News: Gale-force winds, heavy rainfall and high tidal waves swept the coastal belt of Kerala, Karnataka and Goa as Cyclone Tauktae hurtled northwards towards Gujarat on Sunday, leaving at least five persons dead, damaging hundreds of houses, uprooting electricity poles and trees and forcing large-scale evacuation.
About Tropical Cyclone:
A tropical cyclone is a rapidly rotating storm system characterized by a low-pressure center, a closed low-level atmospheric circulation, strong winds, and a spiral arrangement of thunderstorms that produce heavy rain and/or squalls.
Depending on its location and strength, a tropical cyclone is referred to by different names, including hurricane, typhoon, tropical storm, cyclonic storm, tropical depression, or simply cyclone.
A hurricane is a tropical cyclone that occurs in the Atlantic Ocean and northeastern Pacific Ocean, and a typhoon occurs in the northwestern Pacific Ocean; in the south Pacific or Indian Ocean, comparable storms are referred to simply as “tropical cyclones” or “severe cyclonic storms”.
“Tropical” refers to the geographical origin of these systems, which form almost exclusively over tropical seas.
“Cyclone” refers to their winds moving in a circle, whirling round their central clear eye, with their winds blowing counterclockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere. The opposite direction of circulation is due to the Coriolis effect.
Tropical cyclones typically form over large bodies of relatively warm water. They derive their energy through the evaporation of water from the ocean surface, which ultimately recondenses into clouds and rain when moist air rises and cools to saturation.
The strong rotating winds of a tropical cyclone are a result of the conservation of angular momentum imparted by the Earth’s rotation as air flows inwards toward the axis of rotation. As a result, they rarely form within 5° of the equator. Tropical cyclones are almost unknown in the South Atlantic due to a consistently strong wind shear and a weak Intertropical Convergence Zone.
At the center of a mature tropical cyclone, air sinks rather than rises. For a sufficiently strong storm, air may sink over a layer deep enough to suppress cloud formation, thereby creating a clear “eye”.
The cloudy outer edge of the eye is called the “eyewall”. The eyewall is where the greatest wind speeds are found, air rises most rapidly, clouds reach their highest altitude, and precipitation is the heaviest.
2. UNITED NATIONS SECURITY COUNCIL (UNSC)
News: Israeli strikes killed at least 42 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip on Sunday, the worst daily death toll yet in the almost week-long clashes, as the UN Security Council met amid global alarm at the escalating conflict.
About United Nations Security Council (UNSC):
The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) is one of the six principal organs of the United Nations (UN), charged with ensuring international peace and security, recommending the admission of new UN members to the General Assembly, and approving any changes to the UN Charter.
Its powers include establishing peacekeeping operations, enacting international sanctions, and authorizing military action. The UNSC is the only UN body with the authority to issue binding resolutions on member states.
Like the UN as a whole, the Security Council was created after World War II to address the failings of the League of Nations in maintaining world peace.
It held its first session on 17 January 1946, and in the ensuing decades was largely paralyzed by the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union and their respective allies.
Nevertheless, it authorized military interventions in the Korean War and the Congo Crisis and peacekeeping missions in the Suez Crisis, Cyprus, and West New Guinea.
With the collapse of the Soviet Union, UN peacekeeping efforts increased dramatically in scale, with the Security Council authorizing major military and peacekeeping missions in Kuwait, Namibia, Cambodia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Rwanda, Somalia, Sudan, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
The Security Council consists of fifteen members, of which five are permanent: China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America.
These were the great powers, or their successor states, that were the victors of World War II. Permanent members can veto any substantive resolution, including those on the admission of new member states to the United Nations or nominees for the office of Secretary-General.
The remaining ten members are elected on a regional basis to serve a term of two years. The body’s presidency rotates monthly among its members.
The Security Council’s five permanent members, below, have the power to veto any substantive resolution; this allows a permanent member to block adoption of a resolution, but not to prevent or end debate.