World China’s Tencent sorry for saying typhoon killed ‘nearly everyone’
But Tencent Video sent a news alert to its subscribers on Monday saying the typhoon had „killed nearly everyone” in the eastern province of Shandong and seven people were missing.
The alert cited the provincial emergency management department as the news source.
Shandong is one of China’s most populous provinces, with 99 million residents, according to a 2016 mini-census.
Minutes after pushing out the erroneous alert, Tencent Video apologised for the gaffe, saying it was caused by an editorial error and vowed to „strictly review” its content before publishing.
A corrected news flash followed, saying „Lekima has killed five people in Shandong”.
State news agency Xinhua said the rainfall recorded this weekend in Shandong province was the largest since records began in 1952.
Tencent Video is China’s biggest video-streaming platform with over 900 million active users on their mobile app and 89 million subscribers as of March.
Screenshots of the erroneous Tencent message were widely shared and ridiculed on China’s Twitter-like Weibo, with many users criticising the slip.
„You have an army of reviewers to erase even the slightest social protest. But you can’t check your own content at a time of a major disaster?” wrote one netizen.
Nepali officials reportedly may require climbers hoping to scale Mount Everest to prove their physical fitness, following a year that saw at least 11 people die on the mountain
Amateur climbers will be banned from scaling Everest under tough new proposals unveiled by Nepal in the wake of a spate of deaths on the world’s highest peak.
Training and experience in high altitude climbing must be mandatory for all climbers on mountain and other high peaks, a government panel said on Wednesday, following the deadliest climbing season in four years.
Eleven climbers were killed or went missing on the 8,850 metre (29,035 feet) mountain in May – nine on the Nepali side and two on the Tibetan side.
The Nepali panel – made up of government officials, climbing experts and agencies representing the climbing community – was set up after climbers and guides criticised officials after the deaths for allowing anyone who paid $11,000 to climb Everest.
Nepal is home to eight of the world’s 14 highest mountains, including Everest, and mountain climbing is a key source of employment and income for the cash strapped nation.
But the numbers attempting the climb in May led to crowding in the so-called death zone, where there are very low oxygen levels. That put lives at risk as oxygen cylinders ran out while up to 100 people waited in the queue.
Nepal issued 381 permits for Everest for this year’s climbing season, which tends to culimate in May, when the daylight and weather is the most forgiving.
„Climbers to Sagarmatha and other 8,000 metre mountains must undergo basic and high altitude climbing training,” the panel said in a report submitted to the government, referring to the Nepali name of Mount Everest.
The report said those hoping to climb Everest must climb at least one Nepali peak above 6,500 metres before getting a permit. Climbers must also submit a certificate of good health and physical fitness, and be accompanied by a trained Nepali guide, it said.
Ghanshyam Upadhyaya, a senior Tourism Ministry official, said the recommendations would be implemented.
„The government will now make the required changes in laws and regulations guiding mountain climbing,” he told Reuters.
Mira Acharya, a member of the panel said „climbers died due to altitude sickness, heart attack, exhaustion or weaknesses and not due to traffic jams”.She said the compulsory provision of guides for each climber was to discourage solo attempts which put lives at risk.A reliable weather forecasting system should be in place and rope fixing should be done in time, giving enough space for the climbers to use a window of good weather to reach the summit, the report said.The New York Times
This trend of high temperatures and heatwaves looks set to continue. Scientists say that as long as the world continues to emit greenhouse gases at the current rates, climate change related impacts will continue to be felt.
“If you put all of the Julys for the last 20 or 40 or 100 years, there’s a clear trend upward. That’s the concern — that long-term trend. Not a single day or single month in particular,” says Michael Allen, a climate scientist at Old Dominion University.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced the figures Thursday, confirming that worldwide, July was 1.71 degrees Fahrenheit (.95 degrees Celsius) warmer than the average of 56.9 degrees Fahrenheit. The record-setting July follows the hottest June on record, rising .71 degrees Fahrenheit (0.95 Celsius) above the average temperature for that month.
Regions across the world experienced record-breaking temperatures; the continent of Africa experienced its hottest month on record, and countries across Europe – including France, Belgium, Germany, Netherlands, and Luxembourg – experienced the hottest days in their nations’ history.
Announcing the figures, Deke Arndt of NOAA said that the land temperature was the second hottest on record, measured at 2.1 degrees Fahrenheit warmer than the average for July, while the ocean was the warmest on record for July, at around 1.5 degree Fahrenheit warmer than the 20th century average.
However, climate scientists say that while the high temperatures were troubling, the real problem is that they’re part of a larger pattern. Last month was the 43rd July in a row – and the 415th consecutive month – with temperatures about the 20th century average.
What’s causing the record-high temperatures?
According to NOAA, there are three big reasons why the global temperature was so hot.
First, if the global temperature is going to set a record, it’s mostly going to be in July, which worldwide is the hottest month of the year.
Second- there’s a normal amount of variability in the weather. The most significant factor was that earlier this year, El Niño warm weather conditions formed on the Pacific, causing warmer-than-average weather conditions.
However, NOAA and climate scientists agree that one of the most important reasons that the world is within striking distance of setting global temperatures is climate change. Arndt says that the records are “almost entirely due to climate change.”
NOAA scientists have warned rising greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere impacts the climate.
“Greenhouse gas pollution traps heat in the atmosphere, which has consequences,” James Butler, director of NOAA’s Global Monitoring Division, said in May. “There’s no getting around it — burning fossil fuels is changing the course of our planet’s future. How society deals with that will be a major challenge in coming decades.”
Where have the high temperatures have the biggest impact?
Hot temperatures have a particularly grave impact on Arctic regions, which can have serious global consequences.
The hot temperatures had a particularly grave impact on sea ice. The average sea ice on the Arctic was at a record low, dropping to 19.8% below average- breaking the previous historic low set in July 2012.
Twila Moon, a research scientist from the National Snow and Ice Data Center, tells TIME that while ice reflects the sun, but when it melts, the sun shines on dark land or water, which absorbs more heat.
When land ice melts, it also contributes to rising ocean levels, which can cause coastal erosion, inland flooding and contamination of freshwater.
“Changes in the Arctic and Antarctic, which feel very far away, actually are directly connected with the kinds of impacts that we can see here – with rising sea levels, with changing characters of storms,” Moon says.
In the United States, many of these impacts are visible in Alaska. This July was “easily” the state’s hottest month on record, according to Rick Thoman of the International Arctic Research Center. Many places experienced their hottest days on record; the city of Anchorage experienced its first 90 degree day.
Researchers determined that was no sea ice within 125 miles of the Alaskan coast, and there were reports of malnourished animals- including birds, seals, and walrus- washing up in the western part of the state.
Moon argues that a storm like Hurricane Barry – which caused record rainfall in Arkansas – may have been worsened by climate change. “Any storm that passes through is going to have a larger impact to create greater flooding and more extensive impacts than it could before,” Moon says.
What impact are the record-high temperatures having on cities?
The hot temperatures had various impacts in cities around the world.
Gary Chatelain, a meteorologist from the National Weather Service, said that heat waves can have negative health effects. “You are more likely to develop a heat illness quicker in this type of weather, when it’s really humid and hot,” Chatelain said.
Urban areas around the world experienced record temperatures this summer. After France experienced record temperatures in late June, about 4,000 schools closed and traffic restrictions were put in place to help the country cope with pollution, according to French news.
City residents in Russia’s Siberia region and in Anchorage, Alaska have also been forced to cope with plumes of smoke from major wildfires. In Russia, more than 17 million acres were scorched over two months. In Alaska, 2.4 million acres have burned.
Thoman said that while a source of ignition — such as a lightning strike — is necessary to start a wildfire, warm temperatures also play a role.
“In the sub-Arctic and the boreal forest, temperatures are really important,” Thoman said. “You would not expect, for instance, to get a big wildfire season when temperatures are below normal.”
Climate change forces Chile ski stations to make fake snow
Santiago (AFP) – Once deep in powder this time of year, Chile’s ski stations are fighting the ravages of climate change and pollution that have brought less and less snow to the central Andes.
Just a few decades ago, the Andes mountain range could be buried under four meters of snow, forcing the closure of access roads and requiring the use of tractors to get around.
But this year, it’s snowed only three times in the Chilean Andes, and never more than 30 centimeters.
It’s not just Chile affected, but the whole of the Andes where the area of snow cover in the central zone has diminished by five to 10 percent each decade, according to Raul Cordero, an academic at the University of Santiago.
„But it’s not just snow cover that’s decreasing, the thickness of the snow cover is also reducing,” he said.
„So when we talk about a decrease of the cover of five to 10 percent, this probably signifies a much greater reduction in the volume of available snow over the Andes.”
Rising temperatures mean the snow line — above which snow never melts all year round — keeps creeping upwards.
The snow melt is even more pronounced in the central zone due to pollution from the Chilean capital, one of the most contaminated urban areas in the region.
A recent study led by Cordero found that soot, or black carbon, from Santiago was settling in the Andes and accelerating the snow melt.
As it’s black, it absorbs more solar radiation and heats up quicker.
„When this pollution is over the cities it poisons people and when the wind blows, this pollution goes and is deposited on the mountains and contributes to the snow melt,” said Cordero.
– Essential snow cannons –
The upshot is that Chile’s ski stations have had a difficult season.
But thanks to the snow cannons, the erection of fences and a tailored piste management policy, the resorts have managed to stay open throughout a winter in which there has been almost no snow.
„All the ski centers in the central zone are without natural snow. However, thanks to the fabrication of snow we’ve been able to keep open pistes that without this fabrication would not have been able to stay open,” Fernando Montenegro, the operations director at Andacor, which operates the El Colorado and Parque Farellones ski stations, told AFP.
El Colorado is 50 kilometers from Santiago and sits at 2,800-meters. It pumps out snow whenever the conditions allow it.
Low temperatures and high humidity is what’s needed for the snow cannons to chug into gear and churn out snowflakes from water.
This technology has been around since 1994, but it’s never before been in use as much as it is now — and even then the ski station is only operating at 70 percent capacity.
But even if the situation gets worse, the ski stations will manage, according to Montenegro.
„There’s no risk. However, we need to manage the snow and manage the water in the mountain range in a good way.”
El Colorado has already invested almost $4 million in buying snow cannons and hopes to increase that to $10 million over the coming years.
– ‘Variety so important’ –
Last weekend, some 7,000 people descended on El Colorado where ski and snowboard national teams come to train — although, they’re not necessarily happy.
„If there’s not enough snow, there’s not as many hills. We don’t get the variety, we don’t get steepness, (or) different slopes: it’s so important for us to have that variety,” Megan Farrell, a member of the Canadian snowboard team, told AFP.
Amateur skiers also noticed the difference from previous years.
„You can see that the snow is harder. It’s not very deep, there are a lot of stones and snow made by the cannons, which makes it feel like you’re skiing on a different type of snow,” said Chilean Rado Milosevic, 24.
A Russian pilot has saved the lives of 226 people after being forced to make an emergency landing in a field near Moscow.
The crash landing happened just outside one of Moscow’s busiest airports on Thursday morning after the jet collided with a flock of birds.
At least 23 people, including five children, were injured but there were no fatalities among the 226 passengers crew of seven – Russian authorities said.
The Ural Airlines A321 hit the birds as it took off from Zhukovsky airport en route for Simferopol in Crimea.
The airline said the birds got into both of the plane’s engines, causing a malfunction.
The pilot then made an emergency landing in a cornfield about half a mile from the airport.