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Practice Test: Environment- 2 - UPSC MCQ


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50 Questions MCQ Test Mock Test for UPSC Prelims 2025 - Practice Test: Environment- 2

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Practice Test: Environment- 2 - Question 1

Which of the following are major sources of soil pollutants in India?

  1. Agricultural waste
  2. Fertilisers and pesticides
  3. Industrial waste
  4. Electronic waste

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

Detailed Solution for Practice Test: Environment- 2 - Question 1
  • Municipal Solid Waste: The urban India generates 62 million tonnes of municipal solid waste per annum. Only 43 million tonnes (MT) of the waste are collected, 11.9 MT is treated and 31 MT is dumped in landfill sites. Plastic bags made from low density polyethylene (LDPE) are virtually indestructible and create colossal environmental hazard. The discarded bags block drains and sewage systems. Leftover food, vegetable waste etc. on which cows and dogs feed may die due to the choking by plastic bags. Burning of solid waste release highly toxic and poisonous gases like carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, phosgene, dioxins and other poisonous chlorinated compounds. 
  • Agricultural Waste: India is estimated to produce around 620 Million tonne per annum of agricultural wastes, 43 per cent of which is animal dung and slaughter wastes. Agriculture and livestock activities pollute soil through excessive application of pesticides and fertilizers, the use of untreated wastewater for irrigation, and the use of manure and sewage sludge with high antibiotic, antimicrobial-resistant bacteria and heavy metal content.
  • Industrial hazardous waste: India produces approximately 51.1 MMT (million metric tonnes) of waste annually, with around 7.46 MMT of hazardous waste. Approximately 3.41 MMT (46%) is landfilled, 0.69 MMT (9%) is incinerated, and 3.35 MMT (45%) is recycled. Gujarat is the highest producer of hazardous wastes in India. Industrial wastes include chemical residues, metallic and nuclear wastes. Large number of industrial chemicals, dyes, acids, etc. find their way into the soil and are known to be carcinogenic.
  • Bio-Medical waste: As per Assocham, the total quantity of medical waste generated in India is 550 tonnes per day (TPD) and by 2022, it is likely to increase to 775.5 TPD.
  • Electronic Waste: India generates about 1.85 million tonnes per annum of e-waste and ranks fifth in the world among top e-waste producing countries. E-waste can be toxic, is not biodegradable and accumulates in the environment, in the soil, air, water and living things.

Hence, option (d) is the correct answer.

Practice Test: Environment- 2 - Question 2

Which of the following tribes are involved in the conservation of tigers in Nagarjunasagar Srisailam Tiger Reserve (NSTR)?

Detailed Solution for Practice Test: Environment- 2 - Question 2
  • Bishnoi Tribe of Rajasthan: Bishnois consider trees as sacred and protect the entire ecosystem including animals and birds that exists in their villages. The tribe has organized their own Tiger Force which is a brigade of youth actively pursuing wildlife protection.
  • Chenchu Tribe of Andhra Pradesh: They are involved in tiger conservation at Nagarjunasagar Srisailam Tiger Reserve (NSTR). The tribe has been coexisting with tigers and wild animals for a long without disturbing the ecological balance, which ensures enough water and fodder for the herbivores.
  • Maldhari Tribe in Junagadh (Gujarat): The success of lion conservation in the Gir forest area is due to the peaceful coexistence of tribes with lions.
  • Bugun Tribe of Arunachal Pradesh: The tribe using Community-led conservation initiatives and traditional knowledge helped to protect the critically endangered bird Bugun Liocichla. For its efforts, Singchung Bugun Community Reserve won the India Biodiversity Award 2018.
  • Nyishi tribe of Arunachal Pradesh in conserving hornbills in the Pakke/Pakhui Tiger Reserve. Recently, the government of Arunachal Pradesh declared the Pakke Paga Hornbill Festival (PPHF)–the state’s only conservation festival, as a ‘state festival’.

Hence, option (c) is the correct answer.

Practice Test: Environment- 2 - Question 3

Consider the following statements about the Integration of Sikkim:

  1. Sikkim was ruled by the Namgyal dynasty before it become a part of India.
  2. A plebiscite on abolishing the monarchy was held in Sikkim in 1975.
  3. The 36th Constitutional Amendment Act was passed in Parliament to recognize Sikkim as a state.

How many of the above statements are correct?

Detailed Solution for Practice Test: Environment- 2 - Question 3
  • Sikkim Integration
  • Why in the news?
    • The 22nd Sikkim Day was celebrated on May 16, 2023, recalling the history of the former kingdom’s integration with India in 1975.
    • Sikkim Kingdom:
      • The kingdom of Sikkim was established in 1642.
      • Phuntsong Namgyal was the first ruler of Chogyal (king) of Sikkim. Hence, statement 1 is correct.
      • Sikkim’s Chogyal dynasty was of Tibetan origin.
      • Sikkim often saw conflicts over land with Bhutan and Nepal.
      • The Namgyal dynasty came to an end with the statehood of Sikkim and the position of Chogyal was abolished.
    • Sikkim in the British era:
      • The British saw Sikkim as a buffer state against China and against Nepal, with whom they fought in the Anglo-Gorkha War of 1814-16.
      • In the Anglo-Gorkha War, the British helped Sikkim secure a number of territories that Nepal had previously captured.
      • The monarchy of the Namgyal dynasty was maintained for the next 333 years, until its integration with India in 1975.
      • The Treaty of Tumlong in 1861 gave the British control over Sikkim but the Chogyals continued to hold onto power.
  • Post-Independence:
    • After India’s independence, princely states had the option to accede to India or Pakistan.
    • In 1950, the Indo-Sikkim Treaty was signed, making Sikkim an Indian protectorate.
    • India controlled Sikkim’s defense, external affairs, and strategic communications.
    • In 1974, a new constitution for Sikkim was adopted, which restricted the role of the monarch to a titular post.
    • A referendum was held in Sikkim in 1975 and the majority of people voted in favor of joining India. Hence, statement 2 is not correct.
    • The 36th Constitutional Amendment Act was passed in Parliament to recognize Sikkim as a state in the Union of India. Hence, statement 3 is correct.
    • With the assent of then President Fakhruddin Ali Ahmed, Sikkim became the 22nd Indian state on May 16, 1975.
Practice Test: Environment- 2 - Question 4

Consider the following organisms:

  1. Escherichia coli
  2. Enterococcus faecalis
  3. Salmonella typhi

Which of the organisms given above are present in contaminated water? 

Detailed Solution for Practice Test: Environment- 2 - Question 4
  • Water pollutants can be of multiple types including- Biological, Chemical, Thermal, etc.
  • The Biological pollutants include pathogens such as Escherichia coli, Enterococcus faecalis (formely known as Streptococcus faecalis), Salmonella typhi, etc. Hence, option (a) is the correct answer.
  • Pathogens include bacteria and other organisms that enter the water from domestic sewage and animal excreta.
  • Human excreta contains bacteria such as Escherichia coli and Streptococcus faecalis which cause gastrointestinal diseases.
Practice Test: Environment- 2 - Question 5

With reference to the rules regarding 'recusal', consider the following statements:

  1. It is the act of abstaining from participation in an official action due to a conflict of interest of the judges.
  2. Judges (Protection) Act, 1985 has provisions regarding the practice of judicial recusals.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Detailed Solution for Practice Test: Environment- 2 - Question 5
  • Recent Context: Calling it an attempt to indulge in ‘bench hunting’, a former Supreme Court judge refused to recuse himself from hearing a plea.
  • What is recusal? It is the act of declining to take part in an official activity, such as a court case because the administrative or court authority presiding over it has a conflict of interest. Hence, statement 1 is correct.
    • This conflict of interest can arise in many ways: from holding shares in a litigant company to having a prior or personal association with a party.
    • The practice of judicial recusals stems from:
      • The cardinal principles of due process of law
      • Nemo judex in sua causa – no person shall be a judge in his own case.
  • Why do judges recuse? To prevent the perception that the judge was biased while deciding a case.
  • What is the procedure for recusal?
    • Although several SC judgments have dealt with the issue, India has no codified rules governing recusals. Hence, statement 2 is not correct.
    • There are two kinds of recusals: automatic (where a judge himself withdraws from the case) or when a party raises a plea for recusal.
    • The decision to recuse rests solely on the conscience and discretion of the judge and no party can compel a judge to withdraw from a case.
    • If a judge recuses himself, the case is listed before the Chief Justice for allotment to an alternate Bench.
Practice Test: Environment- 2 - Question 6

Consider the following statements regarding the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):

  1. The SDGs are 17 sets of goals adopted under the Rio Declaration.
  2. The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change coordinates India’s SDG implementation.
  3. The SDG India Index is released by the NITI Aayog in association with International Monetary Fund.

Which of the statements given above is/are not correct? 

Detailed Solution for Practice Test: Environment- 2 - Question 6
  • On 1 January 2016, the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development — adopted by world leaders in September 2015 at an historic UN Summit — officially came into force. Over the next fifteen years, with these new Goals that universally apply to all, countries will mobilize efforts to end all forms of poverty, fight inequalities and tackle climate change, while ensuring that no one is left behind.
  • While the SDGs are not legally binding, governments are expected to take ownership and establish national frameworks for the achievement of the 17 Goals. Countries have the primary responsibility for follow-up and review of the progress made in implementing the Goals, which will require quality, accessible, and timely data collection.
  • The 1992 Rio Declaration on Environment and Development defines the rights of the people to be involved in the development of their economies, and the responsibilities of human beings to safeguard the common environment. The declaration builds upon the basic ideas concerning the attitudes of individuals and nations towards the environment and development, first identified at the United Nations Conference on the Human Environment (1972). Hence, statement 1 is not correct.
  • NITI Aayog has the twin mandate to oversee the adoption and monitoring of the SDGs in the country, and also promote competitive and cooperative federalism among States and UTs. The index represents the articulation of the comprehensive nature of the Global Goals under the 2030 Agenda while being attuned to the national priorities. The modular nature of the index has become a policy tool and a ready reckoner for gauging the progress of States and UTs on the expansive nature of the Goals, including health, education, gender, economic growth, institutions, climate change, and environment. Hence, statement 2 is not correct.
  • The SDG India Index and Dashboard is a crucial tool in India's SDG monitoring efforts. Designed and developed by NITI Aayog, the Index measures the progress at the national and sub-national levels in our journey towards meeting the Global Goals and targets. It has also been successful as an advocacy tool to propagate the messages of sustainability, resilience, and partnerships. IMF has no role in releasing the Index but it collaborates with the NITI Aayog to estimate the financial cost of achieving the SDG. Hence, statement 3 is not correct.
Practice Test: Environment- 2 - Question 7

With reference to the Environment Impact Assessment, consider the following statements:

  1. Environmental Clearance (EC) has been made mandatory for modernisation of any activity or for setting up new projects under Environmental (Protection) Act 1986.
  2. It provides an exemption from the EIA requirements to certain industries based on the investment value of their projects.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct? 

Detailed Solution for Practice Test: Environment- 2 - Question 7
  • The Indian experience with Environmental Impact Assessment began over 20 years back. It started in 1976-77 when the Planning Commission asked the Department of Science and Technology to examine the river-valley projects from an environmental angle.
  • Till 1994, environmental clearance from the Central Government was an administrative decision and lacked legislative support.
  • On 27 January 1994, the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests (MEF), Government of India, under the Environmental (Protection) Act 1986, promulgated an EIA notification making Environmental Clearance (EC) mandatory for expansion or modernisation of any activity or for setting up new projects listed in Schedule 1 of the notification. Since then there have been 12 amendments made in the EIA notification of 1994. Hence, statement 1 is correct.
  • Issues with the Indian System
    • Screening
      • Even though some of the industrial set ups do not require EIA as per the statutory norms, they might involve certain technological processes which could be harmful to the environment, as a result of which such enlisted industries could have potential impacts on the environment and on public health.
      • Exempting industries from the EIA requirements based on the investment value of specific projects is not acceptable. There are no specific studies conducted till now which demonstrate that environmental impacts are always inconsequential for projects under a given value. It is a well established fact that the small scale industries are contributing more pollution with respect to the major industry. Hence, statement 2 is correct.
Practice Test: Environment- 2 - Question 8

“Endosulfan” considered to be a carcinogen, neurotoxin and genotoxin, is most likely used in which of the following?

Detailed Solution for Practice Test: Environment- 2 - Question 8
  • Recently, the Supreme Court has slammed the Kerala government for doing “virtually nothing” for Endosulfan pesticide exposure victims.
  • Endosulfan is an organochlorine insecticide considered to be carcinogen, neurotoxin and genotoxin. It is linked to a slew of grave medical conditions, such as neurotoxicity, physical deformities, poisoning, etc.
  • It was used widely on crops like cashew, cotton, tea, paddy, fruits and others until 2011, when SC banned its production and distribution.

Hence, option (a) is the correct answer.

Practice Test: Environment- 2 - Question 9

It is one of the biogeographic zones of India.The tropical evergreen forests occupy about one-third of the total area of this zone. About two-thirds of India’s endemic plants are confined to this region. Grizzled Squirrel is restricted to a few forests in this zone.
Which of the following biogeographic zones of India is described in the above passage?

Detailed Solution for Practice Test: Environment- 2 - Question 9
  • Biogeographic zones represent the major species groupings. In addition, each of these ten zones indicates a distinctive set of physical, climatic and historical conditions. The Himalayas and Gangetic Plains are examples of two adjacent but obviously extremely different zones. India has been divided into ten biogeographic zones.
  • The Western Ghats represent one of the major tropical evergreen forest regions in India. In the west, the zone is bound by the coast and in the east, it shares a boundary with the Deccan peninsular zone. The tropical evergreen forests occupy about one-third of the total area of this zone.
  • In recent years, a large chunk of the forest cover has been lost and this zone is now of great Student Notes: conservation concern, more so because of its exceptional biological richness. About two-thirds of India’s endemic plants are confined to this region. However, the potential of many of these species is yet to be tapped. Besides harbouring diverse biological communities, the forests in this zone also play an important role in maintaining the hydrological cycle.
  • The well-known species found exclusively in the Western Ghats include the following: o Flora: The various major vegetation types are tropical evergreen forests, moist deciduous forests, dry deciduous forests, scrub jungles, sholas, and savannas including high-rainfall savannas, peat bogs, and Myristica swamps. Four thousand species of flowering plants are known from the Western Ghats.
    • Fauna:
      • Primates – Nilgiri Langur and Lion-tailed Macaque
      • Squirrels – Several subspecies of Ratufa indica with separate forms in Maharashtra, Mysore, Malabar, and Tamil Nadu Ghats. The Grizzled Squirrel is restricted to two localities in the drier Tamil Nadu forest.
      • Carnivores – Malabar Civet in southern evergreen forests, Rusty-spotted Cat in northern deciduous forests.
      • Ungulates – Nilgiri Tahr in Nilgiris to Agastyamalai Montane grassland.
      • Hornbills – Malabar Grey Hornbill

Hence option (d) is the correct answer.

Practice Test: Environment- 2 - Question 10

Consider the following pairs:

Which of the above-given pair/s is/are correct?

Detailed Solution for Practice Test: Environment- 2 - Question 10

Factors affecting natural functions of the ecosystem and causing harmful effects on abiotic and biotic factors are called pollutants. Pollutants make the environment poisonous and unhealthy. Pollutants may be natural or manmade.

Practice Test: Environment- 2 - Question 11

Which of the following statements best describes the term 'bioprospecting'?

Detailed Solution for Practice Test: Environment- 2 - Question 11
  • Bioprospecting is the exploration of plant and animal species for the utilization of their genetic resources in pharmaceutical and biochemical industries and in the production of a wide array of commercially viable products. Hence option (a) is the correct answer.
  • It led to novel treatments for malaria, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS, and cancer, highlighting yet again the interdependence between ecosystems and human health and wellbeing.
  • Bioprospecting is based on a sustainable approach to bringing economic and social benefits to often poor communities who otherwise would resort to unsustainable use of land, consumption of environmental resources or other negative coping mechanisms such as economic migration.
  • Additional information:
    • Biopiracy is defined as the unauthorized appropriation of knowledge and genetic resources of farming and indigenous communities by individuals or institutions seeking exclusive monopoly control through patents or intellectual property.
    • Biosparging is an in situ remediation technique that supplies oxygen and nutrients (if needed) to contaminated soils to promote aerobic biodegradation of contaminants (i.e. petroleum hydrocarbons) by indigenous microorganisms.
    • A biopile is a type of ex-situ treatment that uses biological processes to transform pollutants into lowtoxic byproducts. It is often used to lower petroleum component concentrations in soils by utilizing the bioremediation process. Biopiles are a type of remediation system that is used for a short period.
Practice Test: Environment- 2 - Question 12

Consider the following statements with respect to National Adaptation Fund For Climate Change (NAFCC):

  1. It was launched in 1992 as a result of the earth summit negotiations.
  2. The National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) is the National Implementing Entity (NIE).

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Detailed Solution for Practice Test: Environment- 2 - Question 12
  • National Adaptation Fund on Climate Change (NAFCC) was launched in 2015 with an initial outlay of Rs. 350 crores to meet the cost of adaptation to climate change for the State and Union Territories of India that are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change. Hence statement 1 is not correct.
  • The overall aim of the fund is to support concrete adaptation activities which are not covered under ongoing activities through the schemes of the State and National Governments that reduce the adverse effects of climate change facing communities, sectors, and states. The Scheme has been taken as Central Sector Scheme with National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) as the National Implementing Entity (NIE). Hence statement 2 is correct.
  • Objectives of NAFCC include:
    • Funding concrete adaptation projects/programs aligned with the relevant Missions under National Action Plan on Climate Change (NAPCC) and the State Action on Climate Change (SAPCCs) in agriculture, horticulture, agro-forestry, environment, allied activities, water, forestry, urban, coastal and low-lying system, disaster management, human health, marine system, tourism, habitat sector and other rural livelihood sectors to address climate change related issues.
    • Preparing and updating climate scenarios, assessing vulnerability, and climate impact assessment
    • Capacity building of various stakeholders on climate change adaptation and project cycle management and developing a knowledge networkMainstreaming the approaches/ learnings from project/program implementation through knowledge Management
Practice Test: Environment- 2 - Question 13

Consider the following statements regarding the Polar Stratospheric Clouds (PSC):

  1. PSCs are readily formed in the extreme cold winters of the Antarctic atmosphere.
  2. Ozone is destroyed in Antarctica at the maximum rate during the winters due to the abundance of PSCs.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Detailed Solution for Practice Test: Environment- 2 - Question 13
  • Although ozone depletion is occurring widely in the stratosphere, the depletion is particularly marked over the Antarctic region. This has resulted in the formation of a large area of the thinned ozone layer, commonly called the ozone hole. It is only under certain meteorological conditions that ozone holes form. The conditions required to form the ozone hole are:
    • Cold temperatures during the polar winter
    • Ice cloud formation
    • Special meteorological conditions to form the polar vortex
    • Followed by the polar sunrise in the spring
  • The ozone hole occurs during the Antarctic spring, from September to early December, as strong westerly winds start to circulate around the continent and create an atmospheric container. Within this polar vortex, over 50% of the lower stratospheric ozone is destroyed during the Antarctic spring.
  • Reactions that take place on polar stratospheric clouds (PSCs) dramatically enhance ozone depletion. PSCs form more readily in the extreme cold of the Arctic and Antarctic stratosphere. Sunlight-less polar winters contribute to a decrease in temperature and the polar vortex traps and chills air. These low temperatures form cloud particles. These clouds provide surfaces for chemical reactions whose products will, in the spring lead to ozone Destruction. Hence, statement 1 is correct.
  • The role of sunlight in ozone depletion is the reason why the Antarctic ozone depletion is greatest during spring. During winter, even though PSCs are at their most abundant, there is no light over the pole to drive chemical reactions. During the spring, however, the sun comes out, providing energy to drive photochemical reactions and melt the polar stratospheric clouds, releasing considerable ClO, which drives the whole mechanism. Warming temperatures near the end of spring break up the vortex around mid-December. As warm, ozone and NO2-rich air flows in from lower latitudes, the PSCs are destroyed, the enhanced ozone depletion process shuts down, and the ozone hole closes. Hence, statement 2 is not correct.
Practice Test: Environment- 2 - Question 14

Consider the following compounds:

  1. Chlorofluorocarbons
  2. Hydrochlorofluorocarbons
  3. Methyl Bromide
  4. Hydrofluorocarbons

How many compounds given above are ozone-depleting?

Detailed Solution for Practice Test: Environment- 2 - Question 14
  • The main source of halogen atoms in the stratosphere that break ozone molecules is the photodissociation of man-made halocarbon refrigerants, solvents, propellants, and foam-blowing agents (CFCs, HCFCs, freons, halons) – popularly called as ODS (Ozone Depleting Substance). Apart from these, Carbon tetrachloride, Methyl Bromide, and Methyl Chloroform are also potent ozonedepleting substances.
  • These compounds are transported into the stratosphere by winds after being emitted at the surface. UV rays act on them releasing Chlorine atoms. Cl degrades ozone releasing molecular oxygen, with these atoms acting merely as catalysts. Thus Cl atoms are not consumed in the reaction. Hence, whatever CFCs are added to the stratosphere, they have permanent and continuing effects on Ozone levels.
  • Hydrofluorocarbons, though included in the Montreal Protocol for curbing Ozone-depleting substances, are not Ozone-depleting substances. It is a potent greenhouse gas. Hence, option (c) is the correct answer.
Practice Test: Environment- 2 - Question 15

Consider the following statements in relation to Pradhan Mantri Jan Vikas Karyakram (PMJVK):

  1. It is a central sector scheme.
  2. Its objective is to enhance the basic infrastructure facilities and socioeconomic amenities for the minority communities.
  3. Projects under it are implemented and managed by the concerned State/ Union Territory government.

How many of the statements given above are correct? 

Detailed Solution for Practice Test: Environment- 2 - Question 15
  • Recently,  the Ministry of Minority Affairs (MoMA) has approved a grant under Pradhan Mantri Jan Vikas Karyakram (PMJVK) to support the upgradation of Unani Medicine facilities at Hyderabad, Chennai, Lucknow, Silchar, and Bengaluru.
  • Pradhan Mantri Jan Vikas Karyakram (PMJVK) is a Centrally Sponsored Scheme (CSS). Hence, statement 1 is not correct.
  • It is being implemented by the Ministry of Minority Affairs, with the objective to develop infrastructure projects in identified areas, for the socio-economic development of said areas for the minority communities. The priority sectors under PMJVK are education, health, skill development, womencentric projects etc. Hence statement 2 is correct.
  • Projects under PMJVK are implemented and managed by the concerned State/ UT Government. Hence, statement 3 is correct.
  • The proposals under PMJVK are sent by the States/Union Territories (UTs) as per demand for infrastructure in the identified areas, which are considered and approved by the Empowered Committee (EC) of PMJVK, after due consultation with the concerned Central Ministries.
Practice Test: Environment- 2 - Question 16

Consider the following statements:

  • Statement-I: Debt for Climate Swaps is an agreement where a creditor forgoes a portion of the debtor's foreign debt or provides debt relief in exchange for the debtor's commitment to invest in a specific environmental project.
  • Statement-II: Many developing nations are facing issues of rising debt loads, climate change, and nature loss due to such agreements.

Which one of the following is correct in respect of the above statements? 

Detailed Solution for Practice Test: Environment- 2 - Question 16
  • Recent Context: In recent years, debt-for-climate swaps have gained popularity among low- and middleincome countries as a debt-relief tool. Multilateral development banks and organizations like the UNDP have been promoting this approach to ease the burden of debt for these nations.
  • Debt-for-climate swaps are a financial approach that helps alleviate this problem by freeing up funds for climate investments. They are a form of debt relief that transforms debt into a grant committed to undertaking climate-related investments. Hence statement-I is correct.
    • Both commercial and official bilateral debts can be included in such swaps, with the latter allowing for redirected debt service payments towards projects mutually agreed upon by both parties, such as those related to climate action.
  • Debt-for-climate swaps originated from debt-for-nature swaps, which were introduced in the 1980s to promote biodiversity conservation and tropical forest protection in exchange for debt relief.
    • Bolivia and Conservation International executed the first debt-for-nature swap in 1987. Debt-forclimate swaps became a more extensive concept in the 2000s, encompassing not only nature conservation but also climate change mitigation and adaptation.
    • In 2006, Germany and Indonesia implemented the first debt-for-climate swap, with the latter pledging to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) initiatives in return for debt relief.
  • Debt-for-climate swaps provide benefits for both creditors and debtors. Creditors can advance their development cooperation and climate finance goals, improve their chances of debt recovery, and strengthen their diplomatic ties with debtor nations
  • Steps in Debt-for-climate swaps:
    • Suppose a developing country is indebted to a bilateral creditor that wants to offer debt relief and encourage the developing country to pursue climate-friendly policies or projects.
    • The creditor agrees that the developing country no longer needs to service its debt.
    • In return, the developing country agrees with the lender either (i) to spend the money that would have been spent on debt service on climate-friendly projects or (ii) to adopt climate-friendly policies.
  • Benefits of such agreements.
    • International organisations and multilateral development banks exercise multiple types of measures to help highly vulnerable countries survive financial catastrophes caused by climate change impacts.
    • However, in the past decade, debt-for-climate swaps has grown relatively popular among low- and middle-income countries.
    • They offer an innovative way to make climate investments while creating the much -needed fiscal space.
    • At the same time, they support climate investment by committing a country to swing their spending from debt service to an agreed public investment. Hence statement II is not correct.
Practice Test: Environment- 2 - Question 17

With regard to the functioning of the National Green Tribunal, consider the following statements:

  1. It has been established under the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972 for effective and expeditious disposal of cases relating to environmental protection.
  2. The tribunal is not bound by the procedure laid down under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Detailed Solution for Practice Test: Environment- 2 - Question 17
  • The National Green Tribunal has been established under the National Green Tribunal Act 2010 for effective and expeditious disposal of cases relating to environmental protection and conservation of forests and other natural resources including enforcement of any legal right relating to the environment and giving relief and compensation for damages to persons and property and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto. Hence, statement 1 is not correct.
  • The Tribunal is mandated to make and endeavour for disposal of applications or appeals finally within 6 months of the filing of the same.
  • NGT has not been vested with powers to hear any matter relating to the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, the Indian Forest Act, 1927 and various laws enacted by States relating to forests, tree preservation, etc.
  • The NGT is not bound by the procedure laid down under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908, but shall be guided by principles of natural justice. Hence, statement 2 is correct.
  • Further, NGT is also not bound by the rules of evidence as enshrined in the Indian Evidence Act, 1872. Thus, it will be relatively easier (as opposed to approaching a court) for conservation groups to present facts and issues before the NGT, including pointing out technical flaws in a project or proposing alternatives that could minimize environmental damage but which have not been considered.
  • While passing Orders/decisions/awards, the NGT will apply the principles of sustainable development, the precautionary principle and the polluter pays principles.
  • However, it must be noted that if the NGT holds that a claim is false, it can impose costs including lost benefits due to any interim injunction.
Practice Test: Environment- 2 - Question 18

Consider the following statements:

  • Statement-I: Ocean acidification is detrimental to coral reefs.
  • Statement-II: An increase in acidification slows the rate at which calcium carbonate is generated.

Which one of the following is correct in respect of the above statements? 

Detailed Solution for Practice Test: Environment- 2 - Question 18
  • Increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is one of the recognized causes of our changing climate and it is also problematic for coral reefs. The ocean absorbs approximately one-third of the atmosphere’s excess carbon dioxide, resulting in a more acidic ocean. In order for a coral reef to grow, it must produce limestone (or calcium carbonate) at a rate that is faster than the reef is being eroded. Ocean acidification slows the rate at which coral reefs generate calcium carbonate, thus slowing the growth of coral skeletons.
  • Climate change can cause sea level rise; changes in the frequency, intensity, and distribution of tropical storms; and altered ocean circulation. All of these impacts can have negative consequences for the health and diversity of reefs around the world. Hence, statement-I and statement II are correct. Also, statement II is the correct explanation for statement-I.
  • A 20 percent increase above current carbon dioxide levels, which could occur within the next two decades, could significantly reduce the ability of corals to build their skeletons and some could become functionally extinct within this timeframe.
  • In real terms, this does not just mean corals grow more slowly, but also that they will be less able to overcome typical pressures. Tropical coral reefs are constantly engaging in a battle to grow. Many reef dwellers actually break apart pieces of the corals’ skeletons, either to feed upon or to create homes.
Practice Test: Environment- 2 - Question 19

Which of the following mechanisms have been formulated under the Kyoto Protocol?

  1. Clean Development Mechanism
  2. Joint Implementation
  3. Intended Nationally Determined Contributions
  4. International Emission Trading

Select the correct answer using the code given below. 

Detailed Solution for Practice Test: Environment- 2 - Question 19
  • The Kyoto Protocol is an agreement made under the UNFCCC. Countries that ratify this protocol commit to reduce their emissions of carbon dioxide and five other greenhouse gases (Methane, Nitrous Oxide, Sulphur Hexafluoride, Hydrofluorocarbons and Perfluorocarbons), or engage in emissions trading if they maintain or increase emissions of these gases.
  • Under the protocol, Governments are separated into two general categories: countries among the developed nations, referred to as Annex 1 countries (who have accepted GHG emission reduction obligations and must submit an annual greenhouse gas inventory); and countries among developing or least developed nations, referred to as Non-Annex 1 countries (who have no GHG emission reduction obligations but may participate in the Clean Development Mechanism).
  • The Kyoto Protocol introduced three mechanisms in order to achieve its goals: the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), Joint Implementation (JI), and Emissions Trading (ET).
    • The CDM allows countries with commitments under the Kyoto Protocol to invest in emissionreduction projects in developing countries. These projects can involve, for example, a rural electrification project using solar panels or the installation of more energy-efficient boilers. Hence option 1 is correct. 
    • JI mechanism allows a country with a Kyoto Protocol emission reduction target to invest in a project to reduce emissions in any other country with a commitment (as opposed to a developing country). Hence option 2 is correct.
    • The Emissions Trading (The International Emission Trading) scheme under the Kyoto Protocol set up a platform where carbon units, or units generated by projects registered under the JI or the CDM, or from removals through forestry activities, can be exchanged, i.e. sold and purchased, according to a country’s needs. The scheme made carbon a commodity and created a carbon market. Hence option 4 is correct.
  • Nationally determined contributions (NDCs) are at the heart of the Paris Agreement and the achievement of its long-term goals. NDCs embody efforts by each country to reduce national emissions and adapt to the impacts of climate change. Article 4 of the Paris Agreement requires each party to prepare, communicate and maintain successive nationally determined contributions (NDCs) that it intends to achieve. Parties shall pursue domestic mitigation measures, with the aim of achieving the objectives of such contributions. Hence, INDCs are not the market mechanisms under the Kyoto Protocol. Hence option 3 is not correct.
Practice Test: Environment- 2 - Question 20

Consider the following pairs with reference to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):
SDG Number : Goal

  1. SDG 3 : Gender Equality
  2. SDG 9 : Access to Clean Energy
  3. SDG 13 : Sustainable Cities and Communities
  4. SDG 16 : Peace Justice and Strong Institutions

How many pairs given above are correctly matched? 

Detailed Solution for Practice Test: Environment- 2 - Question 20
  • In September 2015, the heads of nations agreed to set the world on a path toward sustainable development through the adoption of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. This agenda includes 17 Sustainable Development Goals, or SDGs, which set out quantitative objectives across the social, economic, and environmental dimensions of sustainable development all to be achieved by 2030.
  • The 17 SDGs are integrated—they recognize that action in one area will affect outcomes in others, and that development must balance social, economic, and environmental sustainability. There are 169 targets under the 17 goals.
  • Image showing 17 SDGs
  • Thus, only pair 4 is correctly matched. Hence option (a) is the correct answer.
Practice Test: Environment- 2 - Question 21

Consider the following types of ecological pyramids:

  1. Pyramids of number
  2. Pyramid of biomass
  3. Pyramids of energy

How many of the pyramids given above can never be inverted in shape?

Detailed Solution for Practice Test: Environment- 2 - Question 21
  • An ecological pyramid is a graphical representation of the relationship between different organisms in an ecosystem.
  • Types of Ecological Pyramids:
  • The pyramid of Numbers is the graphic representation of the number of individuals per unit area of various trophic levels.
    • Upright Pyramid of Numbers: In an upright pyramid of numbers, the number of individuals decreases from the lower level to the higher level. This type of pyramid is usually found in the grassland ecosystem and the pond ecosystem. The grass in a grassland ecosystem occupies the lowest trophic level because of its abundance.
    • Inverted Pyramid of Numbers: Here, the number of individuals increases from the lower level to the higher trophic level. For example, the tree ecosystem. Thus, the Pyramid of Numbers can be inverted and Upright. Hence option 1 is not correct.
  • Pyramid of Biomass as the name suggests shows the amount of biomass (living or organic matter present in an organism) present per unit area at each trophic level.
    • Upright Pyramid of Biomass: Ecosystems found on land mostly have pyramids of biomass with large bases of primary producers with smaller trophic levels perched on top, hence the upright pyramid of biomass.
    • Inverted Pyramid of Biomass: A reverse pyramidal structure is found in most aquatic ecosystems. Here, the pyramid of biomass may assume an inverted pattern. This is because, in a water body, the producers are tiny phytoplankton that grow and reproduce rapidly. In this condition, the pyramid of biomass has a small base, with the producer biomass at the base providing support to consumer biomass of large weight. Hence, it assumes an inverted shape. The pyramid of Biomass can be inverted and Upright. Hence, option 2 is not correct.
  • The pyramid of Energy is a graphical structure representing the flow of energy through each trophic level of a food chain over a fixed part of the natural environment. An energy pyramid represents the amount of energy at each trophic level and the loss of energy at each is transferred to another trophic level.
  • The energy pyramid, sometimes called the trophic pyramid or ecological pyramid, is used in quantifying the energy transfer from one organism to another along the food chain. Energy decreases as one moves through the trophic levels from the bottom to the top of the pyramid. Thus, the energy pyramid is always upright. Hence, option 3 is correct.
Practice Test: Environment- 2 - Question 22

Consider the following statements:

  1. The Earth is currently believed to be undergoing the sixth mass extinction.
  2. The current species extinction rates are estimated to be several times faster than in pre-human times.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Detailed Solution for Practice Test: Environment- 2 - Question 22
  • A mass extinction is a short period of geological time in which a high percentage of biodiversity, or distinct species—bacteria, fungi, plants, mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, fish, invertebrates—dies out. In this definition, it’s important to note that, in geological time, a ‘short’ period can span thousands or even millions of years.
  • The planet has experienced five previous mass extinction events, the last one occurring 65.5 million years ago which wiped out the dinosaurs from existence. Experts now believe we are in the midst of a sixth mass extinction. Hence statement 1 is correct.
  • The ‘Sixth Extinction’ is presently in progress different from the previous episodes. The difference is in the rates; the current species extinction rates are estimated to be 100 to 1,000 times faster than in pre-human times and our activities are responsible for the faster rates. Ecologists warn that if the present trends continue, nearly half of all the species on Earth might be wiped out within the next 100 years. Hence statement 2 is correct.
  • Unlike previous extinction events caused by natural phenomena, the sixth mass extinction is driven by human activity, primarily (though not limited to) the unsustainable use of land, water and energy use, and climate change.
Practice Test: Environment- 2 - Question 23

Consider the following statements regarding Trade Records Analysis of Flora and Fauna in International Commerce (TRAFFIC):

  1. It is a wildlife trade monitoring network established jointly by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
  2. It is concerned with the monitoring of both the legal as well as illegal trade in wildlife across the world.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct? 

Detailed Solution for Practice Test: Environment- 2 - Question 23

International Organizations for Control of Wildlife Trafficking:

  • TRAFFIC: Trade Records Analysis of Flora and Fauna in International Commerce (TRAFFIC) established in 1976, is a wildlife trade monitoring network and a joint programme of WWF and IUCN. Hence statement 1 is correct.
    • It works closely with the National and State Governments and various agencies to help study, monitor and influence action to curb illegal wildlife trade and bring wildlife trade within sustainable levels.
  • CITES (the Washington Convention): CITES signed in 1973 provides a mechanism to regulate the trade in wildlife. Under its guidance, governments all over the world have taken steps to prevent this illegal trade and bring it under control.
    • The CITES is concerned with the international co-operation to control only the illegal trade in endangered species whereas the TRAFFIC is concerned with the monitoring of both the legal as well as the illegal trade in wildlife across the world. Hence statement 2 is correct.
Practice Test: Environment- 2 - Question 24

Which of the following statements best describes the Chemical Oxygen Demand of a water body?

Detailed Solution for Practice Test: Environment- 2 - Question 24
  • The amount of pollution in a water body can be quantified by the amount of oxygen required to decompose the pollutants. For this, two parameters are considered- The Biological Oxygen Demand and the Chemical Oxygen Demand.
  • Chemical oxygen demand or COD is the amount of oxygen required to break down organic and inorganic material via oxidation. Hence option (b) is the correct answer.
  • It is frequently stated as the mass of oxygen consumed over the volume of the solution, expressed in milligrams per liter (mg/L), in SI units. Quantifying the number of oxidizable contaminants present in surface water (such as lakes and rivers) or wastewater is the most typical application of COD. Chemical Oxygen Demand is helpful for assessing the quality of water by providing a metric to assess how an effluent will affect the receiving body.
Practice Test: Environment- 2 - Question 25

Consider the following pairs:
Type of Biodiversity: Measure of

  1. Alpha diversity : Species richness in a particular ecosystem 
  2. Beta diversity : Total biodiversity within an entire region 
  3. Gamma diversity : Change in amount of species between the ecosystems.

How many of the above pairs are correctly matched?

Detailed Solution for Practice Test: Environment- 2 - Question 25
  • Measuring the diversity of a species generally incorporates estimates of "richness". Also referred to as alpha-diversity, species richness is a common way of measuring biodiversity and involves counting the number of individuals - or even families - in a given area. Hence, pair 1 is correctly matched.
  • At the ecosystem-level, measures of biodiversity are often used to compare two ecosystems or to determine changes over time in a given region. Describing changes in biodiversity within or between ecosystems is called beta-diversity. Measures of beta-diversity indicate the difference in species richness between two different habitats or within a single community at different points in time. The resulting number indicates to researchers whether there is any overlap in the species found in each group. Hence, pair 2 is not correctly matched.
  • Gamma-diversity, on the other hand, estimates the total biodiversity within an entire region. Hence, pair 3 is not correctly matched.
Practice Test: Environment- 2 - Question 26

In the context of Biomagnifi cation, consider the following statements:

1. Biomagnific ation refers to decrease in concentration of the toxicant at successive trophic levels. 
2. This happens because a toxic substance accumulated by an organism can be metabolised or excreted, and is thus passed on to the next higher trophic level.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct? 

Detailed Solution for Practice Test: Environment- 2 - Question 26
  • Statement 1 is incorrect: Biomagnifi cation refers to increase in concentration of the toxicant at successive trophic levels.
  • Statement 2 is incorrect: This happens because a toxic substance accumulated by an organism cannot be metabolised or excreted, and is thus passed on to the next higher trophic level.
Practice Test: Environment- 2 - Question 27

Consider the following statements:

  1. The high concentrations of Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT) disturb calcium metabolism in birds.
  2. It causes thinning of eggshell and their premature breaking, eventually causing decline in bird populations.

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Detailed Solution for Practice Test: Environment- 2 - Question 27

Health and Hazardous substance

  • Biomagnifi cation happens because a toxic substance accumulated by an organism cannot be metabolised or excreted, and is thus passed on to the next higher trophic level.
  • This phenomenon is wellknown for mercury and Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane (DDT). Biomagnifi cation of DDT in an aquatic food chain.
  • In this manner, the concentration of DDT is increased at successive trophic levels; say if it starts at 0.003 ppb (ppb = parts per billion) in water, it can ultimately reach 25 ppm (ppm = parts per million) in fish-eating birds, through biomagnifi cation.
  • High concentrations of DDT disturb calcium metabolism in birds, which causes thinning of eggshell and their premature breaking, eventually causing decline in bird populations.
Practice Test: Environment- 2 - Question 28

In the context of Eutrophication, which of the following statements is/are correct?
1. Eutrophication is the natural aging of a lake by nutrient enrichment of its water.
2. With time, streams draining into the lake introduce nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus.
3. As the lake’s fertility decreases, plant and animal life burgeons, and organic remains begin to be deposited on the lake bottom.

Select the correct answer using the codes given below.

Detailed Solution for Practice Test: Environment- 2 - Question 28
  • Statement 1 is correct: Eutrophication is the natural aging of a lake by nutrient enrichment of its water.
  • Statement 2 is correct: With time, streams draining into the lake introduce nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus, which encourage the growth of aquatic organisms.
  • Statement 3 is incorrect: As the lake’s fertility increases, plant and animal life burgeons, and organic remains begin to be deposited on the lake bottom.
Practice Test: Environment- 2 - Question 29

Which of the following statements is/are correct?
1. Marsh plants take root in the shallows and begin to fil l in the original lake basin.
2. The lake gives way to large masses of fl oating plants (bog), which converting into land.

Select the correct answer using the codes given below.

Detailed Solution for Practice Test: Environment- 2 - Question 29

Effects of Eutrophication

  • Over the centuries, as silt and organic debris pile up, the lake grows shallower and warmer, with warm-water organisms supplanting those that thrive in a cold environment.
  • Marsh plants take root in the shallows and begin to fi ll in the original lake basin. Eventually, the lake gives way to large masses of flo ating plants (bog), fi nally converting into land.
  • Depending on climate, size of the lake and other factors, the natural aging of a lake may span thousands of years.
  • However, pollutants from man’s activities like effl uents from the industries and homes can radically accelerate the aging process. This phenomenon has been called Cultural or Accelerated Eutrophication.
Practice Test: Environment- 2 - Question 30

Consider the following statements regarding Marshlands:

Statement-I: The Sundarbans is a vast mangrove forest and is shared between India and Bangladesh.
Statement-II: It is formed by the confl uence of the Ganges, Brahmaputra, and Meghna rivers, creating a unique ecosystem of saltwater and freshwater mix.

Which one of the following is correct in respect of the above statements?

Detailed Solution for Practice Test: Environment- 2 - Question 30

Marshlands

  • In India, marshlands can be found in various regions across the country, offering a wide range of ecological and geographical diversity. One of the most well-known marshlands in India is the Sundarbans, located in the eastern part of the country.
  • The Sundarbans is a vast mangrove forest and is shared between India and Bangladesh. It is formed by the confl uence of the Ganges, Brahmaputra, and Meghna rivers, creating a unique ecosystem of saltwater and freshwater mix.
  • This UNESCO World Heritage Site is renowned for its rich biodiversity, with numerous species of flo ra and fauna, including the iconic Bengal tiger, crocodiles, dolphins, and a variety of bird species.
Practice Test: Environment- 2 - Question 31

Consider the following statements:
1. The Rann of Kutch is a massive marshland located in the southern part of India.
2. The marshland transforms from a dry and arid desert during the summer months to a marshland filled with shallow saltwater during the monsoon season.
3. This unique landscape is home to various migratory birds, such as flamingos, pelicans, and cranes. 

How many of the above statements are correct regarding Marshland?

Detailed Solution for Practice Test: Environment- 2 - Question 31
  • Statement 1 is incorrect: The Rann of Kutch is a massive marshland located in the western part of India. 
  • Statement 2 is correct: The marshland transforms from a dry and arid desert during the summer months to a marshland fil led with shallow saltwater during the monsoon season. 
  • Statement 3 is correct: This unique landscape is home to various migratory birds, such as fla mingos, pelicans, and cranes.
Practice Test: Environment- 2 - Question 32

Which of the following are ‘bottom-feeders’?
1. Crabs
2. Sea stars
3. Tuna
4. Salmon
5. Sea cucumbers

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

Detailed Solution for Practice Test: Environment- 2 - Question 32

Option (b) correct: Tuna and Salmon live at the sea’s surface and prey on other smaller fi sh at sea. They are not bottom feeders.

Detritivore

  1. A detritivore is a heterotrophic organism, which obtains its nutrition by feeding on detritus. Detritus is the organic matter made up of dead plant and animal material.
  2. Detritivores are often invertebrate insects such as mites, beetles, butterfl ies and fl ies; mollusks such as slugs and snails; or soil-dwelling earthworms, millipedes and woodlice.
  3. Examples of detritivores in marine environments are crustaceans such as crabs and lobsters, echinoderms such as sea stars or sea cucumbers.
  4. Many of these marine detritivores occupy a similar niche to terrestrial soil-dwellers, living on or within the seabed known as the benthos. These organisms are often called “bottom-feeders”.
Practice Test: Environment- 2 - Question 33

Consider the following:
1. Inorganic Chemicals
2. Moisture
3. Litter quality
4. Aeration
5. Temperature
6. Soil pH

How many of the above factors that affect the rate of decomposition?

Detailed Solution for Practice Test: Environment- 2 - Question 33

Decomposition

  • Decomposition or rot is the process by which dead organic substances are broken down into simpler organic or inorganic matter such as carbon dioxide, water, simple sugars and mineral salts.

Following are the important factors affecting the rate of decomposition:

  • Inorganic Chemicals: After decomposition, the elements like potassium, sodium, calcium, magnesium are released into the soil. Some of these are used by the microorganisms for their growth. Thus, it affects the rate of decomposition.
  • Moisture: The water present in the soil is responsible for various physiological processes of microorganisms present in the soil. The growth of microorganisms is thus governed by the presence of moisture in the soil.
  • Litter Quality: The rate of decomposition depends on the structural and chemical properties of litter. For ex- the litter of bryophytes is decomposed at a slower rate due to the presence of lignin like complex chemicals.
  • Aeration: The oxygen present in the pores of the soil helps in the growth of microorganisms. In the water-logged soils, the aerobic microorganisms are absent. Here only anaerobic microorganisms can grow and initiate decomposition.
  • Temperature: Temperature regulates the growth and activity of microorganisms.
  • Soil pH: The presence of cations and anions governs the pH of the soil, which in turn affects microbial growth.
Practice Test: Environment- 2 - Question 34

Consider the following statements:
1. Catabolism breaks down big complex molecules into smaller, easier to absorb molecules.  
2. The process of catabolism releases energy.  

Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

Detailed Solution for Practice Test: Environment- 2 - Question 34
  • Statement 1 is correct: Catabolism, the sequences of enzyme-catalyzed reactions by which relatively large molecules in living cells are broken down, or degraded. Catabolism breaks down big complex molecules into smaller, easier to absorb molecules.  
  • Statement 2 is correct: Catabolic pathways involve the breakdown of complex molecules into simpler ones and typically release energy. Energy stored in the bonds of complex molecules, such as glucose and fats, is released in catabolic pathways. Thus the process of catabolism releases energy.  

Catabolism

  • Metabolism involves a set of processes that all living things use to maintain their bodies. These processes include both anabolism and catabolism. Both help organize molecules by freeing and capturing energy to keep the body running strong. These phases of metabolism happen simultaneously.
  • Anabolism centers around growth and building — the organization of molecules. In this process, small, simple molecules are built up into larger, more complex ones. An example of anabolism is gluconeogenesis. This is when the liver and kidneys produce glucose from non-carbohydrate sources.
  • Catabolism is what happens when you digest food and the molecules break down in the body for use as energy. Large, complex molecules in the body are broken down into smaller, simple ones. An example of catabolism is glycolysis.
Practice Test: Environment- 2 - Question 35

Which one of the following is the correct sequence of a food chain?

Detailed Solution for Practice Test: Environment- 2 - Question 35

Option (a) is correct: The food chain starts with a producer and ends with a top consumer. Diatoms are primary producers in the oceans. The animals belonging to the phylum Mollusca feed on diatoms and Belugas are a fi sh, and they eat molluscs.
Food Chain

  • Phytoplanktons are the primary producers in the oceans. They include:
    • diatoms (unicellular algae),
    • coccolithophores (unicellular, eukaryotic protist),
    • Cyanobacteria (Bluegreen algae)– Synechococcus, Prochlorococcus, Nostoc, spirogyra etc.
    • Dinofl agellates (fl agellated protists).
  • The animals belonging to the phylum Mollusca have soft-bodies, triploblastic and bilaterally symmetrical and coelomate. They are sluggish invertebrates, with a thin fle shy envelope or mantle covering the visceral organs. Examples- Octopus, Snail, Oyster, Squid etc.
  • The beluga is a species of anadromous fi sh. Belugas feed on a variety of fi sh species, such as salmon and herring, as well as shrimp, crabs and mollusks.
Practice Test: Environment- 2 - Question 36

Consider the following statements:
1. The pyramid of numbers has the potential to be only upright in its structure.
2. The pyramid of biomass has the potential to be only inverted in its structure.
3. The pyramid of Energy has the potential to be both upright and inverted in its structure.

How many of the statements given above are correct?

Detailed Solution for Practice Test: Environment- 2 - Question 36

Flow of Energy

  • Pyramid of numbers represents the total number of individuals of different species (population) at each trophic level. Depending upon the size, the pyramid of numbers may not always be upright, and may even be completely inverted.
  • Pyramid of numbers – upright: In this pyramid, the number of individuals is decreased from lower level to higher trophic level. This type of pyramid can be seen in the grassland ecosystem and pond ecosystem.
  • Pyramid of numbers – inverted: In this pyramid, the number of individuals is increased from lower level to higher trophic level. Ex- Tree ecosystem.
  • Pyramid of biomass is usually determined by collecting all organisms occupying each trophic level separately and measuring their dry weight. This overcomes the size difference problem because all kinds of organisms at a trophic level are weighed. It may be upright or inverted.
  • Pyramid of Biomass – upright: For most ecosystems on land, the pyramid of biomass has a large base of primary producers with a smaller trophic level perched on top. The biomass of producers (autotrophs) is at the maximum. The biomass of next trophic level i.e. primary consumers is less than the producers. The biomass of next higher trophic level i.e. secondary consumers is less than the primary consumers. The top, high trophic level has very less amount of biomass.
  • Pyramid of Biomass – Inverted:  In contrast, in many aquatic ecosystems, the pyramid of biomass may assume an inverted form. This is because the producers are tiny phytoplankton that grows and reproduces rapidly. Here, the pyramid of biomass has a small base, with the consumer biomass at any instant exceeding the producer biomass and the pyramid assumes an inverted shape.
  • Pyramid of Energy: To compare the functional roles of the trophic levels in an ecosystem, an energy pyramid is most suitable. An energy pyramid represents the amount of energy at each trophic level and loss of energy at each transfer to another trophic level. Hence the pyramid is always upward, with a large energy base at the bottom.
Practice Test: Environment- 2 - Question 37

Consider the following:

1. Decomposition of organic matter
2. Respiration
3. Peatland destruction
4. Photosynthesis
5. Volcanic action
6. Weathering of Carbonate Rocks 

Which of the above processes contribute carbon dioxide to the carbon cycle of Earth?

Detailed Solution for Practice Test: Environment- 2 - Question 37

Carbon cycle

  • Carbon is present in the atmosphere, mainly in the form of carbon dioxide (CO2). Carbon cycle involves a continuous exchange of carbon between the atmosphere and organisms. Carbon from the atmosphere moves to green plants by the process of photosynthesis, and then to animals. 
  • By process of respiration and decomposition of dead organic matter, it returns to the atmosphere. It is usually a short term cycle.
  • When organisms die, they are decomposed by bacteria. Carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere during the decomposition process.
  • Respiration is the biochemical process in which the cells of an organism obtain energy by combining oxygen and glucose, resulting in the release of carbon dioxide, water, and ATP.
  • When peatlands are drained, the compressed organic matter begins to decay, turning long-submerged carbon into carbon dioxide and adding more greenhouse gases to our atmosphere.
  • Photosynthesis: The process by which plants produce their own food using sunlight and carbon dioxide is known as photosynthesis. Photosynthesis uses carbon dioxide and produces oxygen.
  • Water vapour (H2O), carbon dioxide (CO2), and sulfur dioxide (SO2) are the most common volcanic gases.
  • Over geologic time, limestone may become exposed (due to tectonic processes or changes in sea level) to the atmosphere and to the weathering of rain. The carbonic acid that forms when carbon dioxide dissolves in water, in turn, dissolves carbonate rocks and releases carbon dioxide.
Practice Test: Environment- 2 - Question 38

Which of the following factors are responsible for enriching the Biodiversity?

  1. Creation of protected Areas
  2. Introduction of Invasive alien species
  3. Intensive and monoculture farming
  4. Rewilding specific areas
  5. Building Green Infrastructure

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

Detailed Solution for Practice Test: Environment- 2 - Question 38

Enhancing the Biodiversity

  • Protected areas should be designated and effectively managed to protect the ecosystem and the organisms living there. Today, protected areas across the globe cover around 15 percent of our land, about 10 percent of the coastal and marine areas within national jurisdiction, and 3.4 percent of our oceans.
  • Invasive alien species are non-native plants or animals that are introduced accidentally or deliberately into an ecosystem where they are not normally found, with serious negative consequences for that ecosystem. An example illustrating the detrimental impact of invasive alien species is the case of the yellow-legged hornet, native to South East Asia and introduced through horticultural trade in 2005.
  • Agriculture had a tremendous impact on biodiversity. Intensive and monoculture farming depletes soil nutrients but it also strips the cultivated land from a range of organisms that help fight the spread of pests. Sustainable agriculture practices support integrating biodiversity in various ways including in terms of diversity of crops, traditional agriculture techniques to control pests and increase productivity as well as ensuring that farmed land is made up of a diverse mix of grazing land, crop land, orchards, wetlands and managed forests.
  • Rewilding, or re-wilding, activities are conservation efforts aimed at restoring and protecting natural processes and wilderness areas. For instance, in 2013 eight European bison were released into the wild in the Bad Berleburg region of Germany, an area where they had been extinct for the last 300 years.
  • Green infrastructure is an approach that seeks to marry modern development and infrastructure projects with biodiversity conservation. If when we make plans for building roads, railways and bridges we assess the impacts for local biodiversity and adapt our plans to minimize those, this will go a long way to helping increase biodiversity. For example, in urban areas properly designed parks, urban gardens, green roofs and walls can contribute to biodiversity.
Practice Test: Environment- 2 - Question 39

Pioneer species mostly invade a bare area, during primary succession in water. Which among the following acts as pioneer species?

  1. Small phytoplanktons
  2. Rooted-floating angiosperms
  3. Reed-swamp
  4. Marsh-meadow

Select the correct answer using the code given below:

Detailed Solution for Practice Test: Environment- 2 - Question 39

Ecological succession

  • Ecological succession is the process that describes how the structure a biological community (that is, an interacting group of various species in a desert, forest, grassland, marine environment, and so on) changes over time.
  • Primary succession on rocks: These are usually lichens which are able to secrete acids to dissolve rock, helping in weathering and soil formation. These later pave the way for some very small plants like bryophytes, which are able to take hold in the small amount of soil.
  • Succession that begins in new habitats or lifeless areas that are uninfluenced by preexisting communities are called Primary succession.
  • Small Phytoplankton are the pioneers that conducts primary succession in water.
  • Phytoplanktons are gradually replaced with time by rooted-submerge plants, rootedfloating angiosperms followed by freefloating plants, then reed-swamp, marsh meadow, scrub and finally the trees.
  • Secondary Succession is that follows the disruption of a pre-existing community that existed in the same ecosystem.
  • The climax again would be a forest. With time the water body is converted into land.
Practice Test: Environment- 2 - Question 40

Consider the following statements:
A: Although the forest is considered a natural ‘climax’ community in ecological successions, many grasslands  ‘halt’ the succession process making grasses a ‘climax ‘community.
R: Grasses once becoming dominant in any region, inhibit the growth of tree sapling at a very early stage by competition for resources, this leads to the halt of the succession process in grasslands.
Select the correct answer using the following code: 

Detailed Solution for Practice Test: Environment- 2 - Question 40
  • Statement R is incorrect: Grasses being a very successful family of the plant kingdom, give fierce competition to any other family but most of the grasses are not perennial so they cannot inhibit the succession merely by competition. Grasses attract two most important factors that are largely responsible for the halt of succession in many grasslands; frequent grazing and frequent fire.

Succession in Grasslands

  • Forests are the natural, original “climax” vegetation in nearly all of Southeast Asia, but Imperata grasslands are now widespread. When forests are disturbed by logging, shifting agriculture, or burning, Imperata often takes over. Imperata’s seeds are blown far and wide, and they can grow on wet or dry, fertile or infertile soils. Once established, the grass is a very flammable fuel. Even three days without rain can dry out the grass enough to carry a fire, burning both the grass and nearby forest vegetation. Fire stimulates both flowering and immediate regrowth of Imperata’s, rhizomes. At the same time, fire damages or kills forest vegetation. If fires are frequent, Imperata will gradually become more dominant. It often forms monocultures except for a few scattered fire-resistant trees and shrubs, or it is part of mixed grasslands with other fire-adapted grasses. This is called a “fire climax.”
  • Imperata grasslands also persist because many other species have difficulty competing with Imperata for water, nutrients, and light. Some species are also affected by the toxic (“allelopathic”) substances produced in and leaking from Imperata’s roots and rhizomes.
  • If an Imperata grassland does not burn, it will naturally and gradually return to the forest (“forest succession”). Slowly, pioneer trees and shrubs sprout or grow from, seed, and eventually, some grow above Imperata and outcompete it for light and water. Once Imperata is suppressed, additional species can grow more easily.
  • It is often assumed that grasslands are the final, irreversible result of deforestation and the abandonment of farmlands and that therefore grasslands are increasing in the area. While it is true that grasslands are expanding in many places, Imperata is only a “climax” if the fire or other disturbances continue. Many grasslands have been converted into agriculture or agroforestry during this century. In some countries and provinces, the total area of Imperata grasslands has decreased as human populations and the demand for land has increased.
Practice Test: Environment- 2 - Question 41

Consider the following statements about Asiatic Cheetah:
Statement-I: Asiatic cheetah was wiped out from India in 1960s, is now only found in Iran.
Statement-II: They are categorized as critically endangered.
Which one of the following is correct in respect of the above statements?

Detailed Solution for Practice Test: Environment- 2 - Question 41

Asiatic Cheetah

  • The Asiatic cheetah that was wiped out from India in 1960s is now only found in Iran, and is categorized as critically endangered.
  • Since, it is not possible to source the animal from Iran, India is set to bring another subspecie of cheetah — the African Cheetah, which can provide it with substantial numbers of suitable cheetah for several years.
Practice Test: Environment- 2 - Question 42

Which of the following pairs regarding the types of forest and their related characteristics is/are correctly matched?

  1. Boreal forest – Thin podzol  soils
  2. Temperate forests – Broad-leafed deciduous trees
  3. Tropical Forest – Restricted undergrowth of flora

Select the correct answer using the code given below: 

Detailed Solution for Practice Test: Environment- 2 - Question 42

Forest Ecosystem

  • The forest ecosystem includes a complex assemblage of different kinds of biotic communities.
  • The nature of soil, climate and local topography determine the distribution of trees and their abundance in the forest vegetation.
  • Cold regions with high rainfall, strong seasonal climates with long winters and short summers are characterized by boreal coniferous forest. 

Boreal forest

  • Boreal forest soils are characterized by thin podzols and are rather poor. Both because, the weathering of rocks proceeds slowly in cold environments and because the litter derived from conifer needle (leaf) is decomposed very slowly and is not rich in nutrients.

Temperate forests

  • The temperate forests are characterized by a moderate climate and broad-leafed deciduous trees, which shed their leaves in fall, are bare over winter and grow new foliage in the spring.
  • The precipitation is fairly uniform throughout. Soils of temperate forests are podzolic and fairly deep.

Tropical rain forests

  • Tropical rain forests occur near the equator. Tropical rain forests are among the most diverse and rich communities on the earth.
  • Both temperature and humidity remain high and more or less uniform.
  • The annual rainfall exceeds 200 cm and is generally distributed throughout the year.
  • Soil of tropical rainforests is red latosols, and they are very thick.
  • The high rate of leaching makes these soils virtually useless for agricultural purposes, but when left undisturbed, the rapid cycling of nutrients within the litter layer, formed due to decomposition can compensate for the natural poverty of the soil.
  • Undergrowth is restricted in many areas by the lack of sunlight at ground level.
Practice Test: Environment- 2 - Question 43

With respect to the Biodiversity, consider the following statements:

  1. Genetic diversity is essential for a healthy breeding of population of species.
  2. Species diversity can be measured through its richness, abundance and their types.
  3. Diversity hotspots are areas poor in species diversity.

How many of the above statements are correct? 

Detailed Solution for Practice Test: Environment- 2 - Question 43
  • Statement 1 is correct: Genetic biodiversity refers to the variation of genes within species. Genetic diversity is essential for a healthy breeding of population of species.
  • Statement 2 is correct: Species diversity refers to the variety of species. Species diversity can be measured through its richness, abundance and types.
  • Statement 3 is incorrect: Diversity hotspots are areas rich in species diversity.

Biodiversity

  • Biodiversity can be discussed at three levels: Genetic diversity, Species diversity, and Ecosystem diversity.

Genetic Diversity:

  • Genes are the basic building blocks of various life forms. Genetic biodiversity refers to the variation of genes within species. Groups of individual organisms having certain similarities in their physical characteristics are called species.
  • Human beings genetically belong to the Homo sapiens group and also differ in their characteristics such as height, colour, physical appearance, etc., considerably. This is due to genetic diversity. This genetic diversity is essential for a healthy breeding of population of species.

Species Diversity:

  • This refers to the variety of species. It relates to the number of species in a defined area. The diversity of species can be measured through its richness, abundance and types.
  • Some areas are richer in species than others. Areas rich in species diversity are called hotspots of diversity.

Ecosystem Diversity:

  • The broad differences between ecosystem types and the diversity of habitats and ecological processes occurring within each ecosystem type constitute the ecosystem diversity.
Practice Test: Environment- 2 - Question 44

Consider the following statement regarding SLACC (sustainable livelihood and adaption to climate change):

  1. The SLACC project is supported by the World Bank.
  2. National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj is the implementing agency of this project.
  3. Objective of SLACC is to support urban entrepreneurs to develop viable business solutions to mitigate climate change. 

How many of the above statements is/are correct? 

Detailed Solution for Practice Test: Environment- 2 - Question 44
  • Statement 1 is correct: The project is supported by the World Bank.
  • Statement 2 is correct: Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change is the concerned ministry while National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj is the implementing agency of this project.
  • Statement 3 is incorrect: The objective of SLACC is to improve adaptive capacity of rural poor engaged in farm-based livelihood.

Sustainable Livelihoods and Adaptation to Climate Change

  • India signed the Grant Agreement with World Bank for Special Climate Change fund Assistance for Sustainable Livelihoods and Adaptation to Climate Change Project in 2019.
  • Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change is the concerned ministry while National Institute of Rural Development and Panchayati Raj is the implementing agency.
  • The objective of the Sustainable Livelihoods and Adaptation to Climate Change Project for India is to improve adaptive capacity of the rural poor engaged in farm-based livelihoods to cope with climate variability and change.

The project has 3 components:

  • Planning, service provision and implementation of climate change adaptation component will support risk assessment, planning, service provision and implementation of climate adaptation interventions. The key activities include: (I) community-led risk assessment and participatory planning of climate adaptation interventions; (ii) provision of strategic climate change adaptation services through knowledge assimilation and partnerships with resource institutions; and (iii) implementation of climate adaptation interventions in agriculture by community institutions (self-help groups/federations) utilizing the Community Climate Adaptation (CCA) grants upon approval of a community adaptation plan.
  • Scaling and mainstreaming communitybased climate adaptation component will enable support and build capacity for the implementation of climate adaptation interventions, and to develop the strategy for scaling up. Key activities include: (I) capacity building of National Rural Livelihoods Mission (NRLM) national and state staff and creation of a cadre of Community Resource Persons (CRPs); (ii) building knowledge support system for climate adaptation including policy inputs for scaling-up of the community-based climate adaptation approach within the NRLM. 
  • Project management and impact evaluation component will invest in: (i) establishment of climate adaptation units staffed with full-time professionals within the NRLM and the State Rural Livelihoods Mission (SRLMs) of the participating states; (ii) establishment of a monitoring system and evaluation arrangements (baseline, midterm and end-of-term).
Practice Test: Environment- 2 - Question 45

Cultivation of plants in agriculture sequesters large amount of carbon, but at global scale agriculture is still source of atmospheric carbon. Which of the following is/are the correct reason (s) for this?

  1. Animal husbandry is a large source of atmospheric carbon such as methane and carbon dioxide.
  2. Ploughing and flood irrigation like practices cause release of the carbon fixed in the soil.

Select the correct answer using the codes given below:

Detailed Solution for Practice Test: Environment- 2 - Question 45

Carbon emission in Agriculture

  • The global food system is responsible for ~21–37% of annual emissions, as commonly reported using the 100-year Global Warming Potential (more on this later).
  • The composition of gases emitted by the food system does not reflect the overall global emissions balance, however, with agricultural activity generating around half of all anthropogenic methane emissions and around three-quarters of anthropogenic N2O.
  • The non-CO2 gases methane and nitrous oxide comprise a uniquely large share of agricultural emissions.
  • Animals are the source of atmospheric carbon on earth. Rearing animals at large scale tilts agriculture’s carbon budget more towards being source. Soil organic material is one of the major sinks for the carbon. Agricultural practices like ploughing and fl ood irrigation disturb the soil frequently, causing its rapid release.
Practice Test: Environment- 2 - Question 46

Which of the following is not a geoengineering technique to counter climate change by reducing atmospheric carbon at global scale?

Detailed Solution for Practice Test: Environment- 2 - Question 46

Geoengineering

  • Any engineering intervention that is implemented/proposed to mitigate/ accelerate climate change at global scale will fall under geoengineering.
  • There is wide range of proposed geoengineering techniques. Generally, these can be grouped into two categories: Solar Radiation Management (SRM) or Solar Geoengineering
  • SRM techniques aim to reflect a small proportion of the Sun’s energy back into space, counteracting the temperature rise caused by increased levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere which absorb energy and raise temperatures.

Some proposed techniques include:

  • Albedo enhancement: Increasing the reflectiveness of clouds or the land surface so that more of the Sun’s heat is reflected back into space.
  • Space reflectors: Blocking a small proportion of sunlight before it reaches the Earth.
  • Stratospheric aerosols: Introducing small, reflective particles into the upper atmosphere to reflect some sunlight before it reaches the surface of the Earth.

Greenhouse Gas Removal (GGR) or Carbon Geoengineering

  • GGR techniques aim to remove carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases from the atmosphere, directly countering the increased greenhouse effect and ocean acidification. These techniques would have to be implemented on a global scale to have a significant impact on greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere.

Some proposed techniques include:

  • Afforestation: Engaging in a global-scale tree planting effort.
  • Biochar: ‘Charring’ biomass and burying it so that its carbon is locked up in the soil.
  • Bio-energy with carbon capture and sequestration: Growing biomass, burning it to create energy and capturing and sequestering the carbon dioxide created in the process.
  • Ambient Air Capture: Building large machines that can remove carbon dioxide directly from ambient air and store it elsewhere.
  • Ocean fertilization: Adding nutrients to the ocean in selected locations to increase primary production which draws down carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
  • Enhanced Weathering: Exposing large quantities of minerals that will react with carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and storing the resulting compound in the ocean or soil.
  • Ocean Alkalinity Enhancement: Grinding up, dispersing, and dissolving rocks such as limestone, silicates, or calcium hydroxide in the ocean to increase its ability to store carbon and directly ameliorate ocean acidification.

Rooftop solar-energy aims to fulfil the energy requirement at a local scale, it is not considered as geoengineering technique.

Practice Test: Environment- 2 - Question 47

After successful global effort to limit the use of chlorofl uorocarbon (CFC), what are the major factors responsible for slowing down of the stratospheric ozone (O3) recovery?

Detailed Solution for Practice Test: Environment- 2 - Question 47

Stratospheric ozone layer depletion

  • The term “ozone depletion” means more than just the natural destruction of ozone; it means that ozone loss is exceeding ozone creation.
  • Putting additional ozone-destroying compounds such as CFCs into the atmosphere is like increasing the size of the holes in our “bucket” of ozone. The larger holes cause ozone to leak out at a faster rate than ozone is being created. Consequently, the level of ozone protecting us from ultraviolet radiation decreases.
  • During the last 15 years, an additional mechanism was found in the areas over the Antarctic and Arctic that rapidly destroys ozone. Over the Earth’s poles during their respective winters, the stratosphere cools to very cold temperatures and polar stratospheric clouds (PSCs) form.
  • In the polar stratosphere, nearly all of the chlorine is in the form of inactive or “reservoir” gases such as hydrogen chloride (HCl) and chlorine nitrate (ClONO2) that do not react with ozone or each other. However, chemical reactions of these “reservoir” chlorine gases can occur on the polar stratospheric cloud particle surfaces, converting the chlorine gases into very reactive forms that rapidly destroy ozone.
  • This “polar chemistry” on the stratospheric cloud particles has caused very large decreases in ozone concentrations over Antarctica and the Arctic. In fact, ozone levels drop so low in spring over Antarctica that scientists describe this loss as the “Antarctic Ozone Hole.”
  • CO2 affects temperatures in both the troposphere and the stratosphere and formation of O3 is an exothermic process. CH4 affects the levels of reactive hydrogen oxides in the troposphere and stratosphere that can react with ozone.
Practice Test: Environment- 2 - Question 48

Which of the following statements regarding carbon offsetting initiatives is/are correct?

  1. Air Carbon Exchange (ACX) is the first exchange in Asia to list Certified Emission Reductions (CER) held in the Clean Development Mechanism registry.
  2. Gold Standard Voluntary Emission Reductions (VER) is a certificate issued by the United Nations to member nations for preventing one tonne of carbon dioxide emissions.

Select the correct answer using the code given below: 

Detailed Solution for Practice Test: Environment- 2 - Question 48

Statement 2 is incorrect: Gold Standard Voluntary Emission Reductions (VER) is a certificate issued by World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).
Carbon Offsetting

  • Carbon Offsetting is the prevention or removal of Greenhouse Gases (more commonly referred to as Carbon Emissions) from the atmosphere, to compensate for emissions created elsewhere.
  • Carbon Offsetting works in practice via projects around the world that prevent or remove Greenhouse Gases, such as tree planting, deforestation prevention/ protection, and renewable projects such as Wind, Solar and Hydro Power.
  • Third party standards ensure the project is “additional”, meaning the project would not have otherwise occurred if it was not funded by the Carbon Credit purchases themselves.
  • In addition, the standards also ensure the projects have secondary benefits (not just offsetting emissions) – providing employment, education, and a positive impact on the biodiversity and wildlife within the region.
  • There are many different thirdparty standards, but the three largest and most regulated are the Verified  Carbon Standard (VCS), Gold Standard Voluntary Emission Reductions (VER), and the United Nations Certified Emission Reductions (CER) programmes. In particular, CER projects are regulated by the United Nations directly.
  • Carbon markets facilitate the trading of emission reductions. A carbon market existed under Kyoto Protocol but is no longer there because the Protocol itself expired last year.
  • The developing countries wanted their unused carbon credits to be transitioned to the new market.
  • The Glasgow Pact (COP 26) allowed these carbon credits to be used in meeting countries’ first NDC targets. These cannot be used for meeting targets in subsequent NDCs. That means, if a developed country wants to buy these credits to meet its own emission reduction targets, it can do so till 2025.
  • Recently, UNFCCC has joined hands with the Air Carbon Exchange (ACX), the world’s first fully digital carbon exchange, to promote carbon offsetting via emission reductions.
  • The ACX, the Singapore-based exchange, a central marketplace for carbon credits, is the first exchange in Asia to list CERs held in the CDM registry - the database that holds and tracks CERs, including their retirement.
Practice Test: Environment- 2 - Question 49

Climate change can affect agriculture through their direct and indirect effects, what could be its likely consequence/consequences?

  1. The yields of some cereal crops like wheat are likely to be increased due to increase in crop growth duration.
  2. It can affect the survival and distribution of pest populations and thus developing a new equilibrium between crops and pests.
  3. Increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide has a fertilization effect on crops and thus promotes their growth and productivity.

Select the correct answer using the code given below: 

Detailed Solution for Practice Test: Environment- 2 - Question 49
  • Statement 1 is incorrect: The yields of major cereals crops especially like wheat is likely to be reduced due to decrease in crop growth duration, increased respiration, and /or reduction in rainfall/irrigation water supplies due to rise in atmospheric temperature.
  • Statement 2 is correct: Increase in temperature can affect the survival and distributions of pest populations and thus developing new equilibrium between crops and pests.
  • Statement 3 is correct: Increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide has a fertilization effect on crops with C3 photosynthetic pathway and thus promotes their growth and productivity.

Impact of climate change on agriculture

  • Increase in ambient CO2 is beneficial since this leads to increased photosynthesis in several crops, especially crops with C3 mechanism of photosynthesis such as wheat and rice, and decreased evaporative losses.
  • Despite this, the yields of major cereals crops especially like wheat is likely to be reduced due to decrease in crop growth duration, increased respiration, and /or reduction in rainfall/irrigation water supplies due to rise in atmospheric temperature.
  • Increase in temperature can reduce crop duration, increase crop respiration rates, alter photosynthesis process, affect the survival and distributions of pest populations and thus developing new equilibrium between crops and pests, hastens nutrient mineralization in soils, decrease fertilizer use efficiencies, and increase in evapotranspiration.
  • Climate change can affect agriculture through their direct and indirect effects on the crops, soils, livestock and pests. Increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide has a fertilization effect on crops with C3 photosynthetic pathway and thus promotes their growth and productivity.
Practice Test: Environment- 2 - Question 50

Consider the following:

  1. Promoting marine biodiversity
  2. Coastal protection
  3. Increasing fish catch
  4. Preventing trawling 

How many of the above are the benefits of artificial reefs?

Detailed Solution for Practice Test: Environment- 2 - Question 50

Artificial Reef

  • Artificial reefs are intentionally placed benthic structures built of natural or manmade materials, which are designed to protect, enhance, or restore components of marine ecosystems.
  • Their ecological structure and function, vertical relief, and irregular surfaces vary according to location, construction, and degree to which they mimic natural habitats, such as coral reefs.
  • An AR can serve several purposes – recreational activities (surfing, scuba diving, snorkelling, and tourism), disaster management, coastal protection, managing and promoting marine biodiversity, increasing fish catch, and preventing trawling.
  • Most artificial reefs are purposefully designed and deployed using long-lasting and non-toxic materials that provide a high degree of surface and structural diversity.
  • Today, we generally recognize several main goals for artificial reefs:
    • Replace structure and habitat diversity in places where it has been lost (due to dredging, development, storms, bleaching, etc.)
    • Increase the size of reefs or available structure to enhance local marine resources and improve biodiversity
    • Create artificial dive/snorkelling sites to relieve tourism pressure on natural reefs
    • Create attractive or art inspired reefs to increase awareness and communicate reef issues to the general public
  • It is important to recognize that artificial reefs only work in areas where water quality is still conducive to coral growth.
  • In India, Zoological Survey of India (ZSI), with help from Gujarat’s forest department, is attempting for the first time a process to restore coral reefs using biorock or mineral accretion technology. 
    • Biorock is the name given to the substance formed by electro accumulation of minerals dissolved in seawater on steel structures that are lowered onto the sea bed and are connected to a power source, in this case solar panels that float on the surface.
  • The M.S. Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF) and the Tamil Nadu Fisheries Development Corporation (TNFDC) have been installing artificial reefs to help fishers in some of the villages in Tamil Nadu.
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