Recommend: Times of India , Economic Times
• For the study, researchers at NOAA and Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences at the University of Colorado, Boulder, in the US made precise measurements of global atmospheric concentrations of CFC-11.
• The results showed that CFC-11 concentrations declined at an accelerating rate prior to 2002 as expected.
• Then, surprisingly, the rate of decline hardly changed over the decade that followed. Even more unexpected was that the rate of decline slowed by 50 percent after 2012.
• After considering a number of possible causes, the researchers concluded that CFC emissions must have increased after 2012.
This conclusion was confirmed by other changes recorded in National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) measurements during the same period, such as a widening difference between CFC-11 concentrations in the northern and southern hemispheres, showing evidence that the new source was somewhere north of the equator.
The 1987 Montreal Protocol banned industrial aerosols such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) that were chemically dissolving ozone, especially above Antarctica.
• The new study, published in the journal Nature, documents an unexpected increase in emissions of the gas.
• Once widely used as a foaming agent, production of CFC-11 was phased out by the Montreal Protocol in 2010.
• The researchers are not sure at present why the emissions of the gas are increasing.
• According to the researchers, further work is required to figure out exactly why emissions of CFC-11 are increasing and if something can be done about it soon.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on May 19, 2018 unveiled a plaque to mark the commencement of work on the Zojila Tunnel in Jammu and Kashmir’s Leh district.
The project, worth Rs 6,809 crore, will be India’s longest and Asia’s longest and strategic bi-directional tunnel, which will provide all-weather connectivity between Jammu and Kashmir’s Srinagar, Kargil and Leh districts. It will be finished within five years.
Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister said that he has asked the concerned Ministry to look into ways to reduce the time for the completion of the project. He added saying that the strategically important tunnel will lead to an all-round economic and socio-cultural integration of these regions.
Key Features of Zojila Tunnel
• The tunnel aims to provide safe, fast and cheap connectivity. It will reduce the travel time between Srinagar and Leh to 15 minutes from the current 3.5 hours.
• It will provide all-weather connectivity to the region. The project has strategic and socio-economic importance and shall be an instrument for the development of the economically backward districts in Jammu and Kashmir.
• It will be the longest bi-directional tunnel in Asia. The construction of the tunnel will take around five years given the difficult terrain, as in some areas the temperature dips to minus 45 degree celsius.
• The project aims at construction of 14.15 km long two-lane bi-directional single tube tunnel with a parallel 14.2 km long egress tunnel excluding approaches between Baltal and Minamarg in the state.
• It is being implemented by the Ministry of Road Transport and Highways (MoRT&H) through the National Highways and Infrastructure Development Corporation Limited (NHIDCL).