Tropical Cyclones Information Report

Hundreds of kilometres in diameter, giant spinning whirls of wind that cause mass destruction. So powerful and their spinning is influenced by the Earth’s rotation. A tropical cyclone is a strong but low pressure wind system that forms over warm waters and moves over land with force and can cause damage and destruction. What are cyclones, hurricane and typhoons? They’re are all the same natural disaster. They can all go under the category of tropical cyclones. Why are they called different things then? The only difference is that they are called different things depending on where they occur. For example, in Australia they’re called cyclones, in the Atlantic they’re called hurricanes and in Japan they’re called typhoons. The reason they’re called different things is because different people call things different according to their culture. This text is about the cause + effect of tropical cyclones.

Cyclones are extremely dangerous but require a certain trigger and several specific necessary conditions to be able to form. The ocean waters have to be at least 26°C. A cyclone can only form if it’s at least 5° latitude from the equator. A low vertical wind shear is also required. There needs to be moisture in the middle of the troposphere. Unstable conditions is another necessary condition for the formation of a cyclone to commence. Lastly, a disturbance existing prior to the formation of the cyclone is vital. All six of these conditions are essential and a cyclone can’t form without them. However, it is not certain that a cyclone will occur even if all of these conditions are met. A cyclone is triggered by a combination of forceful winds driving water onshore and the lower atmospheric pressure. These necessary conditions and this trigger work together to form a cyclone. Things can also encourage the persistence of a tropical cyclone like the Earth’s rotation which influences the spinning and propelling of a tropical cyclone.

Tropical cyclones have some required necessary conditions and this paragraph will be explaining the climate needed. Tropical cyclones can only form near the equator over warm ocean waters. Generally, the sea-surface temperature needs to be at least 26oC. The air above the waters heats and rises while cool air moves in to replace the warm air. This process builds up large clouds. It often happens that pre-existing cyclones keep persisting even as they move over cooler waters. All these requirements are met when a tropical cyclone forms but people might not notice this fascinating process.

Tropical cyclones form over warm ocean waters and then move on to land to cause horrific damage and destruction. This paragraph will be talking about the seasons that they occur in and the different specific places they occur in. Approximately 75% of all cyclones form in the Northern Hemisphere. In Australia, the cyclone season goes for a period of 6 months from 1st November to 30th April. This is most of spring, all of summer and just the start of autumn. The Atlantic hurricane season starts June and ends November. The Eastern Pacific hurricane season runs from mid-May to November. The South Pacific cyclone season is from October to May. Natural disasters can be scary and unexpected but the tropical cyclone seasons comfort people more because they become less unexpected and therefore less scary.

Global warming is an issue and scientists are starting to think it could have an effect on tropical cyclones. It hasn’t yet been clearly proven that global warming is currently having a measurable effect on tropical cyclones. However, climate models have shown that tropical cyclones might intensify in the future if global warming continues. Climate models have also shown that the frequency of tropical cyclones will stay the same or even decrease as global warming continues. This means global warming could intensify tropical cyclones’ effect and do the opposite to the frequency.

Tropical cyclones can be brief issues or build up to being giant long-lasting catastrophes. The length of time a tropical cyclone lasts for depends on the favourability of the atmospheric environment, the movement of the tropical cyclone and sea surface temperatures. Most tropical cyclones persist for at least 3 days to even lasting for 7 days. Some weak tropical cyclones only just reach powerful wind force briefly. Some tropical cyclones can have a longer duration and persist for weeks if they stay in a favourable environment. Hurricane John is the longest tropical cyclone and lasted for 31 days. Hurricane Nancy stayed at category 5 status the longest, 5.5 days! This shows that there is a wide range of possible lengths for tropical cyclones to last for.

Tropical cyclones are strong but some things can stop them from persisting or even developing in the first place. A factor that can interfere with the formation and persistence of a tropical cyclone is if the vertical wind shear is high. Another way to stop a cyclone and its development is subsidence. This is when air sinks. Subsidence is also why any tropical storm that tries to form near a pre-existing tropical cyclone has a very hard time succeeding. These 2 possible occurrences can both very easily happen and prevent the formation and persistence of a tropical cyclone. This means affecting not just how they start but also their duration.

The idea that tropical cyclones and other weather can cause earthquakes is arguable. However, a new study shows the 2010 earthquakes in Haiti and Taiwan could’ve been triggered by tropical cyclones. The Haiti temblor happened 18 months after the same place was hit by 4 tropical storms. This can also happen in other mountainous areas that have been affected by tropical cyclones like Japan, the Philippines and possibly Central America. It would be very helpful to people in earthquake prone areas if this theory was clearly proven or not.

Other theories are presented about earthquakes’ timing and not everyone agrees. Geologists have ignored the idea that low atmospheric pressure linked with tropical cyclones can exert the timing of earthquakes. However, Dr Wdowinski says an investigation of the timing of earthquakes and tropical cyclones in Taiwan over the past 6 decades has shown a statistical correlation. A unique number of earthquakes with a higher magnitude than 6 occurred within 4 years of major tropical cyclones in the Far East. Even though some geologists ignore tropical cyclones could be connected with earthquakes other people like Dr Wdowinski has tried to prove there is some relation.

Another natural disaster that could possibly be caused by a tropical cyclone is a flood. Tropical cyclones are even dangerous because they can cause heavy rainfall and flooding. Tropical cyclones can cause different types of floods such as flash floods, urban/area floods, coastal flooding and river flooding. Floods can also be caused by a storm surge connected with a tropical cyclone.

Conclusion: Tropical cyclones are fascinating and can leave an awesome impact. This text is informative and will help people understand tropical cyclones better and therefore how to prepare for them. It’s very important to be informed of this to make sure people living in tropical cyclone-prone areas are aware. If this information is used in this manner people might design buildings better and sturdier to be ready for an incoming tropical cyclone. Never underestimate a cyclone because natural disasters might seem like a small occurrence but they can be unbelievably strong.

Glossary:

Latitude-the angular distance of a north or south place from the equator

Vertical wind shear-change of winds with height (strong jet of air)

Troposphere-the lowest layer of Earth’s atmosphere

Atmospheric pressure-pressure influenced by the weight of the atmosphere

Northern Hemisphere-part of Earth that is north of the equator

Atmospheric environment-envelope of air outside the earth

Subsidence-the sinking of air

Temblor-shaking of the earth’s surface caused by underground movement from the tectonic plates (an earthquake)

Diagrams:

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Systems Analysis:

Necessary Conditions:

Ocean waters at least 26°C
Moisture in the mid-troposphere
Unstable conditions
5° latitude from equator
Low vertical wind shear
Pre-existing disturbance

System Steps:

  • A cluster of thunderstorms over warm ocean waters
  • Water evaporates and condenses to form clouds (this releases heat)
  • The heat energy combines with the rotation of the earth and exerts the cyclone’s spinning and moves it forward
  • The cyclone moves over land or cooler waters and rapidly weakens
  • The cyclone will cause damage and destruction on land.
  • Most cyclones persist for 3-7 days. Weak ones can only briefly reach gale force but strong tropical cyclones can stay sustained for weeks.

If tropical cyclones didn’t weaken over land or cooler waters they would be more dangerous or move faster. This will mean that tropical cyclone-prone areas are in more danger. They could also become faster because they haven’t lost any strength. This means all tropical cyclones will change in terms of danger and strength.

Humans could invent more high-tech equipment to sense incoming tropical cyclones and be more prepared. We would have early alerts to signify people there is a dangerous tropical cyclone coming. They will be told to evacuate to avoid anyone getting hurt. We might also build more sturdy and safe buildings and structures.
Bibliography:

www.hurricanezone.net

www.ausstormscience.com

www.prh.noaa.gov

www.independent.co.uk

earthsky.org

www.bom.gov.au

www.srh.weather.gov

www.ga.gov.au

www.metoffice.gov.uk

www.skwirk.com

spaceplace.nasa.gov

www.wxresearch.org

www.livescience.com

climate.ncsu.edu

www.sage.unsw.edu.au

www.abc.net.au

Self assessment:

Open this in a new tab to access my self assessment:

Self Assessment Matrix

Reflection:

I’m proud of the research I did and all the new information I learnt not only about cyclones but some other natural disasters as well. I think I worked very hard and packed a lot of info into a small amount of time. The main thing I’m proud of is my organisation and how I used my time well to achieve a finished product within the time limit. I could’ve improved on my diagrams to plan them better and have clearer features. Having more time to think about it so it turned out clear and had a reasonable scale was necessary. I wanted to fit in a bit more research to have a better system analysis because most of it was from what I already knew. However, it turned out better than expected and explained the key stages. Lastly, my actual text I could’ve edited more and checked in with the assessment matrix more often to make sure I had covered all of the required.

You can also view this post on a word document if you prefer it (open it in a new tab to access it):

Tropical Cyclones

Debate-2nd Negative Speaker

Good afternoon Madam Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen. The topic for this debate is that Australian farmers should receive emergency payments from the government every time they experience drought conditions. We the negative team believe that this statement is false.

Now onto my rebuttal. Jared has said in our culture we help each other. I agree but a drought is slow unlike other natural disasters. Tsunamis, cyclones, earthquakes all hit without much warning but droughts can take years to have a major impact and farmers can easily prepare for them themselves. As a farmer they should be ready for a drought. And also, the government doesn’t need another issue on its mind that by the way, Jared has over-dramatized and exaggerated. Mietta has said farmers need more money to buy water during a drought. She said resources prices will go up. This might be true but there are ways to save water before a drought.

Our first speaker Max has already stated that for the government to give money to all farmers who experience drought conditions is silly because it’ll be too expensive. Today I’ll be explaining to you how farmers can handle drought conditions themselves. I’ll also be talking to you about the more important things for the government to spend their money on.

Now to my first point which is farmers can handle drought conditions themselves. The main way to prepare for droughts is to save as much water as you can. Don’t use water on any non-essential things like washing your car. How hard is that? If all farmers could do that it would majorly lessen the risk. Also, during a drought farmers have lots of time and according to the Bureau of Meteorology’s Monthly Drought Statement the rainfall has been above average each month since May 2016. This means droughts are less likely in most parts of Australia. So, rather than the government wasting their money on silly drought conditions the farmers should just take a little action and prevent any problems caused by a drought themselves.

Then to my second point which is the government has better things to spend their money on. What do you think the government should spend most of their money on? News.com.au says that the thing that they choose to spend most of their money on is social security and welfare. This means helping people recover from financial problems. Things like droughts on farms which are slow and can take years to have a major impact don’t need the government’s money. Farmers have got years to prepare for them. Other people like pensioners or homeless people need this precious money way more than farmers. They cannot fix their problem without some serious help. So when you think about it there are some way more important things to fund the government’s money on than a small issue that can be dealt with easily and efficiently by farmers themselves.

So, Madam Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen, in conclusion there are more important things for the government to spend their money on than drought conditions which is an issue that farmers can handle themselves anyway! And don’t forget, welfare is important but droughts are frankly stagnant! Thank you.

Ant’s feedback:

Really strong rebuttal
Great comparison to other natural disasters
Great the way you highlighted Jared’s over-dramitisation
Really clever points
Great use of cited sources
Great use of evaluative language
Excellent structure, timing & strong finish

Next steps- more practise to talk rather than read

Debate-1st Affirmative Speaker

Good afternoon Mr Chairman, Ladies and Gentleman. The topic for our debate is that populated areas should regularly practice what to do in preparation for natural disasters.

We define the topic as places with a population should often practise drills to prepare and be ready for natural disasters.

We the affirmative team believe that this statement is true.

I’m Charlie and today as first speaker on the affirmative team I will be talking to you about how simple and effective the drills are. I will also be talking about how vulnerable we are against natural disasters. Lastly I will be talking about how chaotic natural disasters can be so we have to be ready for them. Our second speaker Max will be talking about how doing drills will help you react more naturally and easily. Then our third and final speaker Farrah will be rebutting and talking about how many people die in natural disasters.

My first point is that the effect of a simple preparation for natural disasters has astonishing benefits to the loss when such disasters occur. It doesn’t take much to practise for natural disasters. All it involves is drills. This is so you get quicker and more familiar with the procedure. Imagine if you were at home alone and it flooded and you didn’t know what to do. What would you do? Well this system will help with a scenario like this.

Now to my second point which is that natural disasters are unstoppable and unexpected. They are extremely hard to predict and there isn’t a way to stop them. Even if we did discover a way in the future to stop them, by the time we had invented it the natural disasters would’ve got more intense over the years. Also the frequency of natural disasters has considerably gone up in the last few decades. So the fact that we’re vulnerable when it comes to natural disasters is a big issue.

My third and final point is that natural disasters are extremely chaotic. Sure they don’t sound bad. Put up your hands if you’ve been involved in a natural disaster. You might not have experienced a very serious one but believe me, they can be very chaotic. Severity of natural disasters are measured in lives lost, economic loss and how easy it is to rebuild and recuperate. One of the most devastating floods occurred in China in 1931 and 1 mil-4 mil people died because of it.

So Mr Chairman, Ladies and Gentlemen, in conclusion, drills to prepare for natural disasters are very simple and effective, natural disasters are unstoppable and unexpected and they are very chaotic which is why it’s vital to prepare for them. Thank you.

Ant’s feedback:

Well written, clear structure, excellent use of pathos, included convincing arguments,
Definition was mentioned but didn’t include defining the key term ‘populated’
To add authority you should be a bit more specific with sources. You said something “has gone up”- where is this info from? /how much has it ‘gone up’?
With more practise your cue cards would have been more organised and you would have been able to make more eye-contact & use gestures to emphasise and connect to your audience more

BTN-Drought Help

A drought can be extremely tough on people in the country especially farmers which is why the government is planning to help these people in financial need.

 Some farmers struggle to keep their animals fed and on one farm they have to buy hay for their sheep because the grass has been wiped out but that’s not the worst, some farmers have no choice but to completely sell out their whole farm. The government is putting forward 320 million dollars to help farmers because the main problem is finance. The government is also focusing on bringing support to the Aussie families who are being put through this crisis. Why don’t they also focus on bush fires because in the hot country it can be very fire dangerous? Does this situation also effect the products sold at supermarkets?  A drought is an interesting phenomenon of nature because it’s the only natural disaster that happens very slowly and can take years to have a major impact but can still be devastating like any other natural disaster.

Key:

Blue=Facts(3)

Green=Questions(2)

Red=Understandings/Insights(1)

Here is the link to the BTN clip-BTN-Drought Help