The environment as hazard by Ian Burton

By Ian Burton

The disastrous results of traditional dangers akin to earthquakes, floods, and hurricanes are usually "called Acts of God." hard that view, the long-awaited moment version of this now vintage paintings depicts normal dangers as severe occasions in nature which are made much more risky by way of the acts or the forget of individuals. because the starting of the twentieth century, the toll on society as a result of such environmental episodes has replaced considerably in numerous ways--while fatalities from significant occasions have lowered, the variety of pronounced occasions inflicting a hundred or extra deaths, in addition to the level of estate harm, has risen progressively. offering a framework for interpreting what debts for those total developments, the surroundings AS chance deals an figuring out of the way humans around the globe take care of fluctuations within the neighborhood typical platforms of air, water, and terrain.

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Extra resources for The environment as hazard

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There are many ways of describing extreme natural events. In several instances the study of these phenomena is a central concern of one or another branch of the natural sciences. Thus, hydrologists study floods; seismologists study earthquakes; droughts and tornadoes are the concern of climatologists and meteorologists; patterns of land and land use are studied by geographers; biologists investigate the desert locust; and so on. Out of this traditional division of labor comes a classification of hazards based on the natural processes characterized by extreme events.

Since then the Hungarian National Water Authority has constructed Europe’s largest system of levees and dikes, and has organized a flood-fighting service. Experience with a great flood along the Danube in 1965 and in the valley of a tributary, the Tisza, in 1970 (100,000 people were evacuated and 30,000 were engaged in flood fighting) suggests that greater floods will occur and are likely to overtop the present works. The danger is increased by a tendency for river levels to rise as a result of flood protection works and of land-use changes upstream, chiefly in neighboring countries.

The magnitude of hazard events is often particularly difficult to assess, however, because the instrument of measurement—persons, their possessions and activities—is itself subject to significant and rapid change. Thus, two droughts may be of similar magnitude in terms of moisture deficiency, duration, and areal extent, and yet have very different magnitude in social response terms according to density of population, kinds of crops being grown in the area, level of agricultural technology, and so on.

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