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Alevel geography 20 marker

Discuss how wildfires and tropical storms have increased in intensity and frequency and how they pose a threat to humans (20 marks)

Wildfires are uncontrolled fires that destroy forests, grasslands and other areas of vegetation. A tropical storm is a low pressure weather system that has strong winds and heavy rainfall. Since 2000 wildfires in the US alone have caused $1 billion worth of damage. And severe effects storms can cost up to $2.3 billion per event.

Climate change has been a key factor in the increasing intensity of wildfires and tropical storms. Wildfires can be escalated by factors like dry vegetation and strong winds. Research suggests that changes in climate create warmer drier conditions. Increased drought and a longer fire season help to boost the destruction of wildfires. It is predicted that there will be a 30% increase in the amount of lightning ignited wildfires by 2060 in America. Storms may also become more intense due to a warmer climate and stronger winds. Lower lying areas like New Orleans are likely to be devastated from hurricane eg hurricane Katrina. Over the past decade there has been an increase in the intensity of natural disasters like wildfires and tropical storms, this shows the impact that climate change has on the natural order.

The number of disasters has increased by a factor of five over a 50 year period. Places with dry seasons tend to experience more wildfires this is due to the vegetation easily igniting. In 2025 of the six largest fires on record burned in California and Oregon saw historic levels of wildfires spread and damage. Climate change is also affecting the frequency of hazards like storms and wildfires a tropical storm forms over waters of 35°C as the sea temperature begins to increase we have seen an increase in the amount of tropical storms that have occurred. Many large category three storms have occurred in the last century for example hurricane Katrina.

Natural disasters such as wildfires and tropical storms can have a huge threat on humans.

Many people can be killed and injured during the storm on fire homes can be destroyed with many ETA left homeless. Disasters like that you can also impact a country‘s development they could slow down a developing country destroying businesses are leading to loss of job and income. Not only are the impacts devastating but fighting fires and storms can be extremely expensive for example the overall economic impact estimated from typhoon Haiyan was $5.8 billion. With the number of natural disasters increasing many people can be forced to leave their homes and seek refuge elsewhere this can put immense amounts of pressure on areas where the refugees attempt to flee to. For example during hurricane Katrina many people tried to seek refuge in neighbouring states however many of the states became overwhelmed due to the amount of people they took in. Wildfires also pose as a threat to humans not only can they destroy peoples livelihood they can also have emotional damage for example the house that you grew up in may have burned down in front of your eyes.

Overall the number of hazards is increasing and this is becoming more of a risk as they are more intense this can impact many countries both socially and economically. They can also threaten populations despite attempts to manage the hazard.

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