Parts of New York are Sinking, Says a Study

A study has found that New York City is sinking due to the weight of its high-rise buildings. According to the report, the sea level around the US city is gradually rising.

The study, published in the journal Earth’s Future, claimed that the sea level around New York City has been rising more than twice as fast as the global rate. The study projected that the sea level would rise between 8 inches and 30 inches by 2050. In addition, scientists expect more frequent and extreme rainfalls and hurricanes in the region due to the human-induced climate crisis.

There are more than 10 lakh buildings across the five boroughs of New York City that weigh about 1.68 trillion pounds (762 billion kilograms) — equivalent to roughly 1.9 million fully loaded Boeing 747-400s. The researchers used simulation to calculate the effects of this weight on the ground. The analysis revealed that the city is sinking on average about 1 to 2 millimeters, with land subsidence in some areas occurring at the rate of 4.5 mm a year. The research also found some areas of lower Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens to be sinking at a faster than average rate.

US Firm Plans to Offer Weddings in Space at ₹1 Crore Per Person

Space Perspective, a US space travel company, plans to offer the first-ever space weddings. Its revolutionary Neptune spacecraft offers couples a rare chance to embark on a truly unique journey to the edge of space, providing them with an unforgettable experience complete with unparalleled views of our planet, for ₹1 crore per person.

The space expedition has already found takers, who are eager to exchange their sacred vows under the stars. The spacecraft is designed to lift off the ground at a gentle pace of 12 mph making the experience accessible to anyone who is medically fit to fly with a commercial airline. Hence, the couples need not be worried about being blasted off into space like an astronaut.

The spacecraft is propelled by renewable hydrogen, with no rockets or associated carbon footprint, ensuring an eco-friendly journey to the heavens. It is also fitted with massive porthole windows which are sure to be a special backdrop for wedding photos. These windows are the biggest windows flown into space and feature a hyper-resistant material and a special anti-UV coating, the company says.

The out of this world journey is anticipated to be the six-hour trip, which will be able to carry passengers 1,000 feet above the Earth and then bring them back down. The company says it has already sold 1,000 seats and intends to debut in 2024.

Global Temperatures Set To Make Records in Next Five Years

Global temperatures are likely to surge to record levels in the next five years, energised by greenhouse gases and a naturally occurring El Niño event, said a new update issued by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) in Geneva on 17 May 2023.

There is a 66 percent likelihood that the annual average near-surface global temperature between 2023 and 2027 will be more than 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels for at least one year.  There is a greater chance, of 98 percent, that at least one of the next five years, and the five-year period as a whole, will be the warmest on record.

“This report does not mean that we will permanently exceed the 1.5°C level specified in the Paris Agreement, which refers to long-term warming over many years. However, WMO is sounding the alarm that we will breach the 1.5°C level on a temporary basis with increasing frequency,” said WMO Secretary-General Prof. Petteri Taalas.

A warming El Niño is expected to develop in the coming months, and in combination with human-induced climate change to push global temperatures into uncharted territory. This will have far-reaching repercussions for health, food security, water management and the environment, said Prof. Taalas.

New Study of Uranus’ Large Moons Shows 4 May Hold Oceans

Four of Uranus’ largest moons may contain an ocean layer between their cores and icy crusts, suggests a re-analysis of data from NASA’s Voyager spacecraft, along with new computer modeling. The work explores how oceans could exist in unlikely places in our solar system.

The study is the first to detail the evolution of the interior make-up and structure of all five large moons of the planet: Ariel, Umbriel, Titania, Oberon, and Miranda.  The planet is surrounded by its four major rings and 10 of its 27 known moons in this colour-added view that uses data taken by the Hubble Space Telescope in 1998. A study featuring new modeling shows that four of Uranus’ large moons likely contain internal oceans that could be dozens of miles deep.

Published in the Journal of Geophysical Research, the new work could inform how a future mission might investigate the moons; the paper also has implications that go beyond Uranus, said lead author Julie Castillo-Rogez of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California.

The study revisited findings from NASA’s Voyager 2 flybys of Uranus in the 1980s and from ground-based observations. The researchers built computer models infused with additional findings from NASA’s Galileo, Cassini, Dawn, and New Horizons (each of which discovered ocean worlds), including insights into the chemistry and the geology of Saturn’s moon Enceladus, Pluto and its moon Charon, and Ceres – all planetary icy bodies around the same size as the Uranian moons.

Asia Heatwave Gets 30 Times More Likely due to Climate Change

The record-breaking humid heat wave that hit east and north India, Bangladesh, Laos and Thailand in April was made at least 30 times more likely by climate change, said a rapid attribution analysis by scientists of the World Weather Attribution (WWA) on May 17.

The analysis by the international team of scientists said that a highly vulnerable, large population was subjected to a deadly combination of high heat and humidity, which amplified the impacts in early summer this year. People across South Asia during a four-day period between April 17 and 20 were exposed to a heat index or ‘feels like’ temperature of over 41 degree C and some areas mainly in Laos recorded heat index of over 54 degree C which can be deadly, scientists said. WWA’s report corresponded with a statement issued by World Meteorological Organisation warning that there is a 66% chance that the annual average global temperature between 2023 and 2027 will be more than 1.5 degree C above pre-industrial levels for at least one year.

India and Pakistan also experienced a severe heat spell last March and April. The 2022 heatwave is estimated to have led to around 90 deaths across the two countries; triggered an extreme Glacial Lake Outburst Flood in northern Pakistan; forest fires in India; reduced India’s wheat crop yields; power outages that impacted millions of people. WWA scientists had said the climate crisis had made such an event 30 times more likely.

UAE’s New Snow Park to Open on June 8

The United Arab Emirates’ newest snow park, Snow Abu Dhabi at Reem Mall, will open to the public on June 8.

Spread over 10,000 sq.ft., the indoor snow park, Snow Abu Dhabi will maintain a temperature of -2ºC and have a snow depth of 500 mm. It will have 12 exciting rides and 17 attractions. Its attractions include two giant slides: Ice and Floes Toboggan Race and Grauppel’s Summit Escape. Innovative rides at Snow Abu Dhabi include The Entry Plaza, the Polar Express Train, the Flight of the Snowy Owl, the Magic Carpet, and the Crystal Carousel, said Reem Mall in an announcement on Instagram on May 11. There will also be restaurants within the park, including The Lodge Restaurant, Ice Cafe, and Grotto Amphitheater.

Snow Abu Dhabi will be part of Reem Mall – a billion-dollar project that will house hundreds of retail and food outlets once complete. Dubai-based company Majid Al Futtaim operates the sub-zero snow and ice park, which maintains a freezing temperature of minus 2 degrees Celsius. In February, Majid Al Futtaim Entertainment announced the official opening of Snow Oman, its third indoor snow park in the region.

Dubai to be Home to One of the World’s Largest Residential Towers

Al Habtoor Group has announced that it is constructing one of the world’s largest residential buildings in Dubai. The 81-storey building overlooking the Burj Khalifa will have 1,701 apartments over a built-up area of 35.17 lakh square feet. The value of the multibillion dirham development was not disclosed.

The building is scheduled to be completed within three years, said Khalaf Al Habtoor, Founding Chairman, Al Habtoor Group. “As a former builder/contractor, I am excited to be driving the first piles of the project into the ground and revealing some of the novel technical details of the construction techniques used in the Habtoor Tower, and very proud that it will be delivered at the highest quality in record time,” he said.

The company said it is in the final stages of selecting the main contractor for the project, and bids have been received from businesses in the UAE, China, India and Europe. An “innovative construction technique” will lead to a “substantial saving in carbon dioxide emissions,” he added.

Dubai is home to some of the most famous and biggest developments. The emirate has two of the top five tallest residential buildings in the world — the 413.7m Princess Tower and the 392.8m 23 Marina, both in Dubai Marina. The Princes Tower is the third-tallest building in Dubai, after Burj Khalifa and Marina 101, which is under construction.

Nepali Sherpa Becomes World’s Second Person to Scale Everest 26 Times

A Nepali sherpa guide climbed Mount Everest for the 26th time on May 14, becoming the world’s second person to accomplish the feat. Pasang Dawa Sherpa, 46, now shares the record with Kami Rita Sherpa, said Bigyan Koirala, a government tourism official. Dawa reached the top of the 8,849-m (29,032-ft) peak with a Hungarian.

Sherpas are known for their climbing skills and make a living primarily by guiding foreign clients in the mountains.

Many foreigners aim for the Everest summit during the climbing season, which runs from March to May. Nepal has issued a record number of 467 permits this year for foreign climbers seeking to reach the summit of Everest. Each climber is usually accompanied by at least one sherpa guide, fuelling fears that a narrow section below the summit, known as the Hillary Step, could get crowded.

In 2021, Nepal’s Department of Tourism issued 409 Everest permits. The number dropped to 325 in 2022 as the Russia-Ukraine war prevented potential climbers from Russia, Ukraine, Poland and some European countries from coming to Nepal.

Mount Everest has been climbed more than 11,000 times since it was first scaled by Sir Edmund Hillary and Sherpa Tenzing Norgay in 1953, with about 320 people dying in the effort, according to a Himalayan database and Nepali officials.

World’s Longest Underwater Tunnel between Germany and Denmark to ) pen by 2029

Denmark and Germany will be linked by an 18-kilometre-long underwater tunnel by 2029. The Fehmarnbelt Tunnel will be the longest combined rail and road tunnel anywhere in the world. The €10 billion project, which crosses a stretch of the Baltic Sea, will connect Rødbyhavn on the Danish island of Lolland and Puttgarden in northern Germany.

The tunnel, officially called the Fehmarnbelt Fixed Link, will have two double-lane motorways and two electrified rail tracks. The journey through it will take seven minutes by train and 10 minutes by car, avoiding a 160-kilometre detour across the Danish mainland. Rail travel times from Hamburg, Germany to Copenhagen, Denmark will be cut from around five hours to less than three. A road link will replace a busy ferry service that carries millions of passengers a year, reducing commutation time by almost an hour.

The tunnel will be put together 40 metres below the Baltic Sea using 89 massive concrete sections. These sections will be pre-built on land and then lowered into the water. The state-owned Danish company in charge of the project hopes to immerse the first of these sections by 2024. Once in place, the concrete sections will be fitted together, and other elements such as railway tracks, ventilation and cameras will be installed.

Linda Yaccarino to be New Twitter CEO

Elon Musk on May 12 said that Linda Yaccarino will be the new CEO of Twitter, and will primarily focus on business operations, while Musk will focus more on product design and new technology. In the next six weeks, Musk will step down as the Twitter CEO to make way for the new leader.

Yaccarino has been with NBCUniversal for more than 20 years and has held many leadership positions. Currently, she is responsible for NBCUniversal’s global advertising and partnerships businesses. She is the first female Twitter CEO and the first to come from a non-tech background. All ex-Twitter CEOs were from a tech background. Earlier on Friday, she announced that she was leaving her role as chairman of global advertising and partnerships at NBCUniversal.

As CEO, Yaccarino will face a variety of challenges such as an advertiser exodus, service disruptions, regulatory scrutiny, and a growing list of rivals. Musk’s controversial policy changes and statements have also alienated some long-time Twitter users.

Even as Musk steps back from the CEO role, he will likely still maintain significant control over the future direction of the company. Musk previously said he would serve as the company’s executive chairman and CTO, as well as being the owner of the platform.