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Rapid Fire

Rapid Fire Current Affairs

  • 02 Mar 2023
  • 5 min read

Earth’s 5th Layer

Scientists, in a new study, have confirmed the existence of a 5th new layer - the innermost inner core (apart from the 4 layers: crust, mantle, outer liquid and inner solid core) with a radius of around 650 Km (inner core radius (whole) - 1,221 km).

This 5th layer is made of the same material as the inner core (iron and nickel) and the main difference between the two is the way the atoms are arranged to form a solid. This layer could have solidified and grown in a different direction than the rest of the inner core. The idea that the Earth could hold a 5thlayer was proposed in 2002.

Scientists rely on seismic waves to study earth’s interiors. These waves behave differently as they pass through diverse materials (e.g. - travel slower while passing through hot materials).

According to the analysis done, the innermost inner core slows down the seismic waves at a point between the rotation axis (from pole to pole) and the equatorial plane (perpendicular to the poles). In contrast, the outer shell of the inner core slows down the waves only in the equatorial plane.

Read MoreHidden Mantle Layers, Earthquake (Infographic)


Windsor Framework

The Windsor framework is the latest attempt at a remedy to the political complexities that have impacted trade and sentiments between the EU and the UK. It will replace the Northern Ireland Protocol - the thorniest of Brexit fallouts.

Under the Northern Ireland protocol, N. Ireland remained in the EU single market with cumbersome trade/customs inspections of goods going from Great Britain to N. Ireland hindering trade and causing food products to lose shelf life. Also, EU rules prevented some UK govt policies from being implemented in N. Ireland and the presence of an Irish Sea border upset those who seek a united UK.

The Windsor framework seeks to address the trade disruptions by permitting free trade between Great Britain and Northern Ireland through the (introduction of) use of green and red lanes for goods flowing into Northern Ireland. Green lane goods will have fewer checks and controls, including no customs checks or rules of origin. Red lane goods under the framework will be subject to full checks and controls to preserve the EU’s single market.

Read More - Brexit and Northern Ireland Issue


Adenovirus

West Bengal has recently reported 12 deaths in government hospitals due to Adenovirus infection. However, there is no evidence of a viral epidemic at present.

Adenoviruses (ADVs) are double-stranded linear DNA viruses ranging from 70-90 nanometres in size. They can cause cold-like symptoms, fever, sore throat, bronchitis, pneumonia, diarrhoea, and pink eye (conjunctivitis).

Read More - Adenovirus


El Niño

According to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), a warming El Niño event may develop in the coming months after three consecutive years of La Niña.

El Niño is characterised by an unusual warming of waters in the eastern equatorial Pacific as opposed to La Niña which usually brings cooler waters in the same area. The phenomenon together is called the ENSO (El Niño Southern Oscillation). El Niño has a high correlation with warmer summers and weaker monsoon rains in India.

Read More - El Nino and La Nina

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