fragile - A F ragile System Fragile OVERVIEW Natural...

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A Fragile System? A Fragile System? OVERVIEW Natural cataclysmic events affect the Earth every day, and are a normal part of the Earth-ocean-atmosphere system. However, these same events (landslides, earthquakes, hurricanes, tsunami, etc.) can kill people or reduce the quality of life. This dichotomy motivates the title for this Module: Is the Earth a fragile system? To address this question, you start by reviewing the metrics used to describe our world. You next look at the materials that make up the Earth, ocean, and atmosphere. Natural processes can be disasters because of their tremendous energy release, so you will review the types of energy. Some disasters such as earthquakes and tsunami propagate as waves, which you will study. With this background, you will examine the relationship between population growth and the societal impact of natural disasters, and make your own decisions about whether the Earth is a fragile system. INSTRUCTIONS and QUIZ Study and make notes based on the online course material and the textbook reading assignments, and read the commentaries that follow. The review questions will allow you to assess your understanding of the key concepts. This Module will be covered in the Fragile Systems Quiz. Consult the FAQs for information on taking the Quizzes. OBJECTIVES The goal of this Module is to prepare you for the Modules that follow; namely, to help you understand the basic concepts used to describe different disasters, and to help you put disasters into perspective. After you complete this Module you will be able to: A. Describe the physical world: 1. Physical units and their typical magnitudes. 2. Layers within the atmosphere, ocean, Earth. 3. Chemical nature of elements and crystals; Behavior of solids vs. fluids. 4. Factors causing motion and change. 5. Energy types, conversions, sources, and concentration processes. 6. Wave types and metrics; Turbulence. 7. Disaster scales and return periods. 8. Population growth, doubling time, and the future. Page 1 of 54
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9. Resiliency vs. sensitivity to natural hazards. B. Gauge the impact of disasters on people ORGANIZATION A Fragile System? contains five units (A - E) that span the objectives listed above. UNIT TOPIC A Natural Disasters are Rare Events B Materials C Energy D Waves and Turbulence E Is the Earth a Fragile System? READINGS: A Fragile System? Read all of Chapter 1 . Don't memorize any Tables, but understand the main points that the Tables illustrate. SELF-STUDY/REVIEW The concepts outlined in the list below do not comprehensively cover every question you may expect to see on the quiz or final exam. Your success in this course is enhanced with the study of the concepts outlined on this list, as well as the study of other course materials (Course Notes, Textbook Readings). Use the following learning goals as a self-assessment tool to help you gauge your understanding of the course material presented in this Module. 1. Explain what density is and how it relates to stratification.
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fragile - A F ragile System Fragile OVERVIEW Natural...

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