Geography Edexcel AS - The World at Risk

Notes for the world at risk part of unit 1 edexcel  Geography AS level

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The World at Risk
1. Global hazards: what are the main types of physical risks facing the world and how
big a threat are they?
2. Global hazard trends: how and why are natural hazards now becoming seen as an
increasing global threat?
3. Global hazard patterns: why are some places more hazardous and disaster-prone
than others?
4. Climate change and its causes: is global warming a recent short-term
phenomenon, or should it be seen as part of longer-term climate change?
5. The impacts of global warming: What are the impacts of climate change and why
should we be concerned?
6. Coping with climate change: what are the strategies for dealing with climate
7. The challenge of global hazards for the future: how should we tackle the global
challenges of increasing risk and vulnerability in a more hazardous world?

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What happened to Tebua?
An island of Kiribati ­ a group of very low-lying sand and mangrove islands.
Kiribati is disappearing due to rising sea levels because of global warming.
It is also suffering the risk of Tsunami's due to earthquakes Kiribati faces multiple
More people each year are leaving, becoming the world's first environmental
Hazards and Disasters
What are disasters?
A disaster is bigger than a hazard. If 10+ people die and 100+ people get injured
then it becomes a disaster.…read more

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The number of hazards being reported is increasing however, many disaster events
can be predicted more accurately and so can reduce the effects of the disaster.
Disaster deaths have fallen, but financial damage has greatly increased.…read more

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Earthquake strength Both 6.9
Number killed 25,000 63
Number injured 300,000 3500
Location Bam (Iran), 2003 Central California, 2003
Earthquake strength Both 6.5
Number killed 26,000 2
Number injured 250,000 Very few
The people of Armenia and Iran were more vulnerable than those in California,
because less money was available to spend in those countries on protecting people
from poorly constructed collapsing buildings ­ the biggest cause of death.…read more

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Ampara, an eastern coastal district of Sri Lanka, had previously experienced rapid
coastal urbanisation; its economy was based on tourism and subsistence fishing and
so was vulnerable to the tsunami.…read more

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The number of bushfire deaths has fallen. This has happened by:
1. Controlled burning ­ regular burning of leaf litter to reduce the fuel for the bushfires.
This is done every year. Environmental groups argue that this does not allow new
seedlings to grow =tall and strong to survive a bushfire and so eventually, the forests
will decline and die out
2. Education programmes ­ people are educated what to do in a bushfire.…read more

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Cost £30 billion to replace ­ less than the cost of flooding a major global financial
Hazard Hotspots
Lies on a destructive plate boundary ­ the Eurasian plate is being forced under the
Philippine, creating the deep Manila Ocean Trench to the west.
Faces risks from volcanoes and earthquakes.
Its northern and eastern coasts face the pacific; the most tsunami-prone ocean.
Lies within south-east Asia's major typhoon belts. Affected by 15 typhoons every
year.…read more

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February 2006
Mudslide engulfed the village of Guinsaugon
1150 died
Causes: the torrential rain; 2000mm fell in 10 days during February which is usually
the dry season, La Nina probably caused the rainfall, a 2.…read more

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Thousands of aftershocks 4.0-5.…read more

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Greenhouse gases:
Carbon dioxide ­ makes up 0.04% of the atmosphere. Major greenhouse gas. Given
off when carbon-based fuels are burned, e.g. coal and oil. Fossil fuels have increased
atmospheric CO2 by 25%
Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) ­ found in spray cans, foam plastics and refrigerant
fluids. Absorb solar radiation and contribute to global warming. Thins the Ozone layer
above Antarctica
Methane ­ minor gas but effective in retaining heat. Annual emissions increased
four times faster than the increase of CO2 since 1950.…read more


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