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Natural Disasters in a Global Environment

Natural Disasters in a Global Environment is a transnational, global and environmental history of natural and man-made disasters. Detailed case studies of past and present events are presented in a historical narrative, making use of the most recent scholarship. * Examines a range of disasters including volcanoes, earthquakes, floods, landslides, hurricanes, famines, and more * Highlights the role of science in studying natural disasters and describes the mechanisms responsible for them * Features a range of case studies which can be used in conjunction with one another or as standalone examples * Covers scientific material in a lucid and accessible style suited to undergraduate students or those outside of scientific disciplines * Traces the transition of our understanding of disasters, from religious and superstitious explanations to contemporary scientific accounts
Product Details

Table of Contents

List of figures x Preface xii Acknowledgments xiv Introduction 1 PART 1 INTERNAL PROCESSES 11 1 Supervolcanoes 13 Introduction 13 The Mt. Toba Eruption (73,000 BP) 15 The Thera (Santorini) Eruption in the Aegean Sea (1600 BCE) 20 Mt. Tambora (1815) and Krakatau (1883) 25 The Mt. Pinatubo Eruption (1991) 28 A Threatening Future Scenario 32 Summary 33 Notes 35 Further Reading 37 2 Earthquakes 38 Introduction 38 The San Francisco Earthquake (1906) 39 The Great Kanto Earthquake (1923) 48 The Haitian Earthquake (2010) 56 Summary 66 Notes 68 3 Tsunamis 71 Introduction 71 Lisbon, Portugal: The Quadruple Disaster (1755) 72 The Lituya Bay Mega-Tsunami (1958) 79 The Sumatra Andaman Earthquake (2004) 83 The Tohoku (Japan) Tsunami (2011) 89 Summary 97 Notes 98 Further Reading 104 PART 2 SURFICIAL PROCESSES 105 4 Fire 107 Introduction 107 The Burning of Rome (68 CE) 108 The Great Fire of London (1666) 112 The Chicago and Peshtigo Fires (1871) 120 Summary 132 Notes 133 Further Reading 135 5 Floods 136 Introduction 136 Central China Floods (1931) 137 The Dutch Flood Disaster (1953) 144 The Bangladesh Floods (1997 98) 149 Summary 154 Notes 156 Further Reading 160 6 Landslides 162 Introduction 162 The Turtle Mountain Landslide, Canada (1903) 163 The Aberfan Landslide, Wales (1966) 167 The Ancash Earthquake and Landslide, Peru (1970) 171 The Southern Leyte Landslide, the Philippines (2006) 177 Summary 183 Notes 184 Further Reading 187 7 Pandemic Diseases 189 Introduction 189 The Bubonic Plague (1347 51 and After) 190 The Great Infl uenza Pandemic (1918 20) 200 HIV/AIDS (1985 ) 210 Summary 216 Notes 219 Further Reading 221 PART 3 ATMOSPHERIC PROCESSES 223 8 Hurricanes, Cyclones, and Typhoons 225 Introduction 225 The Labor Day Hurricane in the Florida Keys (1935) 227 The Bhola Cyclone (1970) 236 Super-Typhoon Nina (1975) 244 Summary 250 Notes 250 Further Reading 252 9 Famines and Droughts 253 Introduction 253 The Irish Potato Famine (1845 51) 254 The Dust Bowl Drought in the American West (1930 40) 262 The Great Leap Forward Chinese Famine (1958 61) 271 Summary 281 Notes 282 Further Reading 285 10 Meteorite Impacts 287 Introduction 287 The Creation of Earth s Moon and the Origins of Meteorites 289 The Yucatan Chicxulub Crater, Mexico (65 MYA) 290 The Clovis Extinction (12,500 12,900 BP) 295 The Tunguska (Siberia) Event (1908) 298 Investigating Future Impacts 301 Summary 307 Notes 308 Further Reading 311 Epilogue 313 Index 319

About the Author

Anthony N. Penna is Professor Emeritus at NortheasternUniversity. He is the author of Nature s Bounty:Historical and Modern Environmental Perspectives (1999),Remaking Boston: An Environmental History of the City and ItsSurroundings (co-edited with Conrad Edick Wright, 2009), andThe Human Footprint: A Global Environmental History(Wiley-Blackwell, 2009). Jennifer S. Rivers is Professor and Director of theEnvironmental Studies program at Northeastern University. She holdsa PhD from Syracuse University in Earth Science and has over thirtypublished articles in the field of Environmental Science.


"Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-divison undergraduates through professionals; general readers." - CHOICE, November 2013

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