anantpur, as an alternative mass nesting site, about 20 km to the south of Rushikulya. However, except for few occurrences of sporadic nesting, mass nesting has yet not occurred at this new beach.


  • IEA report shows China, U.S. & India together accounted for nearly 70% of the rise in energy demand. India emitted 2,299 million tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2018, a 4.8% rise from last year, according to a report by the International Energy Agency (IEA).

    India’s emissions growth this year was higher than that of the United States and China — the two biggest emitters in the world and this was primarily due to a rise in coal consumption. China, the United States, and India together accounted for nearly 70% of the rise in energy demand. India’s per capita emissions were about 40% of the global average and contributed 7% to the global carbon dioxide burden. The United States, the largest emitter, was responsible for 14%.

    As per its commitments to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, India has promised to reduce the emissions intensity of its economy by 2030, compared to 2005 levels. It has also committed to having 40% of its energy from renewable sources by 2030 and, as part of this, installs 100 GW of solar power by 2022.


  • Jakobshavn glacier, a major Greenland glacier that was one of the fastest shrinking ice and snow masses on Earth, is growing again according to a new NASA study. But scientists are warning it is just temporary. The change was recorded from two airborne missions in 2016 and 2017.


  • The hump-backed Mahseer, found in the waters of the Cauvery, has been added to the Red List as Critically Endangered. This tiger does not have stripes. But the hump-backed Mahseer—a large freshwater fish also called the tiger of the water and found only in the Cauvery river basin (including Kerala’s Pambar, Kabini and Bhavani rivers)—is now “Critically Endangered”: more threatened than the tiger is, as per the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Red List of Threatened Species. The fish is one of the 229 species added to the Red List last November; this update also reveals that the threat status of 12 other Indian species, including great hornbills, has increased.


  • International Forest Day to be observed on 21st March. This year (2019) the Day promotes education to Learn to Love Forests. It underscores the importance of education at all levels in achieving sustainable forest management and biodiversity conservation. Healthy forests mean healthy, resilient communities and prosperous economies.


  • Fifteen of the top 20 most polluted cities in the world are located in India, according to an analysis of air quality in several cities around the world. When ranked by country, Bangladesh emerged as the most polluted followed by Pakistan and India respectively.

    Of the cities analysed, 64% exceeded the WHO’s annual exposure guideline (10 micrograms/cubic meter) for fine particulate matter, also known as PM2.5. India’s annual guidelines range from 40-60 micrograms/cubic meter, depending on whether they are residential or industrial areas. Every single one of measured cities with data in the Middle East and Africa exceeded the WHO guideline, while 99% of cities in South Asia, 95% of cities in Southeast Asia and 89% of cities in East Asia breached this level.

    The ranking relies on ground-based sensors located in 3,000 cities from 73 countries and was compiled by IQAir Group, a manufacturer of air-monitoring sensors as well as purifiers and environmentalist group Greenpeace.

    Jakarta and Hanoi emerged as Southeast Asia’s two most polluted cities and average concentrations in the cities in China fell by 12% from 2017 to 2018. Beijing ranks now as the 122nd most polluted city in the world in 2018 and China, the 12th most polluted country in the world. Of the countries analyzed, Iceland emerged as the one with the cleanest air.


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