Natural disasters like floods, tsunamis, droughts, wildfires bring tremendous harm to ecology, economical situation, and human lives. Many of the natural disasters cannot be predicted and have always happened but a lot of the hazards appear and become more intensive due to industrialization and human activities. Consumption of fossil fuels, air pollution, agricultural activities cause great changes in weather patterns making it unpredictable and extreme.
Natural disasters are different kinds of severe weather conditions leading to considerable danger to human health, lives, property, infrastructure, and natural resources. Disasters are natural events in weather cycles, which may happen seasonally or unexpectedly. Hurricanes, floods, droughts, and wildfires have always existed, however, the scale of destruction in recent years has increased tremendously. Climate change, increase in the air and water temperatures have resulted in the intensification and quantity of natural disasters.
Here are some numbers about natural disasters to see the devastating results:
during 20 years the number of hydro-meteorological disasters has tripled raising from 100 to 300 yearly;
global sea-level has risen 2.5 times faster during the last decade in comparison to most of the century;
over 20 million people per year have to abandon their homes because of severe climate conditions.
Types of natural disasters:
geophysical events such as earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic activity,
hydrological events such as floods and avalanches,
climatological events such as droughts, wildfires, extreme temperature shifts,
meteorological events such as storms and cyclones,
biological events such as epidemics and animal plagues.
Most common natural hazards:
Hurricanes or typhoons are weather phenomena formed over the oceans happening near the equator. They may result in floods, severe winds, storms.
Earthquakes normally occur in geologically active regions. Strong earthquakes with a magnitude over 6.0 lead to tsunami, buildings destruction, mudslides.
Floods are particularly common for areas with a wet season. They may be caused by heavy rains, rapidly melting snow, monsoons, cyclones, or tsunamis.
Avalanches happen in mountainous areas often due to heavy rains, earthquakes, volcanic activity, excessive snowfalls.
Tsunamis are the gigantic waves starting in the ocean due to the earthquake or landslide but affecting mostly the coastal areas.
Volcanic eruptions are the lava and gas emissions. It is important to be particularly cautious in the areas with seismic activities and stay away from active volcanoes.
Technological disasters due to human activity usually happen close to human settlements and relate to such hazards as industrial and transport accidents, complex conflicts, famine. Quite often such events lead to environmental degradation, which results directly or implicitly in some of the natural disasters.
Air pollution and natural disasters
An increase in greenhouse gases is undoubtedly the main cause of global warming. The gases appear in the atmosphere when fossil fuels are burnt. Even the slightest changes in the global temperature affecting weather patterns are devastating to the planet, as they change ocean temperature and make the glaciers melt. These temperature shifts impact precipitations and cause storms to intensify.
Deforestation is known to have a powerful impact on global warming. Another important issue worth considering is that it disrupts the water cycle leading to flooding, soil erosion, and severe droughts. The important function of the trees is returning the water to the atmosphere, the number of rainfalls decreases with deforestation.