Safest region on Earth from natural disasters

  1. Safest region on Earth from natural disasters....

    My question is simple but may require a complicated answer. What region on earth is safest (note the word "safest") from natural disasters????

    In the United States, there are plenty of tornadoes and hurricanes, along with the threat of earthquakes on the west coast (and east coast too!!!!). Not to mention that the supervolcano in yellowstone is the bomb waiting to explode and finish off North America.

    Europe also has it's supervolcano in Italy that could blow up soon and finish off Europe as we know it.

    So apart from our sun blowing up and the ultimate death of the universe, what region (or area) on earth seem safest from mass natural disasters????? I'm not much of a geology guy (I'm a math guy) so please have mercy when answering!!! Thanks.
  2. jcsd
  3. jedishrfu

    Staff: Mentor

    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 14, 2012
  4. Re: Safest region on Earth from natural disasters....

    Geologists would look for level places (no mountain building, faults or fissures, etc) where they might find the oldest surface rock. This would indicate little weathering. The Canadian shield satisfies these criteria--Precambrian basement rock around which much of the North American plate is wrapped. It extends from Lake Superior towards the Arctic.

    The one drawback for this area are the episodic periods of glacial ice which scour it, occasionally dropping erratics. These episodes tend to be widely spaced in time.
  5. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    Re: Safest region on Earth from natural disasters....

    No blizzards, no floods, no droughts, no insect crop infestations, no earthquakes, no storms, no volcanoes, no sinkholes, no temperature extremes. Can crops be grown, cattle raised?

    Then if you find such a place, is it habitable for humans?

    Or are you just looking for a safe place where humans can't live?
  6. Re: Safest region on Earth from natural disasters....

    No place is perfect, but Ireland comes close. Flooding is a usually a local phenomenon. Stay away from rivers, creeks or low lying ground near the sea. The climate is milder than the UK except close to the west coast where winds off the ocean can be strong.
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2012
  7. Evo

    Staff: Mentor

    Re: Safest region on Earth from natural disasters....

    But the potato famine all but destroyed them.
  8. jedishrfu

    Staff: Mentor

    Re: Safest region on Earth from natural disasters....

    The luck of the Irish.

    We were there last year the west coast is amazing, incredibly windy. We went to the Cliffs of Mohr in a rainstorm and nearly got blown off the observation platform. Great trip, great place.
  9. Re: Safest region on Earth from natural disasters....

    True, but depending on one crop to keep the population from starving is asking for trouble. I think the OP is asking about the current situation.
  10. Re: Safest region on Earth from natural disasters....

    Yes, it's a great place to visit. I'm not saying the climate is ideal. It's too cool and damp for many, but in terms of natural disasters, the risk for heat waves, severe cold waves, drought, blizzards, tornados, tsunamis, earthquakes, hurricanes and forest fires (not many trees), to mention a few, is minimal to nil afaik. I don't think any part of Europe is considered to be at significant risk for famine in the foreseeable future, but I could be wrong.
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2012
  11. jedishrfu

    Staff: Mentor

    Re: Safest region on Earth from natural disasters....

    As an aside the Irish Potato Famine was part of a larger European Potato famine that hit Ireland and Scotland particularly hard. The famine was made worse in Ireland by the absentee landlords who wanted crops grown and exported rather than kept in Ireland to feed the starving.
  12. Re: Safest region on Earth from natural disasters....

    Thanks. I was not aware of this. In any case, the situation in Ireland was apparently aggravated by the actions of absentee landlords. It appears from the chart that Ireland had a much larger percentage of arable land (32%) than the other affected nations. Perhaps if so much of its product had not been exported, possibly the Irish famine might have been less severe or not occurred at all? This goes to the question of whether the potato famine in Ireland was less of natural disaster and more of a human-made one.
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2012
  13. Re: Safest region on Earth from natural disasters....

    In peninsular Malaysia there is jungle that has existed continuously for 100 million years.
  14. Re: Safest region on Earth from natural disasters....

    I thought the problem was a monoculture crop. When the blight hit there was no alternative.
  15. Re: Safest region on Earth from natural disasters....

    Yes. That was part of the problem. Who decided that only one monoculture crop would be used to feed the population? According to the link above posted by jedishrfu, Ireland also produced oats. With 32% of its land being arable, it should be have been self sufficient if it had a diversified crop, not to mention producing some animal sourced protein. Where were the decisions being made in terms of what to plant and what to export?

    My point is that the blight was a natural phenomenon, but need not have been a disaster; at least in Ireland.
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2012
  16. Re: Safest region on Earth from natural disasters....

    That claim is widespread indeed, as a quick google confirms. However, I could not find any scientific source with scholar google that supports it.

    Maybe that this impression comes from some paleo biological studies and the tectonic history, as it has always being on lower lattitudes in that period. By the same token, however, we could have thought that of the Sahara, had we lived ten thousand years ago.

    So, with the apparant absence of a continuous fossil record of the last million years, it's equally likely that Malaysia also has been spending some time in the arid subsidence zones of the hadley cells, that forms deserts like the Sahara. Maybe only a few thousend years, which would only seem a negliblible hiatus on 100 million years.
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2012
  17. I think the scandinavian region is the safest.

    Sweden for example, never any really harsh weather and never any earthquakes, and faar from vulcanos.
    The air is always fresh and dry and the climate is not harsh.

    What do you say?
  18. atyy

    atyy 11,189
    Science Advisor

  19. Last edited: Oct 18, 2013
  20. antartica is pretty stable (but I hear the weather is a bit harsh)

    How about Paraguay?
  21. Antarctica is fine if you're a penguin. Otherwise it's uninhabitable in the usual sense. Obviously with technology humans can even live in outer space for a while.

    Paraguay: drought, extreme heat, floods, tropical diseases, wildfires, storms. It's generally safer than Bolivia, Chile and Argentina (earthquakes).
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2013
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