geopolitical impacts

  1. Create a case study file using the article above from pp 251-252 Patterns and Change book
  1. Download or print this document
  2. Read and highlight:
  • changing spatial patterns
  • changing temporal trends
  • geopolitical impacts
  • environmental impacts

environmental impacts




  1. Plot information about the top ten worst oil spills onto this world map

alberta tar sands, canada



Fracking in the USA has increased oil production dramatically. In order to distribute this oil, transport has moved to land, in particular, by rail. Transport of oil by rail in the USA has increased 4000% in the last five years. This has led to a number of accidents with environmental consequences.

Watch the video on the right and note the mian points about how changing trends in oil production are having environmental consequences in the USA.




The Keystone Pipeline System is an oil pipeline system in Canada and the United States, commissioned since 2010.

It runs from the Western Canadian Sedimentary Basin in Alberta to refineries in Illinois and Texas, and also to oil tank farms and oil pipeline distribution centre in Cushing, Oklahoma.

The US is currently trying to pass an extension to the pipeline to increase transport of oil, called Keystone XL. 

Different environmental groups, citizens, and politicians have raised concerns about the potential negative impacts of the Keystone XL project. The main issues are the risk of oil spills along the pipeline, which would traverse highly sensitive terrain, and 17% higher greenhouse gas emissions from the extraction of oil sands compared to extraction of conventional oil. [Source]


pipeline spills in north dakota, usa



CO2 emissions vs CO2 in the atmosphere

CO2 emissions vs CO2 in the atmosphere