CLIMATE CHANGE AND NATURAL DISASTERS
Photo captured and article written by Jamilah Willams // Nov. 8 2017
With the steady increase of deadly natural disasters, such as hurricane Harvey, which is coined as the deadliest hurricane to hit the U.S in more than a decade and the deadly chain of earthquakes in Mexico, killing hundreds of innocent people, we can’t help but wonder what the cause of these disasters are. While it is not an immediate cause, climate change plays a big role in the occurrence and frequency of these calamities. The growing temperatures caused by greenhouse emissions result in the rising of sea levels and prevalence of intense Atlantic hurricanes. The rise in sea levels creates more moisture in the atmosphere, which generates a considerable amount of precipitation. This increase in precipitation causes bigger flood risks when hurricanes occur. Sea levels also increase the storm surge (abnormal increase of seawater levels during a storm) driven by hurricane -- which is the primal cause of damage within the coastal areas.
Earthquakes are formed for similar reasons. As global warming occurs and melt the glaciers --sometimes completely-- that leaves many people without a source of clean water. To remedy this problem, cities build dams and reservoirs to ensure their water supply. The water in these reservoirs anoints the faults while also lifting and creating pressure. When the faults are agitated, they jolt unexpectedly, which causes the earthquake. And while this theory isn’t proven to have been the case for Mexico’s earthquakes, it highlights the importance of checking seismic activity before building reservoirs to prevent further quakes. To reverse the effects of climate change and decrease the intensity of future natural disasters, there are a couple of things that you can do. Here are a few of them below: - Get involved and contact your political representatives - Be energy efficient. Turn off lights when they are not in use. Don’t be an energy hog’! - Eat organic and locally grown if you can afford to - Recycle and compost to reduce the methane being stored in landfills - Get involved about climate change news and join the discussion