Q 1- What do you understand by the term “Ecology”? What are its components?
Ecology is a branch of science, including human science, population, community, ecosystem and biosphere. Ecology is the study of organisms, the environment and how the organisms interact with each other and their environment. It is studied at various levels, such as organism, population, community, biosphere and ecosystem.
Ecology can be classified into different types.
It deals with interactions among earth’s ecosystems, land, atmosphere and oceans. It helps to understand the large-scale interactions and their influence on the planet.
It deals with the exchange of energy, materials, organisms and other products of ecosystems. Landscape ecology throws light on the role of human impacts on the landscape structures and functions.
It deals with the entire ecosystem, including the study of living and non-living components and their relationship with the environment. This science researches how ecosystems work, their interactions, etc.
It deals with how community structure is modified by interactions among living organisms. Ecology community is made up of two or more populations of different species living in a particular geographic area.
It deals with factors that alter and impact the genetic composition and the size of the population of organisms. Ecologists are interested in fluctuations in the size of a population, the growth of a population and any other interactions with the population.
Organismal ecology is the study of an individual organism’s behaviour, morphology, physiology, etc. in response to environmental challenges.
The study of ecology focuses on the production of proteins and how these proteins affect the organisms and their environment. This happens at the molecular level.
Q 2- Recent changes have put immense pressure on environment. What are those changes? What measures have been taken to tackle those changes?
More than four decades after the first Earth Day, there are still many environmental concerns for communities around the world to address; perhaps none so pressing as man-made climate change. But progress is being made, and it could be argued that awareness about environmental issues is at an all-time high.
While 97 percent of climate scientists agree that climate change is occurring and greenhouse gas emissions are the main cause, political will has not been strong enough so far to initiate a massive policy shift away from fossil fuels and towards sustainable forms of energy. Perhaps more extreme weather events such as droughts, wildfires, heat waves and flooding will convince the public to put more pressure on policymakers to act urgently to curb carbon emissions and address this issue before it’s too late.
Air pollution and climate change are closely linked, as the same greenhouse gas emissions that are warming the planet are also creating smoggy conditions in major cities that endanger public health. If you’ve seen horrifying images of pollution-choked Chinese cities and think the smog is isolated to Beijing or Shanghai, think again. U.S. scientists are finding that Chinese pollution is intensifying storms over the Pacific Ocean and contributing to more erratic weather in the U.S.
Water and soil pollution may not get the media attention that air pollution does, but they are still important public health concerns. According to the Natural Resources Defense Council, dirty water is the world’s biggest health risk. While the Clean Water Act did much to make American water safe from harmful pollutants, today there is a new threat to clean water coming from the shale gas fracking boom taking place across the country and from the EPA itself.
Forests are important to mitigating climate change because they serve as “carbon sinks,” meaning that they absorb CO2 that would otherwise escape into the atmosphere and worsen global warming. It is estimated that 15 percent of total greenhouse gas emissions come from deforestation. Cutting down trees also threatens animals and humans who rely on healthy forests to sustain themselves, and the loss of tropical rainforests is particularly concerning because around 80 percent of the world’s species reside in these areas.
As the population increases and climate change causes more droughts, water scarcity is becoming more of an issue. Only three percent of the world’s water is fresh water and 1.1 billion people lack access to clean, safe drinking water. As the current drought in California dramatically shows, access to water is not just an issue for developing countries but the United States as well. In fact, by the middle of this century more than a third of all counties in the lower 48 states will be at higher risk of water shortages with more than 400 of the 1,100 counties facing an extremely high risk.
LOSS OF BIODIVERSITY
Increasing human encroachment on wildlife habitats is causing a rapid loss of biodiversity that threatens food security, population health and world stability. Climate change is also a major contributor to biodiversity loss, as some species are not able to adapt to changing temperatures. According to the World Wildlife Fund’s Living Planet Index, biodiversity has declined 27 percent in the last 35 years.
SOIL EROSION AND DEGRADATION
Unsustainable industrial agriculture practices have resulted in soil erosion and degradation that leads to less arable land, clogged and polluted waterways, increased flooding and desertification. According to the World Wildlife Fund, half of the earth’s topsoil has been lost in the last 150 years.
Q 1-Shed some light on contribution of Shyamji Krishna Verma.
Shyamji Krishna Varma- Key facts:
• Shyamji Krishna Varma was an Indian revolutionary fighter, lawyer and journalist.
• He founded the Indian Home Rule Society, India House and The Indian Sociologist in London.
• An admirer of Dayanand Saraswati’s approach of cultural nationalism, and of Herbert Spencer, Krishna Varma believed in Spencer’s dictum: “Resistance to aggression is not simply justified, but imperative”.
• The India House and The Indian Sociologist rapidly developed as an organized meeting point for radical nationalists among Indian students in Britain at the time and one of the most prominent centers for revolutionary Indian nationalism outside India. Most famous among the members of this organization was Veer Savarkar.
• Shyamji Krishan was also an admirer of Lokmanya Tilak and supported him during the Age of Consent bill controversy of 1890. However, he rejected the petitioning, praying, protesting, cooperating and collaborating policy of the Congress Party.
• The Arya Samaj is a reform movement and a religious/social organization which was formally established in Bombay in 1875 by Swami Dayananda Saraswati (1824-1883).
• Contrary to some misconceptions, it is not a religion or a new sect in Hindu religion. He saw the degraded and debased condition of the Hindus.