Man Made Disasters List Causes And Effects of Man Made Environmental Disasters Part 1

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Man Made Disasters List Causes And Effects of Man Made Environmental Disasters

Man made disasters list what are the causes and effects of man made environmental disasters is being put together, since our recent rash of environmental disasters have been covering the headlines. Mankind, in our infinite wisdom is the cause of all these man made environmental disasters and gives us good reason to stop and think before we act. From the beginning of our existence, we have come up with some of the stupidest ideas ever, and some of these, if not so tragic, should be put on a bloopers show. Here we start with our list of man made environmental disasters, in no direct order, just the way the author chose to write them at the time.

Man Made Disasters List Causes and Effects of Man Made Environmental Disasters Part 1

Man Made Disasters 1:

Bhopal, India: Bhopal disaster, also referred to as the Bhopal gas tragedy is classified as the world’s worst industrial catastrophe and environmental disasters which took place in the late night hours of December 2-3, 1984 in Bhopal, Madhyah Pardesh, India at the Union Carbide India Limited (UCIL) pesticide plant. The UCIL was an Indian subsidiary of the Union carbide Corporation (UCC), and the Indian Government controlled banks and Indian general public controlled a 49.1 percent share of the UCIL. The disaster was a leak of methyl isocyanate (MIC) gas and other various chemicals from the plant which resulted in exposure of the chemicals to several thousand people. The death toll estimate counts vary, but official estimates indicate the immediate death toll as 2,259 and the government of Madhya Pradesh has officially confirmed 3,787 deaths related to the accidental gas leak. Other estimates by government agencies estimate 15,000 deaths, and another estimate relates 8,000 deaths within the first several weeks of the leak and another 8,000 have died from gas leak exposure related diseases since he accident. In 2006, the government released an affidavit stating that the gas leak caused 558,125 injuries including 38,478 temporary partial and approximately 3,900 severely and permanent disabling injuries. The cause of the leak was water entering a tank containing 42 tons of methyl isocyanate or MIC, which created an exothermic reaction which increased the temperature inside the tank to over 200 degrees Centigrade, or 392 F, and raised pressure inside the tank resulting in the venting of toxic gases into the atmosphere, and ultimately being blown by northwesterly winds over Bhopal. There are differing theories on what transpired to cause the water to get into the MIC tank, varying from maintenance to sabotage.

Man Made Disasters 2:

Aral Sea: What once used to be the Aral Sea is now just a shocking 10% of what it’s original size had been due to irrigation projects by the Soviet Union since the 1960’s. In 1918 the Soviet Government diverted the two rivers that fed the Aral Sea, The Amu Darya in the south and the Syr Darya in the northeast to irrigate the desert in an attempt to grow cotton. In the 1940’s irrigation canals were constructed on a large scale, and those were poorly built, allowing a good amount of water to leak or evaporate, with estimates at 30 to 75% of the water went to waste. By 1960, between 20 and 60 cubic kilometers of water were being diverted annually for irrigation instead of feeding the Aral Sea which began to shrink. Between 1961 and 1970, the seas level fell by 20 cm or 7.9 inches yearly, while in the 1970’s it fell 50-60 centimeters or 20 – 24 inches a year, and in the 1980’s it grew to 80-90 cm or 31 – 35 inches a year. Between 1960 and 2000 the amount of water diverted to irrigation from the rivers doubled, as did cotton production. The region once enjoyed a prosperous fishing industry which has all been virtually destroyed, bringing unemployment and economic hardships along with it. The region is also highly polluted with serious public health problems as a result of the pollution. The massive loss of the sea has also reportedly created a local climate change, with hotter and drier summers, and longer and colder winters as a result of the losses. There is now an effort ongoing in Kazakhstan to save and replenish the North Aral Sea, one of the much smaller lakes that are left of the once 68,000 square kilometer Aral Sea. A dam project which was completed in 2005 which by 2008, raised the water level in the lake by 12 meters or 39 feet from the lowest levels recorded in 2003. Salinity has dropped as well and fish are returning in significant numbers to make fishing a viable option again for the region. The outlook for the South Aral Sea, however, remains bleak and has been called one of the planets worst environmental disasters.

Man Made Disasters 3:

Indonesian Forest Fires: 1997 Indonesian Forest Fires started in the middle of 1997, caused primarily by slash and burn techniques adopted by the farmers of Indonesia. The fires in Indonesia began to affect neighboring countries, as thick clouds of smoke and haze spread to cover Malaysia and Singapore. By the time the seasonal rains in early December 1997 arrived, they brought a temporary relief, but soon after wards, dry conditions and fires returned. In 1998 Brunei also had fell victim to the smoke and haze of the fires, and to a lesser degree, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines also experienced smoke and haze from them. By the time the 1997-98 forest fires had finally burnt out once and for all, over some 8 million hectares, or 19,768,400 acres of land had been burned while many millions of people suffered from the consequential air pollution. The economic costs of this man made disaster are estimated to be 4.47 billion US dollars, with the largest share attributed to Indonesia herself, and these figures do not include the loss of human life, long term health issues, and some biodiversity losses. The fires in 1997 are estimated to have released between .81 and 2.57 gigatonnes of CO2 into the atmosphere, which translates to roughly 13 to 40% of annual CO2 emissions from the burning of fossil fuels leading us to expect this as one of the top environmental disasters.

Man Made Disasters 4:

Great London Smog of 1952: The Great Smog of ’52, or Big Smoke was a combination of cold weather with anticyclone and windless conditions which collected all the airborne pollutants, mostly from coal burning, mainly due to the cold weather, to form a thick layer of smog over London in December 1952. It lasted from Friday, December 5th to Tuesday, December 9th 1952, and then quickly dispersed after the weather patterns changed. It didn’t seem significant at the time it occurred, as its main disruption was mainly poor visibility, as London experiences many ‘smog events’. As the weeks passed, medical reports estimated that 4,000 Londoners had passed away prematurely and 100k more fell ill due to the effects of the smog on the residents lungs and respiratory tract. Recent research into the Great Smog event of 1952 suggest that the number of fatalities linked to the event may be closer to 12,000. It is considered the worst air pollution event in the history of the United Kingdom, and led to the Clean Air Act 1956. Although this was in part due to man, part of this is also on nature, but it was still one of the more significant environmental disasters, especially for it’s time.

Man Made Disasters 5:

Jilin Chemical Plant Explosions: On November 13th, 2005 the No. 101 Petrochemical Plant in Jilin City, Jilin Province, China experienced a series of explosions over a period of one hour. The initial explosions killed six workers, injured dozens more, and forced the evacuations of tens of thousands of local residents. The explosions resulted in an 80 km long toxic slick of benzene and nitrobenzene, in the Songhua River, a tributary of the Amur, which eventually passed through the Amur River during the following weeks. The cause of the blasts was determined 2 days after the blasts, that a T-102 tower had jammed up and was not handled properly resulting in the blasts. The explosions were so powerful that they shattered windows at least 100 to 200 meters away from the explosions. The resulting fires were eventually extinguished early November 14th. The leaks from the explosions severely polluted the Songhua River with an estimated 100 tons of pollutants consisting primarily of benzene and nitrobenzene. Benzene levels in the Amur River were recorded at 108 times the national safety levels. The event triggered water supply shut downs as the rivers it polluted were the source of water for cities downstream. The plant initially denied that any pollutants could have leaked into the river, saying it only produced water and carbon dioxide. The Chinese government then threatened to severely punish anyone who covered up the severity of the accident, but the threat only applied to the initial explosion, not the cover up of the benzene slick. The slick created havoc downstream to the water supplies of cities reliant on the river. The full impact of this, one of the major environmental disasters will more than likely ever be known.

Man Made Disasters 6:

Four Pests Campaign: This campaign was first initiated by the first President of the People’s Republic of China, Mao Zedong as past of the Great Leap Forward from 1958 to 1962. It was the Great Sparrow campaign which we were concerned about. In the Four Pests Campaign, which was designed to improve crop harvests, there were four pests which were identified to be eliminated. The four pests chosen to be eliminated were the rats, flies, mosquitoes, and sparrows. The sparrows were deemed a threat because they ate the grain seeds, creating an issue with production. All peasants in China, it was decided, were to bang pots and pans loudly together and run around to scare the sparrows away. The sparrow nests were destroyed, eggs were smashed and the baby sparrows were killed. At first, the campaign turned out to be a success, and the harvest did improve, however, by April of 1960, the National Academy of Science found that the sparrows ate more insects than seeds, thus prompting Mao to declare “forget it” and ordered the end to the Great Sparrow Campaign. Unfortunately, by this time, it was too late, as the locust populations blossomed and ran rampant with no sparrows to eat them. The locusts swarmed the country and compounded the problems already created by the Great Leap Forward, as well as unfavorable weather conditions. This whole turn of events wound up leading to the Great Chinese Famine which led to the death of some 30 Million people due to starvation. Now this was all on us, as its one that is on the man made disasters top 10 of the list, and stands as one of the worst environmental disasters for it’s time.

Here is the link for more of Man Made Disasters List What Are The Causes And Effects of Man Made Disasters Man Made Disasters List Part 2 The Dust Bowl and Mountaintop Removal Mining Man Made Disasters Causes and Effects Part 3 and Man Made Disasters List Part 4 Oil Spills as we dig up more for our list of man made boo boos. We will keep this series for our man made disasters list causes and effects ongoing so stay tuned for more. This man made disasters list causes and effects just gives us good reason to sit back and think things through a little more before we act, now don’t they?


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    • Siddharth Biswas on December 8, 2011 at 1:05 pm
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