How might human activity cause problems in Antarctica?

AQA Geography B

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  • Created on: 13-04-12 19:46
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How might human activity cause problems in Antarctica?
In Antarctica, human activity, such as small boat landing (187,144 people), may cause problems
because it could cause the introduction of non-native species. This means that the invasion of species
such as rats will be greater and this will result in them eating bird and other rare species eggs, which
will mean that the offspring of those species will become extinct because fewer species will remain.
This will mean that the food chain will be severely affected because the ecosystem is rapidly
decreasing. In addition, human activity will cause the transmission of diseases. This will result in
biodiversity being harmed by unknown or dangerous diseases. This will mean that the species will be
killed by these unknown diseases and as result the food chain will be damaged because the rate of
diseases can't be slowed down.
Why is Antarctica colder than the Arctic?
Antarctica is colder than the Arctic because the Arctic's latitude is tilted towards the sun. This means
that more solar radiation can reach it and thus warming it up. Also, Antarctica has stronger winds than
the Arctic which means that more cold air can reach Antarctica.
How is Antarctica currently protected?
1. No Antarctic bird or mammal can be killed or captured without a permit - granted only for
scientific reasons
2. Measures must be taken to minimize harmful interference with wildlife and control the
introduction of non-native species - animal or plant, even to the point of not taking soil or
growing compost to Antarctica as it may contain plant seeds, fungal spores and adults or
eggs of any number of soil-dwelling invertebrates.
3. The establishment of specially protected areas to protect sites of outstanding scientific
interest and designate specially protected species.
4. Seals in particular are covered by a 1972 convention designed to prevent the resumption of
sealing killing of both Ross and Antarctic fur seals is totally prohibited and catch limits are set
deliberately at low levels. All six seal species that breed in the Antarctic are covered.
5. Commercial fisheries in the Southern Ocean are controlled by the CCAMLR - Convention on
the Conservation of Antarctic Marine Living Resources. The aim of the Convention is to
conserve marine life of the Southern Ocean - this does not exclude harvesting carried out in a
rational manner.
6. The discharge into the sea within the Antarctic Treaty Area of all toxic and noxious chemicals,
oil and oily wastes, plastics and other forms of non-biodegradable rubbish, is prohibited. The
discharge of other wastes (such as sewage from ships and bases) is strictly regulated.
7. Mining has been prohibited.


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