WJEC A2 Geography Extreme Environments

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WJEC A2 Geography Extreme Environments

  1. 1. Causes of Aridity: Cold Ocean Currents As air masses pass on wind currents, there is an upwelling of cold ocean water, cooling clouds and reducing their carrying capacity. This causes whatExtreme Environments little water is left to be precipitated along the coastline, leaving none for further inland. Causes of Aridity: Relief Air masses pick up water from the sea and rise on prevailing winds, reducing pressure. As it depressurises, it cools so condensation and precipitation occur over the mountain range. Dry air continues to the other side and there is no moisture left to rain. Causes of Aridity: Global Atmospheric Circulation There is an are of low pressure between the Hadley cells called the inter-tropical convergence zone (ITCZ) where air will rise and move polewards, sinking between 20-30▫ North or South in the Hadley cells. It meets air doing the opposite in the Ferrel cells, causing a high pressure zone with anticyclonic conditions, building up heat during the day, picking up moisture from the area and radiating heat out at night. Causes of Aridity: Continentiality Maritime regions often receive the majority of rain from evaporated sea water, and with less water sources on land, there is often far less moisture to be distributed inland.
  2. 2. Normal soil profile: Vegetation: the layer of plant life on top Humus: the uppermost layer of soil where organic material decomposes and leaves nutrients and minerals Top soil: area that includes the humus and where nutrients and minerals may sink to Sub soil: several layers of old soil which have been pressurised by new soil Bedrock: a layer made of solid stone Aridisol profile: Vegetation: a layer of plant life which is far sparser than a normal profile, with only certain plants being able to adapt to the conditions Humus: a much thinner layer than a normal profile as there is no decomposing matter to add to it Top soil: also far thinner than a normal profile, contains less minerals and nutrients Sub soil: a single layer primarily made of sand and salt making it hydrophobic with possible salinization Bedrock: same as a normal profile, made of solid stone Hydrophobility: Fear/Hatred of water. Sand will no absorb water, it will sit on top and cause the high salt content to salinize when dry Salinized soil: Where the high salt content has formed a crust on top which solidifies, allowing even less water through to the soil if any Desert Flora: Aloe Vera Desert Flora: Desert Melon •Uses it’s tissue to store large volumes of water •Thrives in warm climates •Thick fleshy leaves for tissue •Single creeper can produce several fruit •Leaf cuticle is thick and covered in wax to reduce •Only grow to shrub size to reduce surface area, water loss stomata and transpiration•Maintains the high volume of water for dry periods •Horns deter animals that may eat it
  3. 3. Desert Flora: Saguaro Cactus Desert Fauna: Gila Monster •Grow as tall as 50 metres •Yellow, pink or orange colouration to camouflage •Live for 200 years into surroundings •Large water storage space •Venomous •Shallow net of roots •Can store fat in its tail •Grows arms to increase reproduction •Thick skin prevents water loss •Needles reduce transpiration and deter animals •Spends 98% of its life underground •Very green to allow maximum photosynthesis •Slow metabolic rate – fat lasts longer so it needs to feed less often Desert Fauna: Sidewinder Desert Fauna: Fennec fox•Well developed muscles allow sideways movement •Nocturnal and burrow during the day to cope with shifting sands •Extremely large ears to increase surface area to •Scales over eyes to protect them volume ratio and keep cool •Movement reduces the time its body touches the •Good hearing for hunting hot sands •Camouflaged colouration •Nocturnal to avoid heat of the day •Thick fur on feet to insulate from the heat•Sandy colouration to camouflage into surroundings •Kidneys restrict water lossHuman pressures on deserts: Population growth Human pressures on deserts: Population growthSonoran Desert Positives1970 2.3 million 4% annual growth Tourism produces economic stability1995 5.5 million 3% annual growth Better facilities are developed e.g. Hospitals2001 8 million+Mexicali has 500,000 people Negatives Loss of plants and animalsReasons: Disruption of natural drainage systemMigration Depletion of water and foodMovement of retirees Increased flash floods due to new impermeableBirth rate>Death rate surfaces e.g. Buildings and roadsHuman pressures on deserts: Population growth Human pressures on deserts: Population growthMojave Desert Positives Millions in tourist revenue1.9 mil people in Las Vegas, 2.3 mil in the desert Urban centres are sparse and spread out, reducing pressureDivided amongst urban centres (Vegas, California) on single areasIn 2003, 1.5 mil were present, 660,000 residents More people means more facilities2000-2003 the population grew by 3% NegativesReasons: Soil erosion and land degredation from residential andTourism industry tourist activites e.g. Use of all terrain vehicles Urban sprawl and rapid growth e.g. South CaliforniaMilitary stations It can effect the wildlife dramatically
  4. 4. Human Pressures on deserts: Mining Human Pressures on deserts: Mining Roxby Downs - Australia Positives Largest source of uranium in the world Employs 1,136 of the 4,000 population, and 900 5th largest mine in the world commuters Sold for $9.2 billion Established in 1987 $5 billion expansion plan will lead to more jobs It also produces copper, gold and silver Negatives Lots of water required to process the ores (35 milion litres daily) 60 million tonnes rsdioactive waste Dec 2003 145,000 tonnes of uranium solution spilled Human pressures on deserts: Mining Human pressures on deserts: Mining Tanami Desert – Australia Positives Gold mining site since 1900 Boosts the economyIn 2010, a single operation produced 2 million oz of It allows countries to develop Some profit was used for the development of aboriginal gold people$30 milion has been invested in a deep shaft project Since 1997, expenditure has been in excess of $12 Negatives million Work is dangerous: In 2006, 17 were trapped, 14 escapred, 1 died, 2 found after 5 days Destroys habitat and isn’t an unlimited resource Machinery can be expensive Human pressures on deserts: Farming Human pressures on deserts: Farming Atacama desert – Chile Positives Crops: Cucumbers, beans, cotton, olives, grapes Contributes to 20% of revenue Livestock: Cattle, pigs, alpacas Makes use of unused landMethod: Solar panels create energy which is used topump water from the groundwater storage to irrigate Negatives crops at night when evapotranspiration is at its Groundwater storage will not be replaced quickly – lowest point the Atacama received 0.01in of rain a year Farmers must compete with other industries e.g. mining Human pressures on deserts: Farming Human pressures on deserts: Farming Sonoran desert – USA/Mexico Positives Crops: 1.5 million tonnes of wheat, 100,000 Produces more food potatoes, 177,000 oranges Contributes to revenueLivestock: 1.4 million cattle, 1.2 million pigs, 38,000 sheep Negatives Method: Dams and reservoirs are used to irrigate Less water for consumption land when it is at its coolest in the night Water table dropping Increased soil salinity
  5. 5. Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan Sonoran Desert Conservation PlanThe program was established in 1998 and targets 5 Achievements to date: key areas: •Over 200 reports compiled •Critical habitat and biological corridors •Over 60,000 acres in county management •Riparian protection •Rehabilitation projects over another 200 acres •Mountain parks and nature preserves •16% of perennial streamsides are either in or will so •Cultural resources be in county management •Ranch conservation •2,000 of the 16,000 acres of intermittent streamside will be in the preservation network Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan Positives Has prevented some further damage from occuring Overall the plan has failed due to: Restored some habitats •More planning occuring than taking action Tax is proportionate to cattle •That nothing has been done in relation to the plan Negatives since 2009, and that was a report on turtles with More planning than action nothing 5 years prior Nothing has been done since 2009 Land degredation cannot be reversed Cost $174 million ($559.48 per km2) Tried to save “endangered” owl but miscounted Arid Recovery – Roxby Downs Arid Recovery – Roxby Downs The program was set up to: Achievements to date: •Facilitate the restoration of arid zone ecosystems •An exclusion fence has been built to protect native•Protect a range of native biota e.g. Long-lived flora biotawhich had been driven out by short-lived annual or •Radio tracking GPS collars were put on wild cats and week species foxes to gain a greater understanding of them •Re-introduce regionally extinct animals e.g. The •Native floras have been regenerated within thegreater stick nest rat, the western barred bandicoot reserve and the woma python. •Research and monitoring has been developed to help the program Arid Recovery – Roxby Downs Arid Recovery – Roxby Downs Positives It protects threatened species from extinction and Overall the program is working as there are more reintroduces those regionally extinct positive impacts than negative ones, primarily in Raises awareness an gains volunteer involvement favour of the wildlife. Natural area is conserved Negatives Though it had some problems initially, the fence doesExcluded animals could gain access when the fence was washed out by rain protect conserved animals from the excluded Fence became rusted after 9 days predators and many are now becoming safer as a Dingoes broke in and killed all foxes within 17 days species in the region. It cost $12,432 AUD per km ($13,057.33 per km)
  6. 6. Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve The program was established to: Achievements to date: •Create a permanently protected area which ensures •In 1997, camels were evicted from 5% of the country the future for habitats to protect native species •Protects natural resources and maintains original •In 1999, 70 Arabian Oryx were reintroduced to the desert landscapes area in a 27km2 conservation reserve and 6000 native •Ensures the community and visitors have access in a shrubs planted sustainable way •Emrites Airline entered a 5 year sponsorship deal •Registering to get international recognition for the worth $14 million. The government added $7 mil. reserve under the United Nations Protected Area •The DDCR (4.7% of countries land) was created to Management protect animals and landscape Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve Dubai Desert Conservation Plan Positives The list of bird species in the DDCR rose from 60 to 126 Overall the plan has failed as, though it has made a The 70 Oryx formed the basis of the herd of now 400 significant difference to biodiversity and saved There has been a rapid recovery in plant biomass endangered animals, it is far too expensive to be Negatives Ecological health and indigenous knowledge are in decline sustainable, even with tourism revenue being Large areas of land are rapidly becoming urbanised generated Overgrazing reduced the range of species and biodiversity It is costly - $21 mil was required for initial infrastructure across 225km2 (4.7%) = $93,333. per km2 There are 2 types of Tundra – arctic and alpine, caused The soil of tundra environments is also vastly by either latitude or altitude. different from normal soil profiles. Where as Arctic Tundra: is located 60◦ North in latitude and temperate environments have a ‘normal’ soil profile,includes parts of Canada, Greenland, Russia and Alaska. and deserts have aridisol, tundra environments There is a full 24 hours of light and a full 24 hours of generally have cryosol and inceptisol. There are often darkness annually to class as arctic tundra. large areas of permafrost, ground which has been frozen at or below 0◦c for two years or more. Alpine Tundra: is found in mountain ranges around the world. For each 10 metres altitude increased, the temperate drops 1◦, so you would be able to have atundra environment 4000m above the equator (Andes) Tundra Flora: Puya Raimondii •Antifreeze chemical in sapFrost heave results from water in the soil freezing and •Grow up to 10 metres high forming ice, and as more water passes through •Takes between 80-150 years to flower porous soils, it is able to grow bigger. Once a •Produces 8-12 million seeds sufficient size, it may be able to lift soil above it, causing ‘lenses’ of uneven ground levels.
  7. 7. Tundra Flora: Rhododendron Tundra Flora: Moss Campion •Leaves photosynthesise even when cold •5-15cm tall •Thrive in acidic soil •Close to the ground to conserve heat •Grows at between 12,000 and 14,500 feet •Small leaves give it less exposure to the harsh •Low lying to withstand strong winds environment •Protective cushion shape to restrain moisture and heat •Plant is 10◦c warmer than its surroundings Tundra Flora: Artic Willow Tundra Flora: Arctic Moss•Forms pesticide to keep animals and insects away •Aquatic to avoid winds •Suited to cold, dry places •1cm growth per year •15-20cm tall to avoid high winds •Tiny rootlets 1 cell thick •Oval shaped, pointed leaves •Stores fat •15-50mm leave length •Long life span 7-9 years •Dark green bottom, light green top •Petals don’t fall off, they just release seeds •Has adapted a shallow net of lateral shoots Tundra Flora: Bearberry Tundra Fauna: Alpaca •Low lying •2-8 inches tall •Thick bark and fine silk hairs for warmth•Blooms between March and June (warmer months) •Adapted to non-nutrient rich soils •Doesn’t use moisture or heat •Provides food for animals Tundra Fauna: Wild Yak Tundra Fauna: Elk •12 million in the world •Herbivores •23 year life span •4 part stomach for bark, grass, shrubs and tree limbs •Females have 20in horn, males have 40in horn •Heavy coat for warmth •Use horns to dig up food •Strong legs to escape predators •Long thick coat for warmth •Have antlers for 6 months of the year •Hot digestive tract •Sharp hooves to lash out •Travel in single sex herds •Teeth for grinding •Only give birth when the temperature is above freezing •Move above snowline in summer
  8. 8. Tundra Fauna: Wolverine Tundra Fauna: Snowy Owl •Related to weasel rather than bears •Thick layers of down and feathers •Large teeth and jaws •Claws to pick up prey •65-107cm tall •9.5 year life span in wild •13 year life span •30 years + in captivity •Hydrophobic thick coat •Wing span of 1.5 metres •Large feet to spread weight •60-75cm tall •5 large claws per foot for climbing •Camouflaged beak •Pounces on prey from trees •Short sharp beak •Lets other animals hunt then scavenges food •Eyes don’t move, head does Tundra Fauna: Musk Ox Human pressures on tundra: Tourism in Iceland •Herbivore Tourism created 7,385 jobs in 2000, 8,211 in 2006 •Breaks through ice to get to plants and 8,500 in 2009 •12-20 year life span Tourism related jobs make up a significant •4-5 ft tall percentage of tourisms revenue •Long fur coat for warmth Winter sports often attract tourists •500-800lb •Found in Alaska, Greenland and Russia •Males and females have horns Human pressures on tundra: Tourism in Iceland Human pressures on tundra: Pollution: NorilskPositives Located in a continuous permafrost zone in Russia,Creates jobs, employment, increases foreign exchange and covered in snow 250-270 days a yearregional developmentImproves amenities and facilities, may encourage traditional Temperature ranges from -23◦c to 25◦ccustoms and crafts Main reason is smelting of ores, approximately 4Some sites may have higher call for preservation eg. Historical, million tonnes of cadmium, copper, lead, nickel,cultural or environmental sites (volcanoes) arsenic etc. being released into the air every yearNegatives 6th most polluted city in the worldInflation and higher land values, overdependence on tourismindustry (Eyjafjallajokull eruption) Population declined from 183,000 in 1982 to 131,900Bad visitor behaiour, erosion of local cultures in 2005Overuse of water, pressure on local resources, wildlife harmed Human pressures on tundra: Pollution: Norilsk Human pressures on tundra: Mineral exploitation: Prudhoe BayPositives Largest oil field in North AmericaCompany is worth £17 billion, 2006 net profit was £3 billion, Two major oil producers: BP and Phillipsemploys cities workforce, investment in South African gold 5 other companies with financial interestminingProduces many jobs and deals with unemployment Produces 1 million barrels of oil a yearIn 2015, SO2 emissions will be reduced by 2/3 15 million barrels in 25 year history, nearly 1/5 of theNegatives total US consumptionProcess to produce economic gain can still be costlyRespiratory disease from emissions amounts to 15.8% of childdeaths, life expectance 10 years below the rest of RussiaCNN claims there isn’t a tree with 48km, contamination hasbeen found 60km away, 1% of world’s pollution
  9. 9. Human pressures on tundra: Mineral exploitation: Prudhoe Bay Alaska Department of Fish and GamePositives •Run water programs to make recommendations basedOil and gas produce mass revenue, $5.18 billion in 2009, $95 on data and analysisbillion since 1957 •Establishes hydroelectric projectsAccounts for 41,744 jobs, 9.4% of Alaska’s totalNew technology reduces damage caused by drilling •Works with the Alaska Clean Water Actions programNegatives to bring resource agencies togetherSuccess rate is low and expenditure is high, oil reserves will run •Work with private land owners in costa shareout eventually programs to restore habitats, e.g. Kenai peninsulaMay force native Inuits out of their homes •Controlled areas e.g. Southern Southwest IslandsFreshwater resources drained, lowers planning permissions for cannot use vehicles for black bear huntingother forms of exploitation, significant damage to corals,destruction to habitat from infrastructure e.g. Alaskan pipeline •Sets laws and regulations in fish-bearing areas Alaska Department of Fish and Game WWFPositives •Support the Catlin Arctic survey to measure sea iceProtected areas vary from wildlife refuges, critical losshabitat areas, important waters and state parks •Assessing Arctic vunerability to climate change220,051 acres provide protection for wildlife •Working with national governments and localNegatives communities to promote networks of ecologically-It’s limited just to certain parts of Alaska based Marine Protected areasIt will prevent oil drilling based revenue in •Welcomes the initiative in April 2009 that broughtconservation areas, also limiting jobs together ministers from the Arctic Council and AntarcticInuits who rely on hunting in certain areas may be Treaty to discuss the environmental role of each areapenalized for it WWF Conservation of Arctic Flora and FaunaPositives •Serve as a vehicle for co-operation on species andIUU fishing in the Barents Sea has been reduced by 50% habitat managementIt has significantly raised awareness of the issuesIt aids and guides governments who can take actions •Facilitate knowledgeable decision making on biodiversity management and conservationNegatives •Promote sustainability of Arctic resourcesThey work around the world so only a limited amount of time •Report to key stakeholders and governments incan be allocated to Arctic conservation order to facilitate an active response to changes inThey are just a pressure group, they don’t actually hold anypower over governments the environment, providing policy recommendation if necessary Conservation of Arctic Flora and FaunaPositivesIt may not be a government organization, but does aid in thedecisions made by 9 member nationsHundreds of programs are already underway, which CAFF willco-ordinateNegativesIt does more monitoring and assessing than taking actionIt doesn’t actually hold any power and member nations are freeto leave

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