World at risk (lessons 1-5)


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Geography unit 1: The World at Risk
Lesson 1.
Global Hazards.
What are the main types of physical risks facing the world & how big a threat are they?
Physical risks facing the world today are...
Global warming.
Climate change.
Flooding ­ sea level rise.
Storm surges.
Forest fires.
Natural hazard; is naturally occurring that is threatening people, prone to danger (physical threat)
e.g. Mount Vesuvius.
Disaster; when the physical threat becomes a reality e.g. volcano eruption.
Risk; the probability of a disaster occurring.
Vulnerability; ability to cope with a disaster.
Hydro-meteorological hazard; hazards that involve the weather relating to the atmosphere.
Geographical hazard; tectonic & geological processes e.g. plate tectonics.
A hazard occurs when a natural event threatens humans.
Natural processes; flood.
Technological accidents; nuclear power station exploding.
These lead to...
Natural-technological disasters; flooding causes dam to burst.
Chronic hazards; climate change, pollution.
Super hazards; massive earth changes e.g. super volcano erupting.

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Both of these will lead to global environmental change.
Hydro-meteorological Geophysical
Hurricane Earthquake
Drought Tsunami
Flooding Mudslide
How a hazard becomes a disaster.
If a hazard happens & significantly effects vulnerable humans it is a disaster.
Lesson 2.
Specific risks from global hazards.
Decreasing in severity as list descends.
1. Hazards to people.
Death & severe injury.
Disease & stress.
2. Hazards to goods.
Economic loss.
Infrastructure damage.
3. Hazards to the environment.
Pollution.…read more

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Risk = number of hazards times vulnerability over capacity to cope.
The risk of disaster grows as global hazards & peoples vulnerability increases, while their
capacity to cope decreases.
LEDC's are more at risk than MEDC's as their capacity to cope is lower & their vulnerablility is
It's important to know vulnerability is not the same as poverty.
E.g. in an Earthquake. It's possible for middle class to be more affected by the collapse of
their unsafe homes than the poor in shanty towns.…read more

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This is happening because an increase in global population means there is a greater demand
for fossil fuels, goods & other things.
Also with many countries GDP increasing means improving other peoples quality of life, again
resulting in a greater demand.
Deforestation means that less CO2 is being absorbed. Also if trees are burnt the CO2 is
rereleased into the atmosphere.
There have been no worldwide agreements on reducing CO2 emissions.
Lesson 4.
How is Global warming going to affect us?
Extreme weather e.g.…read more

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Melt ware from retreating glaciers causes devastating floods in the Himalayas.
95% of coral reefs are killed.
Lesson 5.
Why LEDC's will be more adversely affected by natural disasters?
Poor infrastructure. When they collapse easier resulting in death, & also allowing less access
for help.
Lack of warning systems e.g. sirens.
Built on unsuitable land e.g. Shanty towns on hillsides.
Response: rely on foreign aid, delaying help.
Diseases spread rapidly with little medication to solve the issue e.g. Haiti's recent Cholera
outbreak.…read more


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