Today’s Current Affairs: 1st Jul 2023 for UPSC IAS exams, State PSC exams, SSC CGL, State SSC, RRB, Railways, Banking Exam & IBPS, etc
Table of Contents
American Bald Eagle : Removed From The Endangered Species List
The American bald eagle was removed from the endangered species list in 2007, marking a significant milestone in its conservation.
- The bird’s population has steadily increased since then, with a 2021 report stating that the number of bald eagles in the wild has quadrupled since 2009.
- The bald eagle, once abundant across the United States with an estimated 100,000 nesting birds in the country, faced a severe decline in population due to hunting, habitat destruction, and the pesticide
- However, measures such as the ban on DDT and the implementation of the Endangered Species Act helped protect the species and prevent it from going extinct.
- The bald eagle’s natural range covers most of North America, including most of Canada, all of the continental US, and northern Mexico.
- It is the only sea eagle endemic to North America.
- The average life span of bald eagles is 20 to 30 years.
- Bald eagles build their nests at the very top of tall trees so the eggs will be safe.
- Female bald eagles are a bit bigger than the males.
- Besides live fish, bald eagles also prey on other birds, small mammals, snakes, turtles, and crabs, and they readily eat carrion (decaying flesh of dead animals).
- Protection Status IUCN Status: Least Concern
Short-Lived Halogens : Contributions To Cooling The Environment
The recently published report of the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology said that halogens’ contributions to cooling the environment could increase to 18-31 per cent by 2100.
Key findings of the report:
- Oceans, along with absorbing carbon dioxide and moderating the climate, also cool the planet by releasing short-lived halogens such as chlorine, bromine and iodine.
- The short-lived halogens from the ocean reduce warming by depleting ozone.
- They increase methane’s lifetime in the atmosphere by destroying hydroxyl radicals (OH).
- They have increased the global methane burden by 14 per cent and 9 per cent for pre-industrial and present-day conditions.
- Halogens increase the levels of water vapour, a greenhouse gas in the atmosphere.
- The emission of halogen from the ocean is not the same across the world.
- Over continents, the emissions are small, while it is bigger in polar regions and some places with higher ozone levels.
- Short-lived halogens refer to chlorine, bromine, and iodine compounds that have a relatively short lifespan in the atmosphere, typically less than six months.
- These halogens play a role in the Earth’s climate system by contributing to cooling and warming effects.
PEN Pinter Prize 2023:
Michael Rosen, a British children’s writer and performance poet, has been awarded the PEN Pinter Prize 2023.
- The prize is given to a writer from the UK, Ireland, and the Commonwealth who is committed to fearless exposition of truth about contemporary life.
- Michael Rosen works is known for his accessible poetry for children and his themes often touch on social, political, and ethical issues.
- He has published over 140 books and has championed a style of writing that reflects children’s everyday worlds and validates their imaginative thinking.
PEN Pinter Prize:
- Named in honour and memory of English writer Harold Pinter, the PEN Pinter Prize is a prestigious award which is given to a writer who reflects a “fierce intellectual determination (to) define the real truth of our lives and our societies,”.
- Established in 2009, previous winners of the PEN Pinter Prize include Hanif Kureishi (2010), Salman Rushdie (2014), and Lemn Sissay (2019).
Banking On World Heritage : India To Host
India is hosting the “Banking on World Heritage” exhibition, showcasing currency notes from G-20 countries featuring UNESCO world heritage sites.
- The exhibition, held at the Indira Gandhi National Centre for Arts, highlights the cultural significance of currency.
- It features Indian currency notes, including the ₹10 note with the Sun Temple, the ₹20 note with the Ellora caves, the ₹500 note with the Red Fort, and two ₹100 notes depicting the Kanchenjunga mountains and Gujarat’s “Rani Ki Vav” stepwell.
- The event emphasizes that each currency note carries a country’s cultural heritage.
- The G-20 comprises 19 countries and the European Union, with each member featuring their UNESCO world heritage sites on their currency notes.
Anamalai Tiger Reserve : Siena Drone Photo Awards 2023
An elephant image shot at Anamalai Tiger Reserve (ATR) has emerged as the winner in the Wildlife category of the Siena Drone Photo Awards 2023, announced recently.
- Anamalai Tiger Reserve is a protected area located at an altitude of 1400 m in the Anamalai Hills of Pollachi and Coimbatore District of Tamil Nadu.
- It lies South of the Palakkad gap in the Southern Western Ghats.
- It is surrounded by Parambikulum Tiger Reserve on the East, Chinnar Wildlife Sanctuary and Eravikulum National Park on the South Western side.
- The reserve is also surrounded by Nenmara, Vazhachal, Malayattur and Marayur reserved forests of Kerala.
- It was declared a Tiger reserve in the year 2007.
- It supports diverse habitat types, Wet evergreen forests, semi-evergreen forests, moist deciduous, dry deciduous, dry thorn and shola forests.
- Other unique habitats like montane grasslands, savannah and marshy grasslands are also present.
- Around 2500 species of angiosperms are found in the Anamalai Tiger Reserve, with several species of Balsam, Crotalaria, Orchids and Kurinchi.
- The reserve is rich in wild relatives of cultivated species like mango, jackfruit, wild plantain, ginger (Zingiber officinale), turmeric, pepper (Piper longum), cardamom etc.
- The important wild animals of the reserve include: Tiger, Asiatic elephant, Sambar, Spotted deer, Barking deer, Jackal, Leopard, Jungle cat etc.
Siena Drone Photo Awards:
- It is the most important worldwide competition in aerial photography and video.
- It’s a project of Siena Awards, dedicated to a different photographic genre deliberately separated from being compared to traditional photography.
Intergovernmental Negotiations Framework (IGN):
President of the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly recently said the first segments of the UN Intergovernmental Negotiations Framework (IGN) meetings are now webcast, and a dedicated website on Security Council reform has been established.
- Intergovernmental Negotiations Framework (IGN) is a group of nation-states working within the UN to further reform the United Nations Security Council (UNSC).
- The IGN is composed of several different international organisations, namely:
- The African Union;
- The G4 nations (India, along with Brazil, Japan and Germany are pressing for a permanent seat in the reformed UNSC);
- The Uniting for Consensus Group (UfC), also known as the “Coffee Club”;
- The L.69 Group of Developing Countries;
- The Arab League; and
- The Caribbean Community (CARICOM).
- Each group represents a different set of positions vis-a-vis reforming the UNSC.
- The group’s conversations are considered “informal” in nature due to the lack of single text, and thus, UNGA rules of procedure don’t apply.
- But in 2015, a framework document was agreed when it comes to the reform, which can be the basis for future talks.
World Asteroid Day 2023:
World Asteroid Day is observed on June 30 every year.
- World Asteroid Day is observed on June 30 every year.
- The day aims to raise awareness about asteroid impact hazards and crisis communication actions in case of a credible asteroid threat to planet Earth.
- The day also aims to educate people about the latest and upcoming asteroid research and technology through numerous events and activities held by organisations across the globe.
- The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) passed a resolution in December 2016, designating June 30 as International Asteroid Day.
- The UNGA adopted the resolution based on the proposal made by the Association of Space Explorers, endorsed by the Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS).
- The date was chosen to commemorate the anniversary of the Tunguska asteroid’s impact over Siberia on June 30, 1908.
Ghost Particles :New Picture Of Our Galaxy
Scientists have recently revealed a new picture of our galaxy: made up of invisible “ghost particles” that have not been detected until now.
- Neutrinos are tiny subatomic particles, often called ‘ghost particles’ because they barely interact with anything else.
- Neutrinos come from all kinds of different sources and are often the product of heavy particles turning into lighter ones, a process called “decay.”
- Neutrinos are denoted by the Greek symbol ν, or nu (pronounced “new”).
- They belong to the family of particles known as leptons.
- There are three main leptons, namely electrons, muons and tau particles, and each one has an associated neutrino and anti-neutrino.
- A neutrino is very similar to an electron but has no electrical charge and a very small mass.
- They are the most common particle in the universe. Approximately 100 trillion neutrinos pass completely harmlessly through the human body every second.
- They are extraordinarily difficult to detect, as they rarely collide with atoms.
- Of the four fundamental forces in the universe, neutrinos only interact with two — gravity and the weak force.
- But not all neutrinos are the same.
- They come in different types and can be thought of in terms of flavours, masses, and energies.
Aspartame Can Be Declared Carcinogenic By WHO:
The artificial sweetener called aspartame, found in many soft drinks, is set to be declared carcinogenic by the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) cancer research unit.
- Aspartame is the world’s most commonly used low-calorie artificial sweetener, which is approximately 200 times sweeter than sucrose (common sugar)
- It was discovered by James M. Schlatter, a chemist, in 1965 and was introduced to replace sucrose.
- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved aspartame for use in some dry foods in 1981 and for carbonated beverages in 1983.
- It is made up of two amino acids: aspartic acid and phenylalanine, which are naturally occurring amino acids in many protein-rich foods.
- In the body, aspartame is metabolised into its constituent components, aspartic acid, phenylalanine, and a small amount of methanol.
- It is used worldwide as a sugar substitute in thousands of foods and drinks, including cereals, sugar-free chewing gum, low-calorie fruit juices and diet sodas.
- Around 100 countries around the world, including India, permit the use of aspartame.
Euclid Space Telescope : To be Launched
In an unprecedented effort, the European Space Agency plans to survey billions of galaxies using the Euclid Space Telescope, which is to be launched on July 1.
- Euclid Space Telescope is named after the Greek mathematician Euclid of Alexandria.
- This mission is part of ESA’s Cosmic Vision programme, which plans to explore the origin and components of the Universe and the fundamental laws that govern it.
- The spacecraft will have a 1.2-metre-wide telescope and two instruments;
- It will look for tiny distortions in the shapes of distant galaxies from different points in time to highlight the tussle between the pull of gravity and the push of dark energy.
- It will look at how quickly the galaxies are moving away from each other, which will offer scientists insight into both dark energy and the working of gravity.
- The detectors of the near-infrared instruments have been supplied by NASA, making the American agency an important part of the Euclid Consortium.
- It will be floating 1.5 million kilometres above the Earth, and the telescope hopes to deliver images that are at least four times sharper than ground-based ones.
- The spacecraft measures approximately 4.7 metres tall and 3.7 metres in diameter.
- It will be launched on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket and will remain operational for a minimum of six years.
Senegal Has Become The Fourth Country To Sign The JET-P Deal:
Senegal signed the Just Energy Transition Partnership (JET-P) deal.
- Just Energy Transition Partnership (JET-P) is a mechanism for multilateral financing by developed countries to support an energy transition in developing countries.
- It aims to reduce emissions in the energy sector and accelerate the coal phase-out.
- Transition describes the gradual movement towards lower carbon technologies, while ‘Just’ qualifies that this transition will not negatively impact society, jobs and livelihoods.
- It was launched at the COP26 in Glasgow with the support of the United Kingdom (UK), the United States (US), France, Germany, and the European Union (EU).
- Senegal has become the fourth country after South Africa, Indonesia and Vietnam to sign the JET-P deal, with the International Partners Group comprising France, Germany, the European Union, the United Kingdom and Canada.
- India refused to give its consent, saying that coal cannot be singled out as a polluting fuel and that energy transition talks need to take place on equal terms.