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Climate Change And Natural Disasters


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Climate Change And Natural Disasters

  1. 1. NATURAL DISASTERS Past, Present, and Future NOAA 2007.
  2. 2. Presentation Outline <ul><li>Past: Natural Disasters throughout History </li></ul><ul><li>Present: Costs of Natural Disasters </li></ul><ul><li>Present and Future: Impact of Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Climate Change on Natural Disasters </li></ul><ul><li>The Media and Hollywood: Raising Awareness about Natural Disasters and Climate Change </li></ul>
  3. 3. What are Natural Disasters? <ul><li>Earthquakes Volcanoes Tornadoes </li></ul><ul><li>Hurricanes Floods Droughts </li></ul><ul><li>Winter Storms Wild Fires Thunderstorms </li></ul>NOAA 2007.
  4. 4. Natural Disasters throughout History
  5. 5. Frozen River: Thames <ul><li>As early as 260 AD there are records showing that the River Thames in London froze regularly until it was embanked in the 19 th century. </li></ul><ul><li>Many deaths of people, flora and fauna were attributed to this condition even though joyous fairs were held upon the frozen surface. It last froze in 1814. </li></ul>
  6. 6. FIRE !!!! <ul><li>On 8 October 1887, in Peshtigo, Wisconsin, over </li></ul><ul><li>1500 lives were lost, and over 3.8 million acres </li></ul><ul><li>burned in a forest fire. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Winter Storms <ul><li>The ‘Blizzard of 1888’ hit the East Coast in March, leaving 40 people dead, accumulations up to 5 feet. </li></ul><ul><li>Damage estimated at $20 million ($2 billion today ?) </li></ul>
  8. 8. Floods <ul><li>May 1889 in Johnstown, Pennsylvania: the collapse of the South Fork Dam left more than 2000 dead. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Avalanche <ul><li>1 March 1910 in Wellington, Washington, 2 trains, snowbound at Stevens Pass in the Cascade Range, were swept off the tracks into a canyon 150 feet below, killing 56. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Tornado <ul><li>March 18 1925 in Missouri, Illinois and Indiana, the great “Tri-State Tornado”. </li></ul><ul><li>689 dead, over 2000 injured, property damage estimated at $16.5 million. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Drought <ul><li>The drought of the 1930s was the longest drought of the 20 th </li></ul><ul><li>century. During 1934, dry regions stretched solidly from NY </li></ul><ul><li>and PA across the Great Plains to California coast. The great </li></ul><ul><li>“ dust bowl” covered 50 million acres on the south central </li></ul><ul><li>plains during the winder of 1935-36. </li></ul>
  12. 12. 1900 Galveston Hurricane <ul><li>4 th September 1900: a tidal surge due to a </li></ul><ul><li>hurricane killed 6000-8000 Galvestonians. </li></ul>
  13. 13. Trinity River Flood <ul><li>Envisioned as a shipping canal from the Gulf of Mexico to Dallas. </li></ul><ul><li>Heavy rains on 17 th May 1949 caused the levees of the West Fork and Clear Fork to fail - leading to the loss of 10 lives. </li></ul>
  14. 14. Costs of Natural Disasters
  15. 16. Facts & Figures – Natural Disasters <ul><li>The costs are now 15X higher than they were in the 1950s. </li></ul><ul><li>Number of disasters has grown: fewer than 100 in 1975 to more than 400 in 2005. </li></ul><ul><li>Approx. 2.6 billion people were affected by natural disasters over the past 10 years, compared to 1.6 billion the previous decade. </li></ul>
  16. 17. Financial Support – World Bank <ul><li>528 projects in the past </li></ul><ul><li>20 years </li></ul><ul><li>$42,552 million in commitments </li></ul><ul><li>$26,281 million in </li></ul><ul><li>activities </li></ul><ul><li>Over 80% of the bank’s </li></ul><ul><li>disaster financing has addressed floods, earthquakes, and fires. </li></ul>
  17. 18. Top 10 Surprising Results of Global Warming <ul><li>Aggravated allergies ; warm temp. and CO2 effect plants to bloom early = more pollen. </li></ul><ul><li>Heading for the Hills ; mammalia species to higher elevation due to change in habitat. </li></ul><ul><li>Arctic in Bloom ; booming of Artic biota no longer trapped in ice. </li></ul><ul><li>Pulling the Plug ; 125+ lakes in the Artic have disappeared. </li></ul><ul><li>The Big Thaw ; layers of permanently frozen soil thawing out. </li></ul><ul><li>Survival of the fittest ; plants bloom earlier in the year, animals that wait until their usual time to migrate might miss out on all the food. </li></ul><ul><li>Speedier Satellites ; due to CO2 sparsed molecules in upper atmosphere will collide less frequently and tend to radiate energy away cooling the atmosphere allowing air to settle = less dense air = less drag on satellite orbit. </li></ul><ul><li>Rebounding Mtns ; Glaciers melting, the weight of mountains are lifting and surface slowly springing back. (i.e. Alps) </li></ul><ul><li>Ruined ruins ; natural disasters damaging irreplaceable sites. </li></ul><ul><li>Forest fire frenzy! Western U.S. office. </li></ul>
  18. 19. Impact of Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Climate Change on Natural Disasters
  19. 20. Francis and Hengeveld (1998)
  20. 21. Theory: Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Climate Change <ul><li>Alter the intensity and frequency of natural disasters </li></ul><ul><li>that are regulated by atmospheric and oceanic conditions </li></ul><ul><li>Yes: hurricanes and cyclones, droughts, floods, thunderstorms, wild fires, winter storms </li></ul><ul><li>No: volcanoes, earthquakes </li></ul><ul><li>Maybe: tornadoes (no decisive verdict yet) </li></ul><ul><li>Ok, but how? </li></ul>
  21. 22. Different Mechanisms for Altering Natural Climatic Processes <ul><li>Altering distribution of heat and energy; thereby, altering circulation patterns of the atmosphere and oceans (ex: thermohaline circulation) </li></ul><ul><li>Altering hydrological cycle: increased convection over warmer land and sea surfaces; warmer air holds more moisture that will fall down as precipitation </li></ul><ul><li>Example: Hurricanes and Tropical Storms need Sea Surface Temperatures of 27 ° C or more </li></ul>
  22. 23. Changes in Sea and Land Surface Temperature NOAA 2007.
  23. 24. Changes in Sea and Land Surface Temperature NOAA 2007.
  24. 25. Francis and Hengeveld (1998)
  25. 26. Changes in Precipitation NOAA 2007.
  26. 27. Changes in Precipitation Francis and Hengeveld (1998)
  27. 28. Changes in Precipitation Francis and Hengeveld (1998)
  28. 29. Changes in Precipitation Francis and Hengeveld (1998)
  29. 30. Possibly Aggregating the Problem: Milankovitch Cycles Brown and Lomolino (1998)
  30. 31. Definitely Aggregating the Problem: Urbanization <ul><li>Daniel Sarewitz and Roger Pielke, Jr.: </li></ul><ul><li>reduction in greenhouse gas emission is </li></ul><ul><li>important but will not reduce vulnerability to </li></ul><ul><li>natural disasters. Why? </li></ul><ul><li>Urbanization: More people living closer to coast and flood prone areas </li></ul>
  31. 32. Results: Increased Frequency and Intensity of Climate Anomalies NOAA 2007.
  32. 33. NOAA 2007.
  33. 34. NOAA 2007.
  34. 35. The Media and Hollywood: Raising Awareness about Natural Disasters and Climate Change
  35. 36. Climate Change and Natural Disasters in Movies <ul><li>Grapes of Wrath Twister </li></ul><ul><li>The Perfect Storm Absolute Zero </li></ul><ul><li>Day After Tomorrow Volcano </li></ul>
  36. 37. Relevance of Mass Media to Disaster Management
  37. 38. <ul><li>Started by Laurie David, wife of Larry David (co-creator of Seinfeld and creator of Curb Your Enthusiasm) </li></ul><ul><li>A virtual march that is a non-political effort bringing Americans together to declare that global warming is here now and it’s time to act. </li></ul><ul><li>Videos include Leonardo DiCaprio, Martin Short, Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. </li></ul>“ Join the 670,948 supporters of the Stop Global Warming Virtual March, and become part of the movement to demand solutions to global warming now.”
  38. 39. HBO Documentary <ul><li>“ Heat waves. Melting glaciers. Rising sea levels. Catastrophic storms. Migrating viruses. Population displacement. Over the past 100 years, the mass consumption of fossil fuels, especially in America, has contributed to a dangerous warming of the earth that has adversely impacted the way we live. The cautionary documentary offers a guide to the effects of global warming in the United States. “ </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>
  39. 40. Sports Illustrated <ul><li> </li></ul>
  40. 41. Any thoughts or questions?