Mains Q & A 19 January 2023


Mains Q & A 19 January 2023


Q1. Climate change is the single biggest hazard to shallow-water coral reefs worldwide. Elaborate. (250 Words)

Paper & Topic: GS III  Environmental Conservation

Model Answer:

Introduction:

Corals that build reefs define the underwater ecosystem known as a coral reef. Reefs are constructed by coral polyp colonies that are connected by calcium carbonate. Most coral reefs are composed of stony corals, whose polyps cluster. Most reefs flourish in warm, shallow, light-colored, and clear water.

Coral reefs, which have the highest biodiversity of any environment on the planet, are directly dependent on more than 500 million people globally, particularly in developing countries. They are among the planet’s most vulnerable ecosystems, in part due to climatic changes, global warming, and increasing local stressors.

Body:

Effects of climate change on coral reefs:

Climate change is the biggest global hazard to coral reef ecosystems. Scientific evidence now conclusively demonstrates that the Earth’s atmosphere and oceans are warming, and that greenhouse gases produced by human activity are mostly to blame for these changes.

Climate change has caused:

A warming ocean causes thermal stress, which encourages coral bleaching and infectious disease.

Sea level rise may cause higher sedimentation for reefs close to land-based sources of sediment. Sediment discharge could choke coral.

Storms that are stronger and more frequent as a result of changes in storm patterns have the potential to harm coral reefs.

Changes in precipitation include an increase in the flow of freshwater, sediment from the land, and pollution that causes algae blooms and murky water that blocks light.

Coral larvae find it more difficult to disperse as a result of changed ocean currents, which further contributes to the lack of food for corals.

More CO2 causes ocean acidification, which lowers pH levels and prevents coral development and structural integrity.

Moving ahead:

The Paris Agreement on climate change must be followed in order to keep the average global temperature well below 2°C over pre-industrial levels and to pursue steps to keep the temperature increase to 1.5°C. This is the only way to ensure the survival of coral reefs worldwide.

If the agreement is fully implemented, the amount of carbon in the atmosphere will probably decrease. As a result, reefs will have an easier time surviving and other reef-saving activities will be more successful.

Other initiatives, such as addressing local pollution and destructive fishing practises, cannot save coral reefs without stabilised greenhouse gas emissions.

The strengthening of commitments made under the Paris Agreement must be reflected in all other international agreements, such as the Sustainable Development Goals.

SDG 13 for instance calls for immediate action to combat climate change and its consequences. Circular economic principles must be incorporated, as well as the conventional economic structures.

Both SDG 12 and SDG 8 (inclusive and sustainable economic growth) make reference to these (sustainable consumption and production patterns).

Economic systems must swiftly switch to a scenario with low greenhouse gas emissions if they are to allow a decrease in global temperature.

A change from present economic thinking should take into consideration the advantages provided by coral reefs, which are now not considered in mainstream business and finance.

Therefore, treating the upkeep and restoration of coral reefs as an asset and making long-term investments in their protection make sense.

Additionally, investments should support cutting-edge biological research, such corals that have been genetically selected to withstand rising global temperatures.

Conclusion:

Monitoring, investigation, and restoration are all required for coral reef protection. However, in order to maintain coral reefs, legal frameworks are ultimately needed. Marine protected areas are established by legal means (MPAs). Since MPAs have the added protection of the law, a protected marine enclosure, such as a coral reef system, may have a stronger chance of survival.


Q2. The international system is centred on a new era of great power competition, in which countries favour preserving national primacy over resolving global problems. How much more global cooperation is needed in light of the effects? (250 Words)

Paper & Topic: GS II  International Relations

Model Answer:

Introduction:

The rivalry between big powers has entered a new age. A brazen China is aiming to change the international system and increase its influence in the area. In retaliation, the US will work to deny China that advantage and reassert its dominance in a unipolar world. The main concern is if “partnership” is losing ground quickly because competition and opposition are now so powerful.

Body:

Global connectivity and competitiveness between superpowers:

A more open international political system or greater consensus on political values have not been achieved through interdependence.

Reversing significant aspects of globalisation is necessary for Biden’s plans to succeed, but China’s domestic political economy has evolved to one of “dual circulation.”

Since there is now bipartisan support in the US for China’s need to be contained, China is certain that the US would not only reject its continued rise but will also purposefully damage its democratic system and claims to civilisation.

This will encourage a certain amount of caution against excessive reliance even with sufficient source diversity.

The actuality of interdependence will remain due to historical momentum; nevertheless, it will disintegrate since it no longer has ideological sway.

Problems caused by rivalry between great nations:

The US-China Trade War harmed the whole world economy and delayed global expansion. It had an impact on people all across the world, which stifled feelings.

Climate change initiatives, such as climate financing and raising climate targets, are necessary if the temperature rise is to be kept at 1.5 degrees Celsius.

The focus of the discourse about climate change has shifted from solving a global concern to rising technology competition and maintaining national economic superiority.

Fighting the global pandemic proved difficult as nations started to impose border restrictions, disrupting global value chains and essential products from free trade.

For the vast majority of economically underdeveloped and technologically underdeveloped nations, access to vaccines became difficult. Consider the reliance on the West, India, and China for vaccinations in African nations.

Issues with technology The risks to the global system include cyberthreats, the potential risks of unchecked technology, whether in artificial intelligence or biological research, competition in space, a comeback of nuclear arms competition, and an increasing arms race, to name a few.

Moving ahead:

In order to solve the climate emergency, plans for post-pandemic recovery must trigger long-term systemic adjustments that will modify the trajectory of CO2 levels in the atmosphere. To raise the $100 billion needed to stop climate change, this calls for worldwide cooperation.

Governments must come to an agreement on issues pertaining to nuclear non-proliferation and universal disarmament.

The appeals body must be immediately reinstated, and the WTO’s authority over issues relating to trade must be revived.

The most important international organisation, like the United Nations, needs reforms to ensure that states may participate equitably in decisions that affect them.

Conclusion:

The real decision that needs to be made by the globe is not just between China and the United States. It comes down to choosing between a mindset that is committed to solving international issues rather than merely upholding national superiority. It will call on nations to work together when they ought to, not just when they can.

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