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Environment Current Affairs
Environment Current Affairs February 2nd Week 2019
Author : Admin
Category : Environment Current Affairs
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Environment Current Affairs February 2nd Week 2019

1. Indus River dolphin declared as state aquatic animal of Punjab

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh declared the endangered Indus River dolphin, found only in the Beas River in the country, as the state aquatic animal.
As per the WWF figures, the number of dolphins presently is 1816, mostly found in the lower parts of the Indus River in Pakistan between Chashma and Kotri barrages in the Indus River.
Points to Remember
Punjab has Black Buck as its state animal, and Baaj, also known as northern goshawk (accipiter gentilis), as the official state bird.
2. Nilavembu kudineer
The Tamil Nadu government has distributed nilavembu kudineer (a Siddha medicine) concoction to treat people infected with dengue during the outbreak.
Under in vitro conditions, nilavembu kudineer (a Siddha medicine) was found to provide protection against chikungunya virus while it was effective as a treatment during acute phase of dengue infection.
The outbreak of dengue in Tamil Nadu has the state government and the Ayush Ministry pushing nilavembu kudineer, a Siddha concoction of nine herbs, to patients and others. 
Extolling the benefits of the herbal concoction, the Ayush Ministry states that nilavembu kudineer is “Antipyretic (used to prevent or reduce fever), Analgesic (pain-relieving) and Anti-dengue activity proved.”
The Ministry goes onto reference two studies – Anna PK ling et all, 2012 and Anbarasu, 2011 – to support its claim that nilavembu kudineer inhibits dengue and chikungunya fever.  
One of the core ingredients of the niluvembu kudineer is andrographis paniculata (AP).  
A 2014 review published in Scientific World journal points to the infertility effect the herb has on rats. 
“Few studies showed the toxic effect of AP on reproductive system by damaging the Sertoli cell in male gonads in albino rats.”
3. Cow urine may be adding to global warming
A study says cow urine may be adding to global warming.
The urine from the ruminant is a source of nitrous oxide emissions (N2O), a gas that is 300 times more powerful than carbon dioxide.
Most times, when cow urine is used in degraded pastures, N2O emissions are tripled.
The cattle and livestock are a significant source of methane, a greenhouse gas, and therefore a contributor to global warming, is well-known. However, the role of cow urine is less understood.
Dung and urine are commonly mixed together for manure in Indian fields. Since, India also hosts the world’s largest livestock population, as well as significant tracts of degraded land, the findings may have a bearing on nitrogen emissions from Indian fields.
A 2012 satellite study by the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) said that about 30% of India’s geographical area (or about 96.4 million hectares) is degraded.
Degraded pastures not only affect food security and the livelihood of farmers, but affect the livelihood of future farmers because they emit more gases that cause global warming.
Degraded grasslands emitted more N2O than healthy pastures because the vegetation in the latter took up some of the reactive nitrogen compounds and only the leftovers were emitted.
4. Africa Centre for Climate and Sustainable Development
The Africa Centre for Climate and Sustainable Development was inaugurated by the Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte at Rome.
The centre has been opened by the Italian government in association with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO).
The centre would facilitate coordination among the G7 and African countries on common initiatives in Africato achieve the goals set by the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda.
The Centre would contribute towards addressing the needs of Africa by providing a platform for G7 countries to steer their cooperation to contrast environmental degradation and promote sustainable economic growth in the region.
The centre will provide a fast-track, demand-driven mechanism for African countries to access grant resources that support policies, initiatives, and best practices on climate change, food security, access to water, clean energy, and accelerating progress on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Africa.
The centre would be hosted by UNDP which would utilise its extensive country office network and programmatic hubs, and global expertise and knowledge, to enable the African countries to access the resources available through it.
5. US warms up to flood threat after polar vortex
The Midwestern United States is preparing for flooding as bitterly cold weather is replaced by a spell of mild weather leading to a rapid thaw. 
The meteorologists have warned that the fast-rising temperature may not be all good news. 
They have indicated that the thaw may cause a new set of risks, including flooding on streets and in homes, ice jams in lakes, and slippery sidewalks and driveways. 
As temperatures reached 11 to 12 degrees Celsius in Chicago, schools reopened, businesses resumed and people came back on the streets. 
According to the World Meteorological Organization, the harsh weather was caused by the influence of the Arctic polar vortex.



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