Edexcel Geog Unit 1

Notes on challenges for the planet. Case studies included.

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  • Created on: 07-06-11 16:26
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Geography Unit 1 ­ Challenges for the
planet
The world's climate has changed since the last ice age. The temperature since that time
has increased by 6^c. The temperature is projected to increase much more rapidly in the
coming years.
The world's climate has changed since the last ice age due to a number of factors.
External factors:
Solar output ­ the energy that comes from the sun.
Orbital geometry ­ 1. The shape of the earths orbit (circular or elliptical) 2. The tilt of the
earth's axis (if the angle is greater the earth experiences warmer periods)
Internal factors:
Volcanic activity ­ volcanic eruptions release ash which blocks solar radiation
Surface reflection ­ snow reflects sun back to space
Change in atmospheric gas ­ CO2 leads to the greenhouse effect
Tectonic activity ­ affects atmospheric and ocean circulation
Methane is a greenhouse gas. It comes from wetlands, rice-growing, burning vegetation and
the bowels of animals.
The levels of methane have been rising because of an increase in the mining of fossil fuels,
rising temperature, an increase in rice production and an increase in cattle and sheep
Negative effects of climate change:
Changing pattern of crop yields ­ hotter and drier weather will reduce yields
Rising sea levels ­ the rise will threaten low lying coastal land
Retreating glaciers ­ will affect ocean water movement
The responses to climate change:
Global scale responses:
Global agreements between nations ­ earth summit, Kyoto protocol
The actions of non-governmental organisations
Local scale responses:
By schools ­ campaigns (livesimply)
By local councils ­ targets to cut carbon emissions
By local interest groups ­ pledge campaigns (Manchester is my planet)
Sustainable development: `development which meets the needs of the present without
compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.'
The 4 key sustainable areas in the UK:
Climate change and energy
Natural resources
Sustainable communities
Sustainable consumption and production
Large company policy for sustainability:

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Asda was spending a lot of money getting rid of packaging that was used on their products
when in storage. They installed a large machine to bale the plastic. All of the waste plastic is
now put into the baler and crushed to 10% of its original size. The bales of plastic are
collected once a week by a firm which recycles plastic.…read more

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