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US Forecasters Warn of Heavy Rains, Floods as Hurricane Barry Weakens

Barry was the second named storm of the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season, which lasts until Nov. 30

Crews clear debris from Highway 23 during storm Barry in Plaquemines Parish, Louisiana, July 14, 2019. Barry made landfall as a hurricane, but then was downgraded, first to a tropical storm, and then to a tropical depression. VOA

States along the southern part of the Mississippi River are receiving heavy rains as what is left of a hurricane that hit the U.S. Gulf Coast moves farther inland. Forecasters expect the remnants of Hurricane Barry to drop 7 to 15 centimeters of additional rain on parts of Arkansas, Tennessee, Missouri and Mississippi, with isolated areas seeing higher totals.

They warned of the threat of flash floods from heavy thunderstorms and multiple bands of showers moving through the same area. Barry made landfall in Louisiana Saturday as a Category 1 hurricane, sparing New Orleans from a direct hit, but knocking out power and bringing floods to other parts of the state.

hurricane barry
Barry was the second named storm of the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season, which lasts until Nov. 30. Pixabay

No serious injuries or major damage have been reported. Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards told reporters Sunday, “We’re thankful that the worst-case scenario did not happen.”

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U.S. President Donald Trump declared a state of emergency in Louisiana ahead of the storm, authorizing federal funds to help local officials cope with whatever storm recovery is needed. Barry was the second named storm of the 2019 Atlantic hurricane season, which lasts until Nov. 30. (VOA)

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Around 400mn Lives to be Affected by Year 2100 if Greenland Ice Melts at its Current Rate

Greenland ice melt puts 400mn people at risk of flooding by 2100

Greenland ice
Scientists warn that about 400 million people will be affected by the end of the century due to ice melting in Greenland. Pixabay

About 400 million are likely to be affected by coastal flooding by the end of the century if Greenland ice melt continues at its current rate, scientists have warned.

Greenland is losing ice seven times faster than in the 1990s, according to a study published in the journal Nature.

“As a rule of thumb, for every centimetre rise in global sea level another six million people are exposed to coastal flooding around the planet,” said one of the study authors Andrew Shepherd, Professor at University of Leeds in Britain.

“On current trends, Greenland ice melting will cause 100 million people to be flooded each year by the end of the century, so 400 million in total due to all sea level rise,” Shepherd said.

For the study, a team of 96 polar scientists from 50 international organisations combined 26 separate surveys to compute changes in the mass of Greenland’s ice sheet between 1992 and 2018.

Greenland ice
Greenland is losing ice seven times faster than in the 1990s, Pixabay

Altogether, data from 11 different satellite missions were used, including measurements of the ice sheet’s changing volume, flow and gravity.

The findings showed that Greenland has lost 3.8 trillion tonnes of ice since 1992 — enough to push global sea levels up by 10.6 millimetres.

In 2013, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predicted that global sea levels will rise by 60 centimetres by 2100, putting 360 million people at risk of annual coastal flooding.

But this new study shows that Greenland’s ice losses are rising faster than expected and are instead tracking the IPCC’s high-end climate warming scenario, which predicts seven centimetres more.

So 40 million more people are likely to be exposed to coastal flooding by 2100 than earlier projected.

“These are not unlikely events or small impacts; they are happening and will be devastating for coastal communities,” Shepherd said.

The team also used regional climate models to show that half of the ice losses were due to surface melting as air temperatures have risen.

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The other half has been due to increased glacier flow, triggered by rising ocean temperatures.

Ice losses peaked at 335 billion tonnes per year in 2011 – ten times the rate of the 1990s – during a period of intense surface melting. (IANS)