Try and imagine hundreds of people running next to you, while everything you know, everything you love is being destroyed behind you.
Swirling everywhere, it is catching up with you. Your heart panics. That’s right, we are talking hurricanes, to be more specific, Hurricane Katrina.Hurricane Katrina slammed into Florida, then Louisiana, and after that Mississippi, also skimmed Alabama, and finally faded away in Tennessee. The hurricane formed in the Atlantic Ocean with hot air and cold air colliding with each other, and since they are opposites they didn’t combine, instead, they started rotating in circles and as more air collided with this little twister, the hurricane grew larger and faster. This hurricane would have been smaller if it weren’t for global warming.Hurricane Katrina destroyed everything that was in its path.
Spinning at about 25-30 Nautical Miles, a unit used in measuring distances at sea not land, per hour, and a radius of 75 miles, now that is as long as 9900 buses! Its storm surge, a flood, reached up to 20 ft. This hurricane was one the strongest and most devastating hurricanes ever to hit the US.Global warming affected the hurricane significantly. For example, global warming causes the sea levels, the level of the sea’s surface, to rise as the oceans turn warmer and seawater expands.
This expansion, combined with the melting of land-based ice, has caused average sea level to rise by roughly 7-8 inches since 1900 – a trend that is expected to accelerate, increase in rate, amount, or extent, over coming decades. Storm surges are made worse by high tides because higher sea level at the beginning of the surge means larger quantities of water. That means that flood, especially the ones after hurricanes, are going to be larger due to the fact that sea levels are risingIn addition to this, warm air holds more water vapor, or water that is in the form of a gas, than cold air, and the rising air temperatures since the 1970s have caused the atmospheric water vapor, the absolute amount of water dissolved in air, content to rise as well. This increased moisture, for example humidity, provides additional fuel for hurricanes.
Also, ocean temperature is one of the key factors that strengthen hurricane development when overall conditions are conducive, making a certain situation or outcome likely or possible, for their formation and growth. Hurricanes require high humidity, a quantity representing the amount of water vapour in the atmosphere or in a gas, relatively constant winds at different altitudes, the height of an object or point in relation to sea level or ground level, and can occur when surface ocean temperatures exceed about 79°F (26°C). The rising of warm, moist, slightly wet, air from the ocean helps to power the storm.Finally, as ocean temperatures rise, there is also less cold, subsurface, the stratum or strata below the earth’s surface, ocean water to serve as a braking mechanism for hurricanes. When strong storm winds churn up cold subsurface water, the cooler waters can serve to weaken the storm.
But if deeper waters become too warm, this natural braking mechanism weakens. For example, Hurricane Katrina intensified significantly when it hit deep pools of warm water in the Gulf of Mexico.(ucsusa.
org) But there is also another factor that let the hurricane do what it was capable of doing. New Orleans had a wall to protect the city from floods since New Orleans is a bowled shape city it would be severely damaged by floods. But the hurricane knocked down the walls, that itself hurt some people. That caused a lot more damage, and not only from the hurricane but also from flooding. When the hurricane left New Orleans, it had left behind a mess with 80% of the city submerged under 26 feet of water.
(britannica.com, thebalance, and livescience.com) “If the walls had stayed up the flood would have been weakened by two thirds,” says a person who help build the walls “plus I thought the walls were unstable.”The Hurricane resulted in a large number of deaths – 1833 people perished at the hands of nature’s fury. There were 5 deaths within the first 30 minutes on land, 2 from accidents in Alabama, and three from trees falling 2 in Louisiana and 1 in Mississippi. Experts estimate that more than 40% of the people who passed away were tourists (news.google.
com, history.com). Thousands were also reported missing so I have taken Cassandra Brown’s story to show an example:Cassandra Brown, 45, of New Orleans, went through much of the storm’s aftermath alone.Now reunited with her daughter, Rashonda Johnson, 21, Brown was living with about a thousand other people at the River Center, the convention center in Baton Rouge where the Red Cross had set up a shelter.
The Sunday that Katrina struck, Brown and her family took shelter at their church in New Orleans. They planned to leave the city together the next day.”My son picked me up at the church and he dropped me off at my apartment,” she said. Her son couldn’t make it back to pick her up, neither could her daughter.”I got stuck there until Wednesday morning,” Brown said. She had no food, electricity, or water.
“I took the time to fast and pray,” she said.In time a man with a boat came to take people out of the apartment complex, but he left Brown and several others behind. “He made just three trips,” she said.”By Wednesday, the water was up to my chin,” Brown said. “But I made up my mind to walk to safety.”She found a bus that took her to New Orleans’ convention center. But there she found little comfort.”I saw people dropping dead, people getting beat up.
I saw it all. I saw it all,” she said. “I stayed on the sidewalk of the convention center so I could be in the open.”Eventually Brown took a bus to a Howard Johnson’s motel in Shreveport, where she called her daughter, who was at the River Center shelter. Brown took a bus to the shelter to be with her.”From this point on, where she goes, I go,” Brown said.
(news.nationalgeographic.com) ———————————————————————Also, It caused loads of economic issues. For example, it destroyed 7 out 9 manned oil platform.
Also, it destroyed thousands of houses and building. And finally, tourists hardly came because of the dangers. (abcnews.go.com) Many of the deaths were partially America’s fault since they didn’t send help in time. People were stuck in their houses without food for 5 days after the hurricane had all the damage it could. “We couldn’t risk more life trying to save others” the general explained. 5 days later the military took tanks on the roads to provide food.
So in conclusion, hurricane Katrina caused lots of destruction, economic issues, and deaths. Now you are probably thinking so what? The past is the past. But the real problem is global warming affecting hurricanes, and as global warming gets worse, hurricanes get strong.
Unfortunately, we have no solution for this problem yet, and if this continues like how it is today, hurricanes will get 5 times stronger in about a 100 years.