Disasters occur where and when the earth’s natural processes concentrate energy and then release it, killing and causing destruction.
Four energy sources make the earth an active body: 1) the Earth’s internal energy; 2) solar energy; 3)gravity; 4)the impact of extraterrestrial bodies
The interior of the Earth holds a tremendous store of heat released primarily from the ongoing decay of radioactive elements. Earth’s internal energy flows unceasingly toward the surface.
* Over short time span: released as eruptions from volcanoes and by earthquakes.
* Over long intervals of geological time, the flow of internal energy has produced continents, oceans and atmosphere.
* On a planetary scale, this outward flow of internal energy causes continents to drift and collide, constructing mountain ranges and elevated plateaus.
Gravity is an attractive force between bodies. The relatively great mass of the earth has powerful effects on smaller masses such as ice and rock, causing snow avalanches and landslides.
Hydrological Cycle: about a quarter of the sun’s energy that reaches the Earth evaporated and lifts water into the atmosphere, creating the hydrological cycle. At the same time, constant gravity bring atmospheric moisture down as snow and rain.
* On short timescales, unequal heating of the oceans and atmosphere at the Earth’s pole vs the equator created density differences in water and air that are acted on by gravity to create weather like storms, strong winds and ocean waves.
* On a long timescale, the sun and gravity power the agents of erosion—glaciers, streams, underground waters, winds, ocean waves and currents that wear away the continents and dump their broken pieces and dissolved the remains into the sea.
Asteroids and comets: impact the earth .
* Origin of the Sun and Planets
* Solar system formed by growth of the Sun and planets through collisions of matter... [continues]
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