News: The principal reason that led to the 20,000-tonne oil leak at an Arctic region power plant in Russia is being recognised is the sinking of ground surface due to permafrost thaw.
- Permafrost: It is a ground that remains completely frozen at 0 degrees Celsius or below for at least two years.It is defined solely based on temperature and duration.
- Where are they found? Permafrost are most common in regions with high mountains and in Earth’s higher latitudes—near the North and South Poles.
- What is Permafrost made of? Itis made of a combination of soil, rocks and sand that are held together by ice.The soil and ice in permafrost stay frozen all year long.
- A layer of soil on top of permafrost does not stay frozen all year. This layer called the active layer, thaws during the warm summer months and freezes again in the fall.
- How Climate Change is affecting Permafrost? As Earth’s climate warms, the permafrost is thawing.That means the ice inside the permafrost melts, leaving behind water and soil.
- Effects of Thawing Permafrost:
- Ground becomes unstable which leads to landslides, floods, infrastructure damage and threat to survival of indigenous people & animals.
- Release of greenhouse gases by decomposition of organic leftover under permafrost.
- Release of ancient bacteria and viruses into the atmosphere.
News: Union Minister for Agriculture & Farmers Welfare has launched Sahakar Mitra: Scheme on Internship Programme for young professionals.
- Sahakar Mitra Scheme is an initiative of National Cooperative Development Corporation(NCDC).
- Aim: To help cooperative institutions access new and innovative ideas of young professionals while the interns will gain experience of working in the field to be self-reliant.
- Eligibility: Professional graduates in disciplines such as Agriculture and allied areas, IT etc and also who are pursuing or have completed their MBA degrees in Agri-business, Cooperation, Finance, International Trade etc will also be eligible.
- NCDC: It is an apex statutory institution established by an Act of Parliament in 1963 under the Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare.
- Yuva Sahakar scheme: It is implemented by National Cooperative Development Corporation(NCDC) to encourage young entrepreneurs into start-ups in the cooperative sector by providing them cheaper loans.
News: Maharashtra’s Lonar lake has changed its colour to pink prompting scientists to investigate the possible cause.
- Lonar Lake: It is a notified National Geo Heritage Monument located at Lonar, Maharashtra.
- Formation: The lake is believed to have been formed when a meteorite crashed into Earth around 50,000 years ago.
- The lake sits inside the Deccan Plateau—a massive plain of volcanic basalt rock created by eruptions some 65 million years ago.
- Uniqueness: The water of the lake is both saline and alkaline in nature, which makes it one-of-its-kind not only in India but also in the world.
- Significance: The lake is mentioned in ancient scripts like the Skanda Purana, the Padma Purana and the Ain-i-Akbari.