70 Days WAR Plan

Day#62 Static Flash Cards Revision [70 Days WAR Plan]

Seventh Elephant Census; Triclosan; India’s National Communication (NATCOM) report; Brown Carbon; ‘The Blue carbon initiative’; Black holes; ‘Event Horizon’; "Driving Change Together Partnership"; Difference Between Hibernation and Aestivation; RE-Invest 2018; Straight Dynamite; Ammonia Dynamite;
By IT's Core Team
May 22, 2019




According to the seventh elephant census, which Indian state has the highest population of elephants?

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  • According to the seventh elephant census, Karnataka has the highest population of elephants

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Key facts:

  • According to the first ever ‘Synchronized elephant population estimation India 2017 ‘report, released by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change, India’s Asian elephant population is 27,312.
  • According to the seventh elephant census, Karnataka has the highest number of elephants (6,049), followed by Assam (5,719) and Kerala (3,054).
  • The numbers are lower than from the last census estimate in 2012 (between 29,391 and 30,711).

Man-animal conflict:

  • Due to habitat fragmentation, elephants are moving out to agricultural landscapes leading to an increase in man-elephant conflict.
  • Conflict includes both crop damage and loss of lives, there is no single solution for both.
  • The census spanned four regions of the country: the northeast, east-central, south and north.
  • The Asian Nature Conservation Foundation (ANCF) at the Indian Institute of Science (Bengaluru), several NGOs and independent conservationists aided the Project Elephant Directorate and forest departments of 23 states in this exercise.




In context of High Explosives, which is the most sensitive dynamite of all commercials explosives?

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  • Straight Dynamite

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Examples of High Explosives:

  1. Straight Dynamite:
  • This dynamite is the most sensitive of all commercial explosives. The weight strength is the actual percentage of nitroglycerin in the cartridge. This explosive has poor fumes, good water resistance, and poor cohesion.
  • It has velocities between 10,000 and 20,000 feet per second.
  • Absorbents are used in dynamite to hold the explosive base from exudation, seepage, and settlement to the bottom of the cartridge or container. Nitroglycerine in is used as a absorbent in this dynamite.
  1. Ammonia Dynamite:
  • This is similar to straight dynamite except that ammonium and/or sodium nitrate and various carbonaceous fuels are substituted for a portion of the Nitroglycerin.

There are three subclasses of ammonia dynamite:

  • High Density: This product has a detonation velocity of 8000 to 13,000 feet per second, good water resistance, and fair to good fumes.
  • Low Density: This product has detonation velocities between 7,000 and 11,000 feet per second, fair to good fumes and fair to poor water resistance.
  • Permissible Types: These products are similar to the low- density ammonia dynamites except that they contain cooling salts such as sodium chloride. Permissibles must be approved by the U.S. Bureau of Mines under specified conditions of usage. This material usually has good fumes and fair to poor water resistance.
  1. Gelatin Dynamite:
  • Contains nitroglycerin gelled with nitrocellulose, and various absorbent filler materials. Forms a soupy to rubber-like mixture which is water-resistant.

              Straight Gelatin:

  • It Has a detonation velocity of 13,000 to 23,000 feet per second. Varieties with strength rating above 60 percent have poor fume characteristics. Water resistance is excellent and material is very cohesive.

              Ammonia or Special Gelatins:

  • Similar in composition to straight gelatin except that some of the nitroglycerin is replaced with ammonium and sodium nitrates and carbonaceous fuels. Has a detonation velocity between 10,000 and 23,000 feet per second. Water resistance is good.
  1. Semi-gelatin Dynamite:
  • A combination of ammonia gelatin and ammonia dynamite, with lower strength than gelatin, yet has good water resistance. Velocities between 10,000 and 15,000 feet per second. Fume rating is good.




‘RE-Invest’ is an initiative of which Indian Ministry?

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  • Ministry of New and Renewable Energy

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RE-Invest 2018:

  • Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, Government of India is organising the 2nd Global RE-INVEST Renewable Energy Investors’ Meet and Expo, 2018 at India Expo Mart, in Delhi along with the First Assembly of International Solar Alliance (ISA) and Meeting of the Energy Ministers of Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) countries.
  • 2nd RE-INVEST is a great opportunity to showcase policies, achievements and expectations, and facilitate collaboration and trade with India, which today has emerged as the world’s largest renewable energy market.
  • Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) is the Industry Partner for 2nd RE-INVEST.
  • Global RE-INVEST 2018 will build upon the success of RE-INVEST 2015 and provide an international forum to established players as well as new segments of investors and entrepreneurs to engage, ideate and innovate.
  • It will host the First Assembly of International Solar Alliance (ISA) and the Meeting of the Energy Ministers of Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) countries.




What are the differences between hibernation and aestivation?

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Difference Between Hibernation and Aestivation:

  • The state of inactivity and a low metabolic process performed by the animals during the winters is known as Hibernation. It is also known as winter sleep. On the contrary, when animals take rest in shady and moist place during summer, it is called Aestivation or Estivation. Aestivation is also known as summer sleep.
  • The importance of winter sleep is mainly related to the conservation of energy of one’s body, survival during the extremes temperature, scarcity of food and water, etc. Summer sleep can be of long or short duration. During such naps, the use of energy by the animals gets reduced to 70-100 times lesser than the usual time or at an active state.
  • For going into hibernation or aestivation, animals go through the pre-preparation stage, where the animals store enough of food and water which may last for the long duration, but generally, the food is stored in the form of fat, which provides energy to survive.
  • These sleep proceeds gradually, as the metabolic activity, hearts beat and breathing rates also slows down. The electrical activity in the brain though stops, but still, the animals respond to stimuli such as sound, light, and temperature.
  • Though in some cases the animals awake, perhaps every two weeks to take fresh air and deep breath, but when the season change, the arousal starts with the internal body system starts getting active slowly. It takes few hours for animals to get completely active.

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  • Hibernations is the common term used for the reptiles, amphibians, and fishes which spend their winter with the body temperatures near to the freezing.
  • Such hibernators like mammals and bear spent maximum time in dens.
  • The phenomena where the animals go to almost dormant condition, their metabolic activity gets lowered.
  • Certain vertebrate animals adopt it like Bears, Bats, Hamsters, Ground Squirrels, Skunks, Deer Mice, Wood Frogs, etc.
  • Hibernations is called the dormant condition as the animals emerge to be almost dead or near to it. Their body temperature is around to 0 degrees C or 32 degrees F. The only system which is active in their body is breathing, which is also at a slower rate, like their heartbeat.


  • Aestivation or estivation is almost similar to hibernation, but the distinct critical point is that aestivation is the summer sleep.
  • It occurs to the animals living in deserts or tropical areas.
  • It occurs because of the hot and dry climate as well as due to the lack of food and water.
  • In order to survive under hot climate, the vertebrates like arthropods, Mollusca, reptiles, amphibians, (lady beetles, moths, salamanders, crocodiles and tortoises of North America, aborigines, swamp turtle greater siren, African hedgehogs) proceed by going underground in the humid and cold region.
  • This last for the summer season and the animals get active slowly at the end of the season.




The “Driving Change Together Partnership” is an initiative of the 24th Conference of the Parties (COP 24) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). This initiative is related to which sector?

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Electro mobility

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“Driving Change Together Partnership –  Katowice Partnership for E-Mobility”

  • The “Driving Change Together Partnership” is an initiative of the 24th Conference of the Parties (COP 24) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
  • It is dedicated to technological and organisational change, steering the world towards electro mobility and zero-emission transport.
  • Poland, 2018’s host of the UN climate summit – COP24, together with the UK, presented the Declaration on E-mobility ‘Driving Change Together – Katowice Partnership’ for Electromobility in December 2018.
  • Maintaining the current rate of development, including the development of urban agglomerations and megacities, while keeping the current transport model and the dominant types of propulsion and energy sources.
  • It is incompatible with the promotion of a sustainable transport model and the reduction of dependence on fossil fuels.




In context of Black holes, what is ‘Event Horizon’?

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  • There’s a boundary at the edge of a black hole called the event horizon, which is the point at which any light or matter that crosses that boundary is sucked into the black hole.

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Black Holes:

  • Black holes are volumes of space where gravity is extreme enough to prevent the escape of even the fastest moving particles. Not even light can break free, hence the name ‘black’ hole.
  • Due to high density, they are small in size. According to NASA, a black hole 20 times the mass of the sun could fit inside a ball 16 kilometres wide.
  • Black holes were predicted by Einstein’s theory of general relativity, which showed that when a massive star dies, it leaves behind a small, dense remnant core. If the core’s mass is more than about three times the mass of the Sun, the equations showed, the force of gravity overwhelms all other forces and produces a black hole.
  • Black holes can be detected by x-rays, light, or other forms of electromagnetic radiation.
  • If a black hole passes through a cloud of interstellar matter, for example, it will draw matter inward in a process known as accretion. A similar process can occur if a normal star passes close to a black hole.
  • In this case, the black hole can tear the star apart as it pulls it toward itself. As the attracted matter accelerates and heats up, it emits x-rays that radiate into space.
  • As the star collapses, a strange thing occurs. As the surface of the star nears an imaginary surface called the “event horizon,” time on the star slows relative to the time kept by observers far away. When the surface reaches the event horizon, time stands still, and the star can collapse no more – it is a frozen collapsing object.
  • Stellar mass” black holes are generally 10 to 24 times as massive as the Sun. Astronomers spot them when another star draws near enough for some of the matter surrounding it to be snared by the black hole’s gravity, churning out x-rays in the process. Most stellar black holes, however, lead isolated lives and are impossible to detect. Judging from the number of stars large enough to produce such black holes, however, scientists estimate that there are as many as ten million to a billion such black holes in the Milky Way alone.

How does Black hole forms?

  • In the final stages of any star, stars die/burst with a bang in massive explosions known as supernovae.
  • Such a burst flings star matter out into space but leaves behind the stellar core. While the star was alive, nuclear fusion created a constant outward push that balanced the inward pull of gravity from the star’s own mass.
  • In the stellar remnants of a supernova, however, there are no longer forces to oppose that gravity, so the star core begins to collapse in on itself.
  • If its mass collapses into an infinitely small point, a black hole is born. Packing all of that bulk, many times the mass of sun, into such a tiny point gives black holes their powerful gravitational pull.

Types of Black holes:

  • There are four types of black holes: stellar, intermediate, supermassive, and miniature. The most commonly known way a black hole forms is stellar.

Key Facts:

  • The Milky Way hosts its own supermassive black hole at its center known as Sagittarius A* that is more than four million times as massive as sun.
  • Wormholes: A wormhole is a theoretical passage through space-time that could create shortcuts for long journeys across the universe. According to general relativity theory of Einstein, black holes may be connected to passages through space-time known as wormholes.
  • Einstein ring: In observational astronomy an Einstein ring, also known as an Einstein–Chwolson ring, is the deformation of the light from a source (such as a galaxy or star) into a ring through gravitational lensing of the source’s light by black hole.
  • Photon sphere: Closer to a black hole, a zone come where an object must orbit at the speed of light to avoid falling in black hole. Here, light can move in circular orbits and, in principle, one can look forward and see the back of his/her head.




‘The Blue carbon initiative’ is coordinated by which international organizations?

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  • The Initiative is coordinated by Conservation International (CI), the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (IOC-UNESCO).

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What is Blue Carbon?

  • Blue carbon is the carbon stored in coastal and marine ecosystems. The Blue Carbon Initiative currently focuses on carbon in coastal ecosystems – mangroves, tidal marshes and seagrasses.
  • The Initiative is coordinated by Conservation International (CI), the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (IOC-UNESCO).
  • These ecosystems sequester and store large quantities of blue carbon in both the plants and the sediment below.
  • For example, over 95% of the carbon in seagrass meadows is stored in the soils.

Where is It?

  • The Blue Carbon Initiative focuses on mangroves, salt marshes and seagrasses, which are found on every continent except Antarctica.

Why it is important?

  • When protected or restored, blue carbon ecosystems sequester and store carbon.
  • When degraded or destroyed, these ecosystems emit the carbon they have stored for centuries into the atmosphere and oceans and become sources of greenhouse gases. Experts estimate that as much as 1.02 billion tons of carbon dioxide are being released annually from degraded coastal ecosystems, which is equivalent to 19% of emissions from tropical deforestation globally.
  • Mangroves, tidal marshes and seagrasses are critical along the world’s coasts, supporting coastal water quality, healthy fisheries, and coastal protection against floods and storms. For example, mangroves are estimated to be worth at least US$1.6 billion each year in ecosystem services that support coastal livelihoods and human populations around the world.

What is being done?

  • The Blue Carbon Initiative works to protect and restore coastal ecosystems for their role in reducing impacts of global climate change.
  • To support this work, the Initiative is coordinating the International Blue Carbon Scientific Working Group and International Blue Carbon Policy Working Group, which provide guidance for needed research, project implementation and policy priorities.




What is Brown carbon (BrC)?

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  • Brown carbon (BrC) is a carbonaceous aerosol which absorbs solar radiation over a broad range of wavelengths which is beginning to be seen as an important contributor to global warming.

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Brown Carbon:

  • Brown carbon (BrC) is a carbonaceous aerosol which absorbs solar radiation over a broad range of wavelengths which is beginning to be seen as an important contributor to global warming.
  • BrC absorbs both inorganic and organic pollutants, leading to serious effects on human health. Hence, Brown carbon (light-absorbing organic carbon) has attracted interest as a possible cause of climate change.
  • Brown Carbon is a class of organic carbon, known for its light brownish colour, absorbs strongly in the ultraviolet wavelengths and less significantly going into the visible.
  • Types of brown carbon include tar materials from smouldering fires or coal combustion, breakdown products from biomass burning, a mixture of organic compounds emitted from soil, and volatile organic compounds given off by vegetation.
  • A global chemical transport model to examine the enhancement in atmospheric absorption due to brown carbon with emissions for year 2000 and generated the first estimate of the global direct radiative forcing of brown carbon. (Radiative forcing is estimated as the difference in the calculated radiative fluxes with and without brown carbon.)
  • The model simulations suggest that brown carbon contributes about 19% of the total atmospheric absorption by anthropogenic aerosols, while 72% is attributed to black carbon and 9% is due to the coating effect of sulphate and organic aerosols on black carbon.
  • Brown carbon can play an important role in photochemistry and the hydrologic cycle, especially over source regions dominated by biomass burning and biofuel combustion.




What do you know about India’s National Communication (NATCOM) report?

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India’s National Communication (NATCOM) to United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC):

  • As a party to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), India submitted its Initial National Communication in 2004.
  • In 2012, Indian submitted its Second National Communication (NATCOM).
  • The project, with support from the Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India, is funded by Global Environment Facility.
  • It aims to support the preparation and submission of India’s Second National Communication (SNC) to UNFCCC.
  • The SNC will focus on strengthening the capacities created during the early phase, and to take into account the changing national priorities and developmental needs.


  • Refinement of climate change impact assessment studies in water resources, agriculture and natural ecosystems
  • Integrated assessments of Impacts, Vulnerability and Development of Adaptation Frameworks. As part of this, following activities were undertaken
  • Identified hotspots that will assess the climate change impacts on various integrated sectors and the associated physical and socio-economic vulnerabilities
  • Themes such as integrated assessments of Water-Agriculture-Food Security-Livelihoods-Adaptation; Water-Agriculture-Human Health-Livelihoods-Adaptation; Forests- Forest Products-Livelihoods-Adaptation; Vulnerabilities of energy systems and infrastructure due to the changing temperature and precipitation patterns have been undertaken with a mix of modelling and case studies.
  • Set up of institutional frameworks of coordinating agencies that will work on preparing the inventory of greenhouse gas emission and potential mitigation measures




Triclosan, recently seen in news. What is it? And why is it harmful?

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  • Triclosan is an ingredient added to many consumer products intended to reduce or prevent bacterial contamination.
  • It is an antibacterial and antifungal agent found in some consumer products.
  • It is added to some antibacterial soaps and body washes, toothpastes, and some cosmetics.
  • It also can be found in many every day products like clothing, kitchenware, furniture, toys, etc.
  • There are lots of such products that use triclosan that are put to skin and mouth.
  • Consumer goods that use triclosan have to be phased out in the EU this year.

Why is it harmful?

  • The exposure to high doses of triclosan is associated with a decrease in the levels of some thyroid hormones.
  • It is an endocrine disruptor in several animal studies—meaning it could alter hormone systems, leading to reproductive and developmental problems.
  • It has indiscriminate bacteria-killing feature that contributes to making bacteria resistant to antibiotics and could alter the gut microbiome.
  • It has also concerns towards development of antibiotic resistance.
  • It has potential of developing skin cancer after a long-term exposure to triclosan in animals.
  • One study on rats showed that male rats had reduced testosterone and sperm production, while female rats exposed to it had miscarriages.
  • Though there are lack of human studies but the researches on animals suffice enough into possible human effects and hence be cautious towards triclosan.
  • It is present in human urine and blood plasma at high rates ought to make the red flags from animal studies
  • Studies have determined triclosan can cross the placenta, and it showed up in cord blood samples and amniotic fluid of pregnant women tested in the US and India.
  • It shows up in women’s breast milk, too.
  • When triclosan-laced acne face wash is used, the water that goes down the sink heads to a wastewater treatment plant, where chlorine is added.
  • Triclosan can react with chlorine to form chlorinated by-products such as chloroform, which the World Health Organization categorizes as a “possible human carcinogen.”
  • But unlike some pernicious compounds, once a person stops being exposed to triclosan, it will eventually disappear from their system.

Studies effect on human health:

  • Abnormal endocrine system/thyroid hormone signalling.
  • Weakening of immune system.
  • Children exposed to antibacterial products at an early age have an increased chance of developing allergies, asthma and eczema.
  • Uncontrolled cell growth.
  • Developmental and reproductive toxicity.
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