Damage caused by intense rains in Delhi

(Mihir Singh/Instagram)

Here are the top stories of the week.

Weather

IMD’s Updated Forecast Predicts An Even Wetter Monsoon 2022; Seasonal Rainfall to Be 103% of Long-Period Average

As per IMD’s long-range forecast, the expected rainfall for this upcoming monsoon season is likely to be 103% of the Long Period Average (LPA). Most parts of the country will likely receive normal to above-normal rainfall, although some areas in the northeast, east, east-central and extreme southwest peninsular India may be in for below-normal precipitation. Read more.

Sci-Simplified: What’s the Deal With Recurring Assam Floods? Can We Manage Them?

For Assam, a wetter-than-normal pre-monsoon season has led to multiple bouts of flooding across the state. However, heavy rains alone are not to blame, as the state’s location, geography, and the presence of the fearsome Brahmaputra river collectively make Assam incredibly flood-prone. For a detailed analysis on the cause and management of Assam floods, continue reading here.

“A Scene From A Nature Documentary!” — Unexpected Thundershowers, Stormy Winds Stun Delhi on May 30

This week began with heavy pre-monsoon showers and intense hailstorms lashing parts of Delhi. And while they provided respite from the scorching heat, the stormy conditions caused havoc in the national capital — flooding roads, causing traffic jams, uprooting trees, breaking windows and AC units, and even impacting flight operations. Full story.

Char Dham Yatra: With 108 Fatalities Observed in Just 27 Days This Year, Experts Explain the Cause of This Death Spike

Kedarnath (Piyal B/BCCL Delhi)

Kedarnath

(Piyal B/BCCL Delhi)

Char Dham Yatra — the tour of four Uttarakhand-based Hindu shrines, viz. Yamunotri, Gangotri, Kedarnath and Badrinath — is considered a symbol of salvation in Hinduism. But year on year, the Char Dham devotees are known to succumb to the harsh weather conditions during the pilgrimage. This year, however, the yatra has already killed 108 people in just 27 days! Experts explain the reason behind the spike here.

Environment and Wildlife

Bees Are the New Fish! California Court’s Curious Decision is Sure to Put a Bee in Your Bonnet

In what may seem as the most bizarre news of the week, the California court in the US has officially categorised bumble bees as a type of fish.

“Although the term fish is colloquially and commonly understood to refer to aquatic species, the term of art employed by the Legislature in the definition of fish…is not so limited,” reads the decision. Thus, the Crotch’s bumblebee, Franklin’s bumblebee, Suckley cuckoo bumblebee, and Western bumblebee have been added to the state’s endangered species list and align with the court’s new definition of fish. Read

Dinosaur Special

Dragon of Death: Fossil of Deadly Flying Reptile that Dominated Skies 86 Million Years Ago Unearthed in Argentina

 The aptly named Thanatosdrakon "dragon of death" pterosaur was a flying reptile that lived alongside dinosaurs during the Cretaceous period. (Leonardo D. Ortiz David/National University of Cuyo)

The aptly named Thanatosdrakon “dragon of death” pterosaur was a flying reptile that lived alongside dinosaurs during the Cretaceous period.

(Leonardo D. Ortiz David/National University of Cuyo)

Dinosaur fossil findings always seem to be intriguing, and this finding is no different. Recently, an 86 million-year-old fossil of a deadly flying dinosaur was unearthed in Argentina. Researchers suspect it is among the first creatures on Earth that used wings for hunting its prey and feeding on birds. More details.

Climate Change

Climate Change-Induced Droughts in Iraq Lead to Reemergence of 3400-Year-Old Submerged City

Iraq is among the countries facing the direst consequences of climate change, as its ongoing drought situation has been exacerbated by the crisis. But earlier this year, the climate catastrophe unearthed an unexpected surprise, as a waterbody’s falling water levels coughed up a 3,400-year-old submerged city of Zakhiku! Know more.

Health

World No Tobacco Day: Movie Stars Continue to Promote Tobacco Products Via Surrogate Advertising and On-Screen Smoking

Yash in K.G.F Chapter 2. (YouTube Screenshot/Bollywood Tashan)

Yash in K.G.F Chapter 2.

(YouTube Screenshot/Bollywood Tashan)

Despite the sufficient awareness around the hazardous cancer-causing effects of tobacco, its usage never seems to stop completely. But who is to blame? On World No Tobacco Day, we exposed the dark side of the film industry and advertising agencies that promote tobacco products under the guise of surrogate advertising and on-screen smoking. More details.

Space

Watch the Sky: 2022’s First Supermoon, Micromoon, Solstice, Meteor Shower and Other Must-See Astronomical Events in June

While there’s a high chance that the overcast conditions throughout the month may not allow you to ‘watch the sky’, the luck factor may just knock on your doors! It’s worth being on the lookout for a supermoon, a micromoon, some planetary conjunctions, a meteor shower and more! Here’s a detailed list of celestial events in June.

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