Important topics for Geography for UPSC 2023
Topics for Geography
Salient features of the world's physical geography
Distribution of key natural resources across the world (including South Asia and the Indian sub-continent)
Factors responsible for the location of primary, secondary, and tertiary sector industries in various parts of the world (including India)
* Important Geophysical phenomena such as earthquakes, tsunamis, Volcanic activity, cyclones, etc.
Smart Notes for - What Causes Forest Fires
- In France, Greece, Portugal and Spain, wildfire destroys thousands of hectares of land, forces thousands from their homes and kills several emergency personnel.
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- forest fires in India have increased by 125% (between 2015 and 2017).
- At a global level as well, the world is undergoing through wildfire crisis, with reports of wildfires in
- The Amazon basin,
- Pantanal wetland (South America),
- The rainforest of Indonesia.
- A wildfire is a major fire that breaks out unpredictably in combustible environments such as dry forests or bush and often burns uncontrollably over a large area and length of time.
- A forest fire can be triggered by natural factors such as prolonged hot, dry weather or lightning strikes, or human carelessness.
- Policy measures:
- National Policy on Forest Fire: finalized by the government
- National Plan for forest fire management: National Forest Fire Danger Rating System, Fire fighting tools and machinery (e.g. Fire Beaters, Pulaskis Tools, Forest Fire Showel, etc.)
- Forest Fire Prevention & Management Scheme (FFPMS, 2017): a revised version of the Forest Management Scheme
- Community participation:
- By the involvement of NGOs, Voluntary Organisations, Village Forest Committees (VFCs), etc.
- Institutionalize the partnership with forest fringe communities
- Devise a forest fire forecasting system at the local level
- Forest Fire Monitoring:
- FSI uses NASA’s MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectro-radiometer) and VIIRS (Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite) satellites for its Forest fires alert system 2.0
- Use of technology
- Use of Remote Sensing, GPS, and GIS in planning, developing and operationalizing Fire management systems.
- Natural Causes: Environmental causes are largely related to climatic conditions such as
- Extreme climatic conditions: g. high wind speed and direction, temperature, low level of moisture in soil and atmosphere, and duration of dry spells.
- Lightning strike:g. in Australia, most bushfires are caused by lightning
- The friction of bamboos swaying due to high wind velocity: e.g. in deciduous forests of northeast India Rolling stones that result in sparks: In the mountainous forested e.g. Uttrakhand
- Role of El Nino and La Nina:g. Indonesian in 2019 experienced high forest fire incidents due to el Nino’s impact
- Role of sudden stratospheric warming in Antarctica: 2020 bush fires in Australia was further strengthened
- Economical reasons:
- Human-caused fires are also a major issue in Indonesia, where large areas of peatland were burned during last year’s fires to be converted into tree plantations.
- In Pantanal (South America): Soy and cattle farmers set fires on their land during the summer, but drought and strong winds caused these fires to rage out of control and surpass traditional barriers such as roads and streams.
- Graziers and gatherers start small fires to get good grazing grass for their cattle and to gathering minor forest produce such as Madhuca Indica flowers and leaves of Diospyros elanoxylon.
- Shifting cultivation practice: North-Eastern region of India and in parts of the States of Orissa and Andhra Pradesh).
- Forest fires by villagers to ward off wild animals.
- Logging activity-related fires, campfires in forests for recreation
- It is INCREASING the fire season and the size of areas affected by the fire. Droughts, which might be exacerbated by climate change, also make wildfires more likely.
- Australia has been experiencing such a drought over the past few years, which contributed to the widespread of wildfires in 2020.
- Climate change is changing the nature and intensity of the fires
- There are more pyro-cumulonimbus clouds – clouds formed on top of heat sources – that can bring lightning-intensive storms and increase the spread of fire.
- In Siberia and Russia, climate change is causing winters to become shorter and weather to become drier and windier, leading to more intense fires occurring across larger areas.
Geographical features and their location- changes in critical geographical features (including water bodies and ice-caps), flora and fauna, and the effects of such changes
Smart Notes for - Karakoram Anomaly
‘Karakoram Anomaly’ is the abnormal growth of glaciers in the central Karakoram (whereas in other parts, there has been a retreat of glaciers)
In a paper published in the American Meteorological Society’s Journal of Climate, has for 1st time found that winter precipitation associated with Western Disturbance (WD) has been triggering and sustaining this anomaly.