Geography Unit1

Topics: Global warming, Climate change, Climate Pages: 24 (8150 words) Published: May 13, 2013
World At Risk
Global Hazards
There are different types of hazard
1) A hazard is something that’s a potential threat to human life or property. 2) Natural hazards are cause by natural processes.
3) Natural hazards can be divided into two types:
* Hydro-meteoroidal hazards (caused by climatic processes)- these include droughts, floods, tropical cyclones and storms. * Geophysical hazards (caused by land processes) – these include earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and landslides. Terms:

1) Disaster- when a hazard actually seriously affects humans. 2) Risk- the likelihood that humans will be seriously affected by a hazard. 3) Vulnerability- how susceptible a population is to the damage caused by a hazard. A tropical cyclone is a hazard, but when it hits land and seriously affects people and property it’s a disaster. The Disaster Risk Equation Gives the Risk of a Disaster Occurring The risk of a hazard causing a disaster can be shown using the disaster risk equation: Risk (R) =Hazards (H)*Vulnerability (V)/Capacity to cope (C) The risk of disaster increases as:

1) The frequency or severity of hazards increase.
2) People’s vulnerability increases (e.g. higher population densities in areas vulnerable to flooding, like flood plains). 3) People’s capacity to cope is decreased- capacity to cope is the ability to deal with the consequences of a hazard. The disaster risk equation can be used to explain why similar hazards can cause disasters of different degrees. Example

1) Similar sized earthquakes occurred in Kashmir, Pakistan (2005) and Izmit, Turkey (1999). 2) Although the hazard was similar (both were earthquakes), the disasters they caused were different- Kashmir suffered more loss of life with over 75000 deaths compared to Izmit around 18000. 3) The disaster risk equation can help to explain why:

* The people of Kashmir has a lower capacity to cope- it’s a remote, mountainous location, which makes access difficult. Access was made even worse by landslides that buried roads into the region. * The population of Kashmir is vulnerable- the people are poor and buildings are often badly constructed. When some of these buildings collapsed after the earthquake, people were buried. Global Warming is arguably the Greatest Current Global Hazard 1) Global warming describes recent increase in average global temperature. 2) It’s a type of climate change (a significant change in the weather of a region over a period of at least several decades). 3) It also causes other types of climate change.

4) There’s a scientific consensus that global warming is due to human activity. 5) Global warming is a context hazard- it’s global in scale and has the potential to trigger other hazards or make them worse. 6) Global warming is also a chronic (long-term) hazard- it’s a constant threat and can’t be solved quickly or easily. 7) Hazards such as global warming highlight issues of injustice- it isn’t necessarily the people causing the problem who are most affected, e.g. richer countries often contribute most of the pollutants, but poorer countries often suffer more from the effects. 8) Any solution to global warming will be complex because the causes and effects are complex and not fully understood. It’s a global problem requiring international cooperation between governments, businesses and individuals. Hydro-meteorological Hazards are becoming more Frequent

1) The number of hydro-meteorological hazards has been increasing in recent years. 2) But the number of geophysical hazards hasn’t changed much. 3) It’s thought that the increase in the number of hydro-meteorological hazards is due to the increasing effects of global warming- which is thought to be largely due to human activity. 4) The number of disasters is increasing.

This is because of a combination of factors:
Human factors
* Rapid population growth and urbanization- this increases the number of...
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