GS Paper I–Salient features of world’s physical geography.
Aerosols ‘shrinking’ India’s monsoon
- While greenhouse gases, or GHGs, are causing concern about the long-term fate of the Indian monsoon.
- Researchers now think aerosols from vehicular exhaust, half-burnt crop residue, dust and chemical effluents may be weakening the life-giving rainy season even more than GHGs.
- Monsoon is traditionally defined as a seasonal reversing wind accompanied by corresponding changes in precipitation
- But it is now used to describe seasonal changes in atmospheric circulation and precipitation associated with the asymmetric heating of land and sea.
Some facts about monsoon:
- The major monsoon systems of the world consist of the West Africanand Asia-Australian The inclusion of the North and South American monsoons with incomplete wind reversal has been debated.
Key points from studies:
- An Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, Pune, team led by climatologist R. Krishnan studying the likely monsoon impact of GHGs over the next century has come to this conclusion.
- In 2015, Mr. Krishnan reported in the journal Climate Dynamics that a mix of GHGs, aerosols and changes in forest and agricultural cover was affecting the strength of the monsoon, which was known to be weakening over the last 50 years. This result was based on mathematical modelling and computer simulation.
- The scientist and his team used an upgraded forecasting model that was used this year by the India Meteorological Department for forecasts.
- The model will help prepare India’s first home-grown forecast of climate change from global warming, and be part of Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports.
- Dust clouds shield the earth from the sun’s rays, depressing land and sea temperatures.
- The monsoon, which is produced by the difference in temperature between the two, is thus weakened.
Sources– The Indian Express, The Hindu.
GS Paper III– International relations.
On eve of PM’s tour, Palestine hopes to keep India ties firm
- Modi will be in Tel Aviv & Jerusalem from July 4, 2017.
- Modi will not travel to Palestinian side.
- However, unlike President Mukherjee, and three External Affairs Ministers Jaswant Singh (2000), S.M. Krishna (2012) and Sushma Swaraj (2016), Modi will not pay a visit to the Palestinian side.
Why is Israel being important to India?
- After collapse of erstwhile USSR, India started improving ties with Israel. Now –
- India is the largest buyer of Israeli military equipment.
- Israel is the second-largest defence supplier to India after Russia.
- From 1999 to 2009, the military business between the two nations was worth around $9 billion.
- Military and strategic ties between the two nations extend to intelligence sharing on terrorist groups and joint military training.
- As of 2014, India is the third-largest Asian trade partner of Israel, and tenth-largest trade partner overall.
Key points discussed were:
- India’s relations with Israel should not come at the “expense of ties” with Palestine, but the Palestinian Authority (PA) understands the need for India to de-hyphenate ties with both, says the Palestinian President’s diplomatic adviser Dr. Majid ElKhaldi in an interview ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Israel.
- Modi will travel to Tel Aviv and Jerusalem from July 4, and will be the first Indian Prime Minister to visit Israel.
- he government had hosted Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in Delhi in May this year, separately signing several agreements on development assistance, and backing Palestine’s claim to a “two-state solution.”
- ElKhaldi said. “Our President spoke to Prime Minister Modi at length about the need to bring a resumption of Israel-Palestine dialogue and an acceptance of Palestine’s just demand for a two-state solution along the 1967-lines, with East Jerusalem as a capital”.
GS Paper II- International Relations.
Deadline to resolve Qatar rift nears
- Qatar faces possible further sanctions by Arab states that have severed ties with Doha over allegations of links to terrorism.
- As a deadline to accept their demands is expected to expire.
- The feud erupted last month when Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt severed diplomatic and travel ties with Qatar.
- Accusing it of supporting terrorism and being an ally of regional foe Iran, charges that Doha denies.
Impact on Qatar:
- Qatar’s stock market fell sharply (as the Qatari stock index sank as bringing its losses to 11.9%)
- Saudi and the other countries cut diplomatic and trade ties.
- Qatar may be forced out of the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council.
- The Western-backed body was formed in 1981 in the wake of Iran’s Islamic Revolution and the outbreak of the Iran-Iraq war.
- Gulf states could ask their trading partners to choose between working with them or with Doha.
List of 13 demands?
- The countries have threatened further sanctions against Qatar if it does not comply with their list of 13 demands presented to Doha by Kuwaiti mediators.
- The demands include closing a Turkish military base in Qatar and shutting the Al Jazeera Pan-Arab television network, which Doha also rejected.
Why shutting the Al Jazeera Pan-Arab television network?
- Qatar’s Gulf critics accuse Al Jazeera of being a platform for extremists and an agent of interference in their affairs.
- The network has rejected the accusations and said it will maintain its editorial independence.
- Gulf countries have insisted the demands were non- negotiable.
- The UAE Ambassador to Russia has said Qatar could face fresh sanctions if it does not comply with the demands.
- They have not specified what further sanctions they could impose on Doha but commercial bankers in the region believe that Saudi, Emirati and Bahraini banks might receive official guidance to pull deposits and interbank loans from Qatar.
- A more serious sanction would be to ban investors from holding Qatari assets, but authorities have given no sign of doing this.
Sources– The Indian Express, The Hindu, MEA.