Environment – Bumphead Parrot Fish, Bomb Cyclone, Climate Vulnerability Index

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In this edition of current affairs updates on Environment issues we cover three important topics in news recently – Threats faced by Bumphead Parrot fish in the Andamans, Bomb Cyclone and Climate Vulnerability Index for India. Read about all the 3 environment issues on this page.

Threatened Bumphead Parrot Fish of Andamans

The green humphead parrot fish also known as the Bumphead Parrot fish, that abounds in the water of the Andaman islands, is increasing threatened owing to fishing and coral reef degradation, a new study has shown.

Bumphead parrotfish is an important component of coral reef ecosystem, but is highly endangered globally. It is categorized as ‘vulnerable’ in the Red List of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Info Box: Bumphead Parrot Fish

1. Highly prized resources found in the waters of Andaman and Nicobar Islands.
2. Its large body size, aggregating behaviour and limited activity at night make the Bumphead Parrotfish an easy target for poachers like spear-fishermen.
3. It has a slow rate of growth combined with low replacement rates have resulted in population declines of the Bumphead Parrotfish across the Indo-Pacific and the Red Sea regions.
4. The study has pointed the necessity to ban night fishing for the species and to implement regulations regarding reef fishing.

Bomb Cyclone or Bombogenesis

The bomb cyclone raged through the Great Plains of US and has caused blizzard conditions, hurricane-like winds, snow and heavy rain and subsequent flooding.

Info Box: Bomb Cyclone

Bombogenesis, a popular term used by meteorologists, occurs when a mid-latitude cyclone rapidly deepens, dropping at least 24 millibars over 24 hours.

This can occur when a mass of cold air clashes with a warm air mass, such as air over warm ocean waters. The creation of this rapidly enhancing weather system is a process called bombogenesis, which results in what is known as a bomb cyclone.

Climate Vulnerability Index

With the increasing dangers faced by Climate Change, the Department of Science and Technology has decided to commission a study to assess the climate risks faced by States in India. This decision comes in the context of the conclusion of climate vulnerability study across 12 Himalayan States in India.

Highlights of the Climate Vulnerability Study

The study was undertaken in the 12 Himalayan states viz. Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura, Arunachal Pradesh, Sikkim, West Bengal, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand and Jammu and Kashmir.

The vulnerability was measured on a scale 0-1 with 1 indicating the highest possible level of vulnerability. The study indicates that:

  1. The states of Assam and Mizoram with a vulnerability score of 0.72 and 0.71 respectively topped the vulnerability index.
  2. Sikkim with the score of 0.42 was the least vulnerable among the 12 Himalayan states.
  3. The reasons for high vulnerability of Assam to climate change are low per capita income, deforestation, a large number of marginal farmers, least area under irrigation, lack of alternative sources of income and high rates of poverty.
  4. According to the report, low per capita income, low open forest area per 1,000 households and lack of irrigation coverage are the most important causes of vulnerability in Himalayan states.
  5. Other indicators of climate vulnerability include the percentage of area under slope, variability of food grain yield, forest cover, irrigation cover and access to healthcare.
  6. The scores of other states are Jammu & Kashmir (0.62), Manipur (0.59), Meghalaya and West Bengal (both 0.58), Nagaland (0.57), Himachal Pradesh and Tripura (0.51 both), Arunachal Pradesh (0.47) and Uttarakhand (0.45).

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