The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) conducted the Combined Defence Services (CDS) (II) Examination 2017 on 19 November 2017. The Exam consisted of three papers – General Knowledge, English and Elementary Mathematics.
For the benefit CDS aspirants, we are providing Environment-related questions that were asked in the CDS (II) 2017 Exam along with answers and detailed explanations.
Directions : The following question consists of two statements , Statement I and Statement II. Examine the two statements carefully and select the correct answer using the code given below.
a) Both the statements are individually true and Statement II is the correct explanation of Statement I.
b) Both the statements are individually true but Statement II is not the correct explanation of Statement I
c) Statement I is true but Statement II is false
d) Statement I is false but Statement II is true.
1) Statement I: Global warming signifies the rise in global surface temperature.
Statement II: The increase of concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere causes the rise in global surface temperature.
Answer. (a) Both the statements are individually true and Statement II is the correct explanation of Statement I.
Greenhouse gases are a group of compounds that are able to absorb heat (longwave radiation) in the atmosphere, keeping the Earth's surface warmer by allowing the direct sunlight (relative short wave energy) to reach to the Earth’s surface. The presence of these gases in excess enhances the greenhouse effect which is creating global warming and consequently climate change. An imbalance of the greenhouse gases will be even more harmful if we do not control the rapid increase of these in the Earth’s atmosphere.
A sea level rise is an increase in the volume of water in the world’s oceans, resulting in an increase in global mean sea level. Sea level rise is usually attributed to global climate change by thermal expansion of the water in the oceans and by melting of ice sheets and glaciers on land. Melting of floating ice shelves or icebergs at sea raises sea levels only slightly.
2) Venus, the first environment research satellite, was launched in August 2017 by which one of the following countries ?
Ans. (d) Israel
Venus, the first Israeli satellite for environmental research was launched on 2 August 2017 from the European spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana.
The satellite is a joint effort by the Israel Space Agency and the French Space Agency (CNES). The satellite was built in Israel by the Israel Aerospace Industries.
Venus is considered the smallest satellite of its kind in the world. It is crafted to survey and monitor large areas to study soil, vegetation, forests, agriculture, water and air quality and other aspects of the environment.
Key features of Venus Satellite
• Venus stands for Vegetation and Environment monitoring on a New (µ) Micro-Satellite.
• It was launched on a Vega platform.
• It weighs only 265 kilograms.
• The satellite would have taken one hour, 37 minutes and 18 seconds to reach orbit, and two days to reach sun-synchronized orbit at an altitude of 720 kilometers.
• The first images captured by the satellite will be received in a week after launching.
• The satellite is meant to remain in operation for four and a half years, after which it will be diverted to a lower orbit.
• Venus will orbit the earth 29 times in 48 hours.
• It will capture dozens of photographs every day, each one covering 730 square kilometres.
• The fact that the satellite will be able to take pictures of the same areas once every two days will enable it to monitor many environments, from the atmosphere to the depths of seas.
• Each of its photos is created by 12 different sensors, and on different wave lengths. It means that its each picture is composed of 12 different layers of data.
• Due to large number of colours Venus’ camera can capture, which are beyond the range of the human eye, the photographs will be able to show details that cannot be seen on earth with an ordinary camera.
• The data provided by the satellite is aimed at policy makers deciding where and what to grow and the information will be available both to agricultural planners and businesses.
• When Venus passes over Israel, it will capture three geographical strips: the Galilee; the coastal plain, including the strip of Mediterranean Sea along the coast; and the Negev.
• It will capture most of Israel’s national parks and nature reserves, forests and ecological stations. The photographs will be available to university and government researchers and government agencies.
• The data collected from the Israeli satellite will be broadcast to a station in northern Sweden and from there for preliminary processing by the French space agency.
3. Which one of the following was the theme of the World Environment Day, 2017 ?
(a) Green Economy : Does it include you ?
(b) Connecting people to Nature
(c) Think, Eat, save
(d) Many Species, One Planet, One Future.
Ans. (b) Connecting people to Nature
The World Environment Day (WED) was observed on 5 June 2017 with the year’s theme ‘Connecting People to Nature’. The day is annually observed with an aim to encourage awareness and action for the protection of the environment.
The day that began in 1974 is a flagship campaign for raising awareness on emerging environmental issues from marine pollution to global warming, to wildlife crime and sustainable consumption.
Today, the campaign has grown to become a global platform for public outreach that is widely celebrated all over the world.
Every World Environment Day has a different global host country, where the official celebrations take place. Canada was chosen as the host country for the celebration of the 2017 World Environment Day. World Environment Day is an important part of Canada’s 150th birthday celebrations. As part of the festivities, Canada offers free passes for its national parks throughout 2017.
“Connecting People to Nature”
Each World Environment Day is organised around a theme that focuses attention on a particularly pressing environmental concern. The theme for 2017, ‘Connecting People to Nature’, urges people to get outdoors and into nature, to appreciate its beauty and to think about how we are part of nature and how intimately we depend on it. It challenges us to find fun and exciting ways to experience and cherish this vital relationship.
Billions of rural people around the world spend every working day ‘connected to nature’ and appreciate full well their dependence on natural water supplies and how nature provides their livelihoods in the form of fertile soil. They are among the first to suffer when ecosystems are threatened, whether by pollution, climate change or over-exploitation.
4. Which one of the following statements about the Global Environment Facility Grant Agreement, signed by India in August 2017 with the World Bank for ‘Ecosystems Service Improvement Project’, is not correct ?
(a) The size of the project is about USD 25 million.
(b) The duration of the project is 15 years
(c) The project will entirely be financed by the World Bank out of its GEF Trust Fund.
(d) The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change will implement the project.
Ans. (b) The duration of the project is 15 years
A Grant Agreement from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) of the World Bank of USD 24.64 million for “Ecosystem Service Improvement Project” was signed on 16 August 2017. The size of Project is USD 24.64 million which entirely will be financed by the World Bank out of its GEF Trust Fund. The project’s duration is 05 years.
Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) will implement the Project in the States of Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh through Indian Council of Forestry Research & Education under the National Mission for Green India. The objective of the Project is to strengthen the institutional capacity of the Departments of Forestry and Community Organisations to enhance forest ecosystem services and improve the livelihoods of forest dependent communities in Central Indian Highlands.
5. Which one of the following is not included in the National Air Quality Index?
(b) Nitrogen dioxide
Answer. (d) Methane
The Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC) on 17 October 2014 launched the National Air Quality Index (AQI) in New Delhi. The National Air Quality Index is an initiative under Swachh Bharat Mission envisioned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi to introduce the culture of cleanliness.
AQI will act as a One Number- One Colour-One Description to judge the Air Quality for Common Man. The earlier measuring index was limited to three indicators, while this index has been made quite comprehensive by the addition of five additional parameters.
The proposed AQI will consider eight parameters (PM10, PM2.5, NO2, SO2, CO, O3, NH3, and Pb) for which short-term National Ambient Air Quality Standards are prescribed.
6. One carbon credit is accepted as equivalent to
(a) 100 kg of carbon
(b) 100 kg of carbon dioxide
(c) 1000 kg of carbon
(d) 1000 kg of carbon dioxide
Ans. (d) 1000 kg of carbon dioxide
A carbon credit is a generic term for any tradable certificate or permit representing the right to emit one tonne of carbon dioxide or the mass of another greenhouse gas with a carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2e) equivalent to one tonne of carbon dioxide.
Carbon credits and carbon markets are a component of national and international attempts to mitigate the growth in concentrations of greenhouse gases (GHGs). One carbon credit is equal to one tonne of carbon dioxide, or in some markets, carbon dioxide equivalent gases. Carbon trading is an application of an emissions trading approach. Greenhouse gas emissions are capped and then markets are used to allocate the emissions among the group of regulated sources.
7. A biological community in its environment such as a pond, an ocean, a forest, even an aquarium is known as
(c) abiotic environment
Answer. (a) biome
A biome is a community of plants and animals that have common characteristics for the environment they exist in. They can be found over a range of continents. Biomes are distinct biological communities that have formed in response to a shared physical climate. "Biome" is a broader term than "habitat"; any biome can comprise a variety of habitats.
While a biome can cover large areas, a microbiome is a mix of organisms that coexist in a defined space on a much smaller scale. For instance, while an Ocean is a larger biome, whereas a pond or an aquarium is a microbiome.