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Breaking News cyclone fani   climate change and the mount everest  india | Breaking News

Cyclone Fani, Climate Change And The Mount Everest: India

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by: Chirag Dhara
cyclone fani   climate change and the mount everest  india | Breaking News

Cyclone Fani, one of the strongest storms to batter the Indian subcontinent in decades, made landfall near Puri, India, around 8 a.m. on Friday, lashing the coast with winds gusting at more than 120 miles per hour. Tens of millions of people are potentially in the cyclone’s path, and more than a million were evacuated this week from coastal areas. Large sections of coastal India and Bangladesh are threatened by storm surges, and heavy rains could cause rivers to breach. The fast-moving storm struck the coast as the equivalent of a Category 5 hurricane. Several hours after it made landfall, the cyclone was downgraded to a “very severe” storm from an “extremely severe” storm.

Cyclone Fani, India Track
All times are Indian Standard Time. Source: Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System

Reports of destruction, and possibly deaths

A relief official for the state of Odisha, where the cyclone made landfall, said Friday afternoon that many trees had been uprooted and houses destroyed, and that there had been unverified reports of deaths. The official, Pravat Ranjan Mohapatra, said the situation would be clearer in a few hours. NDTV, a major Indian news network, reported that three people had been killed. Along India’s coast, streets were largely empty as residents heeded warnings from the India Meteorological Department to stay indoors. “In Bhubaneswar, we are all indoors,” said Jagdish Chandra Rout, head of communications for Gopalpur Port Limited. “Nobody is visible on the road, nothing is moving on the road.” Mr. Rout said he felt the area was much better prepared for the storm than in 1999, when more than 10,000 people died in a cyclone. “We feel that yes, we may have some difficult days ahead, but no panic,” he said. “We are prepared, we know what is coming when and where.”

In Puri, winds and rainfall were increasing, said Bishwajit Panda, a 19-year-old college student. “We fear that our house should not be damaged, our shop should not be damaged, some tree should not fall on house, electric pole should not fall on shop,” he said. “We live in fear. During the days of cyclone it is the life of fear we live.”

Mass evacuations in India and Bangladesh

The Indian authorities evacuated more than a million people from parts of the nation’s eastern coast this week. Using television, loudspeakers, radio and text messages to warn residents about the dangers of the storm, India’s disaster relief agency and meteorological department warned of the “total destruction” to thatched huts in some districts, major damage to roads, the uprooting of power poles and the potential danger from flying objects.

Cyclone Fani is forecast to drop as much as eight inches of rain on northern parts of the state of Andhra Pradesh and on the state of Odisha. Schools have been closed, fishermen asked to keep off the water and tourists urged to leave the city of Puri, a Hindu pilgrimage site where an elaborate, centuries-old temple could be at risk of severe damage. Airports in the cyclone’s path were closing and hundreds of trains have been canceled. Along Odisha’s coast, more than 850 storm shelters have been opened, said Bishnupada Sethi, the state’s special relief commissioner. Each can hold about 1,000 people, along with livestock.
“People are reluctant to leave their homes, though, which is problematic,” Mr. Sethi said on Thursday. In Bangladesh, as the storm approached on Friday the government said it had evacuated half a million coastal residents to shelters by 11 a.m. The government there, similarly, suspended fishing operations, closed ports and ordered an early harvest of rice crops.

Cyclone’s effects felt on Mount Everest

The cyclone was affecting the weather as far away as Mount Everest, where climbers on their way to the summit turned around after conditions worsened. At Camp 2, 21,000 feet above sea level, climbers reported an increase in cloud cover and moisture, and high winds tore apart tents. Many climbers from higher up the mountain began making their way down to Base Camp, at 17,600 feet above sea level.

Nepal’s Ministry of Home Affairs banned helicopters from flying in high mountain areas through the end of the weekend and issued a warning to mountaineers and trekkers on the mountain. More than 1,000 people, including climbers, high-altitude guides, support staff and government officials, have reached Everest Base Camp since the spring climbing season began in March.

A history of devastating cyclones

The Bay of Bengal has experienced many deadly tropical cyclones, the result of warm air and water temperatures producing storms that strike the large populations along the coast.

Officials said Cyclone Fani could be the most powerful to strike India since 1999, when a cyclone lingered for more than a day over India’s eastern coast, flooding villages, blowing apart houses and ultimately killing more than 10,000 people. Since that storm, the authorities in the region have significantly improved disaster preparation and response capabilities, strengthening coastal embankments and preparing evacuation routes, according to a World Bank report. Subsequent major storms have resulted in far fewer deaths. The state of Odisha was much better prepared for Cyclone Phailin in 2013. About one million people were evacuated, more than twice as many as in 1999, and the storm killed 45 people, the World Bank said. “All of these efforts bore fruit when Cyclone Phailin made landfall,” the report said.

Fishing boat in rough sea

Cyclone Fani could still bring severe dangers to the region, however, threatening flooding in inland river basins, depending on its path, in the Ganges River delta region, where the Indian city of Kolkata is home to millions. In 2007, Cyclone Sidr killed at least 3,000 people in nearby Bangladesh, and in 1991, a cyclone killed at least 1,000 there and left millions homeless. In 1970, the so-called Great Bhola Cyclone drove a tidal wave into what was then East Pakistan, in a disaster that killed anestimated 300,000 people, according to the World Meteorological Organization’s World Weather & Climate Extremes Archive.

“Unfortunately this region, especially the delta area, has produced the highest death tolls from tropical cyclones on the planet,” said Mr. Herndon, the storm researcher. “Many people live in regions barely above sea level.” And Cyclone Fani has already proved “one of the most intense in the past 20 years,” according to Clare Nullis, a spokeswoman for the World Meteorological Organization.

Climate Change and Cyclone Fani

People with motorbikes storm rough sea palmtrees
Between Gopalpur and Chandbali, to the south of Puri around 3rd May afternoon with maximum sustained wind of speed 175-185 kmph gusting to 205 kmph

What relation, if any, does Cyclone Fani have to global climate change? How do we expect it to change in the future? What causes and powers a cyclone and how will global warming affect it? A fully formed cyclone is so powerful that it can span hundreds of kilometres in diameter, extend 15 km into the atmosphere and travel up to 10,000 km before dissipating. An “average” cyclone consumes millions of MW of power during its lifetime of a few days, far exceeding the entire world’s electricity generation capacity during that time.
Where could cyclones possibly draw such immense power from and what implications does global warming have for this power source, and hence, for future cyclone intensities? All tropical cyclones form over warm ocean waters and eventually dissipate after making landfall. While details include favourable wind and humidity patterns, cyclone genesis and sustenance fundamentally draw their power from water evaporating from the ocean, which gets cut off once cyclones progress over land. Cyclones vacuum up the evaporating water, which delivers huge amounts of heat energy and moisture that keeps the storm raging. The collected moisture is transported over vast distances and dumped in intense spurts of rainfall over land. The warmer the water, the faster the rate of evaporation, which in turn results in more severe storms. While the relationship is more complex in the real world, this essentially explains the role of global warming in intensifying storms.

Cyclones will intensity in a warming world

Warmer ocean waters contain more energy and sustain a greater rate of evaporation from their surface. Aligned with what we would expect from how storms gather power, climate model simulations project that the frequency of the most severe cyclones will increase with global warming. Severe cyclones in the Bay of Bengal have, in fact, increased by about 26 percent in the previous century, as they have in the rest of the world. Powerful cyclones today also intensify quicker than they did 30 years ago. Recent research on some of the most destructive hurricanes (another word for cyclones) in the Atlantic basin, like Katrina, Irma and Maria, found that they brought 5 – 10 percent greater rainfall than they would have in a pre-industrial world (cooler by “merely” 1°C than the present).

Can Cyclone Fani be attributed to global warming?

Neither does every smoker develop lung cancer and nor can lung cancer in an individual patient be attributed with certainty to smoking. Yet it is beyond doubt that smoking increases the likelihood of developing lung cancer. Analogously, individual storms can rarely be attributed primarily to anthropogenic global warming. An additional problem with cyclone attribution is that historical data records on cyclones aren’t yet long enough to be statistically conclusive: we have a database of perhaps a few thousand cyclones from the past century, unlike millions of data points on lung cancer patients.

For these reasons, it is still being debated in scientific circles how changes in frequency and intensity of cyclones observed so far can be attributed directly to anthropogenic global warming as against long-term periodic natural variations. 

Cyclones intensifying from 1985 to 2005, the map was created with the WPTC track map generator by Nilfanion

This map shows the tracks of all tropical cyclones which formed worldwide from 1985 to 2005. India’s east coast and Bangladesh are among the most active zones despite being much less so than the Atlantic and Pacific basins. Background image: NASA, Map: WPTC track map generator by Nilfanion

Specific geographical and environmental factors make the Bay of Bengal a cyclone active basin regardless of anthropogenic global warming. To that extent, cyclones like Fani would form even in a counterfactual world without anthropogenic global warming. Yet, the basic physical concept of how cyclones are powered is clear and there is no scientific doubt that cyclones of greater intensity will become increasingly more common as our planet continues to warm. Therein lies a deeper lesson: climate change is usually not the genesis of a problem; it exacerbates existing problems.

https://www.whatsorb.com/category/climate

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Breaking News, as the world changes…

In our world, WhatsOrb refuses to turn away from the changes in our society and environment which succeeds each other at a rapid pace.

For WhatsOrb, publishing on the environment is a priority. We give reporting on climate, nature, waste, lifestyle and sustainable solutions the prominence it deserves.

At this turbulent time for ‘all’ species and our planet, we are determined to inform readers about threats, consequences and solutions based on facts, not on political prejudice or business interests.

WhatsOrb Breaking News will be published as soon as urgent events from around the world and startling sustainable innovations reach us.

If there is anything we should know and publish about, please send a note to: [email protected] or write your own story on: www.whatsorb.comthe only news site which gives you a ‘sustainable voice!’

Cyclone Fani, Climate Change And The Mount Everest: India

Cyclone Fani, one of the strongest storms to batter the Indian subcontinent in decades, made landfall near Puri, India, around 8 a.m. on Friday, lashing the coast with winds gusting at more than 120 miles per hour. Tens of millions of people are potentially in the cyclone’s path, and more than a million were evacuated this week from coastal areas. Large sections of coastal India and Bangladesh are threatened by storm surges, and heavy rains could cause rivers to breach. The fast-moving storm struck the coast as the equivalent of a Category 5 hurricane. Several hours after it made landfall, the cyclone was downgraded to a “very severe” storm from an “extremely severe” storm. All times are Indian Standard Time. Source: Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System Reports of destruction, and possibly deaths A relief official for the state of Odisha, where the cyclone made landfall, said Friday afternoon that many trees had been uprooted and houses destroyed, and that there had been unverified reports of deaths. The official, Pravat Ranjan Mohapatra, said the situation would be clearer in a few hours. NDTV, a major Indian news network, reported that three people had been killed. Along India’s coast, streets were largely empty as residents heeded warnings from the India Meteorological Department to stay indoors. “In Bhubaneswar, we are all indoors,” said Jagdish Chandra Rout, head of communications for Gopalpur Port Limited. “Nobody is visible on the road, nothing is moving on the road.” Mr. Rout said he felt the area was much better prepared for the storm than in 1999, when more than 10,000 people died in a cyclone. “We feel that yes, we may have some difficult days ahead, but no panic,” he said. “We are prepared, we know what is coming when and where.” In Puri, winds and rainfall were increasing, said Bishwajit Panda, a 19-year-old college student. “We fear that our house should not be damaged, our shop should not be damaged, some tree should not fall on house, electric pole should not fall on shop,” he said. “We live in fear. During the days of cyclone it is the life of fear we live.” Mass evacuations in India and Bangladesh The Indian authorities evacuated more than a million people from parts of the nation’s eastern coast this week. Using television, loudspeakers, radio and text messages to warn residents about the dangers of the storm, India’s disaster relief agency and meteorological department warned of the “total destruction” to thatched huts in some districts, major damage to roads, the uprooting of power poles and the potential danger from flying objects. Cyclone Fani is forecast to drop as much as eight inches of rain on northern parts of the state of Andhra Pradesh and on the state of Odisha. Schools have been closed, fishermen asked to keep off the water and tourists urged to leave the city of Puri, a Hindu pilgrimage site where an elaborate, centuries-old temple could be at risk of severe damage. Airports in the cyclone’s path were closing and hundreds of trains have been canceled. Along Odisha’s coast, more than 850 storm shelters have been opened, said Bishnupada Sethi, the state’s special relief commissioner. Each can hold about 1,000 people, along with livestock. “People are reluctant to leave their homes, though, which is problematic,” Mr. Sethi said on Thursday. In Bangladesh, as the storm approached on Friday the government said it had evacuated half a million coastal residents to shelters by 11 a.m. The government there, similarly, suspended fishing operations, closed ports and ordered an early harvest of rice crops. Cyclone’s effects felt on Mount Everest The cyclone was affecting the weather as far away as Mount Everest, where climbers on their way to the summit turned around after conditions worsened. At Camp 2, 21,000 feet above sea level, climbers reported an increase in cloud cover and moisture, and high winds tore apart tents. Many climbers from higher up the mountain began making their way down to Base Camp, at 17,600 feet above sea level. Nepal’s Ministry of Home Affairs banned helicopters from flying in high mountain areas through the end of the weekend and issued a warning to mountaineers and trekkers on the mountain. More than 1,000 people, including climbers, high-altitude guides, support staff and government officials, have reached Everest Base Camp since the spring climbing season began in March. A history of devastating cyclones The Bay of Bengal has experienced many deadly tropical cyclones, the result of warm air and water temperatures producing storms that strike the large populations along the coast. Officials said Cyclone Fani could be the most powerful to strike India since 1999, when a cyclone lingered for more than a day over India’s eastern coast, flooding villages, blowing apart houses and ultimately killing more than 10,000 people. Since that storm, the authorities in the region have significantly improved disaster preparation and response capabilities, strengthening coastal embankments and preparing evacuation routes, according to a World Bank report. Subsequent major storms have resulted in far fewer deaths. The state of Odisha was much better prepared for Cyclone Phailin in 2013. About one million people were evacuated, more than twice as many as in 1999, and the storm killed 45 people, the World Bank said. “All of these efforts bore fruit when Cyclone Phailin made landfall,” the report said. Cyclone Fani could still bring severe dangers to the region, however, threatening flooding in inland river basins, depending on its path, in the Ganges River delta region, where the Indian city of Kolkata is home to millions. In 2007, Cyclone Sidr killed at least 3,000 people in nearby Bangladesh, and in 1991, a cyclone killed at least 1,000 there and left millions homeless. In 1970, the so-called Great Bhola Cyclone drove a tidal wave into what was then East Pakistan, in a disaster that killed anestimated 300,000 people, according to the World Meteorological Organization’s World Weather & Climate Extremes Archive. “Unfortunately this region, especially the delta area, has produced the highest death tolls from tropical cyclones on the planet,” said Mr. Herndon, the storm researcher. “Many people live in regions barely above sea level.” And Cyclone Fani has already proved “one of the most intense in the past 20 years,” according to Clare Nullis, a spokeswoman for the World Meteorological Organization. Climate Change and Cyclone Fani Between Gopalpur and Chandbali, to the south of Puri around 3rd May afternoon with maximum sustained wind of speed 175-185 kmph gusting to 205 kmph What relation, if any, does Cyclone Fani have to global climate change? How do we expect it to change in the future? What causes and powers a cyclone and how will global warming affect it? A fully formed cyclone is so powerful that it can span hundreds of kilometres in diameter, extend 15 km into the atmosphere and travel up to 10,000 km before dissipating. An “average” cyclone consumes millions of MW of power during its lifetime of a few days, far exceeding the entire world’s electricity generation capacity during that time. Where could cyclones possibly draw such immense power from and what implications does global warming have for this power source, and hence, for future cyclone intensities? All tropical cyclones form over warm ocean waters and eventually dissipate after making landfall. While details include favourable wind and humidity patterns, cyclone genesis and sustenance fundamentally draw their power from water evaporating from the ocean, which gets cut off once cyclones progress over land. Cyclones vacuum up the evaporating water, which delivers huge amounts of heat energy and moisture that keeps the storm raging. The collected moisture is transported over vast distances and dumped in intense spurts of rainfall over land. The warmer the water, the faster the rate of evaporation, which in turn results in more severe storms. While the relationship is more complex in the real world, this essentially explains the role of global warming in intensifying storms. Cyclones will intensity in a warming world Warmer ocean waters contain more energy and sustain a greater rate of evaporation from their surface. Aligned with what we would expect from how storms gather power, climate model simulations project that the frequency of the most severe cyclones will increase with global warming. Severe cyclones in the Bay of Bengal have, in fact, increased by about 26 percent in the previous century, as they have in the rest of the world. Powerful cyclones today also intensify quicke r  than they did 30 years ago. Recent research on some of the most destructive hurricanes (another word for cyclones) in the Atlantic basin, like Katrina, Irma and Maria, found that they brought 5 – 10 percent greater rainfall than they would have in a pre-industrial world (cooler by “merely” 1°C than the present). Can Cyclone Fani be attributed to global warming ? Neither does every smoker develop lung cancer and nor can lung cancer in an individual patient be attributed with certainty to smoking. Yet it is beyond doubt that smoking increases the likelihood of developing lung cancer. Analogously, individual storms can rarely be attributed primarily to anthropogenic global warming. An additional problem with cyclone attribution is that historical data records on cyclones aren’t yet long enough to be statistically conclusive: we have  a database  of perhaps a few thousand cyclones from the past century, unlike millions of data points on lung cancer patients. For these reasons, it is still being debated in scientific circles how changes in frequency and intensity of cyclones observed so far can be attributed directly to anthropogenic global warming as against long-term periodic natural variations.  This map shows the tracks of all tropical cyclones which formed worldwide from 1985 to 2005. India’s east coast and Bangladesh are among the most active zones despite being much less so than the Atlantic and Pacific basins. Background image: NASA, Map: WPTC track map generator by Nilfanion Specific geographical and environmental factors make the Bay of Bengal a cyclone active basin regardless of anthropogenic global warming. To that extent, cyclones like Fani would form even in a counterfactual world without anthropogenic global warming. Yet, the basic physical concept of how cyclones are powered is clear and there is no scientific doubt that cyclones of greater intensity will become increasingly more common as our planet continues to warm. Therein lies a deeper lesson: climate change is usually not the genesis of a problem; it exacerbates existing problems. https://www.whatsorb.com/category/climate
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