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Lecture Outlines Natural Disasters, 7 th edition Patrick L. Abbott Natural Disasters and the Human Population Natural Disasters, 7 th edition, Chapter 1 Natural Disasters in 2004 and 2005 More than 280,000 people killed by natural disasters in 2004, almost 100,000 in 2005

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Lecture outlines natural disasters 7 th edition l.jpg

Lecture OutlinesNatural Disasters, 7th edition

Patrick L. Abbott


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Natural Disasters and the Human PopulationNatural Disasters, 7th edition, Chapter 1


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Natural Disasters in 2004 and 2005

  • More than 280,000 people killed by natural disasters in 2004, almost 100,000 in 2005

  • 2005 Pakistan earthquake: 88,000 people killed

    • 3.3 million left homeless

    • 2nd wave of deaths from winter storm

  • 2005 Hurricane Katrina

    • 2004 Hurricane Ivan was dress rehearsal, close miss

    • 2005 Hurricane Katrina was direct hit on Mississippi, engulfed much of Gulf Coast

    • Failure of Mississippi River and Lake Pontchartrain levees flooded parts of New Orleans up to 20 feet




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Human Fatalities in Natural Disasters

  • Sawtooth-shaped curve caused by largest natural disasters

  • Biggest killers (in order): hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, severe weather, landslides, volcanic eruptions, tornadoes and tsunami

  • Most mega-killer disasters occur in densely populated belt through Asia, along Indian Ocean – number of fatalities is proportional to density of population

  • Effects on survivors

    • Increase in altruism

Figure 1.4


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Economic Losses from Natural Disasters

  • Destruction and damage to structures, loss of productivity and wages

  • Increase in economic losses over time is result of increase in human population and urbanization

  • Most expensive events caused by storms and occurred in U.S., Europe and Japan


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Natural Hazards

  • Hazard exists even where disasters are infrequent

  • Evaluate site risk

  • Mitigation prior to event

    • Engineering, physical, social and political plans and actions to reduce death and destruction from natural hazards

  • Mitigation after event

    • Rebuilding and re-inhabiting same site

    • Case history: Popocatepetl Volcano, Mexico

      • Eruptions in 822, 1519 and beginning again in 1994

      • Currently 100,000 people living at base

Figure 1.5


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Magnitude, Frequency, and Return Period

  • Inverse correlation between frequency (how often it occurs) and magnitude (how big it is) of a process

  • Frequent occurrences are low in magnitude, rare occurrences are high in magnitude

  • Small-scale activity is common, big events are rare

  • Larger the event, longer the return period (recurrence interval)

  • Probability estimates of various size (10-fatality, 1000-fatality, etc.) occurrences can be considered

  • Cost-benefit ratio can be considered in conjunction with return-period of given magnitude event


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    Overview of Human Population History

    • Difficult to assess early human population growth

    • Human species ‘began’ approximately 160,000 years ago, with a few thousand people

    • Human population has grown to over 6.7 billion people in 2008

    • Growth rate is exponential

    Figure 1.7


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    Side Note: Interest Paid on Money: An Example of Exponential Growth

    Visualize exponential growth in terms of doubling time

    • Number of years for population to double in size, given annual percentage growth rate

    • Doubling time =

    • 70

    • % growth rate/year

    • Example of interest paid on money

      • Linear growth: $1000 + $100 / year

      • Exponential growth: $1000 + 7% / year

    • Example of water lily plant in pond

      • Doubles in size every day

      • Covers half the pond the day before it covers the whole pond

    Figure 1.9


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    The Last 10,000 Years of Human History Growth

    • Flat population growth curve until 8,000 years ago

      • Agriculture established

      • Domestication of animals

      • Growth rate increased to 0.036%/year

    • By 2,000 years ago, population ~200 million people

      • Better shelter, food, water supplies  faster population growth

      • Growth rate of 0.056%/year

    • By 1750, population

    • ~800 million people

    Figure 1.8


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    The Last 10,000 Years of Human History Growth

    • By 1750, population ~800 million people

      • Public health principles, causes of disease recognized

      • Birth rates soared, death rates dropped

    • 1810: ~1 billion

    • 1925: ~2 billion

    • 1960: ~3 billion Insert figure 1.10 here

    • 1974: ~4 billion

    • 1987: ~5 billion

    • 1999: ~6 billion

    • By 2013, projected population ~7 billion

    Figure 1.10


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    The Human Population Today Growth

    • Present population: (insert number)

      • Growth rate = 1.2%/year

      • Doubling time = 58 years

    • Growth rate =

    • fertility (birth) rate – mortality (death) rate

    • Human population grows by about 80 million people per year


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    Future World Population Growth

    • Demographic transition theory:

      • Mortality and fertility ratesdeclinefrom high to low levels because of economic and social development

    • Population Reference Bureau estimates world population growth rates aredropping

      • From 1.8%in 1990 to1.2%in 2008

      • Due to urbanization and increased opportunities for women


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    Future World Population Growth

    Figure 1.12


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    Future World Population Growth

    • BUTpopulation explosioncontinues

      • From 1950 to 2000 population grew from 2.5 billion to 6 billion

      • Growth rate of1.2%/yearmeans population of 9 billion in 2050

    • Consider no. of births / woman topredict 2150 population

      • Average 1.6 children/woman:3.6 billion

      • Average 2 children/woman:10.8 billion

      • Average 2.6 children/woman (current average):27 billion


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    Demographic Divide Growth

    • Wealthy countries: low birth rates, long life expectancies

    • Poor countries: high birth rates, short life expectancies

    • Examples of Japan’s shrinking population vs. Nigeria’s expanding population

    Insert table 1.10


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    Carrying Capacity Growth

    • How many people can Earth support?

      • Calculations of carrying capacity vary considerably

      • Increasing amounts of food can be produced

      • People can migrate from areas of famine or poverty to less crowded or wealthier areas

    • BUT Earth’s resources are finite, so solutions are temporary

    Figure 1.15


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    Carrying Capacity Growth

    • Example of Rapa Nui (Easter Island)

      • Isolated Pacific island with poor soil and little water

      • Settled by 25-50 Polynesians in 5th century

    • Survived easily on chickens and yams, plenty of free time

    • Developed elaborate competition between clans with moai (statues)

  • Civilization peaked at 1550, with population of ~7000

  • Figure 1.14


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    Carrying Capacity Growth

    • Example of Rapa Nui (Easter Island)

      • Reached by a Dutch ship in 1722

        • Found about 2,000 people living in caves

        • Primitive society, constant warfare

      • Rapa Nui’s carrying capacity had been drastically lowered by society’s actions:

        • Transportation of moai had required cutting down trees

        • Erosion of soil made yams scarce

        • Lack of canoes made fishing difficult and escape impossible