UPSC CSE Mains Syllabus: GS-3- Conservation, environmental pollution and degradation, environmental impact assessment.

In news:

Russia declared a state of emergency, five days after a power plant fuel leak in its Arctic region caused 20,000 tonnes of diesel oil to escape into a local river, turning its surface crimson red. 

The Ambarnaya river, into which the oil has been discharged, is part of a network that flows into the environmentally sensitive Arctic Ocean.


Oil spill – Ambarnaya river

 How did it happen?

Measures taken:



“The 2017 Ennore oil spill was an oil spill that occurred outside the Kamarajar Port in Ennore near Chennai in TamilNaduIndia. In February 2017, the Indian Coast Guard said that approximately an area of 34,000 square metres (370,000 sq ft) was affected.”


What Is Permafrost Made Of?


A thawing permafrost

Thawing permafrost and its impacts:

Arctic vulnerability:In recent decades, sea ice in the Arctic Ocean has been melting faster than it re-freezes in winter. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report states that greenhouse gas forcing is predominantly responsible for the decline in Arctic sea ice extent.

As global warming has raised temperatures, especially in Arctic latitudes, melting permafrost has become a major problem. In many colder areas buildings and structures are built on permafrost which can be as hard – and had been as permanent – as concrete.

That has begun to change with warming temperatures, causing damage to buildings and surrounding ecosystems.

Source:” Indian Express/ BBC“.

Possible UPSC CSE Mains Question:

The Russian Arctic oil spill episode shows us the economic and environmental cost of human-induced climate change disasters. Elaborate.