geography paper 3

distribution of major biomes
ecosystems - a grouping of plants and animals that interact with eachother and their local enviroment
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biome - a large ecosystem; a grouping of plants and animals over a large area of the Earth
taiga biome - (boreal) forest are at higher latitudes where the sun rays are weak. trees are adapted to the cold with needle like leaves
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temperate biome - temperate forests have high rainfall and there are seasonal variations in the suns rays. trees lose their leaves in cool winters
tundra biome - tundra is within the arctic circle. the sun gives little heat here and there is little rainfall only tough short grasses survive
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tropical biome - tropical rainforests are mostly found either side of the equator the temperature is hot and there is heavy rainfall
desert biome - deserts are close to the tropics of cancer and capricorn this is where hot dry air sinks down to the earths surface and the suns rays are concentrated making it very hot in the day
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local factors
biotic - the livingcomponents of an ecosystemL the plants (flora) and the animals (fauna)
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abiotic - the non living components of an ecosystem - for example soils,rocks, water, the atmosphee
biodiversity - the variety of biotic components in an ecosystem (high biodiversity = thousands of different plants and animals)
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biotic and abiotic components
the taiga biome has low biodiversity -> abiotic components - long cold winters, low precipitation, frozen soils -> biotic components - only specialist plants that can tolerate poor soils, low light, cold temperatures; small amounts of plant food
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= small numbers of animals
the biosphere provides resources for indigenous and local people; food, medicine,building materials and fuel resources in developed countries few people now use resources directly from the biosphere
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the bisphere is increasingly exploited for its resources - for example, the demand for some fish species haslead to overfishing and huge declines in fish numbers
biosphere what it does for us
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it regulates the water cycle - plants slow the flow of water to rivers and filter water to make it clean
it regulates the gases that make up the atmosphere plants absorb carbon dioxide and produces oxygen for us to breathe in
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it keeps soil healthy for plants to grow - new nutirents are proided by rotting lant material
pressure on resources
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urbanisation - the world is 54% urban - by 2050 this will be 66%
food production - current levels of food production will need to double by 2050 to feed the worlds population
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water shortages - the demand for water will increase by 55% by 2050
affluence - the number of middle class people will grow from 1.8 billion to 4.9 billion by 2030
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malthus theory
was that it was impossible to increase food production as rapidly as population growth, therefore if a population was allowed to grow too much it was inevitable that food supply would run out and famine would result, reducing the population size
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boserup theory
was that human innovation will be sparked by demands on resources so if there is a hig demand for food resources new techniques to increase food production will be invented, the same applies to water supplies (e.g. desailnation) and energy supplis
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tropical rainforest biome
biotic and abiotic components interrelate in all ecosystems, abiotic includes climate, soil and water, biotic includes plants, animals and humans
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climate graphs show climate characteristics: nutirent cycle diagrams illustarate interdependencies between biotic and abiotic characteristics
top three plant adaptions
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1. the dense forest canopyblocks out light. some trees called emergents grow 40 cm tall, 10m above the canopy
2. mould grows on all wet surfaces, this would block sunlight from leaves most plants have evolved drip tips that channel water off the leaf
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3. nutrients are concentrated in only the top layer of the soil this means tree roots have to be shallow , buttress roots give the tall trees extra stability
rainforest layers - the tropical rainforest have five main layers: herb layer, shrub layer (including young trees) under-canopy, main canopyand animals are adpated to each layer
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taiga plants
deal with very temperatures a very short growing season and low nutirent soils
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needle-shaped leaves: taiga trees do not drop their leaves this is to maximise photosynthesis throughout the year, to reduce water loss the leaves are needle shaped and waxy
cone-shaped - many taiga trees have downwards facing branches to shed heavy snow
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few species - a simple ecosystem structure: few plants can deal with taiga extremes, coniferous trees dominate plus lichens and mosses. trees grow close together to reduce wind damage
rainforest nutirent cycle
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plants grow all year in huge numbers, dead matter drops to the forest floor and decomposes quickly in the warm wet conditions, fast growing plants take up the nutrients very quickly
the constant precipitation leaches nutirents down through the deep rainforest soil
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taiga nutrient cycle
plants can only grow in the short summer: 3-5 months, litter accumulates because decomposition only happens in summer, soils are thin, low in nutirents and acidic,plants grow very slowly due to short growing season and low nutirent soil
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causes of tropical rainforest deforestation
biofuels, mining, wood for fuel, electricity (hydroelectric power dams)
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climate change threats
warming global temperatures could cause a northward shift in the atmospheric system that brings constanlty wet weather to tropical rainforests
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the impact of this would make most tropical rainforests drier and hotter
tropical rainforest plants and animals have evolved to constant temperature conditions: they cannot tolerate heat spikes
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tropical rainforest plants are not able to tolerate a long drought: it kills some and stresses the survivors
stressed plants and animals have less resistance to disease
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drier forests are at risk of forest fires: the tropical rinforest ecosystem is not adapted to fire
threats to the taiga
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direct threats to the taiga
conifer trees of the taiga produce softwood timber, most of the worlds softwood comes from the taiga - half of it from Russias taiga
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direct threats to the taiga come from logging for softwood, pulp and paper production
indirect threats to the taiga
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the taiga is also threarened by mining for minerals and fossil fuels (oil,gas) and when dams are created for hydroelectric power schemes,floodng forested valleys
these are called indirect threats because damage to the taiga happens as side effect
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biodiversity at risk
animals such as the siberian tiger have heavy fur coats and high levels of body fat making them heat intolerant
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warmer winter temperatures will allow new diseases and pests to spread to the taiga. taiag animals and plants will not have resistance to these so species could die out
forest fires in russias taiga are 30-50% more common than they were 20 years ago which correlates with global warming, taiag species are not adapted to frequent fires; new trees need many years to grow
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protecting the rainforest
CITES (Convention International Trade in Endangered Species) of wild fauna or flora
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CITES currenty protects 35,000 different species countries that sign up to CITES agree to stop exports or imports of endangered species
REDD (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation)
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REDD supports schemes that reduce the rate of deforestation
the united nations moniters the schemes by the use of remote sensing and visits
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advantages of CITES
has a huge international influence: 181 countries have signed up to it
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disadvantages of CITES
very difficult to check that all the contries are enforcing the CITES rules e.g. in 2014 over 1000 rhinos were killed by poachers in south africa
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advanatages of REDD
because REDD is backed by the united nations very large sums of money are available for REDD projects. a REDD scheme in brazil is backed by US $1 billion fund
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disadvantages of REDD
not clear where REDD means by `forest`, some palm trees plantations recieved REDD funding even though these damage rainforests
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sustainable tropical rainforest management
what is sustainability
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the ability to keep something going at the same rate or level: keeps going without using up natural resources, dosent require lots of money to keep it going, meets the needs of people now and in the future without having a negative effect
suistainable biosphere management
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ensures the ecosystem can recover quickly from any use, prevents damage to the enviroment/ecosysetm, helps local people to benefit from their enviroment/ecosystem, helps their local people to understand why this management benefits them
possible tensions
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1. economic - individuals and communities often want to make asmuch money as possible and may use the resources in the biosphere to do this, this provides tensions as it may damage or even destroy the enviroment in the long term
2. social - to be socially sustainable something must not benefit one group/individual at the expenses of another, including future generations. it also meansconsulting peole on an equal basis if everyone is to benefit this may put the enviroment at
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risk there are also economic tensions as some businesses may flourish at the expense of others
3. enviromental - being enviromentally sustainable means not harming natural resources so they cannot regenerate or continue in the long term, this can conflict with making money and improving living standards for all
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protecting the taiga
why protect the taiga
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the taiga is a fragile ecosystem and takes a long time to recover from damage
plants grow very slowly because of thr lack of nutirents and because of cold winters. pollution remains in the ecosystem for decades
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there are very few species in the taiga. a disease that affects one species impacts the whole ecosystem
taiga animals and plants are highly specialised they will struggle to adapt to climate change
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national parks and protected wilderness
these areas prevent any exploitation of natural resources
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conservation - protects plants and animals by looking after and restoring their natural habitat
scientific research - finds out more about the ecosystem,how it is threatened and how best to protect it
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education - informs visitors about the taiga and why it should be protected
sustainable forestry - after trees are cu down there is replanting with native taiaga species, forestry plots are carefully managed to conserve key species
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problems : parks and reserves
migration - taiga species often migrate long distances, unless parks and reserves are very large they cannot protect migrating species
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money - where taiga has oil and gas, governments face huge pressures to develop them, exporting oil and gas can lift whole countries out of poverty
pollution - the taiga is easily damaged by atmospheric pollution, hoever if parks and reserves are far from cities, few tourists willvisit them, money from tourism helps parks fund their conservation
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probelms : sustainable forestry
sustainable management is expensive and long term
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usually only possible for large companies or when international organisations provide funding
in Russia for example most of the taiga forest is leased to hundreds of small to medium sized companies for 25 or 50 year periods - less time than it takes new trees to grow
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the companies are not interested in sustainable management; they want to maximise profits by clearing as much timber from the taiga as they can within the period of their lease
energy impacts
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types of energy resources
non renewable - oil, coal gas (finite stock, (exhaustion))
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renewable - waves, wind, hydropower (natura; flow, constant)
recyclable - nuclear (waste from a process used to generate energy)
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deforestation and landscape scarring result from mining, especially open-cast mining
the highest carbon emissions result from the extraction and use of fossil fuels
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hydroelectric power dams flood valleys behind the dam wall
wind turbins and solar panels spoil some peoples enjoyment of landscapes
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access to enegry
energy use
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access to energy can depend on physical resources. for example iceland had the highest per capita energy consumption. iceland has access to geothermal energy sources because it is on a plate boundry
per capita (per person) statics can be tricky to deal with. some of countries showing high per capita scores on the use map are oil-producing countries with relatively low populations, such as Kazakhstan.
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that gives them a lot of enrgy per person but dosent mean they are necessarliy also highly developed countries
hydroelectric power
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not every country can generate electricity by hydroelectric power. large volumes of water are needed and steep drops in terrain (or massive dams)
nucelar energy status
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access to technology can also affect access to energy resources. for example, nuclear power stations require highly sophisticated technology and expertise
global demand for oil
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why is oil consumption rising?
world population reached 7 billion in 2011. it is expected to peak at 9.6 billion aby 2050. all these new people need energy too
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as countries get richer, their people buy more things which use more energy: air conditioning, cars, etc
as new technology is developed, people want to buy new things or the latest version
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price per barrel of US crude oil at the end of each month
new developments
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large new reserves
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close to important markets: Europe, USA
costs reduced because of arctic ice melting (climate change)
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exploring for new oil and gas costs billions
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any pollution in the arctic would cost a lot to clean up
arctic conditions are very challenging (cold, ice, deepwater): expensive
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if oil and gas prices fall, developing the arctic becomes unprofitable
rising global temperatures have reduced the economic cost of drilling for oil and gas in the arctic. however, there are still significant challenges to developing new sources of oil and gas in this remote and ecologically sensitive area
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enviromental costs
canada has the wordls largest deposis of tar sands, a type of oil
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tar sand is difficult to extract, and toxic chemicals have to be ysed in the extraction process
protesters are concerend that these chemicals are damaging peoples health through air pollution, and threatening ecosytems (which are also at risk from oil spills)
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since 2011, the USA has increasingly used fracking to supply natural gas, this means it has used less coal for electricity generation, but some people are concerened about the impact of fracking on the enviroment
for example: contaminating ground watercausing subsidence and destroying natural habitats
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energy efficiency and conservation
energy conservation in new buildings
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75mm wall caity filled with mneral wool
insulating concrete blocks
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full draught proofing
thick carpets and underlays
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argon-filled double glazing
solutions for the homes
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hot water tank jacket
condensing boiler
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switching off appliances
solar panels
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energy saving light bulbs
double glazing
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loft, wall and floor insulation
transport and energy efficiency
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1) changing transport use - trains and buses are more efficient than individual cars because there is one engine to carry many passengers instead of many engines each carrying one passenger
2) improving engine efficiency - decreases in energy consumption are mainly due to new car engine designs that have lower fuel consumption than older models
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3) improving energy conservation - aeroplane design has focused on reducing drag, which reduced the amount of energy lost during flights
alernative enrgy sources
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beenfits of renewables
low to no carbon emissions lowers contribution to global warming
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inexhaustiable available for ever
clean, no local air or water pollution
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widely available one or more are likely to be available in most countries
can reduce globalisation costs e.g. CO2 emissions, pollution, fuel etc
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locally available many can meet small scale needs, especially useful in developing countries
costs of alernatives to fossil fuels
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costs of energy - for example it costs more for a wind farm to generate the same amount of energy as a fossil fuel power station
geography -the best places for generating renewable energy are often a long way from the cities where energy is needed
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extensive land use - wind farms, solar farms, hydroelectric power reservoirs and bio fuel crops all take up land area. there may be conflict with how other people want to use the land-forexample, for growing crops to feed people
impact on landscape - renewables are very visible and some people say they spoil the landscapes; they may also create noise pollution (e.g. wind turbines)
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impact on local ecosystems - for example, deforestation to grow biofuel crops, birds being killed by wind turbines, valleys being flooded for hydroelectric power
attitudes to energy
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sustainable energy < enviromental groups, climate scientists, governemnts, consumers, TNCs. > `business as usual`
what is a carbon footprint
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it is a measurement of all the greenhouse gases (GHGs) individuals contribute to our enviroment as a result of our daily lives
primary foot print - this is the energy use in the home plus the total energy for transportation
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secondary footprint - this includes recreational activities and energy needed to supply goods and services
how it it measured? - a carbon footprint is written as kilograms (kg) of the equivalent carbon dioxide per person. the world avaerage is 4000kg and the target to fight climate change is 2000kg
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changing attitudes
climate scientists adive governments about the dangersof a `business as usual` approach to energy consumption
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although enviromental groups pressure governemnts to change energy policy, TNCs may resist changes as reducing energy consumption increases their costs
if consumers are unwilling to pay more for renewable energy governments will find it hard to make renewables a bigger part of the energy mix
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what chnages consumers attitudes?
education - for example government information about energy choices
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enviromental concerns - for example the impact of campaigns by enviromental groups
rising affluence - for example can afford more energy efficient options such as solar panels
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Other cards in this set

Card 2


taiga biome - (boreal) forest are at higher latitudes where the sun rays are weak. trees are adapted to the cold with needle like leaves


biome - a large ecosystem; a grouping of plants and animals over a large area of the Earth

Card 3


tundra biome - tundra is within the arctic circle. the sun gives little heat here and there is little rainfall only tough short grasses survive


Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4


desert biome - deserts are close to the tropics of cancer and capricorn this is where hot dry air sinks down to the earths surface and the suns rays are concentrated making it very hot in the day


Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5


biotic - the livingcomponents of an ecosystemL the plants (flora) and the animals (fauna)


Preview of the back of card 5
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