They create huge media attention as the rate of change from what would have been considered as ‘normal’ conditions is very high, for example an earthquake can turn an entire city to ruins and kill hundreds of people in just minutes. They have a limited areal extent and usually have a low predictability. However improvements in science and technology are slowly increasing the predictability of the occurrence of these events but the impact it will have is more difficult to determine. Other examples of catastrophic hazards include tsunamis and volcanoes. Chronic hazards are less newsworthy than catastrophic hazards but because their effects are cumulative over time but the effect can be just as, if not more severe.
TMA 01, QUESTION1. Some of the most serious environmental issues today are climate change, air issue, waste and land pollution, over population and water issue. 1. Climate Change, is undeniable a global environmental concern that is triggering a rise in the amount of major natural disasters like floods and hurricanes; which causes destruction in societies and the regions which they effect. Global warming will only cause an increase in these issues along with additional problems that could eventually end this civilization, if we don’t work hard on improving our efforts on managing all the different types of pollution and waste that contributes to this major concern.
The climate is very bipolar though due to varying elevations and winds across the island. The east side of the island has the heaviest amount of rain which equals to about 3.5 meters a year. Not only does this side receive a great amount of rain it is also affected substantially more by the cyclones that wreak havoc on the tropical island. Rain clouds expel so much moisture to the east of the highest grounds the highlands in the central part of the island are much drier and cooler. The downside to the central highlands though are multiple thunderstorms that cause incredible damage due to lighting strikes.
A natural hazard that does not affect California but common in the Philippines are tropical storms. The most recent and one of the most dangerous was Typhoon Haiyan in November 2013. 5260 people were killed, and the number may rise due to illness breaking out in camps. The Philippines is very prone to typhoons as they develop in the Pacific Ocean and move westwards towards the islands. California has a very hot climate and so tropical storms are extremely rare in the state.
They are born from tropic waters that affect quite a few across the world but in the Gulf of Mexico they tend to wreak particular havoc. These storms have potential for mass devastation through storm surges that flood the coastline often taking lives and possible contamination of water supplies, heavy rain which contributes to flooding situations and high winds coupling with tornadoes that destroy property, Storm surges are among one of the worst factors of a hurricane. Often, at the time, people do not even realize the impacts a storm surge can have and do not head authorities warnings to evacuate the coastline, which can result in a high death toll. As Jay Barnes notes in his research: As a hurricane churns across the open sea, the combined effects of the storm’s lowered barometric pressure and strong, inward-spiraling winds create a deep, swirling column of water beneath the ocean’s surface. This effect causes the sea level to rise in the vicinity of the storm, creating a dome of water that may be a few feet high in the center and a hundred miles wide.
They strengthen when water evaporated from the ocean is released as the saturated air rises, resulting in condensation of water vapor contained in the moist air. There are several similarities between hurricanes and tornadoes. First of all, both are unpredictable, incredibly devastating and can easily kill. Other than that, both are made up of very strong and fast wind which is more than 100 mph. Furthermore, both of them rotate all around.
The heavy rainfall started falling at midday on the 16th August, and it was recorded that 5 inches fell in 8 hours. The storm was a remnant of the Hurricane Alex, which had carried over the Atlantic. The rain was cause due to warm air picking up moisture - due to residual heat from the Atlantic sea - travelled towards the South West Cornish coast as prevailing winds. Upon contact with the topographically vertical coast, these winds experienced a strong up-drafting force thus causing internal moisture to reach the atmosphere, and consequently cool as a string of storm clouds. With convergence and coalescence, enhanced moisture levels resulted in heavy rainfall on the afternoon of 16 August 2004.
Travel Issue Paper Acqua Alta – High Waters in Venice There are many issues around the world that are affecting tourism. However, there is currently the issue of “Acqua Alta”, Italian for “High Water” affecting Venice, Italy and its surrounding areas. “Acqua Alta”, according to Trip Advisor, is the name given to water levels that are higher than usual and essentially invade the city of Venice, flooding most (if not all) streets and walkways. Durant Imboden, in his article High Tides and Flooding in Venice, states that this phenomenon is most likely to occur during late September to mid October. The cause of the flooding is attributed to high tide, low atmospheric pressure, and wind patterns.
THE THAMES BARRIER On 31 January 1953 Britain and the Netherlands suffered one of the worst floods in their history. Huge waves battered the east coast, and a devastating tidal surge rushed up the Thames, with sea levels 3 metres above normal in some places. The flood destroyed London and covered 160,000 acres on Canvey Island and killed (drowned) 300 people in Essex. As a result of this, The Thames Barrier was built in order to protect the capital from flooding until the year 2030; however people suspect that global warming may predict the time and effectiveness of the barrier. The Thames Barrier is a unique construction and is the world’s largest movable flood barrier, spanning 520 metres across the Thames at Woolwich.
These tropical storms are very similar, but happen in different locations. Both regions that are affected by the storms have to prepare for them. However, we haven’t studied a country that was highly influenced by typhoons, which is why this is important to note. I chose this picture because it shows how massive and destructive typhoons can