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CNN10 2020-10-16

CNN 10

Coronavirus Cases Rise in Most U.S. States; A La Nina Forms in the Pacific; Thousands More Satellites are Headed for Space. Aired 4-4:10a ET

Aired October 16, 2020 - 04:00:00 聽 ET


CARL AZUZ, CNN 10 ANCHOR: After a thorough analysis of weekdays compiled over decades of experience, our independent study has concluded that Fridays are awesome. I'm Carl Azuz. We're happy to have you watching this Friday, October 16th.

Like several nations in Europe we told you about earlier this week, many parts of the United States are seeing an increase in coronavirus cases.

It's not spreading evenly, as you can see on this map. The recorded number of new cases is increasing in states. It's holding steady in states and dropping in three.

In the coming days, the nation of India is expected to surpass America in total COVID infections. The Asian country's cases are rising and its population is four times that of the U.S.

But at this point, America has seen more positive tests than any other country. It's recorded 7.9 million diagnoses since record-keeping began early this year and more than 217,000 deaths have been blamed on the disease in America.

When you look at these numbers the death rate may appear higher than it really is. The reason being that as many as 40 percent of people who catch the virus have no symptoms and many of them may not get tested. There are also people who do have symptoms but think it's just a cold and don't get tested.

Based on statistics that came out this summer, more than percent of people who catch coronavirus survive it though it is more deadly than the flu.

Some American businesses and communities have strict laws in place, limiting public gatherings and requiring masks. In others, people can be seen in crowded areas without masks, getting back to business as usual.

So the restrictions and the reactions to the disease are vastly different from place to place, but health officials say the threat of spreading the virus goes up as fall temperatures come down.


DR. LEANA WEN, CNN MEDICAL ANALYST: Why do we expect COVID-19 infections to increase in winter months?

There are three major reasons.

First, the virus that causes COVID-19 is a coronavirus and other coronaviruses spread more in winter months. That's the seasonal variation we see for the common cold and for other respiratory viruses so we expect to see the same pattern with this novel coronavirus too.

Second, in winter months, the air is less humid. Particles that carry the virus can linger in the air for longer. Also our nasal membranes are drier and more vulnerable to infection.

Third, as the weather gets colder, people will spend more time indoors. We know that being outdoors versus indoors can reduce the risk of transmission for COVID-19 by 18 to 19 times. That's because the particles that carry the virus get diffused by circulating air, when people are gathered indoors in tight spaces without good ventilation that increases the likelihood of spread.

All of this is why we need to stay extra vigilant in the winter months. If you're seeing friends and extended family, stay outdoors as much as you can. If you need to be indoors, keep the windows open. Check your ventilation and keep the air circulating, make sure everyone has a mask on if you're outdoors and cannot maintain a six foot distance or anytime you're indoors with people who are not in your immediate household.


AZUZ: Winter predictions are next. If you were to draw a horizontal line through the center of the United States, relatively warm and dry conditions are expected south of that line in the months ahead. Warmer temperatures are also expected in the U.S. Northeast.

This prediction is according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration or NOAA, and it's making that forecast based on something called La Nina. This is a natural cooling of ocean surface temperatures in the Pacific.

And CNN 10 contributor Tyler Mauldin explains how it forms.


TYLER MAULDIN, CNN 10 CONTRIBUTOR: Forecasters at the Climate Prediction Center, Carl, expect La Nina conditions to have a major impact on our winter weather here in the U.S. This year's La Nina could be on the stronger side too.

A La Nina watch is issued when a La Nina could soon form. Our watch however was recently upgraded to a La Nina advisory, meaning it's here now and expected to continue.

There's an approximately percent chance this La Nina could continue right through the months of December, January and February. I would say those are pretty good odds, wouldn't you?

So let's talk about what a La Nina is and how it impacts the world's weather.

Let's start in the Pacific Ocean. This is where the action happens. During a La Nina, the trade winds which blow from east to west get a lot stronger.

This affects both the ocean and the atmosphere.

In the ocean, warm waters get pushed to the West Pacific due to the more intense wind, allowing cool water to bubble up to the surface of the East Central Pacific. In the air, the Walker circulation gets stronger which is the circulation of air rising over the warm waters and sinking back down over those cooler waters. The jet stream is reshaped as a result, changing our weather patterns.

Its impacts are felt far and wide too not just in the U.S. but around the world. It's to blame this year for more hurricanes in the Atlantic, flooding in Australia, you name it.



AZUZ (voice-over): Ten-second trivia:

Which of these words comes from a Latin term meaning "track" or 'rut"?

Orbit, path, circulate or route?

The answer here is orbit, which usually follows a curved track around something in space.


AZUZ: In addition to millions of pieces of space junk like used rocket stages, parts of spacecraft and old broken satellites, there are roughly 3,000 working satellites orbiting the Earth and more are about to join them as part of a single mission to give more people access to broadband internet.

It's called Starlink it's being launched by the space flight company SpaceX, and it could add between 12,000 and 30,000 satellites to low earth orbit.

Here's CNN 10 contributor Chris James -- Chris.


CHRIS JAMES, CNN 10 CONTRIBUTOR: Hey, Carl, on the clearest of nights, I love looking up into the sky to see if I can spot a satellite or space object making its way across the dark horizon. But experts are raising the red flag about a growing problem that could change the future of space as we know it.

The issue: space is getting too crowded.

For decades, researchers have been worried that growing congestion in space could have devastating consequences. This theory is known as Kessler syndrome which says that if space traffic becomes too dense, one single collision between two objects could set off a catastrophic domino effect that would essentially turn the space around Earth into an extraterrestrial wasteland.

By the way, this was the main plot line in that film "Gravity".

Robert Beck, the CEO of a launch startup company called Rocket Lab, says that his company is having a very difficult time finding clear paths for rockets to launch new satellites due to the sheer number of objects in space right now, especially considering SpaceX's rapidly growing Starlink constellation.

SpaceX has said that they are determined to being responsible stewards of outer space and the company has equipped its Starlink satellites with the ability to automatically get out of the way just in case. There are oncoming objects.

And once operational, the SpaceX system could make Internet access available to the billions of people around the world who don't have it. As exciting as that prospect sounds, the odds of avoiding disaster only become slimmer with each new satellite launch, according to one expert who says that he's optimistic that we can avoid Kessler syndrome so long as these companies agree to abide by certain rules and norms of behavior.

Back to you, Carl.



AZUZ: One word, SquidBot. This is a project at the University of California San Diego. It's a soft robot that can push itself through the water. It can also carry a camera to keep tabs on what's happening under the waves.

Soft robots can be less damaging to marine life than other robots, and while SquidBot is faster than other soft robots, its speed tops out at about half a mile per hour, real squids can squirt along at 24 miles per hour.

Plus, it probably takes an awful lot of squid -- I mean quid -- to take a shot with SquidBot, that is unless you ink a special deal. I mean, paying full prices for suckers.

Now, before you inverte-berate me, I'm going to go ahead and squid while I'm ahead. That's enough squidding around, and we got a squid-daddle anyway.

Shout out to Chapel School in So Paulo, Brazil. We received your request on our YouTube channel.

I'm Carl Azuz. Have a great weekend from all of us here at CNN 10.