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Describe the impact of hurricanes on the physical and human environment.

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Form 6B 26/11/04 Geography K. Harding-Hodge Assignment #2 Describe the impact of hurricanes on the physical and human environment. The Impact Of Hurricanes On The Physical and Human Environment A tropical cyclone is a low-pressure system that forms in the tropics. Hurricane is the name given to fully developed tropical cyclones that are found in the Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico and the North Pacific Ocean east of the International Date Line. When local residents of an area refer to a hurricane, they are speaking of the violent, stormy weather system that brings torrential rains and destructive, high velocity winds of over 74 miles per hour. Hurricanes are also characterised by a heavy cloud cover, which reduces sunshine and makes visibility and temperatures very low. In other parts of the world, tropical cyclones are given other names. For example, in Australia they are known as Willy Willies, in India there are known as Tropical Cyclones and in the Pacific they are known as Typhoons. Hurricanes can only form in tropical regions due to their need for certain atmospheric and weather conditions only found there. Most hurricanes originate on the west coast of Africa, in the form of thunderstorms. ...read more.


These play a roll in the evaporation/ condensation cycle, which provides the system with energy. Figure 1: Structure Of A Hurricane Hurricanes are perhaps the most devastating natural disaster affecting the Earth today. They have a major impact of the physical and human environments. The physical environment can be defined as the structural features of the land, air and sea. The passing of a hurricane is always destructive to this environment. Most of the destruction is caused by the high-velocity winds and torrential rainfall that occur. These high-velocity winds along with low pressure lead to the formation of storm surges (tidal waves). Tidal waves, sometimes many metres tall, crash against coastal areas; eroding beaches and damaging coastal homes and buildings. Tidal waves also cause major damage to boats anchored in harbours. Figure 2: A Tidal Wave Figure 3: Barne's Bay Eroded after Hurricane Luis Strong gusts of winds easily uproot trees, bushes and other vegetation types. The pressure of the wind against the trees is so many Newtons per squared metre that the trees have no choice but to go down. ...read more.


If they are diseases and infection can be contracted and spread. Damaged roads and workplaces make everyday functions had to carry out. Trade and exchange are disrupted and life is made uncomfortable. The breakage of communication and utility lines is a major inconvenince to a people. They have to find means of living without electricity, telephone and sometimes television. The destruction of crops and livestock has a profound effect on the human environment. These provide food sources for people. When hurricanes occur, fields of crops can be lost and many animals can die. When this occurs there are food shortages and hunger and starvation increases, causing an increase in crime. In conclusion, hurricanes have a negative impact on both the human and physical environment. They are natural disasters, which cannot be prevented or stopped from occurring. Due to technological advancements made in the last few decades though, hurricane formation can be spotted very early and their progress tracked and predicted. Hurricane warnings are then issued to places possibly and definitely in danger. Warnings give people time to reinforce their homes by boarding up etc, to stock up on food supplies and to move to "safer locations" if necessary and possible. Nonetheless, you can never guarantee your safety in the world's greatest natural disaster, the hurricane. ...read more.

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