Imbalance in the Earth’s atmosphere

by | Oct 5, 2021 | Assignment

When pressures and temperatures become unbalanced in the Earth’s atmosphere, it can produce some dramatic effects as the system tries to rebalance itself, or re-equilibrate (i.e. reach equilibrium). Many of these changes are things that, on a small scale, we are used to witnessing every day in the form of weather, such as wind, rain, snow, fog, etc.

Sometimes, however, very large imbalances can cause massive and very disruptive change. Hurricane Katrina in 2005 is one good example of a weather system that was caused by pressure and temperature re-balancing, and also one that had disastrous consequences for hundreds of thousands of people. Read up on the hurricane here: http://www.katrina.noaa.gov/ (there are several sub- pages on that site, so be sure to look at the links labeled “Aftermath Photos,” “Maps,” “Response,” and “Impact on Region,” especially). Many sorts of natural disasters are caused by vast imbalances in nature; from earthquakes to tsunamis, they all pose risks to people.

Start with the Center for Disease Control website http://www.bt.cdc.gov/disasters/ and investigate the natural disasters that might affect your area. You may also want to use NOAA’s website on weather (http://www.noaa.gov/wx.html) to help get you started. Imbalances of nature Then, during the week, discuss with your classmates:

What kinds of imbalances might affect your region (Note: Please do not discuss earthquakes, as they were discussed in last week’s Discussion.)

What people in your area can do to prepare for them or prevent them. Give some specific examples of weather incidents that occurred in your area in the past and discuss how those were handled.

What major natural disasters of the past are most similar to one that might affect your area? Explain.

Compare your own area’s similarity to New Orleans: what similarities and differences exist between the areas?

Explain how you think a massive rescue and recovery effort might play out differently in your area, versus how it played out, and continues to, in post-Katrina New Orleans.

As always, be sure to provide appropriate citations, references, and links to any information you use in this discussion

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