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The present articulation between Brooklyn College and the NYU Tandon School The undergraduate thesis allows students to apply knowledge gained in their.

Essentially, the two terms are interchangeable because both refer to the process by which pollutants impact the environment in a negative way, which results in more greenhouse gases being trapped in the atmosphere, melting of the ice caps, warming of the oceans, and the loss of all kinds of habitats and life on the planet.

The loss of life and property that resulted from Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria in is viewed by some as the consequence of climate change—and, because people can be quick to place blame before they understand the facts, those who are identified in the media as notorious polluters are called out for being responsible for the loss of life and property that followed in the wakes of Harvey, Irma and Maria. In other words, the usual suspects—Exxon, Chevron, BP, and so on—are called upon to shoulder the blame for Mother Nature doing what Mother Nature does from time to time, which is wreak the occasional havoc upon civilization.

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To better understand the point, it is helpful to take a look at what causes hurricanes in the first place. Hurricanes feed on warm water. When temperatures are high, sea-water evaporates more rapidly and a storm system can develop over that warm water.

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This is what happened in the cases of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. However, once the hurricanes move out of the warm zone or come into contact with land, they lose some of their force—mainly because their source of energy is depleted—i. So, yes, warmer waters will make conditions for stronger hurricanes more likely.

Weather patterns also play a part in whether a hurricane marches towards the mainland or whether it spirals out to sea—but the point here is that temperature has a lot to do with it. In other words, there is nothing unusual or unnatural about what spawned Hurricanes Harvey, Irma or Maria.

What Makes Hurricanes and Tropical Storms So Dangerous?

That was nature doing what nature does. One could be excused from thinking such by monitoring social media in the days following the landfall of Hurricane Harvey in Houston or Irma in Florida. Nonetheless, one swallow does not a summer make. Do you know how many tropical storms and hurricanes there were during the Atlantic hurricane season of ? Guess how many there were in season. In , there were 12 tropical storms and 10 hurricanes—4 of which were major and 7 of which struck the United States the most in one year ever.

A year later, there were 19 tropical storms and 11 hurricanes. And then in ?

Longing for the Softer Side of Hurricanes | Essay | Zócalo Public Square

So what does that show? It shows that there are ups and downs in nature—cycles of activity in which there are both extreme and mild conditions. It means nothing more than that there are cycles to nature—just like there are cycles to markets and just like there are cycles to life. Yet the circle of life does not prevent people from making exaggerated claims about the end of the world and about death by climate change.

Indeed, some analysts are quick to point out that sea levels are rising—all because ice caps are melting—and that ice caps are melting because the globe is getting hotter—and that the globe is getting hotter because of climate change—aka global warming. The argument is bolstered by the sensational aspect of it all.

For instance, the Greenland ice sheet could melt and raise the sea level by 21 and a half feet. The West Antarctica ice sheet could melt and raise the sea level by an additional 26 and a half feet. If the East Antarctica ice sheet melted , sea levels would rise by more than feet Poore, Williams, Tracey, Still, pointing out what-if scenarios like this does not mean that climate change in terms of the kind of ecological disaster described above is actually happening. Indeed, at the current rate at which the Greenland ice sheet has been measured to be disappearing, it would take, very likely, another years at least for it to melt NASA, The ice sheets in Antarctica would require even more time.

And a lot of other factors could change what happens to the world between now and the next millennium—such as the eruption of a super-volcano like the one in Yellowstone which would in effect cause a nuclear winter that would surely snap any and all ice cap melting in a heartbeat. In short, the ice caps are not melting at a rate that will severely impact this generation or the next or the one after that. It cannot even be determined that the ice caps would stop melting at their current rate were Exxon, Chevron, and every other oil company in the world to pack it up and go out of business tomorrow.

More on that in a moment.

It is popular among the PC-generation to abhor the politics of oil and give thumbs up to Elon Musk and the electric car. In other words, they are participating in the contamination and pollution of the planet by driving their electric cars just as much as someone who drives a non-hybrid pick-up truck is doing—if not more. The fact of the matter is that Big Oil is not even really to blame. All the cows in the world, letting gas out, are actually more harmful to the atmosphere than the tail pipes of all the SUVs barreling down American interstates.

If you want to blame something for the severity of Harvey, Irma and Maria, you can start by blaming the cows.

The Florida Public Hurricane Loss Model

The answer is simple is that because doing so would just be silly. The better answer is that cows as a species have not been politicized in the same manner that the oil industry has been politicized—nor have people been conditioned by the media to resent cows for the pollution they cause to the planet. None of this should be taken as a defense of Big Oil. Surely that industry has a multitude of sins that it will one day have to pay for—but that is not the point of this essay. The point has been to determine whether global warming and climate change are leading to more powerful and destructive hurricanes.

Does that mean there is a direct connection between that phenomenon and hurricane formation? Nature is much more complex than that. Indeed, if people are looking to raise an eyebrow or two at the weather, they might want to start by looking at what military scientists are doing in terms of conducting weather modification. Ever heard of Operation Popeye? They can dominate the atmosphere and the surface over thousands of square miles. They start in certain seasons in low latitudes in tropical oceans by the equator.

We can write a Custom Essay on Hurricanes for you! The hurricanes move forward in a westerly direction parallel to the equator. Scientists now have the help of satellites, radar, and airplanes and keep close watch over the storms. The hurricanes are given names and are carefully tracked.

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Scientists gaining ground on understanding the many factors that create hurricanes, they have yet to determine the exact processes of formation. A hurricane must have the exact ingredients of warmth and water vapor to supply its energy. It also must have a certain amount of convection activity and vertical wind motion to bring air from the sea level to move through the storm system. The hurricane also needs the exact amount of twist that the earth gives.

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A hurricane must obtain its energy from something. Huge amounts of energy are created when warm water is evaporated from tropical seas. The hurricane stores this energy as latent heat in the water vapor which forms the clouds that circle the hurricane eye. As the water vapor condenses into rain, 90 percent of the energy is released. As little as 3 percent is converted to mechanical energy, or energy of the circulating winds. The small amount of mechanical energy is equivalent to billion kilowatt-hours per day.

The total electrical energy the United States uses each day is only about 2 billion. The mechanical energy of a hurricane in a single day is equal to about a six-month supply of electrical energy for the United States.

Essay on Natural Disasters- Hurricanes

The structure of the hurricane also defines it. The chaotic and violent huuricane has a definite structure and a well-defined pattern of winds. Scientists probe closer into these storms and find more about them. A hurricane has an area of relative calm in the center that is called the eye. This is where the winds and clouds spiral in enormous bands. Around this eye, a bank of clouds blows, and this is the region of strongest winds. In the wall of clouds, the chimney or hot tower is located Tufty, This tower is the primary energy cell of a hurricane, where moist heated air moves upward from the ocean surface.

As the winds spiral into the center of the storm, they bring in moist air in bands of precipitation called rainbands. At the edge of the whole rotating storm, to miles from the eye, winds blow in short flurried gusts.

Longing for the Softer Side of Hurricanes

The eye of the hurricane is the innermost portion of the storm, a zone of light breezes or no wind. In the eye, skies are often clear. Sunlight and starlight can stream all the way to the ground.

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