2021 GS1 Answer

Q. Mention the global occurrence of volcanic eruptions in 2021 and their impact on regional environment.

Question from UPSC Mains 2021 GS1 Paper

Model Answer: 

Volcanic eruptions are natural disasters that can have severe impacts on the environment and human activities. In 2021, several volcanic eruptions occurred worldwide, affecting the regional environment.

Global Occurrence of Volcanic Eruptions in 2021
In 2021, several volcanic eruptions occurred worldwide, including:

Mount Etna, Italy
Mount Etna is one of the most active volcanoes in the world. It erupted several times in 2021, with the most significant eruption occurring in February. The eruption caused ashfall and forced the closure of Catania airport.

La Soufriere, Saint Vincent, and the Grenadines
La Soufriere erupted in April, spewing ash and gas into the atmosphere. The eruption forced the evacuation of thousands of people from nearby areas.

Fagradalsfjall, Iceland
Fagradalsfjall is a volcano located on the Reykjanes Peninsula in Iceland. It erupted in March, spewing lava and creating a spectacular display for visitors. The eruption did not cause significant damage to the environment or human activities.

Pacaya, Guatemala
Pacaya is an active volcano in Guatemala. It erupted several times in 2021, causing ashfall and the closure of the nearby airport.

Impact of Volcanic Eruptions on Regional Environment
Volcanic eruptions can have severe impacts on the regional environment, including:

Air Quality
Volcanic eruptions release large amounts of ash, sulfur dioxide, and other gases into the atmosphere, which can affect air quality and human health.

Volcanic eruptions can deposit ash on farmland, which can reduce soil fertility and damage crops. The ash can also contaminate water supplies, making it unsuitable for irrigation.

Volcanic eruptions can have both positive and negative impacts on tourism. While some eruptions can create spectacular displays that attract visitors, others can lead to the closure of tourist attractions and the evacuation of visitors.

Volcanic eruptions can damage infrastructure such as roads, bridges, and buildings. The ash can also cause problems for transportation by air, leading to the closure of airports and the cancellation of flights.

The occurrence of volcanic eruptions in 2021 highlights the importance of monitoring and preparedness for natural disasters. The impact of volcanic eruptions on the regional environment can be severe and far-reaching. It is essential to take necessary measures to protect the environment and human activities from the effects of volcanic eruptions.

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