Monitoring our Home Planet

Monitoring our Home Planet

Monitoring our Home Planet

In the contemporary world, various technological advancements exist that help in monitoring the natural phenomena. A look into these natural features is of the essence given their possibility to cause disaster when they occur. Emergency preparedness initiatives’ sole aim is to prevent the harsh consequences that come about because of these natural phenomena. Examples befitting of natural features that have the potential to cause havoc include earthquakes and volcanoes. Also, notable impacts secondary to these natural phenomena include but not limited to loss of both human and animal lives and destruction of biodiversity. With such implications, it is understandable when various governments invest in disaster preparedness initiatives. In essence, the analysis of various naturally occurring phenomena, their impacts, resources available to monitor them and stating the future directions on this account are the center of focus in this discussion. In light of this type of information, there is no doubt that a new understanding our planet is inevitable.

Natural Phenomena, Disaster and their Impacts

Comprehensive understanding of physical phenomena such as earthquakes, volcanoes and tsunamis are crucial in the current world. That is the case given their potential of causing undesired effects. As such, a look at the natural phenomena that have these disastrous aftermaths is a without a doubt a resourceful action. Also, establishing the disasters that occur because of these natural phenomena is another vital step for understanding such workings of nature.

First and most importantly, is the identification of monitored natural phenomena that are responsible for natural disasters. A typical example of such naturally occurring events is the earthquake. According to Kurin, (2014) an earthquake refers to a sudden and massive shaking of the earth due to internal forces within the earth’s internal crust. They are natural in that their existence is independent of human actions. A case in point of a country that has suffered a fate of this kind in the past is Haiti in the year 2014. Its occurrence in this country resulted in a national disaster that called into action the unity of other nations to restore its status as a nation. The ramifications were very severe, and this points out to the need for monitoring them. For instance, when they occurred the short-term effects at that time were a loss of lives, damage to property as well as infrastructure and destruction of biodiversity (Kurin, 2014). In the long-term, however, some of the effects are still evident in the present time. Examples of such effects included the loss of cultural identity and post-traumatic stress among the affected families. Such ramifications have led to global support to affected countries like this one. In the case of Haiti, there was a fear of loss of cultural heritage due to this phenomenon, and this resulted in the support by other countries (Kurin, 2014). Clearly, from these instances, the occurrence of earthquakes poses risks of natural disasters whose impacts are immense and expensive to repair.

Secondly, tsunamis are other naturally occurring phenomena that have the potential of causing massive destruction in the form of a national disaster. Tsunami is a group of waves that are the doing of earth disturbance, especially an earthquake, whose impact may reach the surface of sea or ocean water. Its capability to destroy the ocean side communities is deafening since many lives are stake. As such, this demonstrates the need of intervening prior the occurrence of this phenomenon (Smithsonian, 2016). An example befitting of an area that has been a victim in the past for this natural occurring phenomenon is the Asian continent, Japan in more specific terms. Its impacts on these regions include but not limited to disruption of economic activities such as fishing due to fear, loss of lives, post-traumatic stress and destruction of properties. Moreover, this 2011 phenomenon continues to cause havoc in this country due to the destruction of Fukushima nuclear reactor (Smithsonian, 2016). Evidently, from these effects, it is beyond doubt that this type of phenomenon when it occurs results in a state of emergency that requires good preparations if a country is to be sure of reducing human lives and other biodiversity loss.

Lastly, the global climate change is also another natural event that causes disasters, which deserve mention. Of the significance of this type of phenomenon is the impact that it has led to in the global context. A case in point is the loss of biodiversity due to the rise in temperatures following the depletion of the ozone layer. The global climate change is now affecting the amount of rain received, and this has led to the disruption of economic activities such as agriculture that are a source of livelihood (Pauls, Nowak, Bálint, & Pfenninger, 2013). As such, an assumption that this challenge does not exist is not easy given the ramifications on various aspects of human life. Thus, it is apparent that global climate can result in a disaster that if not looked into will cause effects that are not easy to take.

Analysis of Monitoring of Natural Phenomena

Central to the review of the practice of monitoring natural phenomena is certain factors. They include but not limited to geography, resources, politics, economic and disaster preparedness.


Citing the geographical locations that the identified natural events are frequent is of the essence since it predicts the susceptibility of a place to a certain natural phenomenon. To begin with, the country that has had to put up with earthquakes in the recent is Haiti in the year 2014 (Kurin, 2014). It was not the first event, and there it is suggestive that this area is a hotspot of this phenomenon.

On the contrary, Japan alike has faced challenges that relate to tsunamis. A case in point is the 2011 tsunami whose ramification on the country are still present given the interference of the with the Fukushima nuclear reactor (Smithsonian, 2016).

Lastly, the global climate change is the other identified natural phenomenon, which is now common across the world. Such is the case given that narrowing to one country is illogical since all countries have contributed to the occurrence of this phenomenon.


Given the fair share of the effects natural disasters, various governments have taken into their hands the monitoring process of the possible occurrence of these events. Such is the case given the significant investments into initiatives that aim to detect the occurrence of phenomena of this kind early enough. That said, a look at the allocated resources that will facilitate the monitoring process is of the essence in understanding how such phenomena can become avoidable in the days to come.

Firstly, these natural disasters have an allocation of resources such as instruments, money, and personnel with the knowledge of assessing these phenomena using the appropriate tools. Primarily, the tools are essential, as they are responsible for determining the internal earth’s activity, which is responsible for the occurrence of earthquakes. Examples befitting of instruments for detecting earthquakes in the USA are the creep meters, pore pressure monitors, tilt meters and strainmeters  (U.S. Department of the Interior, 2016). On the other hand, monitoring of tsunamis has also been possible with the use of instruments that are essential in measuring the earthquakes given their correlation. Also, global climate change is under monitoring by the meteorological departments that assess the climate changes using their worldwide surveillance system.  All the readings of these instruments are taken in for analysis and interpretation by experts with right skills. With such instruments, it is indisputable the fact that resources are available for the monitoring of the phenomena.

Furthermore, there exist Web resources that provide up- to-date information about these events. An example of such is earth alert service that is part of the Microsoft programs. In this type of signal, one receives signals concerning the likely occurrence of a phenomenon within the nearby locality. Additionally, it has the provision of asking questions relating to a specific event within a particular area. Such an arrangement enables an individual to establish his/her safety by noting that he/she is not in danger. Another example of a Web resource that can give such updates is the various websites devoted to conveying information about the natural disaster and its management. A typical example of such websites is the USGS National Earthquake Information Center that offers information about the earthquakes and observes for any sign of earthquakes (“Forecasting of Natural Disasters | Disaster Management Information System”, 2016). Apparently, with the existence of such Web resources, it is irresistible to deny the role played by such entities in monitoring natural phenomena.

Lastly, the technology used to monitor natural phenomena is of the essence to note if one is to understand this subject to completion. The commonly used technology ranges from the mobile phone to the satellite system. The current mobile phones have the potential of monitoring the natural occurring events and thereby further enhancing the preparedness of human beings towards these phenomena. Also, there has been the use of the weather forecasting entities, which has strengthened the monitoring of such events. Moreover, the satellite services have also been crucial in the monitoring of natural disaster and enhancing preparedness towards them (OECD, 2016).


Politically, the use of disaster preparedness technology has ramifications that are worth mention. A case in point of a political consequence is that of enhanced relationships between the developed and less-developed countries.  That is the case given the collective responsibility demonstrated by all countries in the fight against disasters (Lemos, 2013).

That notwithstanding, this kind of technology also creates a gap between the developed and less-developed country. Such is the case given the fact that the poorly developed countries are more prone to disasters as compared to more developed countries (Lemos, 2013). A possible reason for such a divide is on the premise of the weak leadership structure in less-developed countries.


The use or non-use of the technology for disaster preparedness has several impacts on the economics of different countries. To begin with, the countries that use the technology are in better positions to have good economies given the ability to prevent the natural events from occurring. A common reason for this assertion is the fact that the countries can detect any signs of the occurrence of these phenomena and mitigate before they happen. However, this is different for countries that do not utilize the technology. That is the case because they are unaware of the risk of occurrence and when they happen, they suffer losses that are so expensive (Tierney, 2012). As such, this impairs their economy of the countries not using the technology while boosting economies of those countries utilizing the technology.

Having said that, in my opinion, I believe indirect impacts on the various economies are possible in the future. Such is the case given the losses incurred due to the occurrence of this phenomenon. For instance, destruction of infrastructure by the natural phenomena influences the economy of a country negatively through the finances used to repair the damaged infrastructure. A befitting example of a country that depicts a possibility of an indirect effect on the economy is Japan. That is the case with this country given that it after 2011 tsunami, it had to incur the cost of damage caused by impaired Fukushima nuclear reactor (Smithsonian, 2016). As such, this is proof enough to ascertain the possibility of indirect impacts.

Disaster Preparedness

Going by the recent trends, various types of systems are available for the emergency preparedness of any country. Such systems include but are not limited to improved warning systems and improved seismic surveillance services that monitor the possibility of these disasters due to earthquakes and tsunamis. An early warning system has enabled the countries to get updates about the risk of phenomena like earthquake and tsunami.  On the other hand, the improved seismic surveillance network services have also revolutionized the prevention of the earthquakes and tsunamis in countries susceptible to them like Colombia, Japan, and the USA.

Additionally, geographic information systems and satellite time series have also been effective in monitoring the risk of global climate change whose occurrence will only but result in harsh effects that are not tolerable.


In closure, the issue of disasters related to national phenomena requires good emergency preparedness initiatives to surpass the challenges that come with it. Such is the case given the losses incurred both economically through property destruction and socially through the loss of human lives. Thus, an understanding of the monitoring systems in place is of the essence in obliterating the challenge posed by such disasters. However, failure to do so will only but increase the vulnerability to economic losses and political ramifications. Such consequences are evitable if disaster preparedness initiatives are put in place. Thus, it is high time that all countries join in solidarity to fight off this challenge.



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Kurin, R. (2014). Since the Haitian Earthquake Four Years Ago, Helping Hands Made a World of DifferenceSmithsonian. Retrieved 7 December 2016, from

Lemos, M. C., Agrawal, A., Eakin, H., Nelson, D. R., Engle, N. L., & Johns, O. (2013). Building adaptive capacity to climate change in less developed countries. In Climate science for serving society (pp. 437-457). Springer Netherlands.

OECD,. (2016). Technology to manage natural disasters and catastrophes – Retrieved 7 December 2016, from

Pauls, S. U., Nowak, C., Bálint, M., & Pfenninger, M. (2013). The impact of global climate change on genetic diversity within populations and species. Molecular ecology22(4), 925-946.

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Tierney, K. (2012). Disaster governance: Social, political, and economic dimensions. Annual Review of Environment and Resources37, 341-363.

U.S. Department of the Interior,. (2016). Monitoring Retrieved 7 December 2016, from