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UPSC Daily Current Affairs : 06-April-2020

Major Topics Covered :


  1. FUNDS FOR FIGHTING AGAINST CORONAVIRUS

  2. HEAT WAVE IN ANTARCTICA

  3. MARINE CREATURES FLEEING TO POLES

  4. IMPACT OF LOCKDOWN ON SEISMICITY

  5. NEW CLUES FOR HUMAN EVOLUTION

  6. EVIDENCE FOR MID SIZED BLACK HOLE

  7. BUTTERFLIES

  8. ICMR GIVES NOD FOR RAPID ANTIBODY TEST



FUNDS FOR FIGHTING AGAINST CORONAVIRUS

Why in news?

  • India is seeking as much as $6 billion of loans from multilateral institutions such as the Asian Development Bank and AIIB to bolster its efforts to fight the coronavirus outbreak.


Highlights:

  • The World Bank has already committed $1 billion, while Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government is in talks with Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and ADB.

  • India needs to rapidly scale up testing for the virus to head off the disease from infecting more people in the world’s most populated nation after China.

  • Proceeds including from the World Bank will be used to acquire testing kits and ventilators, turning hospital beds into intensive care unit beds as well as for buying personal protective equipment for health care workers.


Source : Livemint



HEAT WAVE IN ANTARCTICA

Why in news?

  • Even the world’s coldest continent is not immune to rising global temperatures, with scientists recording the first-ever heatwave event in Antarctica over the 2019-20 summer period. 


Highlights:

  • Researchers from the Australian Antarctic Program recorded the heat wave at the Casey Research Station — located on the northern part of Bailey Peninsula on the Budd Coast — between January 23 and 26, which falls in the region’s summer season. 

  • During the three days, minimum temperatures climbed above zero, and maximum temperatures reached above 7.5 degrees Celsius. On January 24, its highest maximum of 9.2°C was recorded, almost 7°C above Casey’s 30-year mean for the month. 

  • Heatwaves are classified as three consecutive days with both extreme maximum and minimum temperatures,

  • Scientists are concerned about the effect that the heatwave could have on Antarctica’s ecology — both positive and negative.

  • Most life exists in small ice-free oases in Antarctica, and largely depends on melting snow and ice for their water supply,

  • Melted ice flooding can provide additional water to these desert ecosystems, leading to increased growth and reproduction of mosses, lichens, microbes and invertebrates.

  • However excessive flooding can dislodge plants and alter the composition of communities of invertebrates and microbial mats

  • It is believed that the unusual temperatures were linked to meteorological patterns which occurred in the Southern Hemisphere during the spring and summer of 2019. These patterns were influenced in part by the early break-up of the ozone hole in late 2019, due to rapid warming in the stratosphere.


Source : Times of India



MARINE CREATURES FLEEING TO POLES

Why in news?

  • Scientists have found that Marine species are fleeing towards the earth’s poles to escape rising ocean temperatures near the equator.


Highlights:

  • Researchers made the discovery after looking at data spanning more than a century on more than 300 animals, birds and plants living in the world’s oceans.

  • Species showed growing population densities towards the poles but declines in numbers near the equator. It indicates that rising temperatures have led to widespread changes in the population size and distribution of marine species.

  • Researchers gave examples of Atlantic herring and Adelie penguins, whose populations they said were both declining in abundance near the equator but increasing in abundance towards the polar regions.

  • The trend is same across all groups of marine life from plankton to marine invertebrates, and from fish to seabirds.

  • Some marine species appear to benefit from climate change, particularly some populations at the poleward limits that are now able to thrive.

  • Some marine life suffers as it is not able to adapt fast enough to survive warming, and this is most noticeable in populations nearer the equator.

  • This is concerning as both increasing and decreasing abundances may have harmful knock-on effects for the wider ecosystem

  • The world's oceans have warmed by an average of 1C since pre-industrial times, according to the researchers.

  • With warming predicted to increase up to 1.5C over pre-industrial levels by 2050, the researchers said species are likely to undergo further shifts in population distribution in coming decades.


Source : Independent




IMPACT OF LOCKDOWN ON SEISMICITY

Why in news?

  • From a drop in air pollution to reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, the global coronavirus pandemic has had some surprising effects on the environment. 


Highlights:

  • A new study has revealed that the outbreak has actually changed the way the Earth physically moves. 

  • Researchers from the Royal Observatory of Belgium have reported a drop in seismic noise — the hum of vibrations in the Earth’s crust. 

  • The current mean noise level is 33% lower than before.

  • Just as all-natural occasions such as earthquakes create Planet’s crust to relocate, so do resonances caused by moving lorries and commercial machinery. Although the effects from private resources could be small, with each other they create history noise, which reduces seismologists’ capability to spot various other signals taking place at the same regularity. 

  • The fall in sound might likewise benefit seismologists who utilise normally occurring history resonances, such as those from crashing sea waves, to probe Planet’s crust.