Friday, December 12, 2014

Answers to Environmental Studies Questions

Biogas typically refers to a mixture of different gases produced by the breakdown of many organic matter in the absence of some oxygen. Biogas can be produced from regionally available raw materials such as recycled waste. It is a renewable energy source and in many cases exerts a very small carbon footprint.

Biogas is produced by anaerobic digestion with anaerobic bacteria or fermentation of biodegradable materials such as manure, sewage, municipal waste, green waste, plant material, and crops. It is primarily methane and carbon dioxide and may have small amounts of hydrogen sulphide, moisture and siloxanes.

The gases methane, hydrogen, and carbon monoxide can be oxidized with oxygen. This energy release allows biogas to be used as a fuel; it can be used for any heating purpose, such as cooking. It can also be used in a gas engine to convert the energy in the gas into electricity and heat.

Biogas can be compressed, the same way natural gas is compressed to CNG, and used to power motor vehicles. In the UK, for example, biogas is estimated to have the potential to replace around 17% of vehicle fuel.

Solar desalination is a technique to desalinate water using solar energy. There are two basic methods of achieving desalination using this technique; direct and indirect.
In the direct method, a solar collector is coupled with a distilling mechanism and the process is carried out in one simple cycle. Water production by direct method solar distillation is proportional to the area of the solar surface and incidence angle. Because of the relatively high cost of property and material for construction direct method distillation tends to favor plants with production capacities less than 200m3/day.

Indirect solar desalination employs two separate systems; a solar collection array, consisting of photovoltaic and/or fluid based thermal collectors, and a separate conventional desalination plant. Production by indirect method is dependent on the efficiency of the plant and the cost per unit produced is generally reduced by an increase in scale. Many different plant arrangements include but are not limited to Multiple Effect Humidification (MEH), Multiple Stage Flash Distillation (MSF), Multiple Effect Distillation (MED), Multiple Effect Boiling (MEB), Humidification Dehumidification (HDH), Reverse Osmosis (RO), and Freeze effect distillation.

Eco-labeling Eco-labels and Green Stickers are labeling systems for food and consumer products. Ecolabels are voluntary, but green stickers are mandated by law. They are a form of sustainability measurement directed at consumers, intended to make it easy to take environmental concerns into account when shopping. Some labels quantify pollution or energy consumption by way of index scores or units of measurement; others simply assert compliance with a set of practices or minimum requirements for sustainability or reduction of harm to the environment.

Ecolabelling systems exist for both food and consumer products. Both systems were started by NGOs, since then the European Union have developed legislation for conduct of ecolabelling and also have created their own ecolabels, one for food and one for consumer products. Label trust is an issue for consumers.


Environmental studies - Introduction, Definition, scope and importance, measuring and defining environmental development indicators
Basic principles of ecosystem functioning - Concept of an ecosystem, structure and function of an ecosystem, producers, consumers and decomposers - energy flow in an ecosystem, food chains, food webs and food pyramids. Introduction, types, characteristic features, structure and function of:
-Forest ecosystem
-Desert ecosystem
-Aquatic ecosystems (ponds, streams, lakes, rivers, estuaries and oceans)
Biodiversity and its conservation - Introduction, Genetic, species and ecosystem diversity. Biogeographical classification of India. Value of biodiversity - consumptive and predictive use, social, ethical and optional value. Biodiversity at global, national and local levels. Hotspots of biodiversity, threats to biodiversity - habitat loss, poaching of wildlife, man-wildlife conflicts, India sa a mega-diversity nation, Endangered and endemic species of India. Conservation of biodiversity (In-situ and ex-situ conservation)

Environment and natural resources - Forest resources (use and over-exploitation), deforestation, timber extraction, mining and dams - their effects on forests and tribal people. Case studies. Water resources use and over-utilization of surface and ground water. Floods, droughts, Conflicts over water, Dams - benefits and demerits. Mineral resources - use and exploitation. Effects of extracting and using mineral resources. Case studies. Food resources - World food problems. Change caused by agriculture and overgrazing. Effects of modern agriculture, fertilizer-pesticide problem, water logging and salinity. Case studies. Energy resources - Growing energy needs, Renewable and non-renewable energy sources, use of alternate energy sources, Case studies. Land resources, Land as a resource, Common property resources, land degradation, soil erosion and desertification.
Environmental valuation - Welfare measure and environmental values, Definition and classification of environmental values, valuation methods,
Environmental Economics - Economic approach to environmental preservation and conservation, property rights and externalities, Management of natural resources, Natural resources accounting, Economics of natural resources - Forests, water resources, fisheries, biodiversity.


Environmental Pollution - Causes, effects and control measures of air pollution, water pollution, soil pollution, marine pollution, noise pollution, nuclear hazards, solid waste management, urban and industrial wastes, pollution case studies,pollution control methods. Disaster management - Floods, Earthquakes, Cyclones and landslides.
Environmental problems in India - Effects of human activities on the quality of life, water and river, ground water, wasteland reclamation. Energy-firewood, animal energy, thermal and nuclear energy. Access to common property resources(CPR), Pollution: Domestic solid waste, Health and sanitation, safe drinking water

Regional and sectoral issues - Urbanization, Agro-forestry, Dry lands, Goods and services, Mountain development, River basin water resource managtement, sustainable tourism, Coastal zone managenment.
Environment and development - The economy and environment interaction, State of the environment - economics of development, preservation and conservation. Sustainability: Theory and practice, Equitable use of resources for sustainable lifestyles. Role of anindividual in pollution prevention.
Human population annd the environment - Population growth and the environment - human rights - VALUE EDUCATION - woman and child welfare - role of information technology - case studies

Social issues and the environment - From unsustainable to sustainable development, Water conservation, rain water harvesting, watershed management. Resettlement and rehabilitation of people - its problems and concerns. case studies; Environmental ethics: issues and possible solutions, consumerism and waste products, public awareness, role of an individual in conservation of natural resources.
Sustainable resource management - Benefits and costs of environmental management, market and non-market benefits, health benefits, recreation benefits, aesthetic benefits, environmental costs, environmental impact assessment - evaluation of project and programs
Design of environmental policy - Direct regulation by government, command and control instruments, economic instruments, pollution taxes, marketable permits, mixed instruments, informal regulation by local communities, monitoring and enforcement of environmental regulation.
Institutions and governance - Evolution of laws, institutions and policies relating to India, popular participation in environment movement environmental activities and ethics that sustain the world
Environment and sustainable development - Concepts and indicators - linkages and trade-offs - indicators of sustainability, Approaches to sustainable development.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Question paper for Environmental Studies (9030) On 10 Dec 2014

PART A (Answer all - 25 marks)
What is biogas
What is solar desalination
What are ecological (tedogical) pyramids
What are (sapromorphs) saprotrophs
Define the term wildlife sanctuary
What is a biome
What is noise pollution
Define the term hazardous waste
What is watershed management
What is eco-labeling

PART B (Answer any five - 50 marks
What is earth capital ? Briefly describe the merits and demerits of (Eco thermal) Geo-thermal and Ocean energy resources
Discuss the following problems (i) Deforestation and mining (ii) Overgrazing and modern agriculture with side effects for both.

What is an eco-system. Discuss briefly as to how balance is maintained in an ocean ecosystem
What are ecological pyramids. Explain as to how energy is transferred in an ecosystem with examples

India is a mega-diversity nation. Explain
Write a note on threats to biodiversity

Write about causes, effects and control measures of thermal pollution
What is solid waste. Explain briefly the various methods of disposing solid waste

Differentiate between disaster management and disaster mitigation
Write a note about NDMA and disaster management in India

What is bio-magnification, eutrophication (tetrophication), folsom bottles and macro-consumers
What is silent spring and explain GAIA theory

Write a short note about: (i) Consumerism and waste products (ii) Eco-auditing and (iii) Holocaust

ps: The text in brackets has apperared in the actual question paper. The corrected term is placed "outside" the brackets.

Monday, December 8, 2014

Useful Study technique

Studying More Effectively
Although we are continuously being bombarded with new theories, new ideas all the time from different sources, it is very easy to forget or get confused with what has been read or taught. The 'SQ3R' technique helps study in an appropriate level of detail, and remember information well. It makes reading both more efficient and more effective.
Francis Pleasant Robinson developed SQ3R, and published it in his 1946 book, "Effective Study." SQ3R is an acronym that stands for five steps that you should use when reading something that you want to remember. These five steps are:
Start by skimming through the material to pick up an overview of the text. Next, note down any questions that you may have about the subject. When you question the material, you engage your mind and prepare it for learning. Now read the document, one section at a time. Make a note of anything that you don't understand. While you're reading,  take notes on important concepts, and to record your reactions to what you're reading. "Read actively" by underlining important passages or by using a highlighter pen to show key points. Once you've read the appropriate sections of the document, run through it in your mind several times. Identify the important points, and then work out how other information fits around them. Now, answer the questions from memory. Only turn back to the text if you're unable to answer a question this way.
Once you can recall the information, you can start to review it.
First, reread the document or your notes. This is especially important if you don't feel confident that you've understood all of the information.
Then discuss the material with someone else – this is a highly effective method of reviewing information. Explain what you have just learned as comprehensively as you can, and do your best to put the information into a context that's meaningful for your team, organization, or industry.
Finally, schedule regular reviews of the material to keep it fresh in your mind. Do this after a week, after a month, and after several months – this helps to embed the material into your long-term memory.