The U.N. World Meteorological Organization (WMO) recently declared that Ozone depletion over the Arctic though hit a “record level” in March (the biggest since 2011), the hole has now closed.
The ozone hole’s closing was due to a phenomenon called the polar vortex, and not because of reduced pollution levels due to Covid-19 lockdowns around the world.
In the past few weeks, several parts of the world have been witnessing unusually extreme winter weather. It has been snowing in regions like the Texas state, Mexico, Mediterranean Greece, Lebanon, Syria, Israel and Jordan, that haven’t seen snowfall in decades at this time of the year. Several regions experienced record low temperatures which disrupted the power grid, water supply lines and also businesses- especially at a time when the global economy is slowly staggering back to its legs. This unusual condition is being attributed to a phenomenon called the ‘polar vortex outbreak’.
Virtual meeting of RIC foreign ministers was held amid rising tensions in the disputed Ladakh region between India and China. Originally planned for March 2020 but postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the meeting was conducted as Russia’s initiative to mark the 75th Anniversary of the end of World War II, which resulted in the formation of the UN. The grouping has a high dependence on Russia’s close diplomatic ties with both India and China. While the Russian side maintained that it would not mediate between India and China, it also reiterated its support to India’s bid for permanent membership in the UNSC.