Volcanic Eruptions – Natural Disaster

Volcanoes can cause widespread destruction and consequent disaster in several ways. The effects include the volcanic eruption itself that may cause harm following the explosion of the volcano or the fall of rock. Second, lava may be produced during the eruption of a volcano. As it leaves the volcano, the lava destroys many buildings and plants it encounters. Third, volcanic ash generally meaning the cooled ash - may form a cloud, and settle thickly in nearby locations. When mixed with water this forms a concrete-like material. In sufficient quantity ash may cause roofs to collapse under its weight but even small quantities will harm humans if inhaled. Since the ash has the consistency of ground glass it causes abrasion damage to moving parts such as engines. The main killer of humans in the immediate surroundings of a volcanic eruption is the pyroclastic flows, which consist of a cloud of hot volcanic ash which builds up in the air above the volcano and rushes down the slopes when the eruption no longer supports the lifting of the gases. It is believed that Pompeii was destroyed by a pyroclastic flow. A lahar is a volcanic mudflow or landslide. The 1953 Tangiwai disaster was caused by a lahar, as was the 1985 Armero tragedy in which the town of Armero was buried and an estimated 23,000 people were killed . A specific type of volcano is the supervolcano. According to the Toba catastrophe theory 75,000 to 80,000 years ago a super volcanic event at Lake Toba reduced the human population to 10,000 or even 1,000 breeding pairs creating a bottleneck in human evolution.[8] It also killed three quarters of all plant life in the northern hemisphere. The main danger from a supervolcano is the immense cloud of ash which has a disastrous global effect on climate and temperature for many years.

THE MIDNIGHT SUN – Natural Phenomenon

e. At the poles themselves. Northwest Territories. the United States (Alaska). There are no permanent human settlements south of the Antarctic Circle. Finland. For example. A quarter of Finland's territory lies north of the Arctic Circle and at the country's northernmost point the sun does not set at all for 60 days during summer. Even the northern extremities of Scotland (and those places on similar latitudes such as St. Iceland is known for its midnight sun. in practice midnight sun can be seen as much as 90 km outside the polar circle. and the exact latitudes of the farthest reaches of midnight sun depend on topography and vary slightly year-to-year. Norway. During the six months when the sun is above the horizon it spends the days continuously moving in circles around the observer. it is usually referred to as polar day. gradually spiralling higher and reaching its highest circuit of the sky at the summer solstice. Petersburg) experience a permanent twilight in the northern sky at these times. Observers at heights appreciably above sea level can experience extended periods of midnight sun as a result of the 'dip' of the horizon viewed from altitude. and Nunavut). Around the solstice (June 21 in the north and December 22 in the south) and given fair weather the sun is visible for the full 24 hours. the northernmost inhabited region of Europe. the midnight sun may be experienced at latitudes slightly below the polar circle. Sweden. Although approximately defined by the polar circles. The duration of sunlight increases from one day during the summer solstice at the polar circle to several weeks only a hundred kilometres closer to the pole.The midnight sun is a natural phenomenon occurring in summer months at places north of the Arctic Circle and south of the Antarctic Circle where the sun remains visible at the local midnight. Iceland. there is no sunset from approximately 19 April to 23 August. the sun only rises once and sets once each year. In Svalbard. as described below. Due to atmospheric refraction and also because the sun is a disk rather than a point. so the countries and territories whose populations experience it are limited to the ones crossed by the Arctic Circle. Sápmi. Russia. though not exceeding one degree (depending on local conditions). Norway. Greenland. . At extreme latitudes.g. to six months at the poles. even though most of it (Grímsey being a notable exception) is slightly south of the Arctic Circle. The opposite phenomenon. The same mechanisms cause the period of sunlight at the poles to last slightly more than six months. Canada (Yukon. The extreme sites are the poles where the sun can be continuously visible for a half year. The number of days per year with potential midnight sun increases the farther towards either pole one goes. Since the axial tilt of the Earth is considerable (approximately 23 degrees 27 minutes) the sun does not set at high latitudes in (local) summer. polar night. occurs in winter when the sun stays below the horizon throughout the day.