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Indian Express Explained 03/06/2020

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1)Explained: What is the ongoing sixth mass extinction?

What is the Mass Extinction:- Mass extinction refers to a substantial increase in the degree of extinction or when the Earth loses more than three-quarters of its species in a geologically short period of time. So far, during the entire history of the Earth, there have been five mass extinctions. The sixth, which is ongoing, is referred to as the Anthropocene extinction.

What is the 6th Mass Extinction:- Researchers have described it as the “most serious environmental problem” since the loss of species will be permanent.

The loss of species has been occurring since human ancestors developed agriculture over 11,000 years ago. Since then, the human population has increased from about 1 million to 7.7 billion.

The major cause of the Extinction is Humans therefore the name is Anthropocene.

One of the Reason :- Wildlife Trade.

study calls for a complete ban on wildlife trade as many of the species currently endangered or on the brink of extinction are being decimated by legal and illegal wildlife trade.

Researchers point out that the current COVID-19 pandemic, while not fully understood, is also linked to the wildlife trade.

What if the Species go extinct :- According to the Center for Biological Diversity, when species go extinct, the impact can be tangible such as in the form of a loss in crop pollination and water purification.

Further, if a species has a specific function in an ecosystem, the loss can lead to consequences for other species by impacting the food chain.

 “When the number of individuals in a population or species drops too low, its contributions to ecosystem functions and services become unimportant, its genetic variability and resilience is reduced, and its contribution to human welfare may be lost.”

2)Deccan Queen: The historic Deccan Queen train between Mumbai and Pune completed 90 years on Monday (June 1). Probably the only train to have its birthday celebrated, the Deccan Queen’s ‘fans’ and commuters in Pune marked the occasion in absentia, as the train continues to be stranded in Mumbai due to the ongoing lockdown.

3)Do’s and DON’Ts of NISARGA cyclone :-

Here is the full list of Do’s

  • Loose things outside the house should be tied or moved indoors
  • Seal important documents and jewellery in a plastic bag
  • Regularly inspect battery operated as well as reserve power systems
  • Pay attention to the official instructions on television and radio
  • Charge emergency lights, phones and power banks
  • If you do not live in a mud house, choose a part of the house as an emergency shelter and practice how all members of the house will use the space during a cyclone
  • Keep an emergency kit ready
  • Stay away from windows, close some windows and keep some open so that the pressure is maintained
  • Stay at the centre of the room, stay away from corners as debris often accumulates there
  • Hide under strong furniture such as a stool or heavy table or desk, and hold it tight
  • Use your hands to protect your head and neck
  • Avoid large roof spaces such as auditoriums and shopping malls.
  • If you find an open space and there is enough time, find right shelter in the nearest pit or pasture.
  • Relocate to a pre-determined or administration-determined location.
  • Disconnect the power supply of all non-emergency equipment and tools.
  • Store drinking water in a clean place
  • Help people trapped or injured. Provide first aid, as needed.
  • Check for air leaks. If you smell gas or hear a leaking sound, immediately open the windows and exit the building. If possible, turn off the gas valve and report to the gas company.
  • Check for damage to electrical equipment. If you notice sparks, exposed wires, or burning smells of rubber, disconnect the main power supply and call an electrician.
  • Help those in need of special help like children, physically challenged, elderly, neighbours.
  • Fishermen should keep a radio set with extra batteries handy.
  • Fishermen should keep boats and rafts tied up in a safe place.

Here is the full list of Don’ts

  • Don’t spread or believe in rumours
  • Do not attempt to drive or ride any vehicle during the cyclone
  • Stay away from damaged buildings
  • Do not move injured people unless it is absolutely safe to do so. It may cause more harm
  • Do not allow oil and other flammable substances to spill. Clean them immediately.
  • Fishermen should not venture out in the sea.

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