Brazil: a collapsing dam can lead to environmental disaster



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Brazil: a collapsing dam can lead to environmental disaster

In Brazil a collapsing dam threatens to lead to environmental disaster in the city of Mariana. After the environmental disaster of 2015, when the collapse of a dam in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais contaminated the Rio Doce, ending up in the Atlantic and killing a dozen people.

The Xingu dam, an infrastructure owned by the Brazilian company Vale SA in the Bento Rodrigues district is at imminent risk of collapse. It is a containment dam for an artificial basin where wastewater and waste from the mining work were brought together.

The basin has not been used since 1998, but remains where it is and loaded with toxic substances. In 2015, the orange tide had overwhelmed the town, ending up in the Rio Doce and then in the ocean. An environmental disaster of immense proportions.

The volume of water released by the dams, which spread mineral waste for about 500 km, was immense, with 60 million cubic meters. In January 2019, another environmental disaster caused by the collapse of a Vale dam had earned the sad distinction of the worst catastrophe in the history of the country.

The collapse of the Brumadinho dam had released a wave of toxic sludge and overwhelmed everything it encountered downstream at 80 km/h.

Climate change is also affecting mental health

Climate change or climate change refers to variations in the Earth's climate, variations at different spatial and historical-temporal scales of one or more environmental and climatic parameters in their average values: temperatures, precipitation, cloudiness, ocean temperatures, distribution and development of plants and animals and buildings.

The various greenhouse gases play an important role in the climate since through the greenhouse effect they regulate the flow of energy retained in the earth's atmosphere and help to keep the climatic parameters constant by reacting in the phases of climate warming and cooling.

The predicted scenarios postulate that, as the planet warms, the polar ice caps melt and since snow has a high albedo. Global warming refers to the change in the earth's climate that has developed since the beginning of the 20th century and is still ongoing.

The scientific community attributes this change to emissions into the earth's atmosphere of increasing quantities of greenhouse gases and to other factors all attributable to human activity. Climate crisis is a term to describe human-induced global warming and climate change and their consequences.

The term has been used to describe the threat of global warming to the planet, and the need for aggressive mitigation of climate change. For example, an article published in January 2020 signed by more than eleven thousand scientists from 153 nations states that the climate crisis has arrived and that immense growth in efforts to preserve our biosphere is necessary to avoid untold suffering due to the climate crisis.

The Climate Change and Mental Health study, published on the Current environmental health reports, links the climate crisis, global warming and mental disorders. Here is an abstrac of the study: "A growing body of research demonstrates not only that the extreme weather events associated with a changing climate can impair mental health, in particular leading to increases in depression and post-traumatic stress disorder, but also that more gradual changes in climatic conditions, such as rising temperatures and reduced air quality, are also harmful to mental health.

In addition, there is increasing evidence that a significant proportion of people might be experiencing a harmful level of anxiety associated with their perception of climate change. Mental health impacts of climate change have the potential to affect a significant proportion of the population.

More research is needed to document the extent of these impacts as well as the best options for mitigating and treating them."