Most wildfires are caused by human actions, such as leaving a campfire unattended or discarding cigarettes. Wildfires can also occur naturally from lightning strikes and erupting lava.Know More
In the United States, 90 percent of wildfires are caused by humans, contributing to a total of 5 million acres of land that burn each year. Most fires begin in drought conditions, when the underbrush in forests is very dry. One spark can ignite this underbrush and start an uncontrollable fire. Wildfires can move up to 14 miles per hour and can last for weeks, threatening to burn down thousands of homes.
After a wildfire, there are no plants or trees to anchor soil. This leads to land slides which can further endanger people and their homes. Despite the danger and negative consequences of wildfires, many ecosystems depend on occasional fires, which clear away dense brush and leave fertilized soil. One of the worst fires in North America was the Great Fire of 1910, which occurred in Idaho and Montana. Severe winds combined with dry forests contributed to the fire's ferocity. The fire lasted for two days, but it killed 86 people and destroyed 3 million acres of land. In the end, it prompted Congress to give money to the National Forest Service to fight future wildfires.Learn more about Natural Resources
Water scarcity is caused by poor management of available water resources and the depletion of fresh water resources. According to the United Nations Development Programme, poor management of water resources is one of the main causes of water scarcity. Most countries have sufficient water to meet agricultural, household and industrial needs but do not have the means to make clean usable water accessible.Full Answer >
Whether it's a bathtub draining or a spinning tornado, vortexes are caused by downdrafts that form when high pressure and low pressure interact. The conflict results in the creation of a swirling suction that, in the case of a tornado, can be very destructive.Full Answer >
Coal forms from the physical and chemical alteration of organic peat moss. This process, called coalification, takes hundreds of years to complete. During coalification, peat moss undergoes a series of transformations as a result of bacterial decay, compaction, variations in temperature and time.Full Answer >
According to About.com, areas of low pressure within the Earth's atmosphere are caused by unequal heating across the surface and the pressure gradient force. Incoming solar radiation largely concentrates at the equator, resulting in warmer air at the lower latitudes. This warm air has a lower barometric pressure than the cooler, denser air near the poles, and the differences between these types of air create the pressure gradient force.Full Answer >