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UPSC > Environmental Issues

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

Q 1.

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With reference to ‘Eco-Sensitive Zones’, which of the following statements is/are correct?
1. Eco-Sensitive Zones are the areas that are declared under the Wildlife (Protection) Act. 1972.
2. The purpose of the declaration of Eco-Sensitive Zones is to prohibit all kinds of human activities in those zones except agriculture
. Select the correct answer using the code given below.

A

1 only

B

2 only

C

Both 1 and 2

Neither 1 nor 2

Explanation

Eco-sensitive zones are the ecologically important areas designated to be protected from industrial pollution and unregulated development under the Environment Protection Act of 1986. Only environmentally hazardous human activities are prohibited in those areas. Therefore, both the statements are incorrect.

Q 2.

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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.

Q 3.

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Which of the following have coral reefs?
1. Andaman and Nicobar Islands
2. Gulf of Kachchh
3. Gulf of Mannar
4. Sunderbans
Select the correct answer using the code given below.

1,2 and 3 only

B

2 and 4 only

C

1 and 3 only

D

1,2, 3 and 4

Explanation

Coral reefs are diverse underwater ecosystems held together by calcium carbonate structures secreted by corals. Andaman & Nicobar.Gulf of Kachchh and Gulf of Mannar have coral reefs. However Sunderbans do not have coral reef.

Q 4.

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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.

Q 5.

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The scientific view is that the increase in global temperature should not exceed 2 °C above 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. 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 Terrestrial biosphere tends toward a net carbon source and Widespread coral mortality will occur.

Q 6.

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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.

Q 7.

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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

Explanation

Global climate change threatens coral reef by increasing the temperature and decreasing the ph level of the ocean. Much of the carbon dioxide that enters the atmosphere dissolves into the ocean In fact, the oceans have absorbed about 1/3 of the carbon dioxide produced from human activities since 1800 and about 1/2 of the carbon dioxide produced by burning fossil fuels (Sabine et al. 2004). As carbon dioxide in the ocean increases, ocean pH decreases or becomes more acidic

Q 8.

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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+).

Q 9.

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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.

Q 10.

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What are the effects that IPCC has predicted regarding global warming?
I. Earth’s temperature will rise by 1-30°C in next few decades, leading to extreme weather changes heat waves, hurricanes and severe winters), changes in ocean currents and marine life.
II. If CO, concentration doubles, Earth's temperature may rise by 50°C.
III. The biggest glacier in the Peruvian Andes was retreating by 5 meters per year some 20 years ago; today it is shrinking by 33 meters per year.
IV. The Arctic Sea ice has thinned by 40% in the last two decades, while Mount Everest is losing height at the rate of 1.5 meters per year.

A

Only I

B

I & II

C

Only III

All the above

Q 11.

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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

Q 12.

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Which statement is correct regarding greenhouse gases?
I. A greenhouse gas (GHG) is a gas in an atmosphere that absorbs and emits radiation within the thermal infrared range
II. Water vapour contributes to 36-72% of Greenhouse effect
III. Nitrous Oxide contributes to about 10% of Greenhouse effect
IV. Ozone contributes to 3-7% of Greenhouse effect

A

I & II

B

I, II & III

I, II & IV

D

All the above

Explanation

Nitrous Oxide (NO2) (5%) arises from coal burning, biomass burning, and breakdown of chemical fertilizers.

Q 13.

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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

Q 14.

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Ozone depletion would impact the plant community in several ways
. These include :
I. Increase in photosynthesis
II. Decline in water use efficiency
III. Decline in yield of plants

A

I & II

B

Only III

II & III

D

All the above

Explanation

Photosynthesis would decrease as increased UV radiations (due to ozone depletion) would make it difficult for leaves of green plants to exchange gases with the atmosphere. Due to increased temperature consequent upon increased UV radiation, the evaporation rate of surface water will increase and soil moisture would decrease leading to drying of agricultural crops and hence reduced yield.

Q 15.

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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

Q 16.

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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.

Q 17.

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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.

Q 18.

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Deforestation includes which of the following?
I. Felling, and removal of forest litter
II. Browsing
III. Grazing and trampling of seedlings
IV. Repeated lopping
Select the correct answer:

A

Only I

B

I and III

C

III and IV

All the above

Explanation

Deforestation is the removal of vegetation in (a) forest to the extent that it no longer supports its natural flora and fauna. Deforestation is (a) very broad term, which consists of cutting of trees including repeated lopping, felling, and removal of forest litter, browsing, grazing and trampling of seedlings.

Q 19.

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Consider the following statements
I. As a greenhouse gas (GHG) methane is even more harmful than carbon dioxide
II. Methane has been included in the list of six GHGs in Kyoto Protocol.
Which of the statements given above is/are correct?

A

Only I

B

Only II

Both I & II

D

All the above

Explanation

The six main greenhouse gases are - • Carbon dioxide (CO2): • Methane (CH4); • Nitrous oxide (N2O); • Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs); • Perfluorocarbons (PFCs); and • Sulphur hexafluoride (SF6). Methane (CH4) is the second most important greenhouse gas. CH4 is more potent than CO2 because the radiative forcing produced per molecule is greater. In addition, the infrared window is less saturated in the range of wavelengths of radiation absorbed by CH4. so more molecules may fill in the region.

Q 20.

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Increased level of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere would impact the plants in many ways. These can be:
I. Decrease in photosynthetic productivity of plants
II. Proliferation of weeds
III. Increase in number of insects and other pests.

A

I & II

B

II only

Il & III

D

All the above

Q 21.

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Relative contributions of CO2, CH4, CFCs and N2O towards global warming are:
I. 50 %, 30 %, 10 % . and 10 % respectively
II. 60%. 20%. 14%, and 6% respectively
III. 40 %. 30%, 20% and 10% respectively
IV. None of the above

Only II

B

Only III

C

Only I

D

None of the above

Explanation

CO2, is largest contributor towards global warming.

Q 22.

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What is denitrification?
I. It prevents the discharge of nitrates in soil, and stops ground water pollution with nutrients.
II. In this solids are separated from the liquid
III. In this sewage goes through many chambers and chemical processes which reduce its toxicity.

A

I & II

Only I

C

II & III

D

All the above

Explanation

Q 23.

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Which statement is correct regarding noise pollution?
I. The word noise comes from the Latin word nausea meaning seasickness.
II. The main source of noise is transportation system including rail noise, aircraft noise and vehicle noise
III. Sound pollution is measured in decibels

A

I&II

B

II & III

C

Only III

All the above

Q 24.

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Chlorofluorocarbons, known as ozone-depleting substances. are used:
I. In the production of plastic foams
II. In the production of tubeless tyres
III. In cleaning certain electronic components
IV. As pressurizing agents in aerosol cans

A

Only I

I, III & IV

C

II & III

D

All the above

Q 25.

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Which of the following gases are responsible for acid rain in environment?
I. Carbon dioxide and nitrogen
II. Carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide
III. Ozone and carbon dioxide
IV. Nitrous oxide and Sulphur dioxide

A

I&II

B

Only II

Only IV

D

All the above