Goaltide Daily Current Affairs 2023

Sep 28, 2023

Current Affair 1:
Glacial lake outburst flood (GLOF) with respect to Sikkim


The Himalayas are often called the third pole of the world because of the quantity of ice they hold. As the Earth heats up, ice melts and forms giant lakes in depressions created by the weight of glaciers.

This leads to the formation of a glacial lake, which acts as a dam and holds water. As more and more ice melts, the risk of such lakes overflowing increases. But more importantly, there is a risk of the structure of the lake collapsing, thus releasing extremely large quantities of water down valleys, in what is described as an “outburst flood”.

These natural dams, just like human-made dams, can also fill up with debris — soil and rock — because of the glacier pushing and inching forward. This debris is called moraine and adds weight to glacial lakes.

GLOF can be caused by earthquakes or volcanic eruptions, but also by increased melting of ice.

The riskiest region in the world for GLOF events is the Indian subcontinent through the Himalayas, followed by the Peruvian Andes system, threatening nearly 10 percent of the world’s population, located in India, Pakistan, and China, as well as Peru.

GLOFs occur regularly in India, Pakistan, Bhutan, Nepal, and Tibet in Asia. Several flooding disasters in the Himalayan regions have been caused by such GLOF events, including the 2013 Kedarnath floods that killed thousands of people.

What happened in Sikkim?

The main source of water in Sikkim’s deadly flash flood was the South Lhonak glacial lake, in the Upper Teesta Basin. Studies of this lake have shown that due to increased ice melt, the lake was growing rapidly in size.

An intense cloudburst occurred over the South Lhonak lake, filling it up with water, causing it to collapse. This released the deluge, which washed away buildings, bridges, and people in their beds.

The water also destroyed the Teesta Stage III Hydro Electric Project’s Chungthang dam. Built in 2017, Teesta Stage III is the largest hydropower project in Sikkim.


Current Affair 2:
Ginkgo trees



On Earth today there are five different types of plants that produce seeds: flowering plants, the most abundant; conifers, plants with cones; gnetales, a diverse group of about 70 species including desert shrubs, tropical trees, and vines; cycads, another ancient group of palm-like trees and the ginkgo. In the plant kingdom’s Ginkgoaceae family, there is just one living species, Ginkgo biloba.

The species is often referred to as a living fossil because it’s a remnant of a once diverse group that existed millions of years ago. Because ginkgo is such an ancient species, it retains characteristics not often seen in more modern trees.

Ginkgo trees are either male or female, and they reproduce when a sperm from a male tree, carried by grains of pollen floating on the wind, connects with a seed on a female tree and fertilizes it, not unlike the human fertilization process.

Ginkgo biloba is only found in the wild in China, but is cultivated around the world.

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature, an organization that tracks the survival of Earth’s species, classifies the tree as endangered in the wild.


Current Affair 3:
UK’s Vulcan 20-20 Project



The UK’s Central Laser Facility has been awarded an £85 million grant to upgrade its “Vulcan” system - with the aim of turning it into the most powerful laser in the world.

The current Vulcan source has been delivering 1 petawatt pulses for more than 25 years, and the six-year program will support construction of what will become known as “Vulcan 20-20”.

That name reflects the fact that the new facility will feature one beam capable of delivering 20 petawatt pulses, alongside eight additional high-intensity beams producing a pulse energy of up to 20 kJ.

This is a 20-fold increase in power which is expected to make it the most powerful laser in the world.

Current Affair 4:
World’s Oldest Wooden Structure



Archaeologists have unearthed the oldest known wooden structure, and it’s almost half a million years old.

The simple structure — found along a riverbank in Zambia — is made up of two interlocking logs, with a notch deliberately crafted into the upper piece to allow them to fit together at right angles, according to a new study of cut marks made by stone tools.

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