1.How can achieving land degradation neutrality help in combating the impacts of climate change?

Demand of the Question:
Introduction : Define Land Degradation Neutrality
Body : Linkages between Climate Change and Land Degradation Importance of Land Degradation Neutrality in combating impact of Climate Change
Conclusion : As per the demand of question
UN Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) defines Land Degradation Neutrality as “a state whereby the amount and quality of land resources, necessary to support ecosystem functions and services and enhance food security, remains stable or increases within specified temporal and spatial scales and ecosystems”.

  1. Land degradation is both a cause and a consequence of climate change. Land degradation and climate change form feedback loops whereby intensive production increases emissions while the loss of soil and vegetation significantly reduces carbon sequestration (carbon sinks).
  2. Climate change can exacerbate land degradation processes including through increases in rainfall intensity, flooding, drought frequency and severity, heat stress, dry spells, wind, sea-level rise and wave action.
  3. In some dryland areas, increased land surface air temperature and evapotranspiration and decreased precipitation amount, in interaction with climate variability and human activities, have contributed to desertification. 4. According to IPBES (Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services) report by 2050, land degradation and climate change will reduce crop yields by an average of 10% globally, and up to 50% in certain regions.
  4. Land degradation generally increases the number of people exposed to hazardous air, water and land pollution, particularly in developing countries.
    Importance of Land Degradation Neutrality in combating Climate Change:
  5. Global soils act as a large “safety deposit box” for carbon. In fact, more carbon resides in soil than in the atmosphere and all plant life combined.
  6. According to UNCCD restoring the soils of degraded ecosystems has the potential to store up to 3 billion tons of carbon annually.
  7. Measures to combat desertification can promote soil carbon sequestration. Natural vegetation restoration and tree planting on degraded land enriches, in the long term, carbon in the topsoil and subsoil.
  8. Forests, peatlands and mangroves represent high carbon-value ecosystems, reducing the rates of loss and degradation of these natural ecosystems offer cost-effective strategies to combat impact of climate change.
  9. The transition to “climate smart” land management practices, such as low emissions agriculture (Organic Farming, ZBNF), agro-forestry and ecosystem conservation and restoration could, under certain circumstances, close the remaining emissions gap by up to 25%.
  10. Target 15.3 of the Sustainable Development Goals aims to achieve Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) worldwide by 2030. It will help to protect and harness land resources in a manner that does not adversely affect its health.

LDN provides significant benefits in terms of mitigation and adaptation to climate change. Halting and reversing land degradation can transform land from being a source of greenhouse gas emissions to a carbon sink, by increasing carbon stocks in soils and vegetation. Furthermore, LDN plays a key role in strengthening the resilience of rural communities against climate shocks by securing and improving the provision of vital ecosystem services.

2.Google’s announcement of achieving Quantum supremacy is a significant milestone in the world of computing. Describe the working principle behind quantum computing and its advantages over traditional computing.

Demand of the Question:
Introduction : Define quantum computers
Body: Describe the underlying principles and its advantages especially in areas where classical computers have limitations
Briefly comment on the significance of achieving quantum supremacy
Conclusion: Conclude as per context
A quantum computer is a computer design which uses the principles of quantum physics to increase the computational power beyond what is attainable by a traditional computer. It essentially harnesses and exploits the laws of quantum mechanics to process information.
● In a classical computer, information is stored using binary units, or bits. A bit is either a 0 or 1. A quantum computer instead takes advantage of quantum mechanical properties to process information using quantum bits, or qubits.
● A qubit can be both 0 and 1 at the same time, or any range of numbers between 0 and 1, this allows more flexibility.
● They function according to two key principles of quantum physics: superposition and entanglement.
○ Superposition: It is the ability of a quantum system to be in multiple states at the same time. Thus, a qubit can hold any state having a combination (superposition) of “0” and “1” states.
○ Entanglement means that qubits in a superposition can be correlated with each other; that is, the state of one (whether it is a 1 or a 0) can depend on the state of another. It helps in creating a far larger state space than possible with classical bits.
● Using these two principles, qubits can act as more sophisticated switches, enabling quantum computers to function in ways that allow them to solve difficult problems that are intractable using today’s computers.
● The computing power of a quantum computer increases exponentially as the qubits are increased.
Google recently announced that it achieved quantum supremacy, i.e. demonstrating that a programmable quantum device can solve a problem that classical computers practically cannot. It solved a problem in 200 seconds that it would take the world’s fastest supercomputer 10,000 years to produce a similar output.

Quantum Supremacy becomes significant in light of potential applications of Quantum Computing over traditional computers. Quantum systems could seamlessly encrypt data, help in data analytics and solve complex problems that even the most powerful supercomputers cannot – such as complex mathematical problems, medical diagnostics, weather prediction, modeling complex chemical processes and cryptography.

  1. Research in medicine and organic materials – It would help researchers in developing medicines and materials by untangling the complexity of molecular and chemical interactions leading to newer drug discoveries. It has been found that quantum computers would require 3.5 million fewer steps as compared to a traditional machine.
    a. IBM has recently published a research paper in which it has developed a new approach to simulate molecules on a quantum computer.
  2. Supply chain and logistics – It will find better solutions by finding ultra-efficient logistics and efficient delivery mechanism.
  3. Streamlining traffic control by calculating the optimal routes concurrently, allowing efficient scheduling and reducing traffic congestion and travel time.
  4. Financial Services – It would also help to find better models to process financial data and reduce global risk factor in investment worldwide.
  5. Artificial Intelligence – It will revolutionize AI by creating a faster processing of the complicated data such as images or videos.
  6. Faster Communication – It would help to decode complicated security keys in a very simple manner.
  7. Self-driven automobiles: Google is using a quantum computer to design software that can distinguish cars from landmarks.
    Developing quantum computational capacity should be “top national priority” as acquiring this technology from outside the country will be difficult and expensive. In order to keep track of international developments in quantum computing and to assess and steer India’s progress in this area, we need to have an Indian Quantum Computing Roadmap Group consisting of academicians, industry representatives, and end users.


No comments yet. Why don’t you start the discussion?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *