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Antarctica's 'Doomsday Glacier' On Edge Of Disaster, Says Study

NEW YORK, Sept 12: A glacier in Antarctica is melting at a faster rate than previously expected, scientists announced this month. In a new study, published in Nature Geoscience, they said that a sudden melting event occurred over the course of six months in the last, which caused the Thwaites Glacier retreat as much as 1.3 miles (2.1 kilometres) per year.

That's twice the rate that scientists have observed in the past decade or so, said the study. Thwaites is called the "doomsday glacier" because of the high risk of collapse and the threat to global sea level.

According to People magazine, the Thwaites glacier is about the size of Florida and accounts for around five per cent of Antarctica's involvement in sea-level rise around the world.

"Thwaites is really holding on today by its fingernails, and we should expect to see big changes over small time scales in the future - even from one year to the next - once the glacier retreats beyond a shallow ridge in its bed," said Robert Larter, a marine geophysicist who co-authored the study.

What Will Happen When Thwaites Disintegrates?

The scary new study has alerted us about the rapid disintegration of one of the biggest glaciers in the world. International Thwaites Glacier Collaboration, in an estimate released in 2020, had said that if the "doomsday glacier" dissolves fully, it will lead to four per cent of climate change-caused sea-level rise.

They had further said that a sudden collapse would raise sea levels 25 inches more.

Sea Level Rise Viewer, a web application developed by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), allows users to see what the collapse of the Thwaites Glacier would look like.

The application shows the collapse of the glacier has the potential to devastate southern Louisiana and Mississippi. The effects will also be felt in New York, but Los Angeles would be spared.

Middle East Heating Nearly Twice As Fast As Global Average: Report

NICOSIA (Cyprus), Sept 12: The Middle East is heating at nearly twice the global average, threatening potentially devastating impacts on its people and economies, a new climate study shows.

Barring swift policy changes, its more than 400 million people face extreme heatwaves, prolonged droughts and sea level rises, said the report released ahead of the UN's COP27 climate summit in Egypt later this year.

The study found an average increase of 0.45 degrees Celsius per decade across the Middle East and eastern Mediterranean region, based on data for 1981-2019, during which the global average rise was 0.27 degrees per decade.

Without immediate changes, the region is projected to heat up by five degrees Celsius by the end of the century, possibly exceeding "critical thresholds for human adaptability" in some countries, the report states.

People "will face major health challenges and risks of livelihood, especially underprivileged communities, the elderly, children and pregnant women", wrote Jos Lelieveld of the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry and the Cyprus Institute, which both provided support for the research.

The study covers the region stretching from Greece and Egypt in the west through to Lebanon, Syria and Iraq, and the Gulf states of Bahrain, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates as well as Iran in the east.

The Middle East not only stands to suffer seriously from climate change but has also become a major contributor to it, said the report first published in June in the journal Reviews of Geophysics and updated this week.

The study shows that the oil-rich Middle East is on course to becoming one of the world's leading sources of greenhouse gas emissions, overtaking the European Union within several years.

Lelieveld warned that, "since many of the regional outcomes of climate change are transboundary, stronger collaboration among the countries is indispensable to cope with the expected adverse impacts".

Lead author George Zittis wrote that "business-as-usual pathways for the future" would expand arid climate zones, and the rising seas "would imply severe challenges for coastal infrastructure and agriculture", particularly affecting Egypt's densely populated Nile Delta.

According to the report, "virtually all" areas of life will be "critically affected" by hotter, dryer climate conditions, potentially contributing to an increase in mortality rates and exacerbating "inequalities between the more affluent and impoverished populations" of the region.

Representatives from nearly 200 countries are due to meet in November in the Egyptian Red Sea resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh to follow up on the 2015 Paris Agreement, which saw nations promise to limit global heating to "well below" two degrees (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) and to work towards a safer 1.5 degree cap through sweeping emissions cuts.

The planet has warmed on average by nearly 1.2 degrees since per-industrial times. In May, the UN's World Meteorological Organization said there was an even chance that the 1.5 degree target would be breached within the next five years.

South Korean Physicists Create 'Artificial Sun' To Get Clean Nuclear Energy: Report

SEOUL, Sept 12: Physicists from South Korea have discovered an artificial source of clean nuclear energy by initiating a strong nuclear reaction that produced temperatures seven times higher than the Sun. This discovery of creating an "artificial Sun" represented a significant advance in their study, said a report from New York Post.

According to the scientists from Seoul National University and the Korea Institute of Fusion Energy, The Korea Superconducting Tokamak Advanced Research (KSTAR) reactor reached temperatures of more than 100 million degrees Celsius for about 30 seconds, reaching this milestone for the very first time, the outlet further said.

"Ion temperature shown in color over a period of 24 seconds, achieved by the Korea Superconducting Tokamak Advanced Research (KSTAR)," reads the caption of the post.

According to the post, charge-exchange spectroscopy, ECE, TS and Mirnov coil signals are transformed into audible sound, so that one can diagnose the plasma through the sound.

The centre of the actual sun reaches temperatures of about 15 million degrees. The process of joining atomic nuclei observed in stars by the self-heating of materials in a plasma state is known as nuclear fusion. The study, which tries to duplicate the natural processes of the sun, is regarded as a milestone in this field, NY Post further said.

By the end of the year, the South Korean researchers want to sustain plasma temperatures more than 100 million degrees for 50 second and by 2026, they intend to achieve the same temperatures for 300 seconds.

Amazon Deforestation Hits New Record In 2022, Area 5 Times Size Of New York Destroyed

BRASILIA, July 11: Deforestation of the Amazon rainforest hit a new record in the first six months of this year, Brazil's space agency Inpe reported on Friday. This has deepened concerns among the environmentalists that the damage sustained by the rainforest, which plays a crucial role in maintain the planet's oxygen and carbon dioxide cycles, is irreparable.

The satellite data shows that the Amazon rainforest has lost an area five times the size of New York City. This is the highest figure since 2016, the Brazil government said.

Satellite data showed that from January to June this year, 3,988 square km were cleared in the region. That's an increase of 10.6% from the same months last year and the highest level for that period since the agency began compiling its current DETER-B data series in mid-2015.

Last year, 3,088 square kilometres of the rainforest were destroyed during the same period.

In June alone, destruction rose 5.5 per cent to 1,120 square km, also a record for that month of the year.

The Amazon, the world's largest rainforest, contains vast amounts of carbon (that is why it is called "carbon sink"), which is released as trees are destroyed, warming the atmosphere and driving climate change.

In the last few decades, the existence of the rainforest has come under intense threat as the land is cleared and converted, largely for cattle ranching and farming. Various studies have pointed out that the Amazon has lost at least 17 per cent of its forest in the last five decades.

Some environmentalists also slam Brazil President Jair Bolsonaro claiming that he is doing very little to stop the deforestation of such an important part of Earth's atmosphere. They say Bolsonaro has rolled back environmental protections emboldening loggers, ranchers and land speculators who clear public land for profit.

The report further said that deforestation is creeping deeper into the forest. In the first six months of the year, Amazonas state in the heart of the rainforest recorded more destruction than any other state for the first time.

Delhi records 49 degrees, Gurugram simmers at 48

NEW DELHI, May 15: The national capital bore the brunt of the heatwave sweeping through north India with the mercury soaring to 49 degrees Celsius on Sunday. The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has sounded an orange alert for most parts of northwestern India, warning of severe heatwave conditions.

The temperature at Mungeshpur in northwest Delhi was recorded at 49.2, while it was 49.1 degrees Celsius at Najafgarh.

The maximum temperatures reached unbearable highs of 48.4 degrees Celsius at Sports Complex, 47.5 degrees Celsius at Jafarpur, 47.3 degrees Celsius at Pitampura, and 47.2 degrees Celsius at Ridge.

At the Safdarjung Observatory, the capital's base station, the maximum temperature rose to 45.6 degrees Celsius, five notches above the normal and the highest this year so far. A day ago, the primary weather station had recorded a maximum temperature of 44.2 degrees Celsius.

According to IMD, the national capital will witness a thunderstorm or a dust storm on Monday.

National capital region's satellite city Gurugram reeled under sweltering heat with the maximum temperature reaching 48.1 degrees Celsius, the highest since May 10, 1966- when the city logged 49 degrees Celsius. However, pre-monsoon activity due to cyclonic circulation over Punjab and Haryana on Monday and Tuesday can bring some relief from the intense heat.

The Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) has issued an "orange alert" for north-west India and a red alert for Rajasthan.

"We have issued a red alert for Rajasthan for an intense spell of the heatwave, and a yellow alert for tomorrow. Similarly, we have issued an orange alert for Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, eastern Madhya Pradesh and Delhi," according to a news agency quoting the weather department as saying.

Madhya Pradesh will continue to reel under severe heatwave conditions for the next 2-3 days but with decreased intensity.

In Uttar Pradesh, the heatwave will continue on Monday.

A heatwave is declared when the maximum temperature is over 40 degrees Celsius and at least 4.5 notches above the normal. A severe heatwave is declared if the departure from normal temperature is more than 6.4 notches, according to the IMD.

Based on absolute recorded temperatures, a heatwave is declared when an area logs a maximum temperature of 45 degrees Celsius.

A severe heatwave is declared if the maximum temperature crosses the 47-degree Celsius mark.




Amazon Deforestation Hits New Record In 2022, Area 5 Times Size Of New York Destroyed

Amazon Deforestation Hits New Record In 2022, Area 5 Times Size Of New York Destroyed

Delhi records 49 degrees, Gurugram simmers at 48


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