Zimbabwe’s Lake Kariba

Mapping   Source: DTE  Context: The recent El Nino drought has drastically reduced water levels in Zimbabwe’s Lake Kariba, prompting Zimbabwe to declare a national disaster. Lake Kariba, situated between Zambia and Zimbabwe, has seen its water levels plummet to just 13% of its capacity due to an El Nino-induced drought. It was formed by …

Bumblebees

Facts for Prelims (FFP)   Source: PHYS.ORG   Context: According to a new study, bumblebees demonstrate resilience to common pesticides. Researchers exposed bumblebee colonies to individual and combined insecticides and fungicides, finding no negative effects on learning ability or flight activity.  

Gray Slender Loris

Facts for Prelims (FFP)   Source: The Print  Context: A Gray Slender Loris was rescued by forest officials in North Goa.  

Nitroplast

Facts for Prelims (FFP)   Source: Nature  Context: Scientists have discovered a new organelle, termed a nitroplast, within algae that can convert nitrogen gas into a form usable for cell growth. This ground-breaking finding challenges the conventional belief that only bacteria and archaea can perform nitrogen fixation. The nitroplast, found in the algae Braarudosphaera bigelowii, …

Space weather

Facts for Prelims (FFP)   Source: IE  Context: A study has found that the loss of 38 out of 49 Starlink satellites launched by SpaceX was influenced by multiple factors, including poor space weather conditions. The study reveals that moderate geomagnetic storms, which persisted for several days before and during the launch, caused persistent currents …

Inter-Agency Space Debris Coordination Committee (IADC)

Facts for Prelims (FFP)   Source: TH  Context: India, through ISRO, aims to achieve debris-free space missions by 2030, as declared at the 42nd Inter-Agency Space Debris Coordination Committee (IADC) annual meet. This initiative seeks the participation of all Indian space actors, governmental and non-governmental, to ensure long-term sustainability in outer space. ISRO has a …

Pink bollworm

Facts for Prelims (FFP)   Source: Business Line    Context: Cotton farmers in North India are considering shifting to crops like paddy, maize, and guar for the upcoming 2024-25 kharif season due to various challenges. These challenges include weak prices for cotton, severe infestation of pink bollworm (PBW) during the previous season, and increasing labour …

Organ Donation to Foreigners in India

Facts for Prelims (FFP)   Source: TH  Context: The Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has initiated an investigation into organ transplants involving foreign nationals following concerns about potential commercial dealings. National Organ & Tissue Transplant Organization (NOTTO) data shows a significant rise in foreign nationals receiving organ transplants from private hospitals, with reports suggesting …

Soil Acidification

Facts for Prelims (FFP)   Source: DTE  Context: The study highlights the potential loss of soil inorganic carbon (SIC) in Indian soils due to acidification, impacting soil health, crop growth, and carbon sequestration. Soil acidification, driven by industrial activities and intense farming, could lead to the depletion of 3.3 billion tonnes of SIC from the …

Fourth global mass coral bleaching event

Facts for Prelims (FFP)   Source: DTE  Context: NOAA’s Coral Reef Watch (CRW) and the International Coral Reef Initiative (ICRI) have confirmed the occurrence of the fourth global mass coral bleaching event in 2023-2024. This event, the second in the last decade, coincides with unprecedented ocean heat recorded in 2023 and 2024.

Giant rogue waves

Facts for Prelims (FFP)   Source: PHYS.ORG  Context: A University of Melbourne expedition to the Southern Ocean has uncovered that wind is a significant factor in the creation of massive rogue waves. The team utilized advanced technology to capture three-dimensional images of ocean waves, revealing insights into their behaviour. They found that rogue waves arise …