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How can Floods Affect our Environment

Floods Affect humans/environment through destruction and displacement.

According to the WMO, Asia has the greatest affect of climate change while life on Earth depends on water, However, excessive amounts of floods can be detrimental to biological and other animal environments. The question then arises, what can be done to protect the ecosystems that are at risk?

It’s hard to imagine the flood could possibly do any good, as images of submerged homes and riverbeds quickly appear. In fact, it caused the greatest economic damage of all climate-related events recorded in the EU between 1980 and 2022.

However, its effects on the unbuilt, natural world are not necessarily bad.

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According to James Dalton, director of the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s Global Water Program, many ecosystems actually rely on seasonally increasing water to support regular ecosystem processes, including the distribution of soil nutrients.

We use river systems to provide a constant flow of nutrients that not only enrich the ecosystem below the river system but also flow into rivers and deltas, which are the world’s They are the areas with the highest biological productivity.

Benefits of Flooding

Floods are essential for our survival as they play an important role in the production of nutrients.

As flood waters recede, nutrients are left behind. These natural fertilizers work in abundance and provide a rich soil amendment that improves soil quality and encourages plant growth. This is one of the factors that has led to the development of many towns around rivers. The nutrients that are collected act as fertile soil for crops in addition to offering a way to transport much-needed water and supplies.

Another benefit of flooding is that it helps restore land resources. In California, officials plan to redirect and store excess floodwaters to help replenish naturally occurring underground reservoirs that retain water during droughts, even if the process naturally occurs. But also in other places.

Wildlife Affected by Floods

But out of the natural order of things, in a world where global temperatures continue to rise, leading to heavy and often unpredictable rainfall patterns in some regions of the world, the effects are not so beneficial.

Because of the variability in rainfall, floods last longer and are more destructive, Dalton says, and this affects ecosystems. And its effects are more.

Their Habitats are Damaged

One of the most obvious affect of flooding on wildlife is that some species cannot survive the rapidly rising water. For example, catastrophic floods in 2012 killed hundreds of animals, including a one-horned rhinoceros, in Kaziranga National Park in northeastern India.

Even if animals manage to escape the flood, it can destroy their habitats and breeding grounds.

More damaging flooding surrounds riverbanks and floodplains, which can move soil and silt and affect migratory animals by preventing them from reaching breeding and breeding times, Dalton said. are Because they can’t get to where they need to be at a certain time for spawning and breeding. Hence it affects the natural reproductive cycles.

Plants can also be affected by flood water containing agricultural pesticides, industrial chemicals or sewage. If animals eat contaminated plants, they are exposed to toxins and impurities, which then enter the food chain.

Flooding Destroys Soil, Food and Environmental Resources

Although some soils benefit from flooding, fast-moving water leaves a more damaging footprint, potentially erasing the top five to ten centimeters of the most nutrient-rich soil.

“Imagine when you have a flood,” said Michael Berger, a sustainable agriculture consultant at WWF Germany.

Humans cannot reproduce it, and it is the basis of food production.

Soil is the world’s most biologically rich ecosystem, and maintaining biological systems depends on it. A recent study by the Heinrich Böll Foundation, affiliated with the German Green Party, claims that a healthy soil can store more carbon dioxide than trees.

In addition to destroying ecosystems and landscapes, soil erosion exacerbates the problem by preventing land from absorbing water during significant flood events.

We need healthy soil to tackle the climate crisis, said Ame Scholes, president of the Heinrich Böll Foundation, in a press statement. They can store up to 3,750 tonnes of water per hectare and release it again as needed.

What steps can we take to prevent flooding in affected areas?

Dalton says there are ways to limit the affect of floods and that many of the reasons floods are worse than they might be are because we put things in the path of floodwaters. We have built or dumped things into flood plains.

Due to the global shortage of affordable housing, more and more developers are being allowed to build on flood plains, which means that residences and commercial buildings are going up in potentially dangerous places.

It is essential to re-engineer the way rivers work and return them to their natural form to connect them to each other, their floodplains and groundwater to surface water. This is because these connections form a letting network.

Diversifying agriculture away from industrial practices to practices such as agroforestry, which intentionally integrates trees into farming, can also prevent the effects of flooding.

According to Berger

When you have a flood event, it can reduce the speed of the water. And the slower the water is moving, the less erosion you’ll have.

He said that as humans deal with the affect of climate change such as droughts and floods, we should actually look to nature for solutions instead of building everything out of concrete and thinking that technology can solve every problem. should be looked at.

Also read this: Portuguese Town was Flooded by River of Red Wine

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