Imagine it’s Christmas time and there’s no snow outside. In fact, it’s late December and the weather has mostly been warm for a long while since Halloween. The temperature for the most part has been remaining in the 30’s and sometimes early 40’s. Outside, it still looks like autumn and the ground is just muddy and damp. Instead of snow, there has just been the usual rainfall on occasion. The only time when snow does happen is usually during January, February, or early March. That’s when mostly a blizzard would occur.
If you live in New York City or live around the tri-state area, you’d probably know what I’m talking about. The same thing would be if throughout the summer from May to August, it would just feel cool, like if the spring never left, or the fall came in much too early. If the seasons in recent years have been this way then that probably means it’s mostly been due to global warming. The greenhouse effect. Where a lot of carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O) and all these other hydrocarbons are left trapped in the atmosphere mixed in with the warmth of the sun making everything in our atmosphere super hot at times when it shouldn’t be.
All of this mainly comes from pollution which can either be caused by manmade activities like fossil fuels or something as natural to a forest fire or volcano erupting. Pollution and global warming can also be a major contributor to climate change. We’ve seen climate change happen throughout history and prehistory. From Pangea, to the ice age, to Pompeii, to the dust bowl. Nuclear experimentation throughout history’s biggest fought wars like World War II and the Cold War were catastrophes that had an impact the Earth’s environment including natural landmarks like the Antelope and Grand Canyons.
All of this can have a massive effect to our planet’s atmosphere (air), lithosphere (land), biosphere (living things), and hydrosphere (water). We can see this on a daily basis with increasing numbers of landslides, floods, tsunamis, earthquakes, hurricanes and tornadoes. All of which is what we call natural disasters. In 2023 alone we have experienced a lot of what has occurred: A 6.8 magnitude earthquake that shook Morocco and another one that later shook Iraq. Floods that occurred in both Libya and China. Hurricane Lee that impacted Bermuda, West Africa, Northeastern United States, and Atlantic Canada. And let’s not forget the recent flash floods that occurred in the Maui county in Hawaii. All of this is climate change, or causes of climate change. Deforestation and drought can also be a factor of climate change. Hence the Canadian wildfires over the summer, which later engulfed New York City in an orange haze, making going outside for long periods of time dangerous. China in the late 2010s also suffered environmental abuse problems with their greenhouse gas emissions. It also affects hunting and fishing as a lot of animal species on both land and water are now becoming endangered because of all of this. So as of recent times, I get the feeling that mainly it’s been efforts made by mankind that has been corrupting the Earth’s atmosphere. How do I feel or what is my take on all these climate changes? I honestly don’t know. This is the only planet that I live on and I know that I’m not the only person who lives here. It’s other people and corporations out there who are doing this to Earth. I’m just one person against a whole planet of billion others of my kind. A lot of the time, people are doing this for money and businesses. However, I have been seeing recent architectural trends where greenery is being incorporated into building structures. The high line in Chelsea, New York being one said example. Then there is also eco-brutalism; a form of brutalist architecture that attempts to include biological-ecological components like grass and plant life. Since Hurricane Sandy in October 2012, Far Rockaway beach has constructed a new and sturdy concrete boardwalk and in the wake of Lee, construction crews have come to create a sand dune defense in case of rising waters. I think by creating some sort of an irrigation system from an outside area and having INTRODUCTION TO NATURAL DISASTERS 2 flood water be drained into a proper sewer system can help eliminate floods, especially if dealing with coastal front cities and homes. Although, I don’t know what I can say about the rest of these natural disasters. What I have only mentioned were just a few ways how people can eliminate or decrease floods within populated areas. Otherwise I feel that maybe perhaps electric cars need to become more popular and become a necessity over ordinary gasoline automobiles. I once have heard that some countries like India in the near future wants to utilize more solar energy to power up an entire city. People in major cities also need to limit the usage of light as that also causes light pollution. The reason we can’t see clear starry skies at night. But if we want to lessen the amounts of hurricanes and tsunamis that occur in a year, then we as the human race need to find of an alternative over fossil fuels, oil mining and other things that cause climate change and the greenhouse effect, and based on how things have been going in the past couple of decades, I don’t know if we are ever going to get to such alternative. INTRODUCTION TO NATURAL DISASTERS 3