Posted on 29 June 2010.
Earthquakes are the most horrifying natural calamities to hit earth. Most damages happen due to the non-predictability of earthquakes. In history, there have been some earthquakes which were more deadly than others and here are the top 10.
1. Shaanxi, China: 1556
This is the most deadly earthquake ever recorded in the history of earth and it happened in Shaanxi province in China. This earthquake measured 8.0 and more than 820,000 feared dead. The factor that contributed to this quake is yaodongs, the artificial dugouts. It is also said that this deadly quake razed the mountains, ignited fires all over for days together and changed the course of various rivers.
2. Indian Ocean: 2004
In our lifetime, this is the horrible earthquake ever happened. This quake had its epicenter ‘off the west coast of Indonesia’ and this quake created tsunami and hit the regions alongside the Indian Ocean and this quake even triggered earthquake as far as Alaska as well. This quake took 280,000 lives and caused environmental and humanitarian concerns. The quake recorded 9.1 on Richter scale.
3. Haiyuan and Tansghan China: 1976 and 1920
A severe earthquake struck Tansghan region of China in 1976. It is a deadly quake and took around 240,000 lives and in 1920, the quake took around 770,000 lives. It is important to note that both the communist leader Tse-tung and prime minister Zhou Enlai died the same year and most of the people think that it is a omen that has come to end an era.
4. Aleppo, Syria: 1138
The total number of casualties in this quake is about 230,000. It was the first quake between 1138 and 1339 to hit that area. In the 12th Century, the region was witnessing many crusades and this earthquake brought down the citadels of both Muslim and Christian armies.
5. Ardabil and Damghan, Iran: 893 and 856
In 856, Damghan, Iran was hit by a massive earthquake tolling the casualties around 150,000 and 40 years later quake hit another city o Iran called Ardabil and death toll was more than 137,000. Again, Iran was struck by an earthquake in 1996 cost lives 960 people.
Posted in Education, Featured
Posted on 12 April 2010.
A movie was made recently which informed its viewers that life on Earth would end in 2012. Everything we have ever known would deteriorate in front of our eyes and life would start all over again from the very beginning. While this movie blames it on global warming, let us list some other ways that life on our planet can end.
1. Giant Meteor
If a giant meteor was to fall through the sky and onto the Earth, life as we know it would end pretty quickly. It would result in the formation of a massive dust cloud and the rubble that would be created would prevent the sun rays from entering the Earth’s atmosphere. The vegetation would die within a short period of time and a brand new ice age would begin.
2. Global Epidemic
There is a new strain of flu that is discovered every year. If not chicken flu, it’s bird flu and if not that, it’s swine flu- it’s never ending. It is not difficult to predict that a strain may be discovered in the near future that may kill the human race altogether because a vaccine for it would not have been created yet.
3. Super Volcano
Super volcanoes calderas like the Yellowstone National Park are potentially very dangerous. This super volcano erupts after 600,000 years and according to statistics, it erupted last 640,000 years back. Therefore, it goes without saying that the next eruption is long overdue.
4. Human Error
Humans are far from perfect and they make mistakes quite often. They also have urges to do bend and break rules and do what they are told not to. Let us take the example of military or nuclear weapons of mass destruction. These weapons either have codes or buttons that instruct humans not to press them. One mistake and a long chain of disasters will be unleashed onto the world and life on Earth would end.
5. Earth’s Magnetic Field
The Earth’s Magnetic field protects the Earth from harmful solar winds. However, this shield will soon deteriorate completely. According to research, this magnetic field reverses after every 250,000 years and the last time it reversed was 780,000 years ago. Therefore, this too is overdue. Naturally, without this shield, life on Earth would end quite rapidly.
Posted in Featured, Mis
Posted on 11 August 2009.
Ranging from oil spills to climate change, we have seen and heard about all kings of environmental disasters and hazards. Here are 10 potential disasters –some of which have already begun to have an effect on our lives.
1. Global Warming
It is the world’s biggest environmental disaster. It began a long time ago, and is just getting worse day by day. In the last century the average temperature worldwide rose by 1.25F/0.7c. In 2003, 10% of the glaciers in Switzerland had disappeared.
2. Vanishing Species
Due to global warming and climate changes over 20% to 30% of world’s animal species will become extinct. We will lose some of our most beautiful animals and birds such as Javan Rhinoceros, Giant Panda. Black footed Ferret among others. Conservation efforts have been put on the fast track, but they may be too late for some of them.
3. Moving Mountain Ranges and Melting Glaciers
The Himalayas are melting at an alarming rate. Their glaciers feed nine major rivers which are the main source of water for countries such as China, India and Bangladesh. The melting glaciers are causing immense flooding problems. This is true not just for the Himalayas but also for other ranges such as the Andes and the Alps.
4. Drying Rivers
On the one hand the glaciers are melting and causing floods, on the other hand the rivers are drying up. Global warming and indiscriminate use of water has dried up this vital resource. Water scarcity is a problem that has to be tackled on a war footing since it affects everyone on a personal level.
Logging and burning of trees in a forest area is termed at deforestation. Frequently it occurs due to new settlements being built as in the Amazon rain forest, or due to the demand for wood as fuel and for building purposes. Deforestation contributes to global warming and the increased greenhouse effect.
Posted in Education, Featured
Posted on 29 July 2009.
Global warming and unsustainable lives – we seriously need something to inspire us and give Mother Nature a break. Hence, taking a peek at some of the cleanest and greenest cities across the world might give us a glimpse of what living in a healthy environment means. These are the greenest cities across the globe.
The largest city in Alberta in Canada, Calgary, has often been declared to be the greenest city in the world. It has an excellent transportation system in the city, consisting of rail transportation and also of a well planned grid system to deal with traffic congestion. Even though it has many industries in its vicinity, the climate coupled with excellent administrative measures have kept the pollution levels down very low.
Among American cities, it is not surprising that Honolulu tops the list of the least polluted cities. The industries located in this region are very light and non-polluting. An excellent bus transit system, has decreased the exhaust and traffic fume levels. The proximity to the ocean also contributes to the clean air and healthy environment.
A fairly large city, Helsinki the capital of Finland, is the least polluted city in Europe. The citizens of the city take a great deal of pride in keeping the city clean and pollution free. Their light rail commuter system is very popular, and the use of cars and other vehicles is kept to the minimum.
The second city from Canada to make it to the list of the Top 10, Ottawa has among the best volunteer programs to keep the city green and clean. During their “Spring Cleaning the Capital” month between April 15th and May 15th, over 60,000 volunteers are present to clean the parks, roads and sidewalks etc of the city. Like other green cities, Ottawa residents rely on a good light rail transport system to commute, thereby reducing the fumes in the city.
The twin cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul have made cleanliness and environmental friendly policies the hallmark of their administration. Along with the good rail systems (which seem to be a necessary part of every green city), the emphasis on bike riding and the facilities being provided to bike riders are among the other factors which have given these cities such a high ranking.
Posted in Featured, Travel