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Explain how people and places can be at risk from extreme weather.

(10 marks) Extreme weather is when a weather event is significantly different from the average or usual weather pattern. This may take place over one day or a period of time. flash flood or heat waves are two examples of extreme weather in the !". #eople and places are becoming increasing vulnerable to extreme weather. This is partly due to deforestation. The most common reasons for deforestation are clearing land for farming$ or when wood is used for fuel. The lack of forest cover means more rapid surface runoff of rainfall$ increased soil erosion$ risk of flooding and risk of mud and landslides. n example can be seen in %onduras where &0' of the forest has been lost since 1()0. *ore than +00km, is lost every year for ranches$ banana plantations$ small farms and fuelwood. -learing the hillsides for farming in %onduras meant that when %urricane *itch roared into -entral merica in .ctober 1((+$ the slopes were vulnerable to landslides. This is a prime example of how people are putting themselves and the land in danger. The need to repay debts has bought on the need for deforestation for reprieve increasing the vulnerability of its inhabitants. /n addition to this$ the population density of an area is increasing the risk that people face from extreme weather events. .ne in ten people worldwide lives less than 10 metres above sea level and near the coast (the at0risk 1one). 2ow coastal cities attract large populations to areas that are at risk from storms$ floods and rising sea levels. s cities develop and population numbers increase$ surrounding ecosystems begin to suffer in an effort to incorporate the masses of people now living in that area. 3or example$ mangroves in sia and the wetlands around 4ew .rleans are a natural barrier against storm surges and with its removal the lands and inhabitants are now at increased risk from extreme weather events. sia has about 56' of the people living in coastal areas that are 7at risk8. The arising issue is that there are many vulnerable and poor people with no where else to go who turn toward places at risk$ ie coastal areas$ building homes that in no way protected. 9ith the world rising population some countries have an increasing number of coastal cities$ for example china. nother factor putting people and places at risk from extreme weather events is urbanisation. s cities grow and rural to urban migration continues there is tremendous growth of slum housing in 2/-s. :rowths of shanty towns$ built on abandoned land that no one else wants usually are prone to damage. The land is swampy$ steep or prone to other natural ha1ards. %omes are built from any available materials ; wood$ plastic sheeting$ cardboard and metal. These settlements are vulnerable to heavy rain$ mudflows$ and landslides. This concept can be seen in action when five people died in <006 in =ao #aulo8s shanty town after southern >ra1il experienced some of its heaviest rainfall and flooding on record. The rain caused fatal mudslides. /n <005$ flooding wrecked =outh sia. The dwellers of "arachi8s shanty towns were evacuated as the poorly built homes collapsed or were swept away by torrential rain. The death toll was <00. Thus$ urbanisation has resulted in the development of shanty towns built with poor material on dangerous land. This has effectively increased the risk for the already vulnerable people who live there whom are now open to catastrophes most often bought on by extreme weather events. 2astly$ people are more at risk from extreme weather events as a result of land use patterns. /n -alcutta$ /ndia people face the risk of flooding and diseases as homes have been built on the banks of a river. /n ?io @e Aaniero$ >ra1il homes have been built on steep slopes. /t is perceived to be advantages to the local population due to the short distance from work places$ however$ the threat of landslides loom over them. .ther examples of homes built on dangerous places are near airports$ landfill sites$ next to pesticide factories and in cemeteries. This risk of living in such places are great and with the world in a turmoil over global warming they are now at bigger risk due to extreme weather phenomenon bought on by climate change. /n conclusion$ people and places can be at risk from extreme weather through many means. =ome of these include deforestation$ population density$ urbanisation and land use patterns. This does not mean that any place is wholly safe from such disasters. =imply put$ some people are Bust at more risk than others. This could be a result of living in dangerous places due to a lack of choice with more than 1.& billion around the world living in extreme poverty. /n contrast others are engaging in behaviour which is making them more vulnerable such as deforestation. !ltimately$ it is the poorer nations that have no hand in contributions to factors linked with climate change that will suffer from extreme

.weather in the future as a result of their location and behavioural patterns such as corrupt governments etc.