Example Of Essay On Monitoring Our Home Planet
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A natural disaster is as a rapid, sudden, or the intense impact of the natural environment that has social-economic effects on individuals living in the affected area. Further, it is seen as an event that is concentrated in time and space, and can threaten society’s well-being, to an extent that the community is unable to cope. The adverse events from natural processes are consequently, a disaster when the community requires external intervention, causes loss of life and damage property besides creating an economic crisis in the affected area.
In the beginning, these natural phenomena after scientific researchers are seen as natural hazards. The effects of these events are measured by the society’s resilience, ability to prepare, mitigate and to recover after and before the event has taken place. In most cases, natural disasters occur because of weather-related events. Examples of natural disasters include Floods, earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, avalanches, tornadoes, among others. This paper will discuss earthquakes, tsunamis, and hurricanes and the impact they have. It further aims to discuss the resources available to monitor these natural phenomena’s.
Commonly known as a quake or tremor, earthquakes occur due to sudden, unprecedented release of energy from the earth’s crust, which create seismic waves. The earth’s crust is comprised of large and small segments that are known as tectonic plates. The tectonic plates are always in motion, however, slow or rapid in rare cases. The friction caused by these plates as they move past each other while brushing is what causes tremors and earthquakes (Earthquake, 2015). At times, whenever an earthquake occurs, crevasses form because of landslides and other ground failure reasons. Because of their unprecedented nature, earthquakes are difficult to be predicted. However, humans know most fault lines of the earthquakes, for this reason, building of houses and structures in those fault lines in most countries is prohibited. For instance, in 2014, the USGS released the updated map, documents, and data showing the earthquake-prone areas in the U.S. (Earthquake, 2015).
Different countries have different areas that are earthquake prone. However, there are places that are earthquake prone more than other places (Quakes, 2012). India, for instance, is recorded as the highest country with the most earthquake-prone areas in the world with Japan others include Japan, Ecuador, Philippines, Mexico, Pakistan, El Salvador, and turkey. In some of this country, it is believed that one is more likely to die from an earthquake than being killed by another civilian (Quakes, 2012).
Different websites have dedicated their work to monitor earthquake events, as well as inform the masses over an expected or assumed event. Some of them are privately run while others are governmental. For example, United States Geological Survey (USGS) is an American governmental organization that has a website that is dedicated to storing data and monitors earthquake events all over the world. These organizations use different technologies and instruments to monitor the earthquake. For instance, the USGS uses Creepmeters, Pore Pressure Monitors, Strainmeters, and Tiltmeters. Creepmeters are used to measure the fault slips by recording the movement between two monuments that are seated on opposite sides of the fault. Pore pressure monitors on the other end record the fluid pressure variations in deep boreholes that are likely to be driven by fault activity (Earthquake, 2015).
In most cases, these technologies used for monitoring earthquakes, tsunamis and hurricanes are of extreme importance in creating relations between nations. Due to the different economic muscles, the developed countries are the only states with ability and resources to build, maintain, and use these monitoring instruments. As a result, the underdeveloped countries heavily rely on them for information, thus all countries are dependent on each other (Earthquake, 2015).
Otherwise known as tidal waves or seismic sea are sea or ocean waves caused by unexpected movement of the sea floor, earthquake, or volcanic activities. At times in the deep ocean areas, their occurrence may create a wave only a few inches high, and perhaps reach the shores of the land as small waves. High magnitudes of an earthquake in the ocean or sea floor may create a fast moving wall of turbulent water, which are several meters high (Tsunami, 2015). The size of tsunamis is measured by the distance of the wavelength between the top of one wave and the crest of the next wave. Because tsunamis visibility in the ocean is never clear, their detection is, for this reason, difficult. The National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration in their website states that Tsunamis cannot be prevented from happening. However, societies come up with mitigating measures that encompass preparedness, warnings, and effective and efficient response (Tsunami, 2015).
The speed of a tsunami can be as high as 600mph in an open sea or ocean, which simply means that it will only take a matter of few hours for the tsunami to travel an entire ocean. Given that water waves produced by wind travel at 56mph; one would be correct to state that the velocity of a tsunami wave is ten times faster than that of generated by wind (National Geography, 2015).
Rarely do Tsunamis that are destructive occur, however, most of them that have occurred and had massive destruction started from the ‘ring of fire’, which is within the Pacific Ocean. For this reason, most countries that feel the wrath of the tsunamis are those that lie in Ring of fire path example Japan. Other countries that are prone to tsunamis include Albania, Chile, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, and Peru. The reason for the high rate of occurrence from this area is that the tectonic shifts in the area make earthquakes a common occurrence thus creating the tsunami (Tsunami, 2015). The low point, which is the (crest), always reaches the shores first after which, a vacuum is created. The vacuum sucks the coastal water, thus exposing the sea floors. Whenever this occurs, it should be seen as a sign of a tsunami. For this reason, this event may act as a warning to the people on the shores of the ocean. The reason for this is that the water with its volume will most likely hit the shore after five minutes, for this reason, recognizing this event may save lives (National Geography, 2015).
Monitoring of tsunamis is through data collection by use of instruments. These instruments collect information on the seabed shape, water composition as well as wave currents and their characteristics. Technologies such as the GPS system have enhanced the accuracy of measuring the tsunamis because of their ability to monitor water waves in a large body mass. Scientists use the Bubbler pressure gauges to measure the sea levels (Tsunami, 2015). These gauges blow bubbles down a hole, thus measuring the backpressure. They work using the simple logic that the higher the pressure, the deeper the water level, for this reason, they measure the sea level at short intervals. Buoys, on the other hand, help in measuring the direction of the waves, its period, and height. Additionally, they can also measure the acceleration of the waves, thus informing scientist of any weird speeds (Tsunami, 2015). The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are among the organizations that have websites that give live updates on the tsunamis. Others include the National tsunami-warning center and the Pacific tsunami-warning center. Such technologies and instruments have major impacts on both political and economic relations of the developed countries who have the technology and underdeveloped that depends on them. In most cases, the developed countries use what they have to get anything from the underdeveloped nations. As a measure to prepare for tsunamis, countries prone to this disaster have embarked on establishing a warning point in the areas that are near the oceans or waterbeds. Further, they have systems that are in place to these measures are all entangled around alerting the vulnerable people and helping in evacuations (Tsunami, 2015).
Hurricanes are said to be huge storms that can cover 600 miles across with winds that spiral counter-clockwise inwards and upwards manner at high speeds of between 75-200mph. Additionally, it is seen as a tropical cyclone that mostly forms in the Caribbean sea, Mexican Gulf, the Atlantic Ocean as well as the Eastern Pacific Ocean. Mostly, hurricanes last over a week and travel at speeds of 10-20mph over the open sea or ocean. Due to its strength and speed, they can sweep things that they come along (Hurricanes, 2015). Additionally, hurricanes can cause microbursts and tornadoes in the inland. The Atlantic coastline areas are the ones that are mostly subjected to hurricanes that have consequences of heavy rainfall and floods in the Southwest U.S. At extreme conditions, hurricanes cause landslides and flash floods. The hurricane season in the area always lasts during the June to November period and has a peak season in mid-August until late October. On the other side of the Pacific, Hurricane season begins in mid-May and ends in late November (Hurricanes, 2015).
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) are organizations that handle issues pertaining to hurricanes monitoring and reporting. Recently the two encouraged the use of social media such as Facebook to promote the national hurricane preparedness week. Other organizations that provide information on hurricanes include the American Red Cross, Consumer Product Safety Commission, among others (Hurricanes, 2015).
Before the occurrence of a hurricane, the organizations suggest that individual should build an emergency kit and give their families a communication plan. Further, individuals who live in hurricane prone area ought to know their surroundings, thus helping themselves in the making of plans that secure their property. Further, the organization advice individuals who live in high-rise buildings should secure a place in the lower levels because the wind speed and strength increases as the height increases. Bottom line, every individual or family living in the hurricane prone areas needs to have built a safe room where they can take refuge when the hurricanes start (Hurricanes, 2015).
In the U.S, the “Hurricane Hunters” are given the authority to monitor hurricanes. Being the only unit in the world that conducts such activities, the team provides surveillance of tropical winds in the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, the Mexican Gulf as well as the Pacific Ocean for the NHC. The team uses WC-130J Super Hercules aircraft. The pane's sophisticated weather instruments collect data from the hurricane (Hurricane science, 2015). The instrument measures pressure, humidity, wind pressure, and temperature. The plane can stay in the air up to eighteen hours at a constant speed. With the first speed of the plane, it can cut through the hurricane to measure the hurricane strength. More improved data are collected in the eye of the storm and at a diameter of 3218km. Given that the U.S is the only country, that has the means to measure and monitor the hurricanes, all countries that are in the path of the hurricane are dependent on the country. For this reason, politically and economically they depend on the U.S. (Hurricane science, 2015).
Earthquake. (2015). Earthquake Hazards Program. Retrieved from http://earthquake.usgs.gov/
Hurricane Science. (2015). Hurricanes: Science and Society: Hurricane Hunters. Retrieved from http://www.hurricanescience.org/science/observation/aircraftrecon/hurricanehunters/
Quakes, (2012). Live Earthquakes Map. Retrieved, from http://quakes.globalincidentmap.com/
Ready. (2014). Hurricanes | Ready.gov. Retrieved from http://www.ready.gov/hurricanes
National Geography (2015). Tsunami Facts, Tsunami Information, Tsunami Videos, Tsunami Photos - National Geographic. National Geographic. Retrieved from http://environment.nationalgeographic.com/environment/natural-disasters/tsunami-profile
Tsunami. (2015). NOAA Tsunami Website. Retrieved from http://www.tsunami.noaa.gov/
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