The threats caused by extreme weather

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The intensification of weather and climate extremes will be the most visible impact of climate change in our everyday lives. It's also causing dangerous changes to the landscape of our world, adding stress to wildlife species and their habitats. That is why I’m writing this post, in the hope that it will change the view of the amount of people that are still using objects that can damage our world, such as petrol cars.

I am going to write about the different types of disasters that can occur from extreme weather. Here it is in order:

1. Droughts;

2. Floods;

3. Wildfires;

4. Hurricanes;

5. Heat waves;

6. Landslides.

1. Droughts: Despite the relative rarity of droughts in the 20th century, continued changes in climate will potentially cause both more extremely dry periods and more heavy rainfall events. In addition, sea level rise could pollute paramount underground freshwater reserves. These extreme weather events will exacerbate the problems we face with water management and protection. Rapidly expanding population, irrigation, and power generation have increased water demands. Since 1960, the USA’s southeast region's population doubled and is now home to 58 of the 100 fastest-growing counties in the nation. From 1960 to 2000, water use for municipalities, irrigation, and thermoelectric power more than tripled. To plan for increasing variability in water supply, we should reduce climate change pollution to prevent and limit the impacts on communities and wildlife, and maintain and restore natural forest and wetland systems that absorb flood waters and provide efficient water storage. Improving water-use efficiency and conservation, and considering sea level rise in managing coastal freshwater resources, may also help curb the impacts.

2. Floods: Recent decades have brought more heavy summer rainfall events along with increased liability of devastating floods. While no single storm or flood can be attributed directly to climate change, changing climate conditions are at least partly responsible for past trends. Because warmer air can hold more moisture, climate change is expected to bring more and heavier precipitation in the years to come. In some places, big storms that historically could only be seen once every 20 years are projected to happen as often as every four to six years by the end of the 21st century. At the same time, shifts in snowfall patterns, the onset of spring, and river-ice melting may all exacerbate flooding risks. Now is the time to confront the realities of climate change, including the increasing frequency and intensity of heavy rainfall events across the country. We need to reduce the risks to riverfront communities. Important steps include discouraging development in flood-prone areas and protecting the natural systems, such as wetlands, that help to buffer against floods.

3. Wildfires: Fire is a natural and beneficial part of many forest ecosystems, but the number and intensity of fires today is challenging fire managers and forest communities throughout the world. The frequency of large wildfires and the total area burned have been steadily increasing globally, with climate change being a major contributing factor. Longer fire seasons can result from spring and summer meaning that heat builds up more quickly, and warm conditions extend further into fall. Drier conditions will increase the probability of fire occurrence. Summertime temperatures are projected to get higher, enhancing evaporation rates, while precipitation is expected to decrease. Most countries along the south will be hit particularly hard, perhaps shifting to a more arid climate. More fuel for forest fires will become available because warmer and drier conditions are conducive to widespread beetle and other insect infestations, resulting in broad ranges of highly combustible trees. Higher temperatures enhance winter survival of mountain pine beetles and allow for a more rapid life cycle. At the same time, moderate drought conditions for a year or longer can weaken trees, allowing bark beetles to overcome the trees’ defence mechanisms more easily. Increased frequency of lightning is also expected as thunderstorms become more severe.Wildlife is impacted in several ways. In some cases, they can't escape the fires. For example, the Australian bushfire in which an estimated 1.5 billion zoological lives were claimed. Their habitat may be destroyed or dramatically altered, and they undergo major stressors trying to recover. In addition, bigger fires are changing the ecosystem balance.

4. Hurricanes: The latest science connecting hurricanes and climate change suggests more is yet to come. Tropical storms are likely to bring higher wind speeds, more precipitation, and bigger storm surge in the coming decades. One of these hurricanes is as following: In late October 2012, Hurricane Sandy struck the East Coast of the United States, causing astounding devastation in loss of life, destruction of property, and widespread ecological damage. Hurricane Sandy was a devastating reminder of the risks of a changing climate, as increased warming raises the intensity of extreme weather events. Higher ocean temperatures are contributing to heavier rainfall and higher sea levels are producing stronger storm surges. Research suggests that Arctic ice melting is likely one of the conditions that helped turn Hurricane Sandy into a superstorm. A storm of this staggering size and scale has serious consequences for the region's wildlife. Heavy rains and winds caused massive flooding and erosion of coastal and river national wildlife refuges from North Carolina to Maine, damaging more than 40 refuges. Flooding of coastal marshes inundated breeding habitats of many coastal bird species, including Atlantic Coast piping plovers—a threatened species that depends upon the shorelines affected by Sandy for breeding habitat. Hurricanes like Sandy can disrupt bird migrations as well as blow sea birds inland, causing them to end up in unusual places sometimes hundreds of miles away from their coastal habitat. Hurricanes are part of the natural environment to which wildlife have adapted. Species and habitats typically can rebound quickly after a storm passes through, and some species even flourish in the storm aftermath. However, increasingly intense storms will likely make it more difficult for regions and wildlife to bounce back. Major flooding can devastate ecosystems, and strong hurricane winds can wreak havoc on broad expanses of forests, causing downed trees, snapped trunks and limbs, and stripped leaves. Damaged forests increase the risk of wildfire, insect infestation, and the establishment of invasive species. Furthermore, as all the dead trees decompose, they release substantial carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, exacerbating climate change. Especially at risk are species already vulnerable because of low population or reliance on isolated or limited habitats. A large storm that devastates broad expanses of ecosystem can push such species over the brink. The red-cockaded woodpeckers in South Carolina’s Marion National Forest almost were an example of this when Hurricane Hugo hit the area in September 1989. About 60 percent of the 500 groups of birds perished and 87 percent of the trees containing cavities where they live were destroyed. Fortunately other populations were not in the path of Hurricane Hugo and immediate action by the people helped to limit the impact. Forest Service to construct artificial cavities helped the birds recover.

5. Heatwaves: Climate change is bringing more frequent and severe heat waves. More extremely hot summer days are projected for every part of the country, and 30 large cities are especially vulnerable. Unfortunately, climate models indicate that an average summer in 2050 will have even more days topping around 32.2 degrees celsius if climate change continues unabated and not prospered. Many people are experiencing sweltering heat during this summer. Global temperature records were set during some early summer months, and many cities also set numerous temperature records. Scientists project that, if we don't act, we will see more extreme heat waves, exacerbated urban air pollution, more vulnerable natural habitats, and negative impacts to agriculture. Heat waves disproportionately impact the poor, elderly, children, people with asthma or heart disease, or those that live in big cities. Air pollution in urban areas could get worse, bringing increased risk of heart attacks, strokes, and asthma attacks.

6. Landslides: Landslides are a major catastrophe the world as it is widespread and significant impact. The effects of catastrophic landslides is dangerous to humans and to other living things. For example, the slope of the saturated with water to form debris flows, or mud flows. Concentrated mixture of rock and mud may destroy the trees, houses, and cars and block the bridge which keeps it where it is. Mud mixed with river flow can cause devastating flooding along the route. Similarly, the ice floes formed in the river caused by ice clogging the rivers and flows more slowly. However, it can produce enough energy to destroy the bridge. Ice may accumulate on the edge or on top of weak layers of snow or unstable causes crash occurred. Pyroclastic flows (pyroclastic) arising from dust debris of ash, poisonous gas and hot rock from volcanic eruptions, that spread quickly to eat anything that traveled to the effects of destruction and death. Among the social effects that can be described as a cause to damage property. This brings losses to the economy of a country. Economic rehabilitation is also needed in the area that has experienced a landslide. This would cost a lot and some of the offending country economy.

For example,

1. On average, these landslides caused loss of around £1,217,433 thousand pounds! 2. At Utah, in 1983, the total cost to repair the landslide area of £405,811 thousand pounds and it is financing the cost of the most expensive landslide in U.S. history. 3. Loss due to landslides in some countries is estimated at £1,217,433 thousand pounds annually. 4. Earthquake Loma Prieta in October 1989 caused thousands of landslides covering an area of 5400 square feet. It also caused losses of at least £8,116,220 pounds!

I hope that this will change your opinions about climate change and will make you think twice when you use plastic straws or bags. Thank you for reading my post!

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