World at Risk: Global Hazards

  • Created by: Sophie
  • Created on: 30-03-15 11:39

Six Main Hazards

  • Cyclones
  • Droughts
  • Floods
  • Earthquakes
  • Volcanoes
  • Landslides/Avalanches
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The Disaster Risk Equation

R=H x V

Risk=Hazard x Vulnerability
          Capacity to Cope

  • Some hazards are more disastrous than others
  • Some areas are more prone than others
  • Some countries are better equpped to deal with disaster

The risks are getting worse in some countries because:

1. the frequency is increasing with climate change.

2. Vulnerability is increasing as a result of unsustainable development leading to poor land use and environmental degradation.

3. The capacity to cope is decreasing owing to poverty and urbanisation.

Risks are lower in more developed countries because they have resources and technology to provide protection.

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The Disaster Risk Equation 2.0

Hazards Increasing
The unsustainable use of fossil fuels is warming the planet. The resulting change in climate is increasing the frequency and severity of weather related hazards, and expanding the range of disease vectors.

Vulnerability Increasing
Hazards only become disasters when people get in the way. Unsustainable development involves poor land use (e.g. building on flood plains, unstable slopes and coastlines) and environmental degradation (e.g. bleaching of coral reefs, destruction of coastal mangroves, deforestation of water catchments) which are increasing vulnerability by putting millions more in harm's way.

Capacity Decreasing
To cope with the effects of climate change, vulnerable communities need enough skills, tools and money. Yet debt repayments, inequitable trade arrangements, selective foreigh investment, and the redirection of aid funds towards geo-strategic regions mean that the poorest and most vulnerable communities lack the resources to cope. Meanwhile, the inexorable migration of millions from rural to urban areas, in the hope of finding work and avoiding disaster, is undermining traditional coping strategie. On top of this, disasters driven by global warming hit the most vulnerable hardest, further undermining their capacities to cope with future disasters.

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How a Hazard Becomes a Disaster

Dregg's Model 

Hazardous event, e.g. flood, earthquake, tsunami 
Vulnerable population: suscseptible to human and/or economic loss because of where they live

-Scale of hazard
-Degree of monitoring and predicatability

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How a Hazard Becomes a Disaster 2.0

-Limited access to resources e.g. doctors, food insecurity
-Illness and disabilities
-Poverty, debt repayment issues
-Focus/Epicentre, time of day

-Disaster prevention methods/community preparedness
-Managment during event
-Effectiveness of government
-Allies (for aid)

-Lack of education/training and skills
-Population expansion/Population density
-Uncontrolled development
-Environmental degradation, over exploitation of resources

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Why Do People Remain Exposed to Hazards?

Not always predictable when or where an event will take place, or to know the magnitude.

Difficult to uproot and move to another location giving up homes, land and employment. Often the world's most vulnerable are poor who are forced to live on unsafe floodplains or steep hillsides.

Deforestation can make an area once safe from flooding more susceptible. As can the effects of global warming e.g. sea level rise.

Optimism, turning a blind eye etc part of the living process. People are comforted by the statistics which show that the risk of death is lower than that from influenza or car accidents. They also believe that if a high magnitude event occurs then it may be safe for a few years.

Many hazardous areas offer advantages that in people's minds outweigh the risk. Flood plains have very fertile soils as do volcanoes.

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Why Climate Change The World's Greatest Hazard

1. Global problem, everywhere is affected to a degree

2. Is a chronic hazard, ongoing, enormous range of direct impacts linked to rising temperatures which can then amplify other problems. For example belt migration towards the poles-severe impact on ecology and wilflife, lead to spread of disease such as malaria.
Rising temperatures also have impact on atmospheric and oceanic circulations. Rising oceanic temps may be cause of more El Nino events and the increasing frequency/magnitude of hurricanes.

3. Not just environmental, range of impacts=Water availability, food security, health/ wellbeing.

4. Unpredictable.
Rising temperatures melt glaciers and ice sheets. Leads to more solar radiation being absorbed by land and sea because ice and snow have a greater albedo than rock and water. This melting of the ice sheet leads to more melting-an example of positive feedback. The melting ice sheets could lead the ocean to becoming diluted, having an effect on ocean current circulation, weaking the warming powers of the North Atlantic Drift (negative feedback).

5. Indirect impacts. Thermal expansion could have catastrophic results. Environmental refugees already in the islands of the Ganges Delta

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Why Climate Change The World's Greatest Hazard

6. Requires successful modelling of the future by scienties in the IPCC for both direct and indirect impacts. The complexity of the calculations make the process difficult. Hard to convince people of the severity of climate change.

7. Difficult for scientists to separate the ffects of global warming and other influencing factors on present day weather such as El Nino/La Nina. 

8. Climate change requires global solutions, primarily in tackling carbon emissions. Huge political problems. Unjust to have two speed unequal world where more developed countries pollute and less developed countries are victims. Also the emergence of the BRICS feel their industrial development should not be jeapardised by targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

9. Until recently the issue was strongly contested. 

10. Problem of enormous scale and proportions, so is the world's most costly problem to solve.

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Different impacts in different places

Cause: North American and Caribbean Plate
Magnitude: 7
Time: 16:53 12th January 2010

80% of people live on $2 or less per day
62% of people have access to clean water
10% with internet
GDP per capita $1,300

316,000 killed
1 million homeless
250,000 homes destroyed
Transport and communications links damaged
Hospitals badly damaged
1 in 5 people lost their jobs
Large no. of bodies led to spread of cholera
People squashed into shanty towns, looting became a problem

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Different impacts in different places

Cause: Fault associated with the Pacific and Australian plate.
Magnitude: 6.3
Time: 12:51 22th February 2011

GDP $30,750 per year
100% access to clean water
77% with internet

181 killed
Water and sewage pipes damaged
Liquefaction caused lots of damage to roads and buildings
Part of country's largest glacier broke off creating large iceberg
80% of city without electricity
Businesses put out of action causing loss of income and jobs
Schools had to share classrooms
Difficult for emergency services to get around due to liquefaction
Could no longer host Rubgy World Cup so lost tourism and income benefits

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