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Desertification


Explain the causes, acceleration, consequences and management of desertification, including land use, conflict and climate change

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Desertification


Explain the causes, acceleration, consequences and management of desertification, including land use, conflict and climate change

Write your own definition of desertification, without referring to any sources of information.

 
 
 
Desertification is the process by which fertile land becomes desert, typically as a result of drought, deforestation, or inappropriate agriculture.
 
 

GLOBAL DISTRIBUTION

Describe the global distribution of areas with very high desertification risk (3 marks)

 
 

KEY TERMS

 
 
 
 

causes and development of desertification

 
 

CASE STUDY: MANAGING desertification IN SENEGAL

 
 

Map showing the Sahel region and changes to vegetation cover during 2011

 
 
 

MANAGING DESERTIFICATION

CASE STUDY: ACACIA PROJECT, SENEGAL

In what ways is the Acacia Project helping to fight desertification in Senegal? To what extent have these measures been successful?

 

SUSTAINABLE FARMING METHODS

Draw a labelled diagram explaining how stone lines and planting pits can make agricultural practices more sustainable.

 
 

case study: DESERTIFICATION IN niger

Map showing location of Niger in Northern Africa

Map showing location of Niger in Northern Africa

Map showing population density and distribution in Niger

Map showing population density and distribution in Niger

 
 
 
 
 

TASSA METHOD IN NIGER

SUSTAINABLE FARMING IN THE SAHEL

 
 

REVIEW

 
 

exam practice

"Agriculture in hot, arid areas inevitably results in desertification". Discuss this statement. (10 marks)

 

mark scheme

Candidates are expected to consider points on both sides of this question. The strongest responses may choose to challenge the statement, and may well conclude that while agriculture in such areas may result in desertification, such an impact is by no means inevitable but depends, in part, on the nature of the agriculture involved. Careful choice of crops, cultivation techniques and continuous monitoring may enable successful small-scale or commercial agriculture in hot arid areas. It is likely to be easier to avoid desertification in areas where irrigation is possible than in areas where, for financial, technological, or other reasons, irrigation is not possible.

Desertification is often the result of unsustainable farming, in which more minerals and nutrients are taken out of the soil than are replenished, or where the density of grazing animals exceeds the normal carrying capacity. Some experts also attribute desertification in some areas to on-going climatic change.

Answers that consider only one side of the question should not be credited above band D. It is expected that answers reaching bands E and F will offer supporting evidence and/or exemplification before arriving at a clear conclusion to the question.

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Human Activity


Discuss the degree to which human activities in extreme environments are unsustainable.

Human Activity


Discuss the degree to which human activities in extreme environments are unsustainable.

"Sustainable development is development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

It contains within it two key concepts:

  • the concept of needs, in particular the essential needs of the world's poor, to which overriding priority should be given; and

  • the idea of limitations imposed by the state of technology and social organisation on the environment's ability to meet present and future needs."

Brundtland Report 1987

 

what is sustainability?

 
 

GROUP DISCUSSION

To what extent are human activities in extreme environments sustainable?

  1. Review your notes, this website and the study guide and prepare a response to the question.
  2. Write at least two paragraphs stating your position on this question, making reference to the case studies and examples studied.
  3. Be prepared to contribute to the discussion
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Impact


Discuss the potential impact of global climatic change (global warming) on the indigenous populations, settlement and economic activities in extreme environments.

Impact


Discuss the potential impact of global climatic change (global warming) on the indigenous populations, settlement and economic activities in extreme environments.

Climate change refers to variation in the average state of the climate or in its variability, persisting for an extended period (typically decades or longer).

Climate change may be due to natural internal processes or external forcings, or to persistent anthropogenic changes in the composition of the atmosphere or in land use.
— IPCC
 

Make 3 separate groups and investigate one of the topics below. Research and find evidence of how climate change is affecting human activities in cold environments. Prepare a short paragraph with topic sentence and supporting evidence.

GROUP INQUIRY

 
 

CLIMATE CHANGE AND THE ARCTIC INUIT

  1. Listen to podcast and note facts about climate change in the arctic

  2. Login to EdPuzzle and watch video

  3. Take notes while watching the video and respond to the questions

  4. Summarise the social, economic, environmental and political issues at the end of the film

task 1

 
 

RESOURCE EXTRACTION brings OPPORTUNITY AND risk to greenland

  1. Read the article and highlight issues positive and negative issues using different colours: social, environmental, economic and political.

  2. Write a summary paragraph in your notes.

task 2

 
 

CLIMATE CHANGE AND THE SKI INDUSTRY IN THE ALPS

In the 1980s there were 10 summer ski destinations in Switzerland, by 2015 there were 2. Climate change threatens the lucrative Alpine ski industry by reducing the number of days with snow cover. Low and mid altitude stations are the most likely to be worst affected.

 
  1. Read the articles and note evidence explaining how climate change will affect the Alpine ski industry

TASK 3

 
 

exam question

Examine how human activity may be affected by global climate change in one named extreme environment. [10 marks]

Form new groups with one person from each research group. Create an essay plan using information collected from the enquiry. Ensure that you evaluate the different positive and negative impacts - which ones are more or less serious?

 
 

In cold environments, melting permafrost may give benefits or costs.

Benefits could include longer growing seasons, potential for sedentary agriculture, potential for commercial forestry, more rainfall in cold environments, more potential for tourism, and increased accessibility of minerals. There may also be less, but unpredictable sea ice making sea routes more accessible but potentially more hazardous/increased fish availability due to changing sea conditions (increasing fishing potential).

Problems could include traditional ways of life based on hunting and fishing are threatened; out-migration of the younger people, unstable buildings and infrastructure.

Possible loss of snow and its impact on ski resorts in mountainous areas, and the loss of water supply from retreating glaciers, impacting on a range of human activities, is also a valid response.

At band D [5-6 marks] expect some description of two ways in which human activity may be affected by climate change in a recognizable extreme environment.

At band [7-8 marks] expect either a more detailed account of a greater range of impacts, or some explicit evaluation of a variety of different kinds of impact (positive/negative or short-term/long-term).

At band F [9-10 marks], expect both.

MARK SCHEME