Why Natural Disasters Are Not Natural
“Why are natural disasters never really natural?”
When a massive hurricane, flood, or wildfire hits an area, it often gets described as a natural disaster. However, the factors that make these disasters such as economic devastation, infrastructure loss, and community displacement, are not from natural factors. Rather, these are from the results of years, decades, and in some cases centuries of bad planning, corrupt leadership, and systematic discrimination.
Take New Orleans during Katrina as an example. While the city was built in an area that was safe from flooding, it was surrounded by floodplain wetlands. When it expanded under U.S control, the Army Corp of Engineers made sure to build levees to protect it. In the 20th century, the government built a wide variety of levees and dams to protect coastal cities, which ended up devastating the sediment carrying process and destroying many natural flood barriers. This was further compounded by the U.S Army Corp of Engineers miscalculating sea-level rise and rate of subsidence for the new levee which caused it to sink 5 ft further into the ground. Combine this with the fact that more vulnerable populations were placed closer to harm’s way and the impact of global warming gon making hurricanes stronger, and you get a very unnatural Hurricane Katrina Disaster. This is just one illustration of Why Natural Disasters Are Not Natural.
Why Weather Forecasting Will Become More Important for Society With the Advent of Climate Change
“Why will weather prediction become critical for future climate resilience?”
Climate change is going to make extreme weather events much more common. And since disasters can occur with a short-term notification, the ability to forecast and respond quickly can make a humungous difference. For example, people learning about an upcoming heavy rainfall can plan ahead and give themselves the proper protection, or if emergency responders can monitor how dry and windy weather conditions will be then they can prepare for a potential wildfire. These are just two of the many reasons Why Weather Forecasting Will Become More Important for Society With the Advent of Climate Change.
Wildfire Resilience Retrofit
“How can we make older houses more resilient to wildfires?”
Housing built to newer standards tends to be more resilient against wildfires than older models. However, these older homes can upgrade their capacity through a retrofit, which could range from replacing building material to upgrading air filtration systems. This is why Wildfire Resilience Retrofits are so important.
Image credit http://www.buildinggreen.com
Federal Climate Adaptation Funding
“How can a federal government help its citizens with climate adaptation?”
Like every type of project, climate adaptation work will need some form of funding. Much of this can come from the federal government, where grand projects can be commenced and decision-makers organized. This is why Federal Climate Adaptation Funding is so important for building the capacity to withstand climate change.
Climate Migration Analysis
“How can researchers analyze how a population migrates because of climate change?”
Climate migration will be one of the most important humanitarian issues of the 21st century. And to get a better understanding of it, researchers will need to analyze the effects going on. This can be done using Climate Migration Analysis, which studies the factors that cause populations to move from one location to another and how it might shift climate vulnerabilities.
Image credit assetsds.cdnedge.bluemix.net
Why Is Bronze Harder Than Stone?
“Why is bronze stronger than stone?”
The transition from stone to bronze marked humanity’s transition from the caves to civilization. This was brought by the ability to use this stronger material allowed for the creation of more complex machinery and structure. But what makes bronze stronger than stone? Well, it all comes down to the fact that it has a more compact molecular structure, giving it more strength! This is Why Bronze Is Harder Than Stone.
How Urban Sprawl Can Lead to Flooding Vulnerabilities
“How can urban sprawl lead to flooding vulnerabilities?”
Urban sprawl is infamous for causing an untold amount of problems in cities. When cement is poured over floodplains, the local area loses its water absorption capacity and becomes more prone to runoffs and flash floods. An example of this was the massive damage inflicted upon the city of Houston in late 2017 from Hurricane Maria, much of it exacerbated from its urban sprawl. This is How Urban Sprawl Can Lead to Flooding Vulnerabilities.
Sea-Level Rise and Urban Planning
“Why does sea-level rise need to be included in urban planning?”
Sea-level rise from climate change is becoming an increasing concern for urban planners and officials. Because of this, all new urban designs must factor in how their plans will adapt to sea-level rise, whether it be using seawalls or sponge cities. This is how Sea-Level Rise and Urban Planning are connected.
Image credit http://www.wlrn.org
How Climate Migration Can Impact Housing Affordability
“How can climate migration impact housing affordability?”
More and more people are leaving their long-held homes in response to climate stress. These people often move to nearby areas en-masse. Often times these new places do not have enough housing stock to accommodate the new arrivals, resulting in a market pinch, increasing the cost of living dramatically. For this reason, climate-safe areas will need to vastly increase their housing stock to accommodate future residents. This How Climate Migration Can Impact Housing Affordability.