GEOL-1100-850: Earth System Science
This paper is about what could possibly happen to the city of Perth, Australia and all of the people whom call it home, should a natural disaster strike the city or region. First let me give you some facts about the city of Perth. Perth is located in the country of Australia, which is located in the Southern Hemisphere. Perth is the capital and largest city of the Australian state of Western Australia. As of 2009, Perth had a population of 1,650,000. (Perth, 2009) The metropolitan area of Perth is located on the southwest coast of the country. The central business district and suburbs of Perth are situated along the banks of the Swan River. Natural Disasters
Perth has the potential to be struck by natural disasters just as any other country in the world. A natural disaster is the effect of a natural hazard that effects the environment, and leads to financial, environmental and/or human losses. (Natural Disaster, 2009) The list of possible natural disasters includes: tropical storms, earthquakes, droughts, floods, cyclones and bush fires. Everyday around the world natural disasters take place and they shape the environment in which we live. Many countries have other natural disasters that strike them like tsunamis, tornadoes, volcanoes and many more. Droughts
Droughts are periods of time in which a region does not receive any precipitation and it is usually critically damaging to crops. (drought, n.d.) In Perth and many other parts of Australia, droughts are a way of life and the impact on those living through one can be severe. Frequently there are temporary and/or sometimes permanent water restrictions in many areas of Australia including in the major cities like Perth. During draughts, many rural rivers are sucked dry either by the weather or by the demand for water. The weather has a crucial effect during a drought, take El Nino for instance, which is an ocean warming phenomenon, this has an effect on the weather in Perth. The warmer dryer weather for an extended period of time can disrupt the water cycle. Droughts can leave the country susceptible to fires. They can kill off crops, livestock and the people that live within the stricken region. Below you will see a system diagram of a drought. The increase in the ocean temperature decreases the difference in the air temperature along with less wind creates less evaporation. Less evaporation leads to less precipitation leads us into a drought. -
Ocean & Rivers
Bush fires are a constant threat throughout all parts of the country during the summer months. Lightening strikes however often causes these bush fires but many are deliberately lit. They often threaten country towns and occasionally cities, so the impact on Perth would be on the rural areas. These brush fires burn the vegetation and pretty much anything that may be in its path. At times many people needlessly lose their lives in bush fires because they refuse to abandon their homes. Many times during the year restrictions are placed in the lighting of fires in a bush fire zones. (Sutton, 2006) As these fires burn, they cause the air to become polluted with smoke and it also makes the land that does go through the fire more susceptible to landslides and erosion. Not to mention the number of homes that ultimately get destroyed along with number of people that could lose their lives at the same time. Fires also play havoc with the circle of life with the vast number of animals that live within the region as the predator/prey population changes as a result of the fires.
Bush Fire in Australia
Floods are normally caused by cyclones or tropical storms, both of which are common in the country. In January 1998 torrential rain in one Australian town caused widespread flooding when 500mm (20 inches) of...
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