Are coastal areas are more vulnerable to climatic hazards than areas inland.

  • Created by: Jo
  • Created on: 28-04-11 13:20

Coastal areas are more vulnerable to climatic hazards than areas inland.
Do you agree?

A climatic hazard is a severe change in an areas climate which can threaten both life and property and cause great social, political and environmental problems. Climatic hazards can affect most of the world, however the type of climatic hazard depends on the location of an area, whether it is coastal or inland, and also the climate of an area. For example a climatic hazard such as a hurricane, will only affect the coastal regions in tropical climates.

Hurricanes pose a huge threat to coastal areas. Hurricanes develop as intense low pressure systems over tropical oceans which have to be over 27 degrees Celsius. This allows the latent heat energy to generate strong winds; the area of low pressure also has to be far enough away from the equator for the Coriolis Effect to take place, which gives hurricanes their wind rotation. Hurricanes are compound hazards which incorporate heavy rain, strong wind and high waves, which can consequently lead to a multitude of other hazards such as flooding of rivers and mudslides. Coastal areas and islands are the only places vulnerable to hurricanes as, as soon as the hurricane moves over land it begins to die away as it no longer has a source of heat and moisture which provide it with energy.

Hurricanes are measured by the Saffir-Simpson scale which grades them from category one to five. An example of a category five hurricane is Hurricane Katrina, which hit the coastal areas in the Gulf of Mexico in the August of 2005. With wind speeds of over 175mph, Hurricane Katrina caused terrible damage to the states of Louisiana, Mississippi and Florida. In particular the city of New Orleans, which suffered disastrous flooding after the hurricane overcame the rivers levees. Overall the death toll was over 1500, and the damage costs were about $300 billion. As well as infrastructure damage, tourism centres were badly affected, causing a drop


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