Posted on September 26, 2011 by erlaurie
Posted on April 28, 2010 by erlaurie
Climate change, whether anthropogenic (man made), natural or both can accelerate processes such as desertification, coastal erosion and flooding. Here are some pictoral examples of where this is happening around the world:
Filed under: Environmental Change, Fourth Form Geography, IB Core: Patterns in Environmental Quality & Sustainability, IB Core: Populations in Transition, IB Geography, IB HL Extension - Global Interactions, IGCSE Population & Settlement, Population Dynamics, Sustainable Futures | Leave a comment »
Posted on April 14, 2010 by erlaurie
Glaciers often have lakes in front of them, known as proglacial lakes. These are usually formed by water building up behind a dam of moraine and/or ice. Sometimes these dams collapse, leading to violent flooding. These events are known as Glacial Lake Outburst Floods (GLOFs for short).
The Cordillera Blanca in Peru has many glacial lakes which threaten to break their dams, either by the water levels rising or by ice falling into the lake and displacing a large wave. In Peru dozens of dams have been strengthened and have had overflow channels cut into them to try to manage the risk. However this did not prevent catastrophic flooding occuring in April 2010 when a glacier partly collapsed into a lake near Carhuaz:
Footage here: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/8617101.stm
These phenomena are possible wherever there are mountain glaciers, although it is thought that those in warmer areas may be most at risk of melting. There is also a feeling that the rates of collapse could increase as the climate warms. See the link below for information about GLOFs in the Himalayas and the UN’s response to the problem:
Filed under: IB Core: Patterns in Environmental Quality & Sustainability, IB Extreme Environments, IB Geography | Tagged: Peru | Leave a comment »
Posted on October 8, 2009 by erlaurie
It’s no surprise that glaciers in the Himalayas are being monitored closely, their seasonal melting provides hundreds of millions of people with water throughout northern India and beyond. If the glaciers melt the supply of water they generate could become unstable, threatening the livelihoods of those who rely on it.
Beyond water supply issues, there are other problems. Lakes are now building up behind the natural moraine dams left by the retreating glaciers. The growth of these proglacial lakes is putting increasing pressure on the dams, sometimes leading to potentially catastrophic collapses, known as Glacial Lake Outburst Floods (GLOFs for short).
Recent research has tried to identify the scale of the problem:
The UN is also involved in the monitoring of potential GLOFs:
A bit more background here:
Here is the UNDP’s assessment of the risk in Nepal:
Filed under: Fourth Form Geography, IB Core: Patterns in Environmental Quality & Sustainability, IB Extreme Environments, IB Geography, Sustainable Futures | Tagged: India, Nepal | 1 Comment »
Posted on April 24, 2009 by erlaurie
Ideas to trap the harmful gasses produced by burning fossil fuels in power stations are not new, but the technology to trap greenhouse gases is relatively young. If it works, it would allow for relatively cheap and available sources of energy, such as coal to be used without the fear of adding to global warming. This would buy the world time to develop other alternatives before the fossil fuels run out.
An explanation of carbon capture and storage (CCS) can be found here:
Filed under: Energy & Water Resources, Fourth Form Geography, IB Core: Patterns in Environmental Quality & Sustainability, IGCSE Economic Development and the Use of Resources, IGCSE Geography, Sustainable Futures | Leave a comment »
Posted on March 17, 2009 by erlaurie
An attempt to root out corruption from the logging industry in DR Congo means that there should be more control over which areas are logged and which are protected. Can a sustainable future for these important forests be found?
Filed under: Energy & Water Resources, IB Core: Patterns in Environmental Quality & Sustainability, IB Geography, IGCSE Economic Development and the Use of Resources, IGCSE Geography | Tagged: DR Congo | Leave a comment »
Posted on February 13, 2009 by erlaurie
The installation of advanced water infrastructure in more economically developed countries (MEDCs) means that water is often cheaper there than in LEDCs, where there are more labour costs involved. In some places, particularly urban areas, buying water takes up a large part of a family’s budget:
Filed under: Development, Energy & Water Resources, Fourth Form Geography, IB Core: Disparities in Wealth & Development, IB Core: Patterns in Environmental Quality & Sustainability, IB Freshwater: Issues & Conflicts, IB Geography, IGCSE Economic Development and the Use of Resources, IGCSE Geography | Leave a comment »