Types of Hazards
There are different types of hazards:
- a hazard is something which potentially threatens human life or property.
- natural hazards are ones which are caused by a natural process-e.g. earthquakes can cause tsunami's.
- natural hazards can be divided into 2 types:
- 1) hydro-meteorological hazards (those caused by climatic processes)-these include droughts, floods and storms.
- 2) geophysical hazards (caused by land processes)-includes earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and landslides.
Greatest Global Hazard?
Global warming (GW), the greatest global hazard?
- Global warming describes the recent increase in the average global temperature (degrees centigrade)
- It is a type of climate change-a significant change in the weather of a region over period of the past 3 decades. Also it can cause other sorts of climate change.
- Human activity can cause global warming.
- GW is a context hazard-it's global in scale (affects all environments) and can trigger other potential hazards or worsen them.
- Is a chronic hazard which means that the effects are long term and cannot be solved fast.
- Hazards like GW highlight issues of injustice-not necessarily the people causing the problem-rich countries cause the most pollution, but the poorer countries suffer the most.
Global warming (GW)-biggest hazard?
GW describes the recent increase in the average temperature of the globe.
it's a type of climate change, and can cause other sorts of climate change:
- there are links to human activity and global warming
- it is a context hazard-is on a global scale and affects all sorts of environments and has the potential to trigger other hazards.
- it is a chronic hazard as the effects are long term and the resulting effects cannot be healed quickly.
- highlights issues of injustice-as the rich countries emit the most pollution but it's the poor areas which suffer the most.
- any solution to the GW crisis will be complex as the causes and effects are complex and not fully understood. It's a global problem requiring international co-operation between govt.s, businesses and individuals.
Hydro-meteorological hazards are becoming more frequent but:
- The number of geophysical hazards hasn't changed much in comparison.
- it' s thought that the increase in the number of hydro-meteorological hazards is thought to be largely due to the increased effects of global warming.
- the number of disasters is increasing, this is due to a combination of these factors:
- Human-rapid population growth and urbanisation-this increases the number of people who are vulnerable to hazards especially in poor nations.
- Also the increase in poverty levels and the exploitation of resources leaves settlements vulnerable hazards as a result.
Hydro-meteorological hazards (continued):
- global warming-it's thought to be increasing the number of hazards i.e. severe floods and storms which in turn increases the number of disasters.
- El Nino events (oceanic current temperature fluctuations)-these change the global weather in an unpredictable way, which makes hydro-meteorological hazards more unpredicatable.
Another reason is why it may seem that the number of disasters has increased is because of greater media coverage-more disasters are reported than in the past, so it seems as if more are actually happening.
The number of deaths has been reducing as the amount of management of the disasters/hazards has significantly improved:
- Prediction-improved technology means some hazards can be predicted, i.e. the path of tropical cyclones can be predicted to some extent. These advanced warnings can get people evacuated and property secured.
- Prevention-hazards can't be stopped, but they can be prevented from becoming disasters, by using sandbags to protect against flooding.
- Prepardness-educating people on what to do in the case of disaster to help reduce deaths, e.g. Japan has earthquake drills since Japan is prone.
There's been a levelling off in the trend of decreasing deaths recently because the increasing number of vulnerable people in poorer countries means more people are being affected by disasters leading to more deaths.
more economic loss
Global economic losses due to disasters are increasing rapidly though:
- actual financial cost is the amount of money lost-the greatest in richer countries
- relative financial cost is the amount of money lost relative to how much the people have to start with-this is greatest in poorer countries. Less actual money is lost, but the effects of the loss are greater.
Disasters can lead to indirect economic losses-if a country gets a lot of money from tourism, this could be affected by a disaster, which could affect the economy.