• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Critically Examine the View that Natural Hazards Appear to be Occurring with Increasing.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Sarah Lee 13L 26th March Critically Examine the View that Natural Hazards Appear to be Occurring with Increasing Frequency Firstly, I think that it is important to define what a 'natural hazard' actually is. John Whittau describes it as, 'A hazard is a perceived natural event that threatens life and property' 'A disaster is the realisation of this hazard' A widely accepted definition characterizes natural hazards as "those elements of the physical environment, harmful to man and caused by forces extraneous to him" More specifically the term "natural hazard" refers to all atmospheric, hydrologic, geologic (especially seismic and volcanic), and wildfire phenomena that, because of their location, severity, and frequency, have the potential to affect humans, their structures, or their activities adversely. There is evidence to suggest that the frequency of such natural hazards is increasing. Reported disasters between 1960's and 1980's which Blaikie et al collated in1994 showed a definite trend of an increase in the frequency of natural hazards. For example, in 1960's there was one avalanche classified as a natural disaster but in 1970's this number increased to 4 and this number increased four fold again to make 16 avalanches classed as 'natural hazards' in the 1980's. Another obvious trend is that the number of volcanoes in a twenty year period is appearing to almost double - 13 in 1960's, 25 in the 1970's and 55 in the 1980's. ...read more.

Middle

Will therefore result in flooding. This is heightened by deforestation which prevents interception by leaves and reduces the amount of stem store (water stored inside the tree). An example of this the flash flood disaster that killed over 83 people on a campsite in Spain on 8th of August 1996 which was impossible to forecast. Local people were blamed for the localised flooding as recent deforestation had occurred at the Pyrenean foothills. Water and mud had been impounded behind a small bridge which, when burst, resulted in a huge torrent rushing down the valley. In addition, the design of buildings is to get rid of water as soon as possible - the curvature in a road and the slanted roofs of houses. This exasperates the impact of urbanisation on flooding. Drought and Famine This is primarily caused by persistent sub-tropical high-pressure systems (the Sahel in Africa) and El Nino/ ocean surface temperature changes (cause of droughts in California and Chile) however drought problems can be agitated by human activities. 1st) Groundwater abstraction would mean that there would be an increase in soil temperature as water has a cooling effect and therefore the soils would be at risk of baking and becoming so hard that it is impossible to cultivate. ...read more.

Conclusion

Another example is drought. Due to desertification thousands of people in the Sahel are forced to give up nomadic traditions and live near a definite water supply (such as Lake Chad). As thousands of people use this water source for human consumption, crop irrigation and farm use it is unsurprising that the Lake is drying up. Over population in an area that can not sustain such numbers will result in sever droughts and famine as the soil becomes unusable and dry as water stores diminish. In the year 2001, natural hazards killed over 25,000 people and caused $36 billion in damage worldwide. Unfortunately, the cost of natural hazards is increasing dramatically. In the 1990's, the average cost of all natural hazards in the United States doubled from $25 billion to $50 billion per year. In some countries (including the U.S.), even if your community does not suffer from any natural hazards in a particular year, federal disaster assistance to other communities is partially paid for by everyone's taxes. Therefore the increase of natural hazards will impact upon many people, directly and indirectly, so the frequency of such events need to be recorded to see if there are any immediate correlations that can prevent such dramatic phenomenon. In addition, the recording of such hazards may allow correlations to be found that can be used as a management tool to prevent human activities agitating natural hazards. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Hazardous Environments section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Hazardous Environments essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    The number of fatalities that result from volcanic and seismic natural hazards is related ...

    4 star(s)

    Bam a city in south-eastern Iran (an LEDC) and the surrounding Kerman province, was hit by an earthquake measuring 6.6 on the Richter scale (plate boundaries related to Iran are shown in figure 8) on December 26th, 2003 resulting in the deaths of over 43,000 people and leaving over 60,000 people homeless.

  2. Marked by a teacher

    Explain the increasing frequency of Hydro-meteorological Hazards.

    3 star(s)

    An example of this is in Quindici, Italy, May of the year 1998, two days of torrential rain caused the local rivers to burst their banks, the flood left 3,000 people homeless and around 50 people dead. Floods not only cause damage through their water flow, but also by mud deposits and landslides.

  1. "What are hazardous Environments and how can hazards be classified?"

    as the earthquake hit, this soft rock (actually much of it reclaimed), turned into practically liquid, giving way to the foundations of the buildings allowing them to topple. More than 102,000 buildings were destroyed in the earthquake. This left some 300,000 people homeless, and ended 5100 lives.

  2. What is an environmental (natural) hazard?

    What effects do environmental hazards create? The effects of a disaster can be categorised in 3 different ways: 1. Primary effects happen immediately e.g. explosions, falling buildings, fire, deaths through impact, etc.. 2. Secondary effects happen soon after e.g. loss of power supplies, collapsing roads, structural damage, collapse of unstable buildings, onset of disease, etc..

  1. Title : The Determination of Microbial Numbers Objectives:Practically every phase of microbiology requires ...

    Note also that two or more cells in a clump will form only a single colony. So if many clumps are present in sample, a viable count of that sample may be erroneously low.

  2. Suggest why droughts have severe impacts on people and the environment.

    As many creeks, rivers and wetlands dry up, certain species may not breed during the effected time zone of the drought, leading to a disruption of the reproductive cycles, this is a direct impact drought creates. Another case is the reduction of the population count of fish and other aquatic

  1. California and the Phillippines - Hazard Hotspots and Human Management of Risks

    Each side has an entirely legitimate and logical response to the same hazard. However, their views differ because of their different needs, priorities, perceptions, and values Management: The rise of magma beneath a volcano may fill a magma chamber and distort the shape of a volcano.

  2. Volcanic and seismic events are major pieces of evidence towards proving that plate-tectonics theory ...

    Using the continental drift hypthesis and repositioning the continents to the layout of Pangeae it is possible to see continuations of mountain ranges across now independent continents providing evidence to further enhance the validity of plate tectonics. Wegener belieced that if the continents really were joined in the Paleocoic Era

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work