Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Resources: Weather & Atmospheric Hazards

There are a number of hazards and disasters associated with the weather such as hurricanes, tornadoes, typhoons, heat-waves, wildfires etc. Although these are not directly geological - the holistic nature of the earth means that there are significant interactions between atmospheric and weather hazards - and geohazards. 

For example, heavy rain leads to high groundwater levels thus increasing slope instability. Wildfires (sometimes caused deliberately, sometimes caused as a result of very high temperatures) lead to significant degradation of the ground. This can lead to debris flows and flooding when rains increase. A further example can be seen in Haiti. A huge earthquake hit Haiti in 2010, devastating the infrastructure, making many homeless and increasing communities vulnerability. Unfortunately Haiti also suffers from atmospheric hazards such as hurricanes, the impacts of which will be even bigger as a result of the earthquake and increased vulnerability.

A number of websites give good information about weather and atmospheric hazards: