Hexbyte Glen Cove One dead, 10 feared missing in Australia floods

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Pedestrians walk in heavy rain in the central business district of Sydney on February 22, 2022.

One person was found dead in a submerged car and 10 others were reportedly missing on Wednesday after heavy rain caused flash flooding in eastern Australia and set off a string of emergency warnings up and down the Pacific coast.

The body of the drowned 60-year-old was found early Wednesday in the state of Queensland, premier Annastacia Palaszczuk told parliament, describing the incident as a “tragedy”.

Almost half a meter (1.5 feet) of rain has fallen on some parts of her state in the last 24 hours, causing multiple road closures and transport chaos.

Emergency services received more than a hundred calls for help and swift water rescue crews have been despatched to assist dozens of stranded residents.

Emergency services have received more than a hundred calls for help and swift water rescue crews have been despatched to rescue dozens of stranded residents.

“This has the potential to be a significant rainfall event for south-east Queensland,” Palaszczuk said.

A freight train overturned near the town of Gympie, although the driver was said to have minor injuries.

Local media quoted Sunshine Coast Police District Superintendent Craig Hawkins as saying 10 people were also missing.

Fifteen Queensland dams are at capacity and more rain is expected in the coming days.

A woman takes pictures of the overflowing Parramatta river at the ferry wharf in Sydney.

“Locally intense rainfall is possible and since many catchments are now saturated there is an increased risk of dangerous and life-threatening flash flooding over the coming days,” said Palaszczuk.

Police warned motorists to avoid driving through flooded roads and to stay at home.

“Flash flooding is occurring on roads and bridges – Re-consider your need to travel today,” police told residents.

Heavy has also pelted the state of New South Wales, where parts of Sydney were briefly submerged Tuesday.

After several years of drought and climate-worsened bushfires, Australia’s east is wrapping up an extraordinarily wet antipodean summer, thanks to a La Nina weather pattern.

La Nina increases the chances of tropical cyclones off Australia’s Pacific coast and brings above-average rainfall, according to the country’s Bureau of Meteorology.



© 2022 AFP

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One dead, 10 feared missing in Australia floods (2022, February 23)
retrieved 23 February 2022
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Hexbyte Glen Cove Energy sector methane emissions underreported: report

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Credit: CC0 Public Domain

The energy sector’s overall emissions of methane are massively underreported, the IEA said Tuesday as it promoted cuts to the most potent greenhouse gas as a quick way to make a major impact on global warming.

The International Energy Agency said its latest annual Global Methane Tracker had found that emissions by the energy sector were about 70 percent higher than official government figures.

It said this showed the need for as well as “stronger policy action to drive down emissions of this ,” responsible for some 30 percent of the rise in since the Industrial Revolution.

While methane dissipates faster than carbon dioxide, it has a much more powerful warming effect in the atmosphere.

Humans are responsible for about 60 percent of methane emissions, and cutting these could have a quick and major impact.

“Cutting global methane emissions from human activities by 30 percent by the end of this decade would have the same effect on by 2050 as shifting the entire transport sector to net zero CO2 emissions,” IEA chief Fatih Birol said.

The tracker, which for the first time includes country-by-country emissions from coal mines and bioenergy, showed methane emissions from the grew by just under five percent last year.

The IEA logged “significant emissions” in Texas and parts of Central Asia, with Turkmenistan alone responsible for one-third of “large emissions events” logged by satellites last year.

30-percent cut target

The energy industry is a major source of methane emissions from leaks and operations. Many older oil wells flare off unwanted methane—which is essentially used to heat homes—as building infrastructure may have originally cost too much.

But with gas prices soaring, the costs of investments to capture methane and reduce leaks will quickly pay for itself, and would help reduce tight supplies.

“Had all methane leaks from fossil fuel operations in 2021 been captured and sold, natural gas markets would have been supplied with an additional 180 billion cubic metres of natural gas… equivalent to all the gas used in Europe’s power sector and more than enough to ease today’s market tightness,” the report found.

At last year’s COP26 Climate Change Conference in Glasgow, participants signed a Global Methane Pledge to reduce methane emissions by 30 percent by 2030.

But of the five countries with the largest from their energy sectors—China, Russia, the United States, Iran and India, the IEA noted only the United States is currently a signatory.



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Energy sector methane emissions underreported: report (2022, February 23)
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Hexbyte Glen Cove Cyclone Emnati lashes Madagascar

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Cyclone Emnati pummelled the eastern coast of Madagascar after passing just north of Indian Ocean islands of Mauritius and Reunion.

Cyclone Emnati overnight lashed the island nation of Madagascar, still reeling from the impact of another cyclone earlier this month, local authorities said Wednesday.

The cyclone “made landfall around 2300 GMT just north of the southeastern district of Manakara,” Faly Aritiana Fabien, a senior official of the National Risk Management Office (BNGRC) told AFP. No casualties have been reported yet.

The storm, which passed just north of Indian Ocean islands of Mauritius and Reunion, had weakened slightly by the time it reached the eastern coast of Madagascar, but was still packing winds of around 100 kilometers (60 miles) per hour and gusts of 140 km/h, according to Meteo-France.

The is forecast to exit Madagascar Wednesday night, but authorities are warning of torrential rains.

National Weather forecaster, Meteo-Madagascar warned of strong gusts, heavy rain and widespread flooding around the southern and southeastern districts.

UN agencies had on Tuesday said they were preparing “for the worst”.

Another storm, Cyclone Batsirai struck the island on February 5, affecting some 270,000 people and claiming 121 lives.

At the same time, some 21,000 people still remain displaced from when tropical storm Ana struck in late January.

Forecast trajectory of cyclone Emnati which is heading towards Madagascar in the Indian Ocean.

Another 5,000 were affected last week by tropical storm Dumako.

More than 30,600 people have precautionary been moved to .

One of the poorest countries in the world, the southern region of the large Indian Ocean island country has been ravaged by drought, the worst in 40 years, according to the UN, which blames for the crisis.

The island is prone to numerous storms and cyclones between November and April every year.



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Cyclone Emnati lashes Madagascar (2022, February 23)
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Hexbyte Glen Cove ‘Tatooine-like’ exoplanet spotted by ground-based telescope

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The image is an illustration made by Amanda Smith of the 193cm telescope at the Observatoire de Haute-Provence which was used for this research. This was the telescope that discovered the first exoplanet, 51 Pegasi b, which led to the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2019. In the sky the Kepler-16 circumbinary planet system is represented, along with a depiction of the field of view of NASA’s Kepler spacecraft. Credit: Amanda Smith

A rare exoplanet which orbits around two stars at once has been detected using a ground-based telescope by a team led by the University of Birmingham.

The planet, called Kepler-16b, has so far only been seen using the Kepler space telescope. It orbits around two , with the two orbits also orbiting one another, forming a . Kepler-16b is located some 245 from Earth and, like Luke Skywalker’s home planet of Tatooine, in the Star Wars universe, it would have two sunsets if you could stand on its surface.

The 193cm telescope used in the new observation is based at the Observatoire de Haute-Provence, in France. The team were able to detect the planet using the radial velocity method, in which astronomers observe a change in the velocity of a star as a planet orbits about it.

The detection of Kepler-16b using the radial velocity method is an important demonstration that it is possible to detect circumbinary planets using more traditional methods, at greater efficiency and lower cost than by using spacecrafts.

Importantly the is also more sensitive to additional planets in a system, and it can also measure the mass of a planet—its most fundamental property.

Having demonstrated the method using Kepler-16b, the team plans to continue the search for previously unknown circumbinary planets and help answer questions about how planets are formed. Usually, planets formation is thought to take place within a —a mass of dust and gas which surrounds a young star. However, this process may not be possible within a circumbinary system.

Professor Amaury Triaud, from the University of Birmingham, who led the team, explains: “Using this standard explanation it is difficult to understand how circumbinary planets can exist. That’s because the presence of two stars interferes with the protoplanetary disc, and this prevents dust from agglomerating into planets, a process called accretion.

“The planet may have formed far from the two stars, where their influence is weaker, and then moved inwards in a process called disc-driven migration—or, alternatively, we may find we need to revise our understanding of the process of planetary accretion.”

Dr. David Martin, from the Ohio State University (U.S.), who contributed to the discovery, explains “Circumbinary provide one of the clearest clues that disc-driven migration is a viable process, and that it happens regularly.”

Dr. Alexandre Santerne, from the University of Marseille, a collaborator on the research explains: “Kepler-16b was first discovered 10 years ago by NASA’s Kepler satellite using the transit method. This system was the most unexpected discovery made by Kepler. We chose to turn our telescope and recover Kepler-16 to demonstrate the validity of our radial-velocity methods.”

Dr. Isabelle Boisse, also from the University of Marseille, is the scientist in charge of the SOPHIE instrument that was used to collect the data. She said: “Our discovery shows how ground-based telescopes remain entirely relevant to modern exoplanet research and can be used for exciting new projects. Having shown we can detect Kepler-16b, we will now analyse data taken on many other binary star systems, and search for new .”

The research is published in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.



More information:
BEBOP III. Observations and an independent mass measurement of Kepler-16 (AB) b – the first circumbinary planet detected with radial velocities, Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society, DOI: 10.1093/mnras/stab3712

Citation:
‘Tatooine-like’ exoplanet spotted by ground-based telescope (2022, February 23)
retrieved 23 February 2022
from https://phys.org/news/2022-02-tatooine-like-exoplanet-ground-based-telescope.html

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