This year has not turned out to be the way we expected. It was a deadly pandemic in 2020 and a devastating earthquake hit Turkey and Syria in 2023 along with several other disasters and estimated risks of climate change.
Earthquakes of Turkey-Syria
The southern part of Turkey, close to the northern border with Syria, was hit by a 7.8 magnitude earthquake on February 6. A further earthquake of magnitude 7.5 occurred around 59 miles (95 kilometres) to the southwest of this one, about nine hours later. There have also been dozens of significant aftershocks.
The quake was as strong as the strongest one ever recorded in Turkey, which has a history of earthquakes and was the most catastrophic to hit the country in more than 20 years. Even before the earthquake, Syria was facing a complicated humanitarian disaster, making it one of the world's largest.
The Syrian government does not have full authority over the northwest, where the earthquake was most devastating. This makes it difficult to determine the full scope of casualties and the effectiveness of relief operations. Women and children make up the vast bulk of the 4.1 million people in northwest Syria who need humanitarian aid.
Though several nations have pledged their assistance to Turkey, the lack of a centralised government in Syria makes it more challenging to deliver relief to the people who need it. Since the humanitarian response is overstretched and has a 48% budget shortfall for the fourth quarter of 2022, aid to Syria's most afflicted areas is essential.
According to the sources from the Turkish government, Syrian Government, and Syrian opposition (February 7, 17:40 GMT) at least 4544 people were killed in Turkey and 1832 in Syria.
The New Zealand Floods
The North Island is home to Auckland, a city of over 1.6 million people. New Zealand's largest metropolis. Rainfall on January 27 was the most ever recorded in Auckland, New Zealand, with 9.8 inches or the equivalent of a summer's worth of rain. The worst seems to have gone, even though further rain poured on January 31.
The land was soaked, and the rivers were overflowing because of the heavy rain and the accumulation of earlier storms. This left little room for further rainfall to be absorbed. The possibility of landslides and river flooding was also raised. Many individuals had to leave their homes as a result. Chris Hipkins, the country's newly appointed prime minister, stated that climate change is real and with the country in the aftermath of the terrible floods in Auckland.
Extreme weather would persist across the country, Hipkins said. He warned that the frequency of severe weather events was increasing and that the United States must prepare for more of them soon. The regular summer rains in New Zealand intensified because of the ongoing La Nina phenomenon.
China's regions have been cautioned to brace for more severe weather this year
After last summer's record-breaking heat and prolonged drought wreaked havoc on the country's electricity systems and ruined harvests, the areas of china have been advised to prepare for more extreme weather this year.
Song Shanyun, a spokeswoman for the China Meteorological Administration, said at a conference that southern China has to plan for more persistent high temperatures and secure energy supplies to meet the summer demand peak, while northern China needs to be ready for heavy floods.
US flora and animals at risk of extinction
A major conservation research organisation has discovered that 41% of ecosystems are in danger of collapse, while 40% of animal species and 34% of plant species are threatened with extinction in the United States. A report released on Monday indicated that many common plant and animal species across the United States are at risk, from crayfish and cactus to freshwater mussels and even the Venus flytrap.
NatureServe, which compiles information from more than a thousand scientists in the United States and Canada, claimed that this study, which synthesised data from the past half-century, represented the most thorough of its kind.
Two hundred tree species, including an Arkansas tree with maple-leaf leaves, are in danger of going extinct, and almost half of the world's cactus species are similarly threatened. Extensive grasslands across the United States, both temperate and boreal, are among the most threatened ecosystems, with over half of 78 grassland varieties facing extinction.
The analysis stated that a wide range of factors, such as "habitat degradation and land conversion," "invasive species," "damming and pollution of rivers," and "climate change," poses serious risks to plant, animal, and ecosystem health.
Finally, the year 2023 has gotten off to a rough start with many big calamities throughout the world, such as the deadly earthquake in Turkey and Syria, the floods in New Zealand, and the potential extinction of flora and fauna in the United States.
Numerous lives have been lost, and the already dire humanitarian situation in Syria has been exacerbated by the quake that hit Turkey and Syria. New Zealanders have been compelled to evacuate their houses because of flooding brought on by the La Nina phenomenon.
Natural catastrophes and environmental degradation offer serious difficulties, and these events show how crucial it is to be prepared for them and to act quickly to mitigate their effects.
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