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Friday, January 1, 2021

Cyclone Nivar brings rains to Chennai - floods washed through Mars 4 billion years ago !!

It is raining heavily now ! in Chennai and in social media messages of an impending cyclone and what one should do, including stocking of food is ripe ! ~ remember in my school days, in 1976, there was a cyclone that ravaged the city and cine stars collected fund from commoners for relief work at Kotturpuram. In a decade and half, we have seen, Bob05, Fanoos, Nisha, Jal,  Thane, Nilam,  Madi, Roanu, Kyant, Nada,  Vardah, Ockhi,  Gaja … as Nivar is threatening now.

Many a times, during November, there would be talks of Cyclone too – but they would not make a landfall in Chennai but eventually move towards coastal Andhra Pradesh crossing at Nellore, Ongloe, Masulipatnam, Kakinada, Vizag or move farther towards Orissa, West Bengal.

The low pressure area over the south Bay of Bengal has concentrated into a depression and lay over Southwest Bay of Bengal at about 9.5°N and 84.2°E at about 560km south-southeast of Puducherry and 590 km south-southeast of Chennai at about 08:30 IST of 23.11.2020. It is very likely to intensify into a cyclonic storm during next 24 hours. It is very likely to move northwestwards, intensify further into severe cyclonic storm and cross Tamil Nadu and Puducherry coasts between Karaikal and Mamallapuram as a severe cyclonic storm with wind speed of 100 kmph-110 kmph gusting to 120 kmph around 25th November 2020 afternoon.  ~ reads the report of Indian Meteorological Department

 “It is very likely to intensify into a cyclonic storm during next 12 hours and into a severe cyclonic storm during subsequent 24 hours. It is very likely to move northwestwards and cross Tamil Nadu and Ousucherry coasts between Karaikal and Mamallapuram around Puducherry during November 25 evening as a severe cyclonic storm with a wind speed of 100-110 kmph gusting to 120 kmph,” IMD says. Chennai and surrounding areas started receiving rain from Monday night. Tamil Nadu chief minister Edappadi K Palaniswami today  announced suspension of intra and inter-district bus transport in Pudukkottai, Nagapattinam, Thanjavur, Cuddalore, Villupuram, Chengalpet and Tiruvallur districts from  November 24. The announcement comes into effect from 1pm (on Tuesday) onwards until further orders. Six teams of NDRF would camp in Cuddalore and two teams in Chennai with adequate machinery, the chief minister said in a statement.

Cyclones, floods are not new to humanity and not to the Universe !  -  Floods of unimaginable magnitude washed through Gale Crater on Mars around 4 billion years ago, raising the possibility life once existed on the Red Planet. Researchers from Jackson State University, Cornell University and the University of Hawaii worked with NASA to examine sediment data captured by the Curiosity Rover. Dubbed a 'raging megaflood' by scientists, it was likely caused by an asteroid or comet hitting the planet, heating and unleashing ice stored on the Martian surface. Water as much as 78ft deep raged across the crater at 32 feet per second, leaving behind gigantic ripples that are tell-tale structures familiar to scientists on Earth.

On Earth where water is found 'there is life', according to co-author Alberto G. Fairen, and on Mars four billion years ago microbial life may have developed, he said.  The close up image of rocks on Mars show changes in the bed interval including rounded coarse sand and pebble fragments suggesting water once flowed through the area.  The ripples created by flooding - also known as antidunes - are up to 30ft high and spread about 450ft apart, according to Ezat Heydari, co-author. As is the case on Earth, geological features including the work of water and wind have been frozen in time on Mars for about four billion years - they convey processes that shaped the surface of both planets in the distant past.  

In one instance that water entered Gale Crater, and when combined with water coming down from Mount Sharp in Gale Crater, produced gigantic flash floods. The antidunes seen in data from NASA Curiosity are identical to the features formed by melting ice on Earth about two million years ago, the researcher said. The water vapour and gases combined to produce a short warm and wet period that could have resulted in the development of life, researchers claim.  'The warm and wet climate persisted even after the flooding ended, but its duration cannot be determined by our study,' the team wrote in their paper. The condensation from the heat generated by the impact likely formed clouds of water vapour which created torrential rain - possibly across the planet.  An earlier study, also using data from Curiosity, revealed evidence of storms that filled lakes and rivers with rainfall on the planet - about four billion years ago. The findings have been published in the journal Scientific Reports. 

Pray that Cyclone Nivar gives rain and passes without causing harm to people and property, already under the stress of Covid 19. 

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

1 comment:

  1. Yes, ...."Pray that Cyclone Nivar gives rain and passes without causing harm to people and property, already under the stress of Covid 19