Here is the BTN video I used for my resource in this report: http://www.abc.net.au/btn/
Blue = Facts
Red = Understandings
Green = Questions
Last week, there were many storms and floods across eastern Australia, and it was causing a lot of problems. A big one was that this storm would have more effect in some parts of this place than others. The coastline is getting the most storms and flooding, where many homes are badly damaged. Here’s why it was particularly bad on the coastline, and if there’s anything we can do about it.
It started from Queensland right down to Tasmania, that coastline took quite a hit during those storms! From gardens and decks being ripped apart to houses that are now permanently damaged, even a backyard pool couldn’t escape the waves from this natural disaster! And as everyone knows, storms happen to hit a lot in Australia, but this one seemed to hit harder than most. So, why was that?
Well, there were 2 major factors to making this storm so hideous, and one of them was erosion. Erosion is a natural force and it’s always around us. Its part of the cycle that forms coasts, shapes mountain ranges, and digs out caves. But during really violent weather it happens faster, since lots of rain goes out to sea to make the wave’s pound hard against the beach.
An example of erosion is this:
Imagine having some sand from the beach in a tub (the sand isn’t flat, some overlaps each other to make it look like a beach/cliff). Now imagine putting some water in and using a paddle to make small waves. After a little bit, the shape of the beach/cliff starts to change (starts to crumble and fall apart). That’s erosion.
But erosion wasn’t the only main factor that made this storm horrendous, the other one was the unfortunate timing of a king tide. Tides are the movement of the sea level, when they go up and down each day. This basically happens because of the moon. The moon’s gravity pulls at the Earth, which creates a small bulge in the water that is closest to where the moon is in the sky. As earth rotates around, with the moon moving with it, the bulge also moves around the earth as well, which is creating high and low tides.
But there’s the exceptional king tide. This is when every now and then the sun lines up with the moon, so their gravity’s are combined to pull on the oceans even more. And with higher waves, the beaches can be washed away even faster.
So it’s no surprise that lately scientists have been worried about erosion around Australia’s coastal areas. They’re saying that there are now more buildings along the beach but less plants to hold the dunes together.
That’s why there are groups of people stepping in to help keep our coastlines safe. And their doing this by planting little plants to help hold dunes together. This helps because once you’ve planted the plants, after a while, the roots sink in. So if the wind’s damaging the sand, the roots will hold it all together (because the roots are holding all the sand and dirt together, the dirt will help our sand dunes so it doesn’t erode away).
More planting is one option, but other researchers say that we just desperately need to stop building so close to the beach. And the reason is simple, big storms and erosion come with beaches and they’re a natural part of life in Australia.
An understanding I now have is how important zoning houses is in Australia. If you have a house to close to the beach, you don’t just get a good view, you get a permanently wrecked disaster (if a storm happens with erosion or a king tide). And imagine what would happen if a tsunami came? So now I realise how important of zoning houses so that everyone’s safe.
2 question I have are:
- How does the government decide what houses you’re allowed to live in (procedure)?
- Have there been any houses allowed to be live in that the government didn’t realise weren’t safe? If so, what about them made the government make the mistake?