AS Geography Edexcel revision notes - unit 1

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Hazards
Global hazards
Environmental hazards ­ the threat to the environment or human population caused by earth processes and natural
events (these include geophysical and hydro-meteorological), usually enhanced by human activity
Geophysical hazards ­ tectonic or earth processes (geological events) e.g. volcano, earthquake
Hydro-meteorological - hazards caused by hydrological (water processes) or atmospheric (weather patterns) e.g.
floods, landslides, hurricanes
Context hazards ­ widespread hazards and threats which arise from global environmental changes, for example
those arising from climate change
Disasters ­ the realisation of the hazard having adverse effects on either loss of life or economic damage
(consequences)
Risk ­ the probability of the hazard causing a disaster and having huge effect on either humanity or the environment
(likely exposure to a hazardous event)
Vulnerability ­ the cause of unbalanced human development, the different ability and capacity to cope with
disasters amongst varying populations
Disaster risk equation = the MAGNITUDE of the hazard multiplied by the vulnerability, then divided by the capacity
to cope
Disaster risks increasing:
More people living in areas which are `at risk' because of poverty and rapid urbanisation
Poverty!!
UNSUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT LEADING TO POOR LAND USE AND ENVIRONMENTAL DEGREDATION
Strength of hazards increasing because of events such as climate change
Economically developed countries have a higher capacity to cope and lower vulnerability because of the money that
can be invested into protecting the population against these hazards e.g. building structures such as coastal defence
and having planned evacuation routes AND TECHNOLOGY
Climate change being the world's biggest hazard
1. Global problem ­ the whole world is affected, both economically developed countries and more vulnerable
countries, various unique impacts to each country
2. Chronic ­ it is a long term hazard with a slow onset and on-going, it is hard to understand the adverse effects
which will result from the climate rising even by just 2 degrees, for example: change in atmospheric and
oceanic oscillations, climate belt migration towards the poles, spread of malaria, ecology changes,
magnitude of hurricanes increase, ENSO more frequent
3. Range of impacts ­ it will affect not only the environment; but also cause effects on health, wellbeing and
social (water availability and food security)
4. Unpredictable ­ it is hard to predict the strength of the impacts the result from climate change
Positive/Negative feedback: a process which either further increases or further decreases the output of
impacts that result from climate change, positive would further enhance the output (e.g. melting of the
ice sheets leads to thermal expansion, as well as releasing a lot of methane gas into the atmosphere and
the albedo effect), negative feedback is when it reduces the output (e.g. melting ice sheets could dilute

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North Atlantic drift and it then having less effects of the ocean current in warming the ocean)
Mitigation ­ we do have the ability to reduce the impacts of climate change, however it is impossible to
know if this will have a huge effect on the impacts of climate change as some are already occurring
5. Indirect impacts ­ for example the effects that thermal expansion has on rising sea levels, causing flooding
6.…read more

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Land pressure e.g.…read more

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Slides Avalanches of Landslides ­ Landslides ­ heavy rainfall, seismic Huge amounts of
snow, landslides mountainous regions activity, human activity such as deaths ­ 7th most
- mass Avalanches ­ also building on hillsides in Asia deaths per year
movements mountainous regions, Avalanches ­ increasing because of Avalanches ­ 40
for example the Alps in global warming, decreasing deaths deaths a year in
New Zealand, slopes because of effective management Europe, 100 in
steeper than 35 North America
degrees
Droughts Dry period Dependant on causes,…read more

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Climate change
Climate change and its causes
Information Causes Evidence
Short term Last 100 years or so, temperature has Increased carbon General records of
rapidly increased, carbon in the emissions which leads to temperature, aerially
atmosphere has massively risen since the enhanced Greenhouse monitor the size of ice
pre-industrial times because of human effect sheets, measured
activity temperatures of ocean
Medium 1000AD ­ 1850 no direct evidence, Changes in solar output History book, paintings of
term for example Little Ice Age from 1500 (other than…read more

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The impacts of global warming
Direct impacts
ARCTIC
General info Impacts on Natural Animal impacts Impacts on society
systems
Rise of temperature 3-4 Tree line and vegetation Marine species that rely on Shipping routes more
degrees in the last 50 shifting Northwards, sea ice will be threatened accessible as can go
years in Alaska and increasing primary (polar bears),land species through Arctic, oil can be
Northwest Canada(higher agriculture sector, that rely on arctic exploited, agricultural may
than the rest of the world, destabilise existing food…read more

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Could lead to desertification
Food security worsened by locusts which could increase in number due to climate increase
Malaria increase (Spread of vector borne diseases) as increased temperature means the mosquitos that
spread the disease can rapidly increase in number, this puts increasing pressure on already inadequate
health systems, people affected by Malaria is expected to double, less people healthy enough to work ­
which will increase poverty further
Debt ­ many African governments have debt that is so high it cannot be paid back,…read more

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Could reach by 2035 is our current levels of emissions continues
With business as usual approach emissions could treble by 2100 and temperature rise by 5 degrees
globally
Coping with climate change
Mitigation ­ reducing greenhouse gas/carbon emissions and increasing the size of carbon sinks
Reduce the effects of irreversible impacts of climate change in the ultimate long-run
Carbon sinks can be easily achieved
Politically acceptable
ESSENTIAL
Examples:
Renewable energy use overall for every different economic sector
Political/international commitment
Capturing carbon emissions from power stations…read more

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