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Climate Change

Tuesday’s total lunar eclipse the last until 2025



(Last Updated On: November 8, 2022)

A rare spectacle of a ‘Beaver Blood Moon’ is all set to take over the night skies of East Asia to North America on Tuesday.

This will be the last time the Earth, moon and sun align to produce a total lunar eclipse till 2025.

The full beaver moon will be visible across North America, the Pacific, Australia and East Asia, while it may also be visible for a short duration in Indian cities including Kolkata and Guwahati.

Unlike solar eclipses, one does not need special eye protection to watch a lunar eclipse, NASA has said. However, a pair of binoculars or a telescope can help one observe the lunar eclipse more clearly.

According to US space agency NASA, total lunar eclipses occur about once every year and a half, on an average but it can vary. The current year, for instance, witnessed two blood moons and the next one is not expected until over two years later.

The total eclipse will be visible to the naked eye in a clear sky across eastern Asia, Australia, the Pacific and North America. In Asia and Australia, skywatchers will enjoy the spectacle during the evening moonrise, whereas the lunar event will play out for those in North America in the early morning hours before the moon sets.

Climate Change

Storm Lee makes landfall in Canada, downing trees and knocking out power



(Last Updated On: September 17, 2023)

Lee made landfall as a post-tropical cyclone packing hurricane-force winds in a far western part of Canada’s Nova Scotia province on Saturday, flooding roads, downing trees and cutting out power for tens of thousands of people along the North Atlantic coast.

At least one storm-related fatality was recorded on Saturday. A motorist in the U.S. state of Maine died after a tree fell on his vehicle, local media reported.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) said in its latest advisory that Lee was moving north after it made landfall on Long Island, a small island southwest of Halifax, on Saturday. The still-powerful weather system packed maximum sustained winds of 65 mph (100 km/h) with higher gusts, forecasters said.

Lee, now located about 60 km east-southeast of Eastport, Maine and about 215 west of Halifax, is expected to weaken steadily during the next couple of days.

It brought strong winds, coastal flooding and heavy rains to parts of coastal Maine and Atlantic Canada.

In the Canadian province of Nova Scotia, around 120,000 people were without power on Saturday as winds knocked down trees and felled power lines. In neighboring New Brunswick, nearly 20,000 people experienced power outages.

“Crews have been able to restore power to some customers … However, conditions are getting worse. In many cases, especially when winds are above 80 km/h, it isn’t safe for our crews,” Matt Drover of the Nova Scotia electric utility said earlier on Saturday.

Winds have reached over 100 km/h in parts of the west and over 90 km/h in downtown Halifax, the largest city in Nova Scotia, he said in a statement. Halifax airport was closed to all flights, Reuters reported.

In Maine, nearly 70,000 customers were out of power as of late Saturday, according to website

Fierce waves lashing Nova Scotia’s shoreline littered flooded coastal roads with debris in some localities.

“The intensity of the storm is strong,” said Paul Mason, the executive director of the Nova Scotia Emergency Management Office. “Storm surge is expected to be the most intense in the afternoon into the early evening.”

The storm may bring an additional 20 to 50 millimeters of rain in parts of eastern Maine and New Brunswick in Canada, the NHC said, highlighting the risk of flooding in these areas.

“Lee will continue to impact the region tonight with rain or showers, strong winds, and high waves along the Atlantic coast,” the Canadian Hurricane Centre said in a statement.

In anticipation of the storm’s impact, U.S. President Joe Biden’s administration issued an emergency declaration for Maine and Massachusetts, providing federal assistance for the states.

Lee has been churning as a large hurricane over the Atlantic for more than a week, briefly threatening Bermuda but mostly harmless for anyone on land. It marks the second year in a row that such a powerful storm has reached Canada after Hurricane Fiona ripped into eastern Canada a year ago.

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Climate Change

Top global ports may be unusable by 2050 without more climate action



(Last Updated On: September 8, 2023)

Some of the world’s largest ports may be unusable by 2050 as rising sea levels hit operations, and efforts to speed up decarbonisation of the maritime sector and bring in new technology are vital, a study showed on Friday.

Weather-related disruptions are already impacting ports across the globe. These include a drought which is hampering operations in the Panama Canal, a top waterway.

The Global Maritime Trends 2050 report, commissioned by leading shipping services group Lloyd’s Register and the independent charity arm Lloyd’s Register Foundation, looked at future scenarios.

“Of the world’s 3,800 ports, a third are located in a tropical band vulnerable to the most powerful effects of climate change,” a Lloyd’s Register (LR) spokesperson said as reported by Reuters.

“The ports of Shanghai, Houston and Lazaro Cardenas (in Mexico), some of the world’s largest, could potentially be inoperable by 2050 with a rise in sea levels of only 40 cm.”

Other key ports including Rotterdam are already under pressure, the report said.

“Countries will need to invest in increasing the efficiency and resilience of their ports and logistics infrastructure to keep up with growing demand for imports and consumption,” the report said, which was authored by think tank Economist Impact.

Ports highly susceptible to rises in sea levels such as Shanghai could establish flood defence systems similar to Holland’s Maeslant Barrier and London’s Thames Barrier, the LR spokesperson said.

“This would negate the need to constantly raise existing floodwalls every decade, which is a short-term and costly solution,” the spokesperson added.

Shipping accounts for nearly 3% of global CO2 emissions.

The industry is actively cutting its emissions by reducing its fossil fuel consumption, the LR spokesperson said, adding that it remains fragmented.

“The average shipowner owns circa five ships. As a consequence, not all players are good at gathering data. There can also be a reluctance to share data. Forecasting relies on having access to solid and relevant datasets.”

The report was launched ahead London International Shipping Week, which starts on Sept. 11.


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Climate Change

Singapore opens research center to fight rising sea levels



(Last Updated On: September 7, 2023)

Singapore launched a research facility on Thursday to find long-term solutions to protect it from the rise in sea levels from climate change that could put the country’s low-lying land at risk of inundation.

Singapore’s new Coastal Protection and Flood Resilience Institute (CFI Singapore) aims to bring in expertise and innovation to head off what government officials describe as the “existential threat” posed by rising sea levels, now increasing at a rate of around 3-4 millimeters a year, Reuters reported.

Average sea levels are forecast to rise by one meter by the end of the century, but experts say the effects could be exacerbated by changing rainfall patterns, higher tides and more intense storm surges.

“If we don’t do this well, our lives are at stake,” Grace Fu, Singapore’s environment minister, said at the opening of the center.

Nearly a third of the Southeast Asian island nation’s territory is only five meters or less above sea level, and with average annual rainfall at around 2,500 millimeters, it is already vulnerable to flooding.

Singapore has invested heavily to improve drainage and has built flood prevention infrastructure, including seawalls, tidal gates, and revetments to protect against erosion. It also launched a S$5 billion ($3.66 billion) coastal and flood protection fund in 2020.

CFI Singapore, a joint initiative by PUB, Singapore’s water agency, and the National University of Singapore, has already launched research projects looking at new engineering possibilities like flexible seawalls as well as nature-based solutions using mangroves or seagrass to protect coastlines.

Experts said the bottom line for Singapore is to ensure that none of the country’s land would be lost to rising sea levels. Future land reclamation projects would also be designed to protect against sea encroachment.

Fu said better protection against rising sea levels could also help “land-scarce” Singapore reclaim more territory.

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