Tropical Storms – Roundup of Tropical Storms:
In the South Indian Ocean: Tropical Cyclone “Carlos” (04S) The centre of the system is currently located around 200km to the west of La Reunion. Here the administrative capital, Saint-Denis recorded 126mm of rain on Tuesday. That’s more than 80 per cent of the February average of 153mm. Carlos is currently packing winds of 90 gusting 120 kilometres per hour. It is expected to strengthen further in the warm open waters of the Southern Indian Ocean as it moves southwestward. The Joint Typhoon Warning Centre expect the storm to reach maximum intensity on Wednesday with sustained winds of 130km/h and gusts nearer 160km/h. That would make it equivalent to a Category 1 Atlantic hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale.
Nevada, USA – A major storm packing a triple threat Tuesday dumped more than a foot of new snow in the Sierra Nevada, unleashed heavy rain that triggered flooding and mudslides in the valleys around Reno and Carson City, and pushed potentially damaging winds across much of western Nevada. The National Weather Service issued avalanche, flooding and high wind warnings up and down the eastern front of the mountains. A 147-mph wind gust was reported over the ridgetop at Alpine Meadows southwest of Tahoe.
Collapsing Beauty: Image of Antarctica’s Larsen Ice Shelf
An expansive new image shows the changes in Antarctica’s Larsen Ice Shelf since the mid-1980s.
The story is one of retreat, and the ice continues to crumble. A growing crack in a portion of the ice shelf called Larsen C is poised to free an iceberg the size of Delaware from the continent.
Larson C isn’t visible in the new satellite image, which focuses on two more northerly portions of the sheet, Larsen A and Larsen B. Ice shelves are floating mattresses of ice that form from the outflow of the glaciers that creep slowly across the Antarctic continent. The Larsen Ice Shelf is on the northeast coast of the Antarctic Peninsula along the Weddell Sea. It was named for the Norwegian explorer Carl Anton Larsen, who explored parts of it in 1893 by ship and ski.
Since 1995, the Larsen Ice Shelf has lost 75 percent of its mass, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Centre (NSIDC). In 1995, a 579-square-mile (1,500 square kilometres) chunk of Larsen A broke off from the ice shelf, according to NASA’s Earth Observatory. In 2002, an even larger portion of Larsen B — 1,255 square miles (3,250 square km) crumbled away. While calving events are normal, collapses of this magnitude have only been seen in the last 30 years, according to the NSIDC.
The collapse of floating ice doesn’t raise sea levels, but a 2004 study by NSIDC researchers found that in the wake of Larsen B’s 2002 collapse, the land-based glaciers that feed the ice sheet have accelerated their flow toward the sea. This speedy flow of ice does have the ability to raise sea levels.
China reports H7N9 avian flu case in Henan Province
The Health and Family Planning Commission of Henan Province reported an additional human case of avian influenza A(H7N9) in a 38-year-old man from Kaifeng who is in critical condition.
Hong Kong health officials who are closely monitoring the situation said, “Since late 2016, the number of human H7N9 cases reported in the Mainland hugely increased from six in November 2016 to 106 in December 2016 and 183 last month as of January 29, 2017. The number of cases in this wave so far has been much higher than that in the same period last winter. Cases imported from Guangdong have also been reported in Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan.
Since the first human cases were reported in 2013, there has been 1107 cases as of Feb. 6.