Table of Contents
- What will it take for an Indian city to become low carbon?
Facts for Prelims
- Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park
- Homo Naledi
What will it take for an Indian city to become low carbon?
By 2050, the world’s population in cities will reach seven billion, with cities already contributing a staggering 29 trillion tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2020. This not only poses health risks but also leads to extreme weather events and loss of lives and livelihoods.
Importance of Energy-System Transitions:
- An energy-system transition can reduce urban carbon dioxide emissions by about 74%.
- Advancements in clean energy and technology have made low-carbon solutions economically viable.
Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Cities:
- Transitioning requires integrating mitigation and adaptation options across sectors like energy, buildings, transportation, industry, and land-use.
- Supply-side options include phasing out fossil fuels, increasing renewable energy, and utilizing carbon capture and storage.
- Demand-side strategies involve reducing energy and material demand and shifting to renewable sources.
Tailoring Strategies to Different Cities:
- Strategies vary based on a city’s characteristics like spatial form, land-use pattern, development level, and urbanization.
- Established cities can focus on infrastructure retrofitting, promoting energy-efficient transport, and adopting renewable-based cooling and heating.
- Rapidly growing cities can prioritize colocating housing and jobs, embracing low-carbon technologies, and efficient urban planning.
- New cities can design energy-efficient infrastructure, implement net-zero energy building codes, and use low-emission construction materials.
Ensuring a Just Transition:
- Energy transitions must consider social and environmental justice.
- Disproportionate impacts on certain communities and sectors must be addressed.
- Developing economies heavily reliant on fossil fuel exports face economic challenges in transitioning.
- Developed countries must tackle energy poverty and environmental injustices faced by marginalized communities.
- Solutions require governance and planning, behavioral shifts, technological innovation, and building institutional capacity.
Transitioning to low-carbon cities is essential for climate justice. It demands addressing the complex issues faced by cities at different stages of urbanization and adopting a comprehensive approach that includes multiple stakeholders, energy efficiency, investments, and diverse knowledge streams. A commitment to social equity and justice is at the heart of building sustainable and resilient cities.
Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park
The Director of the Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park recently bagged UNESCO’s Michel Batisse Award for 2023.
Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park: A Rich Coastal Region
Designation and Richness:
- Designated as a Biosphere Reserve, Gulf of Mannar is one of India’s biologically richest coastal regions.
- It is the first Marine Biosphere Reserve in South and Southeast Asia.
- Located between Dhanushkodi and Thoothukudi in Tamil Nadu, covering a distance of 160 km.
Islands and Coral Reefs:
- Encompasses a chain of 21 islands (2 already submerged) and surrounding coral reefs.
- Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park, established in 1980, consists of three unique aquatic ecosystems: mangroves, seagrass, and coral reef.
- Mangroves dominate the intertidal areas, including species like Rhizophora, Avicennia, and Bruguiera.
- The park is home to about 12 species of seagrass.
- Approximately 150 species of seaweeds are found in the park’s waters.
- There is also one endemic flowering herb called Pemphis acidula in the parklands.
- The Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park is known for its endangered marine mammal, the Dugong.
- It boasts a recorded count of 117 species of hard coral.
The park is a habitat for various vulnerable whale species, including humpback whales, blue whales, and fin whales.
Recent findings by palaeoanthropologists indicate that Homo naledi, an extinct human species from long ago, may have practiced burial rituals and created symbolic carvings in a cave.
Homo Naledi: An Extinct Hominin Species
- Fossils of Homo naledi were found in the Dinaledi Chamber of the Rising Star Cave system in South Africa in 2013.
- This excavation uncovered the largest collection of a single hominin species in Africa.
- Homo naledi lived in South Africa.
- They existed between 335,000 and 236,000 years ago.
Height: Approximately 4 ft 9 in (1.44m).
Weight: Estimated between 88 – 123 lbs (39.7 – 55.8 kg).
- Homo naledi resembled humans in walking upright and using their hands, but they had smaller heads, shorter stature, and a more robust build.
- Their shoulders were adapted for climbing, and their teeth were similar to earlier hominins like Australopithecus.
- They had human-like hands and feet, but their brain size was about one-third of that of humans.
Homo naledi had reduced cheek teeth, similar jaws, and feet like other Homo species.
According to new research, defibrillators are used in only one out of every ten cardiac arrests where lifesaving devices are available.
Defibrillators: Life-Saving Devices for Heart Health
- Defibrillators restore a normal heartbeat by delivering an electric pulse or shock to the heart.
- They treat arrhythmias, which are abnormal heart rhythms that can be too slow or too fast.
- Defibrillators can also revive the heart if it stops suddenly.
Types of Defibrillators:
Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs):
- Lightweight, portable devices that use batteries.
- They analyze the heart’s rhythm and deliver a shock to restore normal rhythm.
- Used for aiding people experiencing cardiac arrest.
Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillators (ICDs):
- Surgically placed in the chest or stomach area.
- Continuously monitor for arrhythmias that can disrupt blood flow or cause the heart to stop.
- Deliver a shock to restore a regular heart rhythm.
Wearable Cardioverter Defibrillators (WCDs):
- Worn on the body with sensors attached to the skin.
- Connected to a unit that monitors heart rhythm and provides shocks if necessary.
- Can deliver both low- and high-energy shocks.
- Worn under clothing as a vest with an attached belt, custom-fitted for the individual’s size.
Programmed to detect specific heart rhythms.