Throughout history, the United States has had many catastrophic and costly natural disasters, some of which have caused billions of dollars in damage, and the number of dangerous phenomena is only increasing. Hurricanes are one of the most potent forces of the elements, which cause significant destruction, great damage to economic facilities, and lead human casualties. To prevent the frequent occurrence of this weather phenomenon, it is necessary to understand the process of its occurrence and how human actions affect it.
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A hurricane is a dangerous natural phenomenon that threatens people’s lives and the animal world, bringing great destruction to residential buildings and economic facilities. This wind is of destructive force and considerable duration, the speed of which exceeds thirty miles per hour (Prager, 2020). Hurricane appears under the influence of strong winds, when the pressure on the water’s surface decreases and the air temperature is high enough, forming a steam cloud (Lim et al., 2018). It accelerates as it moves through the water, reaching the land. It calms down and weakens as it loses all water and moisture supply.
The occurrence of hurricanes is not constant and has no significant dependence on the sun or instead on solar flares. A hurricane generates perturbation, which occurs when warm and humid air coming into contact with the sea begins to rise (Prager, 2020). Most hurricanes form in the area of the Atlantic Ocean. Hurricane season begins in early June, as the water starts to warm up and the pressure slowly drops. Science has not yet reached the level to deal with hurricanes and calm them down, but forecasters can already predict the location and size of hurricanes and cyclones.
The last incident was Hurricane Laura on August 27, 2020, which hit the US states of Texas and Louisiana. It has become the most destructive in the last few years – it has been assigned the fourth category of power. When making landfall, Freedman et al. (2020) wrote that Laura contributed to the formation of destructive winds with tragic damage and power outages. Tens of thousands of coastal residents were also evacuated, some of them losing their homes and property. In the aftermath of Laura, parts of Louisiana experienced catastrophic storm surges, hurricane-force winds, and flooding.
Increasingly, scientists are now saying that global climate change directly impacts the frequency and strength of hurricanes. It does not contribute to the number of hurricanes but raises the periodicity of the most devastating of them and affects the statistics of earthquakes and tsunamis. As the shift in the environment impacts the number of mighty winds, it also directs them to where they can cause the most damage. The struggle of developed countries for clear skies by reducing the level of dangerous aerosols and particulate matter in the atmosphere also has its negative consequences (Lim et al., 2018). With a cloudless sky, the Earth receives more sunlight, which is then delayed by greenhouse gases, which only exacerbates global warming.
Such disasters as a hurricane have always been unpredictable and utterly natural. It is one of the most frequent and dangerous cataclysms on the planet. This rapid funnel comes from the sea, and once on land, it quickly dissipates, causing significant damage before that. If in most cases, climate change has little influence on the nature of dangerous phenomena, then the situation with hurricanes, as recent studies show, is different, as it has a significant role in the appearance of this mighty wind.
Freedman, A., Samenow, J., & Hawkins, D. (2020). Hurricane Laura makes landfall as category 4 in Louisiana with “life-threatening” surge. The Washington Post. Web.
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Lim, Y. K., Schubert, S. D., Kovach, R., Molod, A. M., & Pawson, S. (2018). The roles of climate change and climate variability in the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season. Scientific Reports, 8(16172), 1-10. Web.
Prager, E. (2020). Dangerous Earth: What we wish we knew about volcanoes, hurricanes, climate change, earthquakes, and more. University of Chicago Press.