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To what extent are the recent flooding problems in the UK a product of natural or human causes?

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Introduction

Flooding in the UK To what extent are the recent flooding problems in the UK a product of natural or human causes? Introduction A flood is an overflow or deluge of water that comes from a river or other bodies of water and causes or threatens or damages. "Floods are one of the most dramatic interactions between man and his environment, emphasising both the sheer force of natural events and mans inadequate efforts to control them. (Ward, R 1978)" Since the early 20th century we have seen flooding increasing through out the UK. In the last 10 years flooding has become more obvious and dangerous to populations around the UK. Flooding can be seen to have a number of causes, some natural in origin and some a result of human intervention, the question is how has flooding increased and what factors have caused it to do so. Natural effects A natural effect is a cycle or systems reacting to an input and giving feed back. This can be vegetation taking up more carbon dioxide and growing bigger to cope with CO2 emission or as in this case it is the rivers and seas releasing water to the land to deal with increased quantities of water at any given time. ...read more.

Middle

When winters get very cold precipitation turns to snow fall, this snow settles and builds up. Once it eventually gets warmer there is a sudden increase in water for rivers to deal with. If this snow stay and it begins to rain the snow is melted and twice as much water enters the ground this runs off into overflowing rivers and streams. If precipitation is extensive flooding is inevitable. Since the early 1990's we have seen flooding over the UK more predominate, as we have dealt with the problems ourselves not just watched it on television. Figure 2 and figure 3 are photos taken from the BBC News website showing sites of flooding in October 2002 and February 2004. These pictures capture the very real and dramatic effect water can have on an urban area. Luckily these floods only lasted a couple of days and no more than a week. Unfortunately they had already caused thousands of pounds worth of damage and put many members of the public in danger. Figure 4 and 5 show that even in the summer months floods are possible and causes as mush damage as they do in the winter. ...read more.

Conclusion

From human development and urbanisation in the UK and other places in the world flooding is becoming more common in everyday life. Nature uses flooding to help balance the hydrological cycle so it can keep running. Increased global warming is one of the most probable causes for increased flooding as figure 6 shows that precipitation has been on a constant level for many years. But saying it is all global warming's fault brings up another problem. Is human activity causing global warming or is it the way the Earth balances its cycles, when one system increases another decreases. With this type of balancing there is always going to be over flow and that's what a flood fundamentally is an over flow or excess water that a river, sea or stream can not cope with. My opinion is that people actually do not realise what is happening to the world and their habitats until it effects their way of life. It has been shown over many a year that flooding of homes and businesses causes evacuation, which unsettles everyone. With increased building on green field sites, which so happen to be floodplains, it is the Government and housing planners that are being greedy. They should think about changing climates and the problems flooding actually causes before a house is placed some where that is unfit. ...read more.

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