Changes In The Earth's Environment



The 20th century, especially in the second half, has been one of rapid
change in the Earth's environment. The impact of humans on the physical form and
functioning of the Earth have reached levels that are global in character, and
have done so at an increasingly mounting speed. 20 years ago the environment was
seen as posing a threat to the future of humanity as death rates from natural
hazards had increased dramatically since the turn of the century. The Earth
though has always been plagued by natural disasters. Now, with the world
population growing at a rapid rate more people are living in hazard prone areas.
Events which may have gone unnoticed previously, only become hazards when ...

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events greatly
exceeding normal human expectations in terms of their magnitude or frequency and
causing significant damage to man and his works with possible loss of life.
(Heathcote,1979,p.3.). A natural hazard occurs when there is an interaction
between a system of human resource management and extreme or rare natural
phenomena (Chapman,1994). As McCall, Laming and Scott (1991) argue, strictly
speaking there is no hazard unless humans are affected in some way. Yet the line
between natural and human-made hazards is a finely drawn one and usually
overlapping. Doornkamp ( cited in McCall et al, 1992) argues that many hazards
are human induced or at least made worse by the intervention of humans.
In the 1970's, natural hazards were an important subject of topical study,
as the nature of their impact on human populations and what they valued was
increasing in frequency at quite a rapid rate (Burton, Kates, White, 1978).
During the 75 years after 1900 the population of the earth ...

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area which turned out to be one of great risk. Major disruption was
inevitable Burton et al (1978) argue whenever population was in the path of such
forces. Had reasonable measures been taken in advance of the storm, the material
damage, loss of life and social dislocation could have been seriously reduced.
In the 1990's we live in an information age. Today we have remarkable
monitoring and predictive capabilities for natural hazards. The use of advanced
telecommunications and emergency management, together with the exploitation of
geographic information systems in hazard mitigation has greatly reduced the
extent to which natural hazards are seen as a threat to people in the ...

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PAPER DETAILS
Added: 3/3/2007 08:56:22 AM
Category: Science & Nature
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 2141
Pages: 8

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