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UPSC

Explore popular questions from Environmental Issues for UPSC. This collection covers Environmental Issues previous year UPSC questions hand picked by experienced teachers.

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Q 1. The two great industrial tragedies namely, MIC and Chernobyl tragedies respectively occurred where and at which time?

Bhopal 1984, Ukrain 1986

B

Bhopal 1986, Russia 1988

C

Bhopal 1984, Ukrain 1990

D

Bhopal 1984, Ukrain 1988

Explanation

The Bhopal gas tragedy occurred on 3rd Dec. 1984 in which methyl isocyanate gas was released from a fertilizer manufacturing plant of Union Carbide causing the death of approximately 2500 persons. The Chernobyl disaster occurred on April 26, 1986. from an explosion at the Chernobyl power station which released a huge radioactive cloud into the atmosphere in Ukraine.

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Q 2. Examining an old abandoned home several months after a flood, a relief worker suddenly experiences difficulty breathing. At the hospital she learns that she experienced:

A

a chronic respiratory illness more common in the developed world.

B

a chronic respiratory illness more common in the developing world.

an acute respiratory illness more common in the developed world.

D

an acute respiratory illness more common in the developing world.

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Q 3. The negative impacts of ozone pollution on forests are expected to increase as

A

ocean levels rise and wind patterns shift.

B

organisms spread northward because of warming climate conditions.

C

the increasing demand for timber further stresses the growth of trees.

temperatures increase and precipitation becomes more unpredictable.

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Q 4. By design, the molecules that resist biodegradation and include some of the most problematic persistent organic pollutants are the :

synthetic organic compounds

B

synthetic inorganic compounds

C

recycled heavy metals

D

chlorinated heavy metals

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Q 5. CFCs primarily contribute to the destruction of the ozone by:

A

producing chlorinated gases that reflect back a significant amount of ultraviolet light.

B

releasing carbon monoxide into the stratosphere, which reacts with the oxygen in ozone.

C

releasing gases into the stratosphere that block the enzymes that create ozone.

contributing chlorine, which acts as a catalyst in the breakdown of ozone.

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Q 6. Freshwater becomes polluted:

A

by oil spills in ocean water moving inland.

B

primarily by contaminants from aquifers moving to surface waters.

C

as a result of eutrophication.

from runoff associated with urban areas chemicals used in farming in rural areas.

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Q 7. The inside of a car or greenhouse would not heat up as much in the presence of sunshine if

A

air was circulated within the car or within the greenhouse.

infrared radiation passed through glass as easily as sunlight.

C

infrared radiation could not pass through glass as easily as sunlight.

D

sunlight could pass through glass more easily than through air.

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Q 8. Wood pellets are produced from the waste sawdust of lumber and paper mills. Home-heating stoves burning these pellets can heat homes directly, instead of relying on other energy sources. Heating your home with wood pellets is :

sustainable, less polluting, and about 3 times as efficient as heating a home using electricity from a coal-fired power plant.

B

sustainable, slightly more polluting, and is about 30% more efficient than using electricity from a coal-fired power plant.

C

not sustainable but is less polluting and is about as efficient as using electricity front a coal-fired power plant.

D

not sustainable and actually pollutes more than using electricity front a coal-fired power plant.

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Q 9. A gardener applied heavy doses of the same insecticide to his garden for two consecutive years to kill squash hugs. During the third year, the man called in an expert to explain why he had an abundance of new pests that were destroying her garden. The expert explained that the abundant new pests were largely due to his previous use of a insecticide in a phenomenon known as

A

pesticide resistance

secondary-pest outbreak

C

triennial pest emergence

D

bounce back resurgence

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Q 10. The eagle predators, the amount of acorns produced annually, nesting sites in the trees, and cold winter temperatures limits the squirrel population in the Punjab region. The many factors listed above that can affect the squirrel population represent:

environmental resistance.

B

the carrying capacity of the squirrel population.

C

the squirrel’s life history.

D

the biotic potential of the squirrel population.

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Q 11. Which one of the following is associated with the issue of control and phasing out of the use of ozone-depleting substances?

A

Bretton Woods Conference

Montreal Protocol

C

Kyoto Protocol

D

Nagoya Protocol

Explanation

The Montreal Protocol is an international treaty designed to protect the ozone layer by phasing out the production of numerous substances that are responsible for ozone depletion.

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Q 12. Global climate change threatens coral reefs by
1. increasing the temperature
2. decreasing the temperature
3. increasing the pH of the oceans
4. decreasing the pH of the oceans
Which of the above is/are correct?

A

1 and 2

B

2 and 3

1 and 4

D

2 and 4

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Q 13. As per National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) research scientists found that concentrations of mercury near the ground level had increased in the arctic Sea by mercury-pumping reaction which takes place because -
1. of open water in a lead is much warmer than the air above it.
2. of the temperature difference, the air above the lead churns like the air above a boiling pot.
3. the mixing is so strong that it actually pulls down mercury from a higher layer of the atmosphere to near the surface
. Select the answer from the codes given below-

A

1 only

B

1 and 2 only

C

2 and 3 only

All of the above

Explanation

Almost all of the mercury in the arctic atmosphere is transported there in gaseous form from sources in areas farther south, from sources such as wildfires, coal burning and gold mining. Scientists have long known that mercury in the air near ground level undergoes complex chemical reactions that deposit the element on the surface. Once the mercury is completely removed from the air. these reactions stop. However, this newly discovered mixing ice forces down additional mercury to restart and sustains the reactions.

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Q 14. Biomass gasification is considered to be one of the sustainable solutions to the power crisis in India. In this context, which of the following statements is/are correct?
1. Coconut shells, groundnut shells and rice husk can be used in biomass gasification.
2. The combustible gases generated from biomass gasification consist of hydrogen and carbon dioxide only.
3. The combustible gases generated from biomass gasification can be used for direct heat generation but not in internal combustion engines
. Select the correct answer using the codes given below :

A

1 only

B

2 and 3

1 and 3

D

1, 2 and 3

Explanation

Coconut shells, groundnut shells and rice husk can be used in biomass gasification. Combustible gases generated from biomass gasification can be used for direct heat generation but not in internal combustion engines.

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Q 15. Consider the following statements :
1. Animal Welfare Board of India is established under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.
2. National Tiger Conservation Authority is a statutory body.
3. National Ganga River Basin Authority is chaired by the Prime Minister.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

A

1 only

2 and 3 only

C

2 only

D

1,2 and 3

Explanation

The Animal Welfare Board of India was established in 1962 under Section 4 of The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960. The National Tiger Conservation Authority is set up under the Chairmanship of the Minister for Environment and Forests and is a statutory body. National Ganga River Basin Authority was established by the Central Government of India, on 20 February 2009. The Prime Minister is the chair of the Authority.

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Q 16. In India, the problem of soil erosion is associated with which of the following?
1. Terrace cultivation
2. Deforestation
3. Tropical climate
Select the correct answer using the code given below.

A

1 and 2 only

2 only

C

1 and 3 only

D

1,2 and 3

Explanation

In India, the problem of soil erosion is associated with deforestataion .Terace cultivation helps in less erosion of soil.

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Q 17. The scientific view is that the increase in global temperature should not exceed 2 °C above the pre-industrial level. If the global temperature increases beyond 3 °C above the pre-industrial level, what can be its possible impact/impacts on the world?
1. The terrestrial biosphere tends toward a net carbon source.
2. Widespread coral mortality will occur.
3. All the global wetlands will permanently disappear.
4. Cultivation of cereals will not be possible anywhere in the world.
Select the correct answer using the code given below.

A

1 only

1 and 2 only

C

2, 3 and 4 only

D

1,2, 3 and 4

Explanation

If the global temperature increases beyond 3°C above the pre-industrial level then the Terrestrial biosphere tends toward a net carbon source and Widespread coral mortality will occur.

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Q 18. Which of the following are some important pollutants released by steel industry in India?
1. Oxides of sulphur
2. Oxides of nitrogen
3. Carbon monoxide
4. Carbon dioxide
Select the correct answer using the code given below.

A

1,3 and 4 only

B

1and 3 only

C

1 and 4 only

1, 2, 3 and 4

Explanation

In steel furnace coke reacts with iron to release pollutants like Oxides of sulphur. Oxides of nitrogen. Carbon monoxide & Carbon dioxide.

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Q 19. With reference to 'Forest Carbon Partnership Facility’, which of the following statements is/ are correct?
1. It is a global partnership of governments, businesses, civil society and indigenous peoples.
2. It provides financial aid to universities, individual scientists and institutions involved in scientific forestry research to develop eco-friendly and climate adaptation technologies for sustainable forest management.
3. It assists the countries in their ’REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation+)’ efforts by providing them with financial and technical assistance. Select the correct answer using the code given below.

A

1 only

B

2 and 3 only

1 and 3 only

D

1,2 and 3

Explanation

The Forest Carbon Partnership Facility is a global partnership of governments, businesses, civil society, and Indigenous Peoples focused on reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, forest carbon stock conservation, the sustainable management of forests, and the enhancement of forest carbon stocks in developing countries (activities commonly referred to as REDD+).

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Q 20. With reference to ‘dugong’, a mammal found in India, which of the following statements is/are correct?
1. It is a herbivorous marine animal.
2. It is found along the entire coast of India.
3. It is given legal protection under Schedule I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act. 1972.
Select the correct answer using the code given below.

A

1 and 2

B

2 only

1 and 3

D

3 only

Explanation

The dugong is a medium-sized marine mammal. Dugong is listed under schedule 1 of India Wildlife Protection Act. 1972. In 2008, a MoU was signed between the Ministry of Environment and Forests and the Government of India, in order to conserve dugongs. In fact the highest level of legal protection is accorded to dugongs in India.

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Q 21. Which statement is correct regarding the steps taken to reduce global warming?
I. Cleaning up and gasification of coal (for which technology is available) will result in lesser pollution.
II. increased use of natural gas contains only half of the carbon and no Sulphur.
III. Renewable energy sources, such as wind, solar, photo-voltaic and fuel cells, tidal, etc.
IV. Manufacture of fuel-efficient vehicles.

A

I & II

B

Only III

C

Only II

All the above

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Q 22. Ozone layer in the outer atmosphere helps in:
I. Reflecting radio waves and makes radio communication possible
II. Absorbing U-V radiations
III. Regulating the temperature of atmosphere
IV. Absorbing cosmic ray particles

A

I & II

Only II

C

Only III

D

All the above

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Q 23. Nitrogen Oxide is responsible for the depletion of Ozone layer, which of following is source of Nitrogen Oxide?
I. Industrial emission
II. Fertilizers which are used in agricultural activities
III. Thermonuclear weapons

A

I & II

B

Only III

C

Only II

All the above

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Q 24. Which of the following statement is correct regarding CFC’s and HCFC’s?
I. These chemicals are inert, non-flammable, non-toxic, and lighter than air and can remain intact for years
II. CFCs are commonly used in Air-conditioners and the Refrigeration industry (Freon gas), aerosol propellants (in perfumes and deodorants), in the foam packaging industry (Styropor, Thermocol) and as solvents for greases and glues.
III. They contain Chlorine and Fluorine, common being CFC-II, CFC-12, CFC-22 and CFC- 13.

A

I & II

B

II & III

C

Only Ill

All the above

Explanation

CFCs and HCFCs destroy ozone in the stratosphere. These chemicals are inert, non-flammable, nontoxic, and lighter than air and can remain intact for years. They contain Chlorine and Fluorine, common being CFC-ll, CFC-12, CFC-22 and CFC- 13.

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Q 25. Which statement is correct regarding deforestation?
I. The process of clearance of forest by burning or logging is called deforestation
II. The main reasons for deforestation are trees or derived charcoal are used as, or sold, for fuel or as a commodity, while cleared land is used as grassland for livestock, plantations of commodities, and settlements
III. Deforested areas usually sustain extensive adverse soil erosion and regularly damage into wasteland.

A

I & II

B

II& III

C

Only III

All the above

Explanation

The process of clearance of forest by burning or logging is called deforestation. The main reasons for deforestation are trees or derived charcoal are used as. or sold, for fuel or as (a) commodity, while cleared land is used as grassland for livestock, plantations of commodities, and settlements. Deforested areas usually sustain extensive adverse soil erosion and regularly damage into wasteland.