Topic 1: Antarctica’s melting sea ice killed thousands of emperor penguins chicks

Why in news: Up to 10,000 emperor penguin chicks across four colonies in Antarctica’s Bellingshausen Sea may have died as the sea ice underneath their breeding grounds melted and broke apart in late 2022, according to a new study.

About Emperor Penguins:

Significance of sea ice for emperor penguins:

Key findings of the study:

“That’s why this (Bellingshausen Sea) regional failure is so difficult (for the penguins) because they can’t just go to the nearest colony… A 1,500km region in length has lost almost all its sea ice. We have no real idea what happens if there’s no ice,” Fretwell told The Guardian.

Antarctic sea ice extent shrinking

Like last year, the Antarctic sea ice extent has diminished to a new record low in 2023. But this time, the ice cover is exceptionally low. Throughout July 2023, sea ice averaged 13.5 million sq km, the lowest extent observed for this time of year since the continuous satellite record began in late 1978, according to a NASA Earth Observatory report.

Other implications of ice melting:

Topic 2: Zoning of flood plains

Why in news: Punjab has been reeling under floods for well over a month now and the proposed solution to this is zoning of flood plains.

Significance of flood plains:

Zoning of flood plains

Implications of lack of zoning:

Topic 3: Aditya-L1 mission

Why in news: The Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) has announced that the Aditya-L1 mission, the first space-based Indian observatory to study the Sun, will be launched soon.

About Aditya-L1 mission

What is the L1 point?

Objectives of Aditya-L1

Significance of studying the sun:

Payloads of Aditya-L1 mission

Topic 4: Wrestling Federation of India suspended by United World Wrestling

Why in news: In the backdrop of the wrestlers’ protest over various issues, United World Wrestling (UWW), the world governing body for the sport, has provisionally suspended the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) primarily for not conducting its elections on time.

Implications of the suspension:

What caused the delay?

Way forward

Topic 5: Article 35A

Why in news: Chief Justice of India said Article 35A, which empowered the Jammu and Kashmir Legislature to define “permanent residents” of the State and provide them special privileges, denied fundamental rights to others.

About Article 35A

Topic 6: Moody’s report on population growth

Why in news: As per Moody’s Investors Service report, India’s population growth would raise its labour force availability but that alone won’t be enough to make the economy stronger or improve fiscal outcomes, due to the quality of education in the country.

Key details:

Topic 7: Addis Ababa declaration

Why in news: Fifty-four countries acknowledged key environmental challenges faced by the continent — land degradation, desertification and drought – in the Addis Ababa declaration.

Key details:

Topic 8: Kampala Declaration

Context: A total of 48 African countries recently agreed to adopt the Kampala Ministerial Declaration on Migration, Environment and Climate Change (KDMECC) to address the nexus of human mobility and climate change in the continent. 

Key details:

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