i. According to data provided by the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), under the United States’ National Aeronautics and Space Administration(Nasa), the month of September 2016 was the hottest September on record.
ii. September 2016’s temperature was a razor-thin 0.004 degrees Celsius warmer than the previous warmest September in 2014.
i. Lake Superior is the largest freshwater lake situated in North America. Fresh water is naturally occurring water on Earth’s surface in ice sheets, ice caps, glaciers, icebergs, bogs, ponds, lakes, rivers and streams, and underground as groundwater in aquifers and underground streams. Fresh water is generally characterized by having low concentrations of dissolved salts and other total dissolved solids.
ii. The lake is shared by the Canadian province of Ontario to the north, the US state of Minnesota to the west, and Wisconsin and Michigan to the south. It is generally considered the largest freshwater lake in the world by surface area.
i. The magnificent Kashmiri Red Stag or Hangul could finally get some protection with the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) all set to declare it a ‘critically endangered’ species
ii. Hangul has been hunted over centuries and its habitat destroyed, leading to its population in the wild plunging to a mere 150. Even then, IUCN – the biggest international body assessing threat levels to flora and fauna – categorized it as that of ‘Least Concern’ by clubbing with European and other ‘red deer’ species of the world.
i. Taking the lead on tackling climate change, India will eliminate the use of HFC-23, a greenhouse gas that harms the ozone layer, by 2030.
ii. The announcement came at a meeting of parties to the Montreal Protocol at Kigali in Rwanda where final negotiations are taking place to substantially reduce the use of HFCs (hydro fluoro carbons) by 2030. The Montreal Protocol, which came into force in 1989, is aimed at reducing the production and consumption of ozone depleting substances in order to protect the earth’s fragile ozone layer.
iii. Anil Madhav Dave, minister of state for environment, forests and climate change, who is leading the Indian team, has given the go-ahead for releasing the order for incinerating the HFC–23 by producers of HCFC–22 gas.
i. The Supreme Court stayed the commercial release of the genetically modified (GM) variety of mustard till October 17 following a petition as this could have severe consequences on the environment and human health
ii. The filed petition had sought a moratorium on open-field trials and commercial release of all herbicide-tolerant crops such as the Dhara Mustard Hybrid DMH 11 seed, earlier certified as safe for human consumption and the environment by a technical committee under the environment ministry and the court will now hear the case on October 17.
Hurricane Matthew hit Florida
i. Floridians along the Atlantic coast were coping with rising water as Hurricane Matthew drenched the state with rain and as strong winds pushed waves over beaches.
ii. South Carolina was bracing for the storm’s potential landfall and even residents in North Carolina faced a considerable threat. The National Hurricane Center announced that the storm’s center had been “hugging the coast” in Florida as it continued toward Georgia and South Carolina and warned of a surge of up to nine feet that could cause dangerous flooding.
i. Brazilian scientists announced the discovery largest dinosaurever found in South America’s biggest country.Researchers announced their discovery afteranalysing fossilised bones of the giant, long-necked herbivore, which faded in a storage cupboard for 60 years.
ii. Director of Rio de Janeiro’s Earth Sciences Museum, Diogenes Campos named the 25-meter-long dinosaur “Austroposeidon magnificus. Titanosaur group of herbivores had large bodies, long necks and tails and relatively small skulls..
New Fish Found In Kerala Waters Named ‘Scomber Indicus’
i. A new species of fish named Scomber Indicus in Kerala waters by a team of CMFRI (Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute)scientists led by E M Abdussamad
ii. The black-spotted fish is round in shape and this species is distinctly different, both taxonomically and genetically from the other members of the mackerel family.
58 endangered red-crowned cranes hatched in China
i. Nearly Sixty red-crowned cranes were hatched this year in China’s Zhalong National Nature Reserve in Heilongjiang Province, the world’s largest captive breeding centre for endangered birds.
ii. The endangered red-crowned crane is found in northeast of China, Japan andNorth Korea. There are no more than 1,000 red-crowned cranes living in the wild in China and about 2,000 worldwide
T.N. tops list of endemic flowering plan
Tamil Nadu accounts for the highest number of species with 410, followed byKerala with 357 and Maharashtra with 278 in a recent Publication by the Botanical Survey of India (BSI).