Unit 1: World at Risk

Unit 1 2008 Specification revision (but hopefully useful for other/newer specs too) including case studies. I've added a few more up-to-date case studies (post 2013). Similar resource available for Going Global and Unit 2 Coasts and Rebranding.

What is Degg's model?
When a hazard and a vulnerable population overlap, a disaster is created (Remember, it's Degg not Dregg!)
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What is a geomorphological hazard?
A subsection of geophysical (earth) processes; but external - i.e. caused by hydrometeorlogical events such as rain causing a landslide
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What are cronic and context hazards?
Long term hazards that act globally and impact or exacerbate other hazards (climate change!)
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Give 4 indicators of a vulnerable population.
High population density; old/infirm; uneducated; living in poor infrastructure/area of urban sprawl
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What is capacity to cope?
A combination of all the strengths and resources available within a country that can reduce the level of risk, such as asesmic buildings or evacuation plans/ emergency services
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Why is Haiti a vulnerable population?
It lies on a Hurricane track and a faultline; poor state infrastructure; exploited by dictatorships (1957 Papa Doc); deforestation (98%); Great Depression devastated exports - still in debt; 80% below the poverty line on less than $2 a day
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Give some points to suggest we ARE living in a more hazardous world.
Climate change (context hazard) increasing hydrometeorlogical events; Economic damage is escalating (eg Katrina, $100BN) Rising population density increases social cost (Boxing Day tsunami, 2004); absolute poverty and age is increasing
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Some points to suggest we are NOT in a more hazardous world?
More media reports (only 2 in 1930, CRED) fewer deaths (Australian fires - only 4 died in 2006, 75 in '83), more documentation (eg Swiss RE), natural cycles (El Nino)?
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What are the conditions for hurricanes to form?
27oC water, 60m deep, 5-20o off the equator (coriolis effect)
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Give some key statistics for Katrina, 2005
1,836 died - it was a "class disaster", as 38/47 poor areas flooded, 84% worst affected were poor. It cost around $100BN USD and had a storm surge of 8.5m that overtopped levees
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What happens in an El Nino year?
The trade winds reverse (blow East, towards Peru) and the Thermocline is more shallow, trapping cold water. A warm body of water around SA leads to floods in Peru and leaves Australia with drought
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Gives some impacts (Country specific)
Peru: floods, anchovy harvest collapses, up to 300x average rainfall, 1997 event caused $20BN damage Australia: droughts and 500mm rain deficit, Kenya: 70,000 forced out by floods and 30% cattle lost
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Where are earthquakes found?
Plate boundaries (70% on the Ring of Fire); reactivation of old faultlines (Church Stretton); dam building/development (Killari, 1993: 10,000 died); areas undergoing isostatic rebound
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Where are volcanoes found?
Counstructive and destructive margins (80%), often in the Ring of Fire, also hotspots (Hawaii)
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What causes landslides and mass movements?
Mountainous regions (over 35o for avalanches); rain/lubrication; seismic activity; development and deforestation (could be due to forest fires - California); coastal erosion regions
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What % of the world's population is at flood risk? What is this in terms of land mass?
80% and a 1/3 of land mass
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Why is Bangladesh an area of high flood risk?
60% land mass below 1m above sea level, 1/4 population live and farm on the delta in Chittagong so are vulnerable to changing salinity
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Give two long term indicators of climate change. Which is more reliable?
Ice cores and pollen analysis (fossils). Ice cores tend to be more reliable as the fossil record is often destroyed by seismic activity and biological changes can "lag" environmental change
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What is dendrochronology and how old are the records?
Tree ring analysis; and up to 10,000 years old
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What is a proxy source? Give an example.
A source not created for the purpose it is used for; such as a painting of an ice fair used for evidence of the Little Ice Age
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What are some local historical hazards in London?
Great Storm of 1987 (22 died,); 1953 Storm Surge(307 died, £5BN damage); 2006 Kendal Rise Tornado (£10M damage); 2009 snowfall (closed all but one underground line, £1.2BN lost in working days, emergency services hindered)
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Give a geophysical disaster that affected California.
Loma Prieta, 1989: a 7.1M earthquake killed 63 people when a freeway collapsed, with a cost of $6BN. 366 businesses were destroyed and 1000 homes
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Why does California suffer wildfires?
Drought and wildfires are caused by anticyclones (dry, sinking air) and dry air blowing off the Arizona desert. La Nina events also create dry conditions for fires, like the 2007 season that killed 22.
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What were the causes of the 2005 La Conchita landslide?
Over-lubrication of soils from irrigation, construction and development of a fragile coast, exceptionally heavy rainfall
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What is liquefaction?
When soils shaken by tremors take on fluid rather than solid properties as it is filled with water, such as the unconsolidated soils of the San Francisco basin. This can worsen earthquake threats as foundations can be damaged
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Why is the Philippines at risk from numerous hazards?
It lies on a destructive plate boundary (volcanoes and earthquakes), it is about 13oN of the equator (typhoon belt); it is in southern Asia so suffers monsoon (landslides) and is affected by the teleconnectics of ENSO
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Name a landslide, earthquake and volcanic eruption that have affected the Philippines.
Guinsaugon landslide, 2006 (killed 1150, after 2m rain in 10 days) Luzon Earthquake 1990 (1500 died in 7.8M ) Mount Pinatubo 1991 (2.1M affected and 200,000 evacuated including 20,000 indigenous peoples)
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Describe the effects of Haiyann, 2013
It killed 5,000, mainly in the 7m storm surge after the Typhoon struck. The town of Tacloban was destroyed and many people did not evacuate as they didn't understand the severity of the warnings.
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How might a 2oC rise in global temperatures affect the world?
50% of all Mediterranean wetlands disappear; 97% all coral reefs; no alpine snow below 1800m; 53% tundra lost; crop yields drop by 10% in Africa and malaria spreads
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Give some positive impacts of climate change on the Arctic.
Increase in growing seasons, treeline moves up, cod population expands, opens up NW passage (however could be oil spills like Exxon Valdez) , Greenland can exploit oil and diamonds, more flights and cruises further north
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How would the sea levels change if the whole of the Greenland ice sheet melted?
It could rise by 7m globally: and 80% is already in irreversible retreat. It contains 10% of all the world's fresh water (change salinity - affect the THC)
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What are some negative ecological and environmental impacts on the Arctic?
2M ha. forest destroyed by Spruce Bark beetle, phytoplankton killed by UV- affect on whole food chain; salmon population of Yukon collapses; polar bears starved/susceptible to disease; 10M ha boreal forest burnt every year
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Give two positive feedback mechanisms in the Arctic. (Viscous cycles)
Ice Albedo is 80% so reflects much of the sun's radiation, however as it melts into darker oceans it drops to 10% so more is absorbed therefore more melting. As glaciers melt they emit methane, a GHG thus promoting more melting
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What is the Thermohaline Conveyor?
A current of water that flows around the earth and is affected by the salinity of the ocean, if freshwater glaciers melt the THC may collapse as water freezes instead.
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What is the difference between mitigation and adaptation?
Mitigation is trying to reduce the levels of a threat (prevent the hazard) such as using renewables and eating less meat to reduce GHG emissions. Adaptation is reducing the impact of a hazard (defense) such as coastal management or GM crops.
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The Kyoto Protocol is a global mitigation agreement. What is it?
Signed in 1997, the Protocol assigns countries levels of emissions and targets to reach through carbon credits. Some countries like Australia were slow to ratify the agreement as they thought it would affect economic development.
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Why do many countries in Africa have vulnerable populations?
60% live on the coast (where $55BN is at risk from flooding); 70% are in subsistence farming (undiversified economies); 14 countries have water scarcity
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What could be the impact of the fact Kilamanjaro has just 19% of it's original ice cover?
Communities downstream don't have a reliable meltwater supply; tourism may decrease as it looses it's iconic image
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How much is water down by in Somalia? What region is this?
Up to 20%. Somalia is part of the Sahel, were desertification is disrupting the fragile ecosystems.
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Name a country that will experience (a) More cyclones (b) A decrease in tourism (c) loss of the Benguela current, affecting fish stocks (d) Floods due to low lying zones (e) Has a coastal megacity at risk of floods
(a) Madagascar (b) Mozambique (c) Namibia (d) Togo, Benin (e) Nigeria (Lagos) or Sierra Leone (Freetown)
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What did the Stern Review (2006) suggest?
That there would be economic consequences of climate change, costing up to 20% of our GDP - but it could be limited to 1% if we mitigate and adapt now. The UK government pledged to decrease emissions by 60% by 2050
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How is London mitigating climate change?
Hydbrid buses and hydrogen buses; By Jan '18 all public transport will need zero-emissions capability for 30 miles; Congestion charge (traffic fell by 25% on the first day) ; Santander bike hire
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What is the EETS?
The European emissions trading scheme, tried to reduce emissions by 21% of 1990 levels by giving companies "CO2 credits" that would mean fines if "overspent" but could be sold on if a factory didn't reach it's quota.
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What did Shell do in Botlek?
Uses CO2 emissons and pumps them into 500 greenhouses of roses and tomatoes to save money and decrease emissions by 170,000 for both Shell and the producers.
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Why are some countries reluctant to take climate action?
Cost to the public (unpopular green taxes); doesn't seem to be affecting them yet/directly; mistrust of climate scientists; desire to focus on economic growth
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Finally: some (more) up-to-date case studies of risks:
Nepal Earthquake, 2015 - 9,000 killed by 7.8M earthquake, including from an avalanche on Everest ; Equador 2016 - at least 655 people died from a 7.6M earthquake with very shallow epicentre ; Hurricane Koppu 2015: Philippines ($235.8M damage)
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Other cards in this set

Card 2


What is a geomorphological hazard?


A subsection of geophysical (earth) processes; but external - i.e. caused by hydrometeorlogical events such as rain causing a landslide

Card 3


What are cronic and context hazards?


Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4


Give 4 indicators of a vulnerable population.


Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5


What is capacity to cope?


Preview of the front of card 5
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Thanks :D

Dani Ye


Dani Ye

Sup guys

Dani Ye

9.19 gang

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