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  • Hi. Welcome again to www.engvid.com. I'm Adam. Today's lesson comes from a few requests from

  • the www.engvid.com comments section. Some people wanted to know about natural disasters.

  • So what I have here is a bit of a combination of climate vocabulary and natural events.

  • I don't call them "disasters" because, realistically, they're only disasters to humans; to nature,

  • they are just events. Okay?

  • Before we begin, I want to make sure we understand the difference between "climate" and "weather".

  • "Weather" is the occurrence of nature every day. Today is sunny, tomorrow is raining,

  • today is a little bit chilly, tomorrow is going to be nice and warm. Every day's situation

  • is the weather. "Climate" is the pattern over usually we talk about a year. So if a country

  • or a place has four seasons: spring, summer, fall, winter - each season has its own climate;

  • rainy, hot, humid, whatever the case may be. So we're going to look at climate and natural

  • events that usually go together. Now, this last year or the past 2 or 3 years have seen

  • some very crazy weather-or sorry-climate events. So I'm going to give you some words to be

  • able to discuss these amongst yourselves.

  • First, we're going to start with: "flood" and "drought". Okay? The "h", the "gh" not

  • pronounced. "drought", "flood", like going up. So "flood" is when there's too much water.

  • Very heavy rain, sometimes it's because snow melts too quickly in hills or mountains. All

  • the water comes into a low place or a flat place, the earth doesn't absorb it quickly

  • enough or the sewage can't take all of it, the pipes, et cetera so all the water rises

  • up above the ground, goes into your houses, into the subway stations, everywhere. That's

  • a flood, a flood. "Drought" is the complete opposite. A "drought" is what happens when

  • a region or a place doesn't get water, doesn't get any rain for a very long period of time.

  • Everything dries out, all the crops, all the wheat, and rice, and everything dies. Sometimes

  • this leads to a famine. Okay? A "famine" is when there's a lot of people starving. Okay?

  • So this is a natural disaster because human beings and animals are starving because everything

  • died in the drought, there's nothing to eat.

  • Okay, next we have: "earthquake". "Quake" basically means shake. An "earthquake" is

  • when the earth shakes. Okay? Now, what often happens is when there's an earthquake in the

  • sea or near the sea, there's often a "tsunami". Now, this is actually a Japanese word. Actually,

  • it's two Japanese words, but they are used so commonly that we just take them as an English

  • word now. "Tsunami" means harbor wave. Not so important for you guys right now, but it's

  • basically a big wave or a big series of waves that after the earthquake, all the water in

  • the seas or the oceans starts moving around, sometimes it moves on to the land and just

  • destroys everything. I think everybody probably remembers the tsunami from 2006 or so in Indonesia,

  • in that area, very destructive, in Japan a couple of years ago - huge tsunamis.

  • Next, this is what we're experiencing lately with climate change, global warming, whatever

  • you want to call it: "heat waves" and "cold fronts". Now, if you watch the news, the weather

  • channel, for example, sometimes you'll see something like this, you'll see lines with

  • semicircles moving. Other times, you'll see red lines with triangles moving. The blue

  • lines, these are cold fronts, means a very cold mass of air, the cold amount of air is

  • moving. The red one, same thing but heat, a lot of heat. Heat waves are very dangerous

  • because they come very suddenly; it gets very, very hot. A lot of people suffer from it,

  • a lot of people die from it. Same with a cold front, suddenly the temperature really, really

  • drops: minus 20, minus 30, minus 40. And again, very, very dangerous; you don't want to be

  • outside when that happens.

  • Next, we'll talk a little bit about snow. Now, the Inuit, that's the natives of Canada

  • in the far north, they have I think maybe 50 different words for "snow". I'm only going

  • to give you a couple other than "snow". A "blizzard" is a very heavy snowstorm. Okay?

  • Lots of, lots, and lots, and lots, and lots of snow. Very white. If you live in a hot

  • country, you don't know what this is, but it's actually very beautiful but very dangerous,

  • not fun to drive in, not fun to walk in. Just fun... Nice to look at, that's it. A "squall"

  • is like a blizzard except that it's very sudden, very short, and very intense. So sometimes

  • a squall will come in. You have like sunshine, pretty day. It's cold, but, you know, it's

  • winter, but sunny. Then suddenly, you can't see anything, everything is white. Just snow,

  • snow, snow, like you can't see past two feet in front of you. And then, 10 minutes later,

  • half an hour later, it's gone and it's sunny again. We call this a "snow squall".

  • Okay. I know all of you know this word: "storm", but do you know the different types of storms

  • that you can experience? You can have an "icestorm". An "icestorm" is when it seems to be raining,

  • except that it's not rain drops, it's little, little tiny ice particles. They fall on a

  • tree and become ice. They fall everywhere and become ice. So in Toronto, that's where

  • we are today, in Toronto this winter, we had an icestorm. Overnight, all the ice fell.

  • In the morning, trees started falling down. Why? Because all the branches were covered

  • in ice and became so heavy that it-boom-crashed on top of cars, on top of people, on top of

  • everything. Power was out for a long time. Not much fun.

  • In desert places, like in the Sahara Desert, you have a "sandstorm" where suddenly a big

  • wind carries all this sand, and you can't see anything, and it gets in your eyes, and

  • not much fun. "Thunderstorm", lots of thunder. "Lightningstorm", lots of lightning. "Hail",

  • "hail" are little pieces of ice about this big, and they drop, and they hit you on the

  • head and they're a little painful. "Rainstorm", "duststorm", all kinds of storms. Always one

  • word. "Icestorm", one word. "Sandstorm", one word. Not two separate words.

  • Now, students often ask me: "What is the difference between a hurricane, a typhoon, and a cyclone?"

  • Sometimes tornado and monsoon. "Hurricane", "typhoon", and "cyclone", same idea, it's

  • a big circling storm that comes over land and destroys everything. A "hurricane" happens

  • in the Atlantic Ocean and sometimes in the Northeast Pacific. Mostly it's in the Atlantic

  • and that's why it hits the States and Mexico all the time. "Typhoon" is in the Northwest

  • Pacific Ocean, hits Japan, Philippines, all those countries there. A "cyclone" happens

  • in the South Pacific and Indian Oceans, hitting India and countries in that area. A "tornado",

  • a "tornado" is like a tiny little hurricane except it's very localized, very small area,

  • happens on land. These all happen... These all begin in the ocean. This happens on land

  • like a little wind spins really, really fast and just destroys everything on its way. Mostly

  • it happens in the U.S. in the middle of the United States. And a "monsoon", a "monsoon"

  • is like a very, very heavy wind and rainstorm. Usually hits India and Southeast Asia, those

  • areas there.

  • Then, sometimes... These are natural events, they're not necessarily connected to climate,

  • but the climate does help. A "mudslide", sometimes you see like there's too much rain or too

  • much deforestation, too many trees have been cut down from a mountain. These trees, the

  • roots of these trees hold the earth together. Not enough trees or too much water and half

  • the mountain-vloop-just slides off the mountain. It's mud, you know mud like sand and water

  • becomes mud just slides off and buries everything underneath it. An "avalanche" is like a mudslide

  • except that it's snow. In the mountains, you have lots of snow, lots of snow. Then eventually

  • gets too thick and heavy, and just starts falling down and burying everything underneath it.

  • And then you have a "volcanic eruption". A "volcano" is like a... Sort of like a little

  • mountain, but very hot inside with magma or lava is another way to say it. Then just-poof-blows.

  • In Iceland a few years ago, a volcano exploded, all the ash covered the air-woop, sorry-all

  • the ash and you couldn't see anything, and flights couldn't take off from Northern Europe.

  • Very bad situation.

  • So this is what happens. This is the Earth we live on, we deal with it, but we also like

  • to talk about it now and again, and now, hopefully, you have some vocabulary to use in that discussion.

  • Of course, you can test yourself at www.engvid.com, there's a quiz, come by and try it out. And

  • we'll see you again soon.

Hi. Welcome again to www.engvid.com. I'm Adam. Today's lesson comes from a few requests from

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A2 US climate drought flood hurricane earthquake typhoon

Learn English Vocabulary - Weather and natural disasters

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    Susy posted on 2015/07/08
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