India’s climate plan to anchor INSPA formulated 

India has decided as part of its post 2020 climate plan to anchor global solar alliance INSPA which is the International Agency for Solar Policy and Application of countries situated between Cancer and Capricorn tropics. According to World Resources Institute, per capita emissions of India equal 2.44 metric tonnes as against 8.13 metric tonnes by China. India may be the third largest GHG emitter, but it accounts for less than 7 per cent of the global share. Indian government is looking to increase share of clean energy in total energy mix by close to 40% by 2030. Climate action plan is called INDC. Besides India, 147 other nations have submitted their INDCs to the UNFCCC.

New Lizard Species found
Researchers have found a new species of rock dwelling lizard at Chhattisgarh’s Kanker. The new gecko species has been called Kanker Rock Gecko/Hemidactylus Yajurvedi. The species has been named after Hanumanth Narasimhachar Yajurvedi, professor, department of studies and research in Zoology at Manasagangotri, University of Mysore. This lizard is large sized and has a snout-vent length of up to 98 mm and is the 27th species belonging to this genre found in India. With close to 121 species distributed along the tropics and subtropical region, this is one of the most species rich gekkonid genera. The new species has been located at 5 places in Chhattisgarh.

Treasure trove of corals found by NIO scientists   
A treasure trove of corals have been located mid-sea off the coast of Konkan by National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) scientists. Coral site is located in Arabian Sea around 100 km off from coastal Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg of Maharashtra. Known as Angria Bank, this area was named after famous Maharashtrian Admiral Kanhoji Anger who fought here. Expedition which discovered the corals was commissioned at INR 1.5 crore by UNDP. This marks the first expedition where the NIO RV Sindhu Sadhna was used. Close to 200 species of flora and fauna were found during the expedition with 54 species of corals of which 4 are soft. NIO is one of 37 constituent labs of CSIR.

Beaver rodent that survived mass extinction found by scientists    
Scientists announced the discovery in NW New Mexico badlands of fossil remains of Kimbetopsalis simmonsae, planet eating rodent like animal with incisors like beavers and is estimated at 3 feet long and covered in fur. It existed a few hundred thousand years following mass extinction Kimbetopsalis.

Researchers discover hog nosed rat in Indonesia  
Researchers have discovered a 250 gram hog nosed rat in high altitude jungles of Sulawesi in Indonesia, which represents a new genus. Researchers from Museum Victoria in Australia, Indonesia’s Museum Zoologicum Bogoriense and the Louisiana State University Museum of Natural Science, US, have given the rat the scientific name: Hyorhinomys Stuempkei. Hyo means ‘hog’, rhino means ‘nose’ and mys means ‘rat’. The animal’s distinct features include its very small mouth, large white front teeth, big ears and noticeably long pubic hair. Species have long hind limbs akin to bandicoots. It has a unique anatomy of 40-45 cms.

Germany to provide 125 million Euro loans for green energy
GoI and Federal Republic of Germany have signed 2 loan agreements totalling 125 million Euros for financing projects under Green Energy corridor programme in Himachal Pradesh (HP) and Andhra Pradesh (AP). 57 million Euros will be allocated to HP and 68 million Euros for AP. Green Energy corridor programme seeks promotion of renewable energy into national grid. Renewable energy is one of the key areas of Indo German partnership indicated in the Joint Statement of Hannover recently.

Environment Panel EAC suggests use of imported coal with higher ash content   
Environment Ministry expert panel EAC has suggested the use of imported coal with higher ash content to 25% to aid domestic thermal power plants to use higher grade coal and bring down cost of generation. Recommendation is against the recent demand of Association of Power Producers to restrain ash content in imported coal of 12% as this has forced the coastal regions to only use Indonesian coal. Now, power companies can use high grade, low moisture imported coal from Australia, Russia and S. Africa for better efficiencies and lower cost of generation with same actual ash generation.

GoI to waive transmission charges for electricity generated from renewable
For providing clean energy in the nation, government has taken the decision to waive transmission charges for energy from renewable sources. A legal framework will be brought out where all interstate transmission of renewable energy will be at no cost. Therefore, renewable energy will not be charged for transmission across the nation. Government has also sanctioned contracts worth INR 38,000 crore via competitive bidding for green corridors.

Government launches Access to Clean Cooking Energy and Electricity
Ministry of State (IC) for Coal, Power and New and Renewable Energy launched ‘Access to Clean Cooking Energy and Electricity – Survey of States Report’. The study was conducted by the Council on Energy, Environment & Water (CEEW) in collaboration with Columbia University with support from the Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation. The analysis in the report provides a first of a kind multi-dimensional evaluation of the state of energy access in India. It highlights that about 300 million Indians rely on kerosene for lighting, and more than 800 million relying on traditional biomass. It says that the access to modern forms of energy is still a significant barrier to our development. It suggests that there is a need to focus beyond aggregate figures on electrification and LPG connections, and be sensitive to the numerous drivers which will determine how India will ensure true energy access for all.

Earth’s inner core was formed 1-1.5 billon years ago
Scientists have found that the inner core of the earth was formed 1-1.5 billion years back as it froze from the molten iron outer core. The inner core is Earth’s deepest layer and it is a ball of solid iron larger than Pluto surrounded by liquid outer core. Inner core is a recent addition to the planet and it was formed according to scientists who have debated its period of formation as ranging from 0.5 to 2 billion years. Researchers conducted an analysis of records from ancient igneous rocks and found sharp increase in magnetic field of the planet between 1 to 1.5 billion years ago. Increased magnetic field is a possible indication of the first occurrence of solid iron at the centre of the earth. The research also suggests average growth rate of the solid inner core is one mm per year. Earth’s magnetic field is generated by motion of liquid iron alloy in the outer core around 3000 km beneath the crust of the earth.

BSI scientists discover new species of banana  
Botanical Survey of India (BSI) scientists have found a new species of banana named Musa Indandamanensis from a remote tropical rain forest on the Andaman Islands. The species was located around 16 km within the Krishna Nalah forest in the island. This banana species has unique green flowers and fruit bunch axis thrice the size of a regular banana. Fruit pulp of this banana species is orange in colour as against yellow and white of regular bananas. Trees of the species are close to 11 metres high as against height of 3 to 4 metres for regular species. Unlike other banana species, seeds can be used for germinating new plants. Currently, there are 52 species of bananas occurring in the wild of which 15 are located in India.
Melting of Antarctic ice shelves to double by 2050
Melting of Antarctic ice shelves will increase to double the current amount by 2050 and around 2100, melting may surpass all previous predictions if GHG emissions persist at current rate. Ice shelves are floating extensions of the massive land based ice sheets of the continent. Melting or breakup of floating ice shelves will not raise sea level, but this will have a “door stop” effect wherein the flow of ice will slow from glaciers and ice sheets into the ocean which will stop rising sea levels. Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) researchers are indicating how rapidly melting ice in Antarctica can intensify in a warming climate.

Melting glaciers to change the shape of the Earth
Melting glaciers continue to erode the land causing climate change to impact the shape of the planet. Antarctica is warming up and glaciers are going to move faster and become more erosive, adding to the impact of climate change in the Polar Regions. Faster moving glaciers are responsible for depositing more sediment in downstream basins and continental shelves, creating an impact on fisheries, dams and access to provide potable freshwater in hilly communities. Researchers also found after comparing the glaciers in Patagonia and Antarctic Peninsula, glaciers in warmer Patagonia melted faster causing a greater degree of erosion. Scientists found that glaciers erode 100 to 1000 times faster in Patagonia than Antarctica.

UNEP released Global Waste Management Outlook Highlights.

a) Total global arisings of municipal solid waste (MSW) is around 2 billion tonnes per annum.
b) A broad grouping of ‘urban’ wastes, including MSW, commercial and industrial (C&I) waste, and construction and demolition waste (C&D), is estimated at around 7 to 10 billion tonnes per annum.
c) Around 3 billion people worldwide lacking access to controlled waste disposal facilities.
d) Extending MSW collection to 100% of the urban population is a public health priority and eliminating
uncontrolled disposal is a priority for protecting the environment.
e) E-waste is the fastest-growing waste stream all around the world due to increased consumer demand, perceived obsolesce, and rapid changes in technology and inventions of new.