In America, there are different natural disasters that occur in different parts of the country both seasonally and year-round, ranging from hurricanes and earthquakes, to droughts and floods. However, the effects of climate change and global warming can make the projected future of natural disasters much worse than would have occurred naturally without human interference.
The change of climate throughout the world is due in great part to mankind’s pollution by releasing chemicals into the atmosphere. The extreme use of carbon dioxide by the burning of fossil fuels alone has created an imbalance in the atmosphere, causing the effects of global warming to become more severe. Without human interference, there still would’ve been a change of climate naturally; however, it would be nowhere near as drastic as it is now. The addition of all these chemicals by human action has caused global warming – the trapping of more of the sun’s rays in the atmosphere, heating up the earth faster and faster. This increase in climate temperature can affect the factors which contribute to natural disasters, which could cause both worse and more frequent disasters.
Earthquakes are caused by the movement of the tectonic plates, so they will not be affected by global warming much, if at all. However, drought, flooding, and hurricanes are all very common natural disasters that can be affected very significantly by global warming. In the western region of America, there is a great possibility of an increase in drought due to global warming, especially in states such as California. Due to the western region’s geography, retaining water isn’t easy, and the amount of rainfall is already low. Over a period of 10, 20, or even 30 years, the amount of rainfall annually will continue to decrease, and the severity of droughts will continue to increase, making it harder to live in this western region.
As there is a connection to drought and global warming, there is also a connection to flooding and global warming. While rain decreases in one region, it increases in another region, mainly in the midwestern region of America. An excess of rain at one time can cause immense flooding which can ruin the geography of the land and turn the soil into mud. Since the Midwest is comprised of mainly agricultural areas, this excessive rain makes farming nearly impossible. This adversely affects the people who live there since they are unable to make money from their crops. It also impacts the rest of the country that depends on the crops grown in that area. As time progresses, these rains will increase with global warming, rendering the land useless to farmers.
In addition to exacerbating flooding and drought, global warming also has a negative effect on hurricanes. Hurricanes are caused by a sudden surge of hot air from below and cool air from above the ocean. With increased global warming, hurricanes are not entirely likely to occur more frequently; however, studies do show that the scale of these hurricanes may become more drastic. With more hot air systems over the oceans, the hurricanes that do form are more likely to be larger, windier, and rainier. This is most likely to occur long the eastern region of America where hurricanes are common and the land is closest to the ocean. The increased destructive power of hurricanes can destroy land as well as whatever buildings are in the hurricanes’ path. If there is an increase in hurricane severity, most buildings will be unable to withstand them and will inevitably collapse, causing massive casualties from both lives and money lost.
From the research, it is possible to see how global warming can affect natural disasters, not only in the present but also in the future. If climate change continues the way that it is going, over the course of 30 years, things could be very detrimental for mankind.