IAS Mains Geography Optional 2016 Solutions: Paper 1 Section A

Dr. Manishika Jain explains how to write answers and what examiners expect in UPSC Geography Optionals. The solutions explained are for 2016 Paper 1 section A.
Following questions have been discussed in this class:

1 a. Describe the “Basket of eggs topography”.
Glacial Topography

1 b. Differentiate between insolation and temperature and explain anomalous temperature.

Anamoly: Departure from reference value or long term average
+ve anamoly: Observed value is warmer than reference value
-ve anamoly: Observed value is cooler than reference value

1 c. Discuss maritime zone.

1 d. Bring out the ecological significance of Tropical Rainforest Biome.
Most diverse, wettest and high humidity
Direct sunlight, less variation in temperature
Nutrient poor, heavy rain leaches away nutrients
High diversity of decomposers

1 e. Explain the hydro-meteorological hazards in the Himalayas.
Natural hazards like earthquakes, avalanche, glacial lake outburst flood, debris flow, floods, landslides, thunderstorm, fire, cold and hot waves, etc.
Along with anthropogenic hazards aggravate and degrade the fragile eco-systems, put human lives at risk, and cause economic losses
Fast snow melting, retreating glaciers, vertical shift in snowline, decrease in amount of snowfall, appearance of new glacial lakes and increase in their size and volume.
2 a. “In explaining the concept of ‘Pediplanation’, King combined the ideas of Davis, Penck and Wood with his own.” Elaborate.

King used 4 slope elements which were initially proposed by ‘wood’.
Four-unit model: By A. Wood in 1943
Waxing Slope
Free Face
Debris Slope
Waning Slope

2 b. Compare the origin and weather conditions associated with the tropical and temperate cyclones.

2 c. Give a reasoned account on how the impact of global warming differs from one part of the earth to the other.

Ocean warm – Sea Level Rise – CO2 capacity decreases
Ocean is biggest absorber of CO2
Bigger and denser trees – Promote growth of trees
3 a. Discuss the significance of world climate research Programme (WCRP) and core projects in the understanding of climatic change.
Estb. 1980 by International Council for Science & World Meteorological Organization.
Sponsored by Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO since 1993
Develop fundamental scientific understanding of the physical climate system and climate processes to predict extent of human influence on climate
3 b. “The relation between the winds and the currents is best seen in the Indian Ocean”. Justify.
3 c. Write a critical note on the tendency of “Use and throw” in the context of economic status and environment.
Consumerism, e-waste, increase toxicity
Overconsumption & disposable items
Create environment unsustainable
Key: Life Cycle Thinking – Deeper understanding, ecodesigns
Cradle-to-Grave – Take, Make, Waste System

4 a. Bring out the various ecological problems associated with the exploitation and use of oceans and their resources.
Unsustainable fishing

4 b. “Geological structure has a dominant control on landforms and is reflected on them.” Discuss.
One of the 10 fundamental concepts given by Thornbury

Except for regions of very recent diastrophism, it is safe to assume that areas which are topographically high are underlain by “hard” rocks & those which are low by “weak” rocks
4 c. Describe Newbigin’s scheme of Floristic regions of the world and explain the Mediterranean Floristic region.
Newbigin (1950) gave 5 regions for the world:
Northern lands (Holarctic)
Northern Paleo tropical Desert
Intertropical (tropics of America, Africa & E. Asia)
Austral (southern parts of southern continents)

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