The typhoon that hit the Philippines almost two weeks ago has left the islands in a tragic state. The death toll is estimated to be around 4,000, a number that would make anyone cringe. A single number, however, is not representative of the loss these families and communities will face in the coming days, weeks, and months.
The Philippines is a developing country, which may make their recovery more difficult.
As cited by NBC News, “Roads and airports have been all but destroyed. Power is still intermittent in the hardest-hit areas. Food and fuel are scarce. Telephone lines are down, and mobile phone coverage is spotty.” Transportation and communication are very difficult tasks for Filipinos at this time.
Currently, many scientists and meteorologists are speculating that this typhoon may become the earth’s new weather norm due to climate changes. Soon after the storm hit, Naderev Sano, a Filipino diplomat, gave a speech where he “clearly linked super typhoon Haiyan to man made climate change and urged the world to wake up to the reality of what he said was happening from Latin America to south east Asia and the US. He lambasted the rich countries, and dared climate change deniers to go to his country to see for themselves what was happening” (Vidal and Carrington of The Guardian).
This idea could shed light on a frightening reality. The debate of whether these extreme storms are caused by manmade climate changes or not, is an extremely controversial topic that is circulating governments around the world. However, the possibility that these disasters could possibly be a result of man made emissions should be a big enough indicator for governments to implement new regulations regarding emissions (even if its just a precaution). Over time, the atmosphere and number of storms can be monitored to identify if this is the true cause.
There is a direct correlation between the heat stored in the ocean and the energy that creates a storm. As all tropical storms draw their energy from the warmth of the oceans, and oceans’ temperatures are rising almost universally; the only question is the cause of the rising temperatures. Studies of the effects of carbon dioxide on the ozone layer have proven that it causes deterioration in the atmosphere. This deterioration makes the ozone thinner and this allows more sunlight through. The sunlight is the equivalent of heat and is the same heat source that is increasing the temperature of the oceans.
Are humans really the cause of this vast carbon release? Was typhoon Haiyan just a chance event? Is this just another cycle that the earth is going through?
With the human population, ocean temperatures, and number of tropical storms all increasing, there have been enough studies that suggest this is causation not just correlation.
If you are interested in listening to Sano’s speech, you can do so here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7SSXLIZkM3E