What is Heat Wave in India?

heat wave

In simple terms, a heatwave is a weather phenomenon that is a period of abnormally high surface temperature relative to those normally expected over longer than usual period of time.

Every country defines its own definition of a heat wave according to the local temperature and weather prevailing there.

How India defines Heat Wave?

According to Indian Meteorological Department (IMD), a heatwave is considered if the maximum temperature of a station reaches at least 40°C or more for Plains, 37°C or more for coastal stations and at least 30°C or more for Hilly regions.

Following criteria are used to declare heatwave:

Criteria
Based on Departure from Normal1. Heat Wave: Departure from normal is 4.5°C to 6.4°C
2. Severe Heat Wave: Departure from normal is >6.4°C
Based on Actual Maximum Temperature
(for plains only)
1. Heat Wave: When actual maximum temperature ≥ 45°C
2. Severe Heat Wave: When actual maximum temperature ≥47°C
To declare heatwave, the above criteria should be met at least in 2 stations in a Meteorological sub-division for at least two consecutive days and the heatwave will be declared on the second day.

What are Locusts and its types?

locust

Locusts are a group of short-horned grasshoppers in the family Acrididae that have a swarming phase while multiplying in numbers as they migrate long distances in destructive swarms.

There are four species of Locusts found in India. They are Desert locust (Schistocerca gregaria), Migratory locust (Locusta migratoria), Bombay Locust (Nomadacris succincta), and Tree locust (Anacridium sp.).

The desert locust is considered as the most destructive pest in India as well as internationally, with a small swarm covering one square kilometre being able to consume the same amount of food in one day as 35,000 people.

Why are Locusts in news?

Locusts are at the center of debate due to major attacks observed in several countries like India, Pakistan, and East African Countries.

These swarms of Locusts travel long distances, quickly eating leaves, flowers, fruits, etc and inflict heavy damage to plants and crops as they descend on them in massive numbers.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization(FAO), there are three hotspots of threatening locust activity (where they are most threatening)- the Horn of Africa, the Red Sea area, and Southwest Asia.

They migrated in large swarms from these hotspots to the parts of Rajasthan and Gujarat causing heavy damage to standing crops.

Climate change is being held responsible for their numbers to surge.

Indian Ocean Dipole is responsible for the increase in rain over the east of Africa thus creating moist and favorable breeding environment thus increasing their numbers to such a large extent.

How to control Locusts Swarms?

Controlling these pests are really important as they can have devastating impact on agriculture, thus effecting farmers.

The most commonly used control method is spraying insecticides from land or aerial vehicle. The insecticide commonly use is Malathion.

Although, this method has environmental concerns as insecticides can be harmful to crops and the environment.

Natural predators like wasps, reptiles, birds, can help keep small swarms at bay.

Use of newly developed microbial pesticides can help in controlling locusts.

The government’s initiative to control Locusts swarms – Locust Warning Organisation (LWO), Directorate of Plant Protection Quarantine and Storage, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, is responsible for monitoring, survey, and control of Desert Locust in Scheduled Desert Areas mainly in the States of Rajasthan and Gujarat.

How many Ramsar Sites are in India? (Updated 2020)

ramsar

There are a total of 37 (27 + 10 recently added) Ramsar Sites in India.

List of Ramsar Sites in India –

State/UTsRamsar Site
Jammu and KashmirHokera Wetland, Surinsar- Mansar lakes, Wular lake
Himachal PradeshChandra Taal, Pong Dam lake, Renuka lake
PunjabBeas Conservation Reserve, Harike Wetlands, Kanjli Wetland,
Keshopur-Miani Community Reserve(Gurdaspur Wildlife sanctuary), Nangal Wildlife Sanctuary, Ropar Wetland
Uttar PradeshNawabganj Bird Sanctuary, Parvati Agra Bird Sanctuary, Saman Bird Sanctuary,
Samaspur Bird Sanctuary, Sandi Bird Sanctuary, Sarsai Nawar Jheel, Upper Ganga river
RajasthanKeoladeo National Park, Sambhar lake
AssamDeepor Beel
TripuraRudrasagar Lake
ManipurLoktak lake
GujaratNalsarovar Bird sanctuary
Madhya PradeshBhoj Wetlands
West BengalEast Kolkata Wetlands, Sunderban Wetland
OdishaBhitarkanika Mangroves, Chilika Lake
Andhra PradeshKolleru lake
MaharashtraNandur Madhameshwar (Bird Sanctuary)
Tamil NaduPoint Calimere Wildlife and Bird Sanctuary
KeralaSasthamkotta lake, Vembanad Kol Wetland

Recently Added Ramsar Sites (Updated 2020)

The Ramsar Convention has declared 10 more wetlands in India as sites of international importance.

This has taken the total to 37 Ramsar Sites in India..

These recently added Sites are –

  • PUNJAB – Keshopur-Miani Community Reserve,(Gurdaspur Wildlife sanctuary), Nangal Wildlife Sanctuary, Beas Conservation Reserve
  • Uttar Pradesh – Sarsai Nawar Jheel, Nawabganj Bird Sanctuary, Samaspur Bird Sanctuary, Sandi Bird Sanctuary, Parvati Agra Bird Sanctuary, Saman Bird Sanctuary
  • Maharashtra – Nandur Madhameshwar(Bird Sanctuary)

Where are Coral Reefs found in India?

corals

Coral Reefs in India can be found in the following regions –

Gujarat – Gulf of Mannar and Gulf of Kutch

Andaman and Nicobar Islands

Lakshadweep islands

Maharashtra – Malvan and Angria Bank

Karnataka – Nertrani Islands

Palk Bay ( Palk Bay (Palk strait) is a shallow and confined sea falling between Tamil Nadu in India and Srilanka).

What are corals and Coral Reefs?

Corals are marine invertebrates within the class Anthozoa of the phylum Cnidaria. They typically live in compact colonies of many identical individual polyps.

A coral reef is an underwater ecosystem characterized by reef-building corals. Reefs are formed of colonies of coral polyps held together by calcium carbonate. Most coral reefs are built from stony corals, whose polyps cluster in groups.

World Wide distribution of coral reefs

Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, the Pacific Ocean, the Indian Ocean, the Caribbean Sea, the Red Sea, and the Persian Gulf contains most of the Coral Reefs in the world.

Corals are also found farther from the equator in places where warm currents flow out of the tropics, such as in Florida and southern Japan.