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Cloud burst in Himalayas quite immense



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A new research said ,the snowfall and rain in the Himalayas is about twice as high as commonly assumed.

The research in the Indus basin by scientists from Utrecht University, Future Water and the International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) led to the findings important for water management and climate change impact assessments.

The upper Indus is supposedly very dry, yet the largest glaciers outside the polar regions are located in that area and seemed contradicting. It gave us the idea for the study, said lead author Walter Immerzeel.

“We calculated how much precipitation is required to sustain those large glaciers and the results were spectacular. In the most extreme case, a more than tenfold amount of snow is required than what was previously thought,” he said.

In order to derive this information, the researchers combined satellite observations, a computer model and observations from the ground.

The Himalayas and adjacent mountain ranges are an important source of water for more than 25 percent of the global population.

However, it was unknown how much snow and rain falls in those vast mountain ranges, because of the lack of observations and the inaccessibility of the terrain.

Understanding how much water is available in the source areas of Asia’s large rivers is of crucial importance. The rivers confirm the findings.

“In the absence of snow and rain measurements at high altitude in the Indus, we needed another way to confirm our findings,”

“We use observations of river flow and the results confirmed that the amount of water in the rivers can only be explained if the amount of snow and rain is as high as we estimated,” he said.

The Indus basin, which stretches over 1.1 million sq km and is shared by Afghanistan, China, India and Pakistan, with the upper portion resting in the Hindu Kush, Karakorum and Himalayan ranges, irrigation scheme is the largest in the world and it is fed primarily by melt water.

“Since so much of the food production in the Indus depends on glaciers and snow, this shows again how sensitive this area is to climate change,” said Marc Bierkens, professor of Hydrology at Utrecht University.

“Our findings will have important bearing on climate change impact studies and water management in this important trans-boundary river basin,” he said.

The research titled ‘Reconciling high-altitude precipitation in the upper Indus basin with glacier mass balances and runoff’.

While Utrecht University is the Netherlands based, Future Water is a research organization that works throughout the world, and Kathmandu-headquartered ICIMOD is a regional inter-governmental centre and works in the Hindu Kush-Himalayan region.

wefornews bureau


Tesla plans to supply FDA-approved ventilators free of cost



Tesla CEO Elon Musk

San Francisco, April 1 : Tesla CEO Elon Musk has announced that he and his companies have access to additional FDA-approved ventilators that can be shipped free of cost to hospitals within regions where the electric car maker delivers.

“We have extra FDA-approved ventilators. Will ship to hospitals worldwide within Tesla delivery regions. Device and shipping cost are free. Only requirement is that the vents are needed immediately for patients, not stored in a warehouse. Please or @Tesla know,” Musk tweeted on Tuesday.

The need for additional ventilators has taken center stage in the ongoing fight against the spread of coronavirus and the ventilator has become a critical first line of defense for patients infected by the virus.

Musk had offered 1,255 ventilators for free to help fight COVID-19 pandemic.

He has also donated 50,000 N95 surgical masks and various protective items to a hospital in the US.

Additionally, Musk said that the company’s Gigafactory facility in New York will soon reopen to begin producing ventilators that are in short supply due to the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Russian doctor who met Putin last week diagnosed with coronavirus

The Kremlin said that Putin was being regularly tested for coronavirus and that “everything is okay,” the RIA news agency reported.



Russian Doctor with Putin

MOSCOW : A doctor who gave Russian President Vladimir Putin a tour of Moscow’s main coronavirus hospital last week said on Tuesday he had himself been diagnosed with the virus.

Putin visited the Kommunarka hospital last Tuesday where he chatted to the doctor, Denis Protsenko. Neither man was wearing protective equipment during their conversation, TV footage from the visit showed.

Protsenko, writing on Facebook said: “Yes, I have tested positive for coronavirus, but I feel pretty good. I’ve isolated myself in my office. I think the immunity I’ve developed this month is doing its job.”

The Kremlin said that Putin was being regularly tested for coronavirus and that “everything is okay,” the RIA news agency reported.

It has previously said that Putin is being protected from viruses and other illnesses “around the clock”.

Putin donned a hazmat suit and a respirator during his visit to the hospital last week when dropping in on patients. But he did not have his protective gear on during a meeting with Protsenko, with whom he was photographed shaking hands.

The Kremlin reported a coronavirus case in Putin’s administration on Friday, but said the person in question had not come into contact with the president and that all measures were being taken to prevent the virus from spreading further.

Russian lawmakers on Tuesday granted the government powers to declare a national emergency over the coronavirus, and approved penalties for violations of lockdown rules including, in extreme cases, jail terms of up to seven years.

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Death toll from COVID-19 passes 40,000 worldwide

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, in a press conference on Tuesday, said that the state will hit the peak of its COVID-19 spread in seven to 21 days.





Washington, April 1 : The death toll from COVID-19 has passed 40,000 worldwide, according to the tally from Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE).

As of 2.30 p.m. Eastern Time (1830 GMT), nations and regions have reported a total of 40,708 deaths from COVID-19, along with more than 826,000 confirmed cases, while more than 174,000 people have recovered from the disease, an interactive map maintained by the CSSE showed on Tuesday, reported Xinhua news agency.

The United States has the most cases in the world, which have exceeded 170,000, while Italy, the second nation with more than 100,000 cases, has seen the most deaths, now standing at 12,428, according to the update.

In the United States, New York state, the epicentre of the nation’s outbreak, has reported both the most cases and the most deaths, which have respectively topped 75,000 and 1,550.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, in a press conference on Tuesday, said that the state will hit the peak of its COVID-19 spread in seven to 21 days.

“This does me no good,” Cuomo said. “The range is too broad.”

In addition, the governor said states are bidding against each other to obtain ventilators, devices that can deliver breaths of oxygenated air to patients who are unable to breathe sufficiently on their own, saying that “it’s like being on Ebay.”

Anthony Fauci, a key member the White House’s COVID-19 task force, said on Tuesday that they are examining whether to recommend more widespread usage of face masks to mitigate the spread of virus.

“You don’t want to take masks away from the health care providers who are in a real and present danger of getting infected,” Fauci told CNN’s Jim Sciutto on “Newsroom.”

“But when we get in a situation where we have enough masks, I believe there will be some very serious consideration about more broadening this recommendation of using masks,” the nation’s top infectious disease expert said. “We’re not there yet, but I think we’re close to coming to some determination.”

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