Though both a tornado and a hurricane are fraught with terrible consequences, both in terms of material damage and the possible injuries, when choosing between the two, I would rather face a hurricane than a tornado. There are several reasons for the choice that I have made, yet a comparative predictability of a hurricane is the feature that was defining in the comparison between the two (Lutgens and Tarbuck “The Atmosphere in Motion” 447).
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Indeed, a closer look at a hurricane will show that its destructive power is lesser, much like its longevity. Unlike a tornado, which traditionally forms from a cumulonimbus cloud, a hurricane, also known as a tropical cyclone, occurs as a result of water evaporation from the surface of the ocean and then forms clouds immediately (Lutgens and Tarbuck “The Atmosphere in Motion” 451).
One must admit that hurricanes, while causing impressively lesser damage, may conceal even greater threat, since they often trigger tornadoes. Therefore, there is a possibility of having to face both instead of merely a hurricane. However, the threat of a hurricane progressing to become a tornado is quite low; in addition, the tornadoes spawned by hurricanes are less powerful than the ones that develop directly from a cumulonimbus cloud (Lutgens and Tarbuck “Weather Patterns and Severe Weather” 476).
Therefore, I would rather face a hurricane than a tornado, mostly because of the difference in their duration and effect. Though each of the phenomena is potentially dangerous and is likely to do a lot of damage, a hurricane has a less powerful effect than a tornado and, which is most important, is much more predictable than a tornado (Lutgens and Tarbuck “Weather Patterns and Severe Weather” 484). As a result, it would be much easier to avoid injuries and predict the worst case scenario.
The course has definitely given me a lot of food for thoughts; it has made me reconsider the impact that people have had on Earth, as well as the changes that the planet is undergoing at present. Moreover, the information acquired throughout the course has allowed for not only envisioning the possible future of the planet and the civilization, but also the ways to escape the drastic consequences that may follow unless the environmental policy is reconsidered.
However, it would be wrong to claim that the course has made me view the Earth through merely an environmentalist viewpoint. While admittedly important, this manner of viewing the planet did not bring many surprises. What literally made me gasp in awe in front of the majesty of nature was the text about volcanoes. True, the information about tornadoes and hurricanes also stirred my imagination and impressed be, yet the fire that pours out of the depth of the Earth looks much more impressive to me. Before taking this course, I never thought about the forces that were raging under the Earth crust, and that the center of the Earth could literally be described as liquid fire.
Apart from the weird charm of the idea that the Earth can breathe fire, the very fact that once dormant, a volcano can become active again and bring immense destructions seems mesmerizingly terrifying and at the same time interesting and worth researching to me. As a matter of fact, it was reading about volcanoes that made me feel like doing a bit of a research on the topic. Learning about volcanoes was clearly one of the most exciting elements of the course.
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Lutgens, Frederick K. and Edward J. Tarbuck. “The Atmosphere in Motion.” Foundations of Earth Science. 7th ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. 2014. 445-468. Print.
—. “Weather Patterns and Severe Weather.” Foundations of Earth Science. 7th ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. 2014. 469–500. Print.