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Is the world getting to be a more hazardous place?
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  1. Is the world getting to be a more hazardous place? Professor Adrian McDonald University of Leeds

  2. Structure • Some general principles • Flooding • Fire • Fisheries • Ecology

  3. Real or perceived? • Unchanged hazards • Improved observation • Improved recording • Improved communication

  4. Definitions • Hazard A danger or prospect of harm • Risk, vt. Exposure to mischance. • Management, n. Trickery, deceitful connivance.

  5. Risk is quantified hazard • Probability • X • Consequence • = RISK

  6. Floods Reported Disasters IFRC 2001

  7. Third World and First World • Impacts in the first world cost money. • Impacts in the third world cost lives. But • 3rd world flooding is also an opportunity • Crop diversity • Crop security These conclusions come from field studies by Matt Chadwick of the 1998 floods in India.

  8. Population • Even if the hazards remain the same, the impacts will increase as the population increases and the value at risk increases

  9. Urbanisation • The world is becoming increasingly urbanised. People and property are becoming increasingly concentrated and perhaps divorced from escape options.

  10. Flooding Is there evidence that flooding is getting worse?

  11. Data from the River Ouse 900 850 800 750 700 650 Decadally-averaged annual precipitation (mm) 600 550 500 1921-1930 1931-1940 1941-1950 1951-1960 1961-1970 1971-1980 1981-1990 1991-2000

  12. 10 9.5 9 8.5 floods(m above Newlyn) Decadallyaveragedannualmaximum 8 7.5 7 1881-1890 1901-1910 1921-1930 1941-1950 1961-1970 1981-1990 1891-1900 1911-1920 1931-1940 1951-1960 1971-1980 1991-2000

  13. 50 45 40 35 30 25 20 Number of peaks over 8.058 m threshold 15 10 5 0 1891-1900 1911-1920 1931-1940 1951-1960 1971-1980 1991-2000 1881-1890 1901-1910 1921-1930 1941-1950 1961-1970 1981-1990

  14. 2000 1500 Annual rainfall (mm) 1000 500 0 1965 1975 1985 1995 Hydrological year

  15. To summarise • Hidden in a time series of more variable annual rainfall totals is a picture of • declining rainfalls yet • bigger floods • more floods

  16. Fires Good intentions?

  17. The fire story • 2002 was a typical fire year in Canada compared against the ten year average. Canada recorded 7,824 fires destroying 2,757,174.91 hectares.

  18. Reaction has been to contain fire • Firebreaks

  19. Water bombers

  20. Response • Rapattack teams (smokejumpers) • Firecrews • Aim is control within an acre

  21. Adverse reaction • Fires are natural • Now with a 20 year history of rapid response, enlarged fuel store • Current fires are bigger and hotter. From 10 to 50 1‘000 KW/m flame front

  22. Cause and EffectEvery action has a consequenceIn forest operations that consequence may not be seen for a generation Fireweed may compete with forest regrowth. Fireweed will attract insects, grazers and predators.

  23. Sproat Lake, Vancouver Island 1978. Old growth Douglas Fir consumed 1967 by 7,000 ha Taylor River fire

  24. Natural Regeneration. Snag trees remain

  25. Fisheries

  26. Sustainable yield Cost Value Catch Effort

  27. Catch capacity The development of the potential of a fleet to catch fish. It is a measure of capability rather than actual catch.

  28. Spear Hook Boat Speed Experience Communication Detection Interpretation Storage Technology Development of Catch Capacity

  29. Regulation • Quotas • Implementing the quota • By-catch • Reality