Hazards and disasters describe a range of phenomena from those ascribed to nature, including hurricanes, tornados, earthquakes and volcanoes, to those in which both humans and nature share a role. This includes some episodes of natural flooding and wildfires to those purely of human origin like the chemical leak in Bhopal and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
No matter the cause, human lives and well-being are often at risk in addition to large swaths of the natural environment. Hazards and disasters affect populations worldwide, regardless of politics, wealth, location or other factors which tend to differentiate populations
Air Pollution a Culprit in
Worsening Drought and Flooding
Increases in aerosols can affect cloud development
Increases in air pollution and other particulate matter...
Public Health Statement for Ionizing RadiationLast Updated on 2013-09-28 16:17:13This article is a verbatim version of the original and is not available for edits or additions by EoE editors or authors. Companion articles on the same topic that are editable may exist within the EoE.
This Public Health Statement is the summary chapter from the Toxicological Profile for ionizing radiation. It is one in a series of Public Health Statements about hazardous substances and their health effects. A shorter version, the ToxFAQs™, is also available. This information is important because this substance may harm you. The effects of exposure to any hazardous substance depend on the dose, the duration, how you are exposed, personal traits and habits, and whether other chemicals are present. For more information, call the ATSDR Information Center at 1-888-422-8737.
This public health statement tells you about ionizing radiation and... More »
SubductionLast Updated on 2013-08-11 09:49:32
Subduction is a term used in earth science to describe the process where of the oceanic lithosphere (the outer solid part of the Earth, including the crust and uppermost mantle, about 100 km thick) collides with and descends beneath the part of the lithosphere. In terms of tectonics, subduction is the result of two tectonic plates converging, and one plate sliding (subducting) under another plate. The term "subduction zone" is used to describe the region where subduction occurs and the characteristics associated with subduction are observed.
The gliding of one plate under the other is not smooth but jerky producing seismic waves. Thus, subduction is associated with earthquakes. Subduction results in the creation of molten magma that gives rises to volcanism, particularly a line of volcanoes known as "arc volcanoes" or a series of volcanic islands. Most volcanoes... More »
Richter scaleLast Updated on 2013-07-18 16:15:15The Richter scale (or Richter magnitude scale or local magnitude [ML]) scale) is a measure of the magnitude of (or more specificifically the energy released by) an earthquake that is determined from the logarithm of the amplitude of waves recorded on a seismogram at a certain period.
The Richter magnitude scale was developed in 1935 by Charles F. Richter of the California Institute of Technology as the "local magnitude" or ML scale for moderate-size (3 < ML < 7) earthquakes in southern California. The ML scale is often called the “Richter scale” by the press and the public. Fundamentally, it is a mathematical way to compare the size of earthquakes.
The magnitude of an earthquake is determined from the logarithm of the amplitude of waves recorded by seismographs. Adjustments are included for the variation in the distance between the various... More »
Strait of MalaccaLast Updated on 2013-05-16 00:00:00
The Strait of Malacca, located between Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore, links the Indian Ocean to the South China Sea and Persian Gulf. The length of the strait is about 800 kilometres. At its narrowest point in the Phillips Channel of the Singapore Strait, Malacca is only approximately 1.7 miles wide, creating a natural bottleneck, as well as potential for collisions, piracy, grounding, or water pollution, particularly for oil spills.
The International Hydrographic Organization defines the limits of the Strait of Malacca as shown by the dashed lines on the map below. However, for practical purposes, many include the Singapore Strait as part of Malacca.
Base map source: Demis
Importance for Oil Transportation
Malacca is the shortest sea route between Persian Gulf suppliers and the Asian markets—notably China, Japan, South Korea, and the... More »
Linking extreme heat events to global warmingLast Updated on 2012-08-07 00:00:00
An analysis by James Hansen and colleagues suggests that recent episodes of extremely warm summers, including the intense heat wave afflicting the U.S. Midwest this year, very likely are the consequence of global warming.
Research Links Extreme Summer Heat Events to Global Warming
A statistical analysis (Perception of climate change) by NASA scientists has found that Earth's land areas have become much more likely to experience an extreme summer heat wave than they were in the middle of the 20th century. The research was published August 6, 2012, in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Earth's Northern Hemisphere over the past 30 years has seen more "hot" (orange), "very hot" (red) and "extremely hot" (brown) summers, compared to a base period defined in... More »
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