Current Affairs June 2018 - Environment


1 - Researchers discovered hidden mountain ranges, valleys under Antarctica


Researchers discovered mountain ranges and three huge, deep subglacial valleys hidden beneath the Antarctica ice. The journal of Geophysical Research Letters is first to publish findings that reveals the topography about how quickly ice flows between the East and West Antarctic ice sheets. The research was a part of the European Space Agency Polar GAP project.

According to researchers, if ice sheets melt, it would increase the speed and rate at which ice flows out from the centre of Antarctica to its edges, leading to an increase in global sea levels.

2 - Environment Ministry, Teri signed MOU to set up a Resource Efficiency Cell


The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) launched a number of initiatives to support the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) focus on waste management and resource efficiency.

MoEFCC and TERI entered a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to set up a resource efficiency cell in the Ministry. The main objectives of the Cell are to provide a platform to mainstream resource efficiency in public policy.

3 - Taj Declaration to beat Plastic Pollution adopted in Agra


A Taj Declaration to Beat Plastic Pollution was adopted in Agra as part of which efforts would be made to make the 500-metre area around the historic ivory-white marble monument litter-free and phase out single-use plastic.

The adoption of the declaration - in presence of Minister of State for Environment Mahesh Sharma, UN Environment Programme Executive Director Erik Solheim, UNEP Goodwill Ambassador Diya Mirza - came ahead of the World Environment Day on June 5.

4 - Global Environment Performance Index 2018 released


The 2018 Environmental Performance Index (EPI) scores 180 countries on 24 performance indicators across ten issue categories covering environmental health and ecosystem vitality. The index was topped by Switzerland followed by France, Denmark, Malta and Sweden. India was placed at 177th position. Low scores on the EPI demand cleaning up air quality and protecting biodiversity.

The EPI turns the latest advances in environmental science with worldwide datasets to form into a powerful summary of the state of sustainability around the world.

5 - World's largest iceberg set to disappear after 18-year-long journey


NASA scientists have reported that the largest iceberg ever is about to disappear forever after an 18-year-long journey from Antarctica towards the equator. The massive iceberg broke away from Antarctica's Ross Ice Shelf in March 2000. It has travelled 6,600 miles on its journey towards the equator.

Scientists had never seen an iceberg of 4,250 square miles in size, and named it B-15. The largest of these, named B-15Z, measures 50 square nautical miles - 10 nautical miles long and 5 nautical miles wide.