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Agriculture in Hot, Arid Areas


Agricultural opportunities and challenges in arid areas, including the distinction between aridity and infertility, irrigation access, salinization risk and land ownership

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Agriculture in Hot, Arid Areas


Agricultural opportunities and challenges in arid areas, including the distinction between aridity and infertility, irrigation access, salinization risk and land ownership

Desert Agriculture, Zagora, Morocco (Source)

Why might this be a good business opportunity? Why might it not be a good idea?

 

keywords

aridity           infertility          irrigation         salinization          leach (v)

 

Challenges

Opportunities

  • Lack of freshwater
  • High temperatures and strong sunlight
  • Low rates of precipitation (>250mm per year)
  • Short rainy season
  • Negative water balance = evaporation > precipitation = high levels of salt in soil
  • Salt in soil draws water out of plants making them wilt
  • Infertile soils b/c low organic content
  • Infertile because very thin soils
  • Lack of clay minerals
  • Salts are not leached from soil
  • High temperatures and long sunlight hours = long growing season
  • Good potential for farming where water is available
  • Oases, desalinisation of water and exotic rivers provide opportunities for settled agriculture
  • Dams collect water which can be used for irrigation
 
 

TASK

  1. Read pp 127 -128
  2. Outline the main opportunities and challenges for farming in hot, arid areas
  3. What is negative water balance and how does this affect farming?
  4. Explain the difference between arid desert soils and infertile desert soils.
 

Ways to make farming in arid areas sustainable

Create a poster for a rural area in Senegal that explains how to farm more sustainably. Your poster should explain these points using visuals to ensure a high rate of access in areas with low levels of literacy.

Drip irrigation

Drip irrigation

  • Reduce herd size to limit pressure on vegetation
  • Use solar panels to produce energy, not animal dung
  • Use animal dung to fertilise soils
  • Plant vegetation to feed animals
  • Use effective irrigation (drip and sprinkler irrigation) instead of flood irrigation
  • Put an impermeable layer in irrigation channels to reduce seepage
  • Build check dams and diguettes to collect water
  • Use more salt-tolerant plants
 
 

desertification

Desertification is the degradation of land and vegetation, soil erosion and the loss of top soil and fertile land in arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid areas, caused primarily by human activities and climatic variations
 
 
 

TASK

  1. Watch the video individually with headphones
  2. Pause to note key information, facts and data
  3. Read and make notes on the BBC article
  4. Make a copy of the flow chart below on A4 paper
  5. Add colour and illustrations
 
 

causes and development of desertification

 
 

CASE STUDY: desertification IN SENEGAL

 
 
 
 

acacia project, senegal

 
 

case study: DESERTIFICATION 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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Mineral Extraction in Periglacial Areas


Human and physical opportunities and challenges for mineral extraction in cold environments, including inaccessibility, permafrost and resource nationalism

Case study of one cold environment to illustrate the issues

Mineral Extraction in Periglacial Areas


Human and physical opportunities and challenges for mineral extraction in cold environments, including inaccessibility, permafrost and resource nationalism

Case study of one cold environment to illustrate the issues

 
 

case study: mineral extraction in Alaska

 
 
 

Explain how inaccessibility and permafrost created challenges for the extraction of oil in Alaska, USA.

 
 

CASE STUDY: RESOURCE NATIONALISM IN GREENLAND

 
 
 
Arlit uranium mine niger resources.jpg

Mineral Extraction in Hot, Arid Areas


Examine the opportunities and challenges posed for resource development (mineral extraction and any associated settlement and communications).

Mineral Extraction in Hot, Arid Areas


Examine the opportunities and challenges posed for resource development (mineral extraction and any associated settlement and communications).

 
Arlit uranium mine, Niger

Arlit uranium mine, Niger

 
 
 
 
 

global uranium reserves

 
 

KEY FACTS

niger france.jpg
  • France discovered one of the world's largest uranium deposits in the 1960s
  • Today Niger has 2 uranium mines = 7.5% of the world's output
  • 4th largest producer of uranium
  • 2 mining towns: Arlit and Arkokan, are 900km north-east of the capital Niamey
  • Mines are operated by Areva - a French company that owns 70%
  • Local Tuareg groups feel they have not benefitted from the industry
  • Uranium from Niger provides 50% of France's energy supply
 

HEALTH IMPACTS

 
 

case study: olympic dam mine, australia

olympic dam mine australia uranium.jpeg
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

REVIEW

“The opportunities for mineral extraction outweigh the challenges in hot, arid areas.” Discuss this statement. [10 marks]

List the opportunities and challenges in two columns. Develop your points using "so". Add data, place names, examples.

CHALLENGES

OPPORTUNITIES

 
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Tourism in Extreme Environments


Examine the opportunities and challenges posed by the development of tourism and any associated settlement and communications in one type of extreme environment.

Examine the impacts of tourism on the environment, such as mass movements and erosion, land degradation, vulnerability to hazards, aesthetic change, water usage and waste disposal.

Tourism in Extreme Environments


Examine the opportunities and challenges posed by the development of tourism and any associated settlement and communications in one type of extreme environment.

Examine the impacts of tourism on the environment, such as mass movements and erosion, land degradation, vulnerability to hazards, aesthetic change, water usage and waste disposal.

Brainstorm opportunities and challenges for tourism in hot, arid areas and glacial/periglacial areas.

 

tourism in glacial areas

case study: alpine tourism in switzerland


 
  1. Draw a sketch map showing the location of Riederalp, Valais, Switzerland
 

swiss tourism industry

  1. Read this document and identify 5 facts about the Swiss tourism industry
  2. Create a factfile box in your notes.
 
 

alpine tourism - human impacts

 
 

climate change and alpine tourism