Physical Case Studies For OCR

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  • Created on: 05-09-13 15:08
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Case study: Antarctica
Recreation and Tourism
80,000 tourists a year expected in 2010
History ­ whaling, sealing and fishing
Antarctic Treaty ­ 1959 countries signed this to stop the resource exploitation
Environmental impacts
Concentrated around certain bases so concentrated pollution, disturbance to habitats
Tourist ships disturbs seas life especially whales (noise, wash and waste)
Economic impacts
Very little as all money spent outside the area
Size of bases is controlled
Tourist ships are largely self-sufficient
Social impacts
Minimal as the local population is very small and these people do not permanently live there
Political impacts
Some conflicts due to overlapping claims of control, e.g. UK and Argentina
Cultural impacts
No existing culture
Camping trips, ship board visits and fishing. IAATO (International Association of Antarctic Tour Operators)
oversees the limits on the tourism in Antarctica
Tourists go over to see glacial landscapes, and wildlife. Go for the remoteness and isolation and to test
themselves in adverse weather conditions. Interested in historic sites. Tourism is concentrated in southern
summer period
Positive impacts of tourism
tourism is a well-run industry
guidelines are accepted by operators and tourists
damage to vegetation is due to natural causes
no litter is attributed to tourists
no stress is caused to penguins
tourists who follow guidelines cause no impact
out of 200 sites only 5% showed wear and tear
Negative impacts of tourism
extremely fragile
summer tourist season coincides with peak breeding periods
land based installations in ice free locations
demand for fresh water is difficult to meet
visitor pressure on heritage sites
some evidence that planes caused stress to breeding colonies and unique legal status of Antarctica makes
enforcement of any code of behaviour difficult

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Case study: Alaskan Pipeline
The Trans Alaskan Pipeline (TAPS)
TAPS is an 800 mile oil pipe spanning Alaska
Why is TAPS needed ­ The main oil extraction site in Alaska is Prudhoe Bay on the North coast which is
surrounded by the Beaufort Sea, which is frozen for most of the year. This prevents ships carrying oil from
Prudhoe Bay.…read more

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Case study: The Alps Switzerland
Threats to the ecosystem
Natural threats
- Global warming melting permafrost
Landslide and floods
- Mass movement and floods destroy habitats
- Increasing in dry summers
Human threats
- Construction of ski-resorts, transmitters
- Building of roads to reach the resorts and pollution
- Building of dams has changed river regimes
- Skiing, snowboarding...…read more

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Case study: Northern Sweden ­ the Sami
Between 70,000 and 100,000 people in northern Norway Sweden and Finland
Since 1991they had their own parliament
Two groups ­ reindeer herders and sea Sami (fishing)
Environmental impacts
Minimal ­ migrated with seasons and kept herds in line with carrying capacity
Increasing restricted by mining, forest clearance and hydro schemes
Economic impacts
Low income so many migrated to cities for work
Few road or towns as tribes were nomadic
Few services as largely self-sufficient
Substances with…read more

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Case study: Siberia oil
Over 600 fields with reverse of 144 billion barrels and 1200 trillion cubic feet of gas.
70% of Russia's output
Massive expansion since 1990s with pipelines to Europe and china
Environmental impacts
Massive pollution of soil, lakes and groundwater from spills; e.g. 1994 ­ over 50 million gallons and
leaking pipelines
Habitats destroyed by road buildings, pipeline laying and hunting for food
Damage to permafrost by pumping-subsidence
Economic impacts
Urbanisation ­ e.g. Khanty-Mansiysk, Surgut
$4.…read more

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Case study: Switzerland (skiing)
Recreation and Tourism
Alps receive 100 million tourist a year ­ 60% for winter sports
Environmental impacts
Skiers damage trees, kill young shoots and erode surface
Car exhaust fumes kills trees
Access roads, parking, lifts destroy habitats
Increased risk of avalanche
Bulldozing of slopes
Increased water use and sewage disposal
Economic impacts
Creation of jobs ­ 80% of jobs rely on tourism
Building resorts
Destruction of traditional farming
Higher incomes but also higher prices
Improved infrastructures
Social impact
Local…read more

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Case study: the Alps ­ Alpine convention
Manage to fix
Area of 192,000km2 with 13 million people in 6100 settlements
30,000 animal species and 13,000 plant species
Agreement between 8 countries in 1991
The challenge
Depopulation in some remote areas
Growth of tourism
Rising "imported" air pollution (acid rain)
Increased trans-alpine traffic
Global warming impacts
Attempts at management and sustainability
Draw up inventory of areas and type of damage
Protect habitats with fences
Restore forests ­ use jute netting to anchor seedlings
Reduce traffic…read more

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Cast study: Antarctic ban
Conserve to protect
Area of 14million km2 with 1000 temporary inhabitants in 50 research stations
1000 plant species, mostly algae and lichen
7 countries claim areas but the 1959 Antarctic treaty is signed by 46 countries so far
The challenge
Unexploited material ­ coal, oil, iron ore
Growth of tourism ­ double from 2004 to 2010 (estimated 80,000)
Fishing ­ 115,000 tonnes a year
Global warming impacts
Attempts at conservation and sustainability
Military activity is banned
Freedom of scientific research…read more

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Case study: Thames MEDC
Rivers as a multi-use resource
Covers 13,000 km2
Population of 12 million
Very uniform flow ­ estuary
Old water mill but no HEP
Bulky industries like oil refining, cement, paper along the estuary
Thames corridor of hi-tech industry
Water supply
Supplies 5000 million litres a day much from ground water
London, oxford, reading planned gateway development
Recreation and leisure, e.g.…read more


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