Extreme Environments


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syllabus.pngSYLLABUS REQUIREMENTS

This optional theme considers two different kinds of extreme environment:

Cold and high altitude environments (polar, glacial areas, periglacial areas; high mountains in non-tropical latitudes)
Hot, arid environments (hot desert and semi-arid areas).

1. Challenging environments
global distribution of extreme environments
Explain the global distribution of each of the two kinds of extreme environment.
Describe the relief and climatic characteristics which make these environments extreme. Explain how these characteristics present challenges for resource development and human habitation.

4 hours
population
Explain the other factors responsible for a low density of population in these areas: human discomfort, inaccessibility, remoteness.
Identify ways in which people adapt their activities to extremes of weather and climate.

2 hours
2. The physical characteristics of extreme environments
glacial environment
Explain the advance and retreat of glaciers and the main features resulting from the processes of erosion and deposition by glaciers.

3 hours
periglacial environment
Explain permafrost, patterned ground, solifluction, thermokarst, pingos.

3 hours
hot, arid environments (hot deserts and semi-arid areas)
Explain weathering and the processes involved in wind and water-formed features. Explain the occurrence of flash floods.

4 hours
3. Opportunities and challenges for management
agriculture
Hot, arid areas: examine the opportunities for agriculture in these areas; the distinction between aridity and infertility; the importance of irrigation and risk of salinization; the processes and factors involved in desertification.

4 hours
mineral extraction
Periglacial areas: examine the opportunities and challenges posed by permafrost and other characteristics of periglacial areas for resource development (mineral extraction and any associated settlement and communications).

2 hours

Hot, arid areas: examine the opportunities and challenges posed for resource development (mineral extraction and any associated settlement and communications).

2 hours
tourism
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; waste disposal.

3 hours
4. Sustainability

Discuss the degree to which human activities in extreme environments are unsustainable.
Discuss the potential impact of global climatic change (global warming) on the indigenous populations, settlement and economic activities in extreme environments.

3 hours

resources.pngONLINE RESOURCES

Best content in IB Geography Extreme Environments | Diigo - Groups

skills.pngGEOGRAPHICAL SKILLS


Produce written material (including essays, reports and investigations)
Collect and select relevant geographic information
  • make observations
  • conduct interviews
  • take measurements
  • make images

resources.pngTEXTBOOK RESOURCES


All matters to do with Arid Areas and their management: Arid and Semi-Arid Environments. Michael Hill. Access to Geog Series [Submitted by: Ann]

1. Challenging environments
Explain the global distribution of each of the two kinds of extreme environment.

Describe the relief and climatic characteristics which make these environments extreme.
Explain how these characteristics present challenges for resource development and human habitation.
Planet Geography Codrington pages 248 and 249

Geography - and integrated approach. David Waugh pages 178 to 190.
Explain the other factors responsible for a low density of population in these areas: human discomfort, inaccessibility, remoteness.

Identify ways in which people adapt their activities to extremes of weather and climate.
Geography - and integrated approach. David Waugh pages 346
2. The physical characteristics of extreme environments
Explain the advance and retreat of glaciers and the main features resulting from the processes of erosion and deposition by glaciers.
Landform Systems. Bishop and Prosser Pages 130, 134 to 152

A2 Geography. Bowen and Pallister. pages 127 to 133
Explain permafrost, patterned ground, solifluction, thermokarst, pingos.
Landform Systems. Bishop and Prosser Pages 158, 161 to 168

A2 Geography. Bowen and Pallister. pages 127 to 151
Explain weathering and the processes involved in wind and water-formed features. Explain the occurrence of flash floods.
Landform Systems. Bishop and Prosser Pages 201 to 207
3. Opportunities and challenges for management
Hot, arid areas: examine the opportunities for agriculture in these areas; the distinction between aridity and infertility; the importance of irrigation and risk of salinization; the processes and factors involved in desertification.
Landform Systems. Bishop and Prosser Page 207 to 209
Periglacial areas: examine the opportunities and challenges posed by permafrost and other characteristics of periglacial areas for resource development (mineral extraction and any associated settlement and communications).

Hot, arid areas: examine the opportunities and challenges posed for resource development (mineral extraction and any associated settlement and communications).
A2 Geography. Bowen and Pallister. pages 157 to 169
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; waste disposal.
Landform Systems. Bishop and Prosser Page 181 to 185
4. Sustainability
Discuss the degree to which human activities in extreme environments are unsustainable.

Discuss the potential impact of global climatic change (global warming) on the indigenous populations, settlement and economic activities in extreme environments.
Planet Geography Codrington pages 259 to 267

resources.pngADDITIONAL RESOURCES


'On shaky ground' Permafrost article. Geography Review Vol 21 No 3 February 2008 - Submitted by Ann.