GCSE Geography Unit 1 Edexcel: Challenges for the Planet

My revision notes for 'Challenges for the Planet', one of two topics for Unit 1 Edexcel Geography.

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  • Created on: 18-06-12 12:17
Preview of GCSE Geography Unit 1 Edexcel: Challenges for the Planet

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Challenges for the Planet
Negative impacts of climate change on the environment
87% of the 300 glaciers in the Antarctic Peninsula have shrunk over the past 50
years, and 7 floating ice shelves have collapsed over the past 30 years.
The Greater Barrier Reef suffered significant bleaching in 1998, 2002 and 2006 as
algae blooms were destroyed due to changing sea conditions.
The Wilkins Ice Shelf, once 200 metres thick, melted in March 2008 due to lower
albedo rates and global warming.
Coral reefs
Need to be less than 30m from surface, but rising sea levels prevents this.
A pH drop of 0.1 has caused a massive change in the oceans, as there is less of
the calcium mineral aragonite, so corals cannot rebuild their structure.
As polar ice caps melt, more freshwater is added to the saline oceans. Coral reefs
rely on the saltwater and cannot adapt to the change.
Corals become bleached as algae are removed from the surface, causing them to
whiten and lose their ability to photosynthesize.
Negative impacts of climate change on people
In Kenya, droughts used to happen every 10 years. Now they happen every 3
years. In 2006, the flooding was the most severe in 80 years.
Around 10,000 people in the Kesobpur district (Bangladesh) have been affected by
the flooding with scientists suggesting that 40% of the country will flood in the future
during the monsoon season, compared with 25% today.
In Central and South Asia, it was predicted that there would be a 30% decrease in
crop yield, with 50% reduction in yields predicted for countries in Africa; due to
increasing temperatures and a lack of rainfall.
Greenland:
80% of ice that covers land is disappearing at a rate of 71% per year.
Some ice shelves are too thin for Inuit hunters to travel across and hunt.
Permafrost is melting and producing boggy land which is unstable for building and
difficult to cross.
Ajay Shah

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Maldives:
Within the next 15 years, rising sea levels will force 396,000 residents to migrate.
The Indian Ocean island nation of Maldives is the lowest lying in the world.
Protective coral reefs are mined for building material, and fresh water supplies are
threatened.
Why are some people at risk?
Malaria ­ mosquitoes breed in warm, wet climates. Global warming will increase
average temperatures, which will increase the number of mosquitoes.
Polar ice caps melt into the sea, which causes sea levels to rise.…read more

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Why are people who live in Bangladesh at risk?
Around 10,000 people in the Kesobpur district have been affected by the flooding. In
Katakhali, land once used to produce rice is now an informal fishery for 9 months per year.
People can only eat twice a day due to food shortages, so are comparatively weak and
more prone to disease and infection. Young people are leaving to find work in Dhaka and
elsewhere.…read more

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What are organisations doing to become more sustainable?
Asda have signed up to the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil and the
Palm Oil Coalition, and plan to use only sustainable palm oil by 2015.
Asda Asda are using more natural light and focusing on renewable energy sources.
Asda have made their packaging boxes out of strong plastic so they can be
reused.
Nokia source their materials sustainably and work closely with suppliers.…read more

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Responses to climate change
UK's target is to cut carbon emissions to 20% below the 1990 levels by 2020.
15% of carbon emissions are produced by houses, so councils are important.
Government has given local councils £4m since April 2008.
Aberdeen County Council - In 1999 they adopted a strategy to save energy by
upgrading housing stock. They own 23,500 dwelling and plan to install a CHP
system in a facility close to one of their blocks.…read more

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Resource extraction in tropical rainforests
Carajas Iron Ore Mining project which uses wood to power its pig iron
Mining in plants, resulting in annual deforestation of 6100km2.
Brazil In the State of Roraima there have been conflicts between gold
prospectors and the Indigenous Yanomamo Indians.
In the Oriente region, toxic waste water mixed with crude oil seeps out of
600 unlined pits into the subsoil, polluting surrounding freshwater and
farmland.…read more

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Ecuador
Local indigenous people of the Amazon rainforest have taken oil companies to
court because of the destruction of their environment since the 1960s. Texaco have
agreed to pay $40m for cleaning up 160 of the 600 waste pits created. However,
the chief of the local Secoya tribe says that $6bn is needed.
Maxus Energy, who extracts oil from Yasuni National Park, has built an
underground pipeline to reduce environmental impact.…read more

Comments

Mr A Gibson

A brilliantly diverse and factual resource on this topic which brings together a lot of great examples of sustainability and the not-so-sustainable too. I would definitely be using this to increase my general knowledge of the topic but also for specific points and examples. Good work..!

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