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Topic 1: Energy Insecurity What do I need to know?

  • How energy sources can be classified and the advantages and disadvantages of these

  • Reasons for global variations in energy access and consumption

  • Factors effecting energy security California Case Study

  • Impact of growing global energy demand e.g. China case Study

  • Impact of geopolitics on energy security

  • Energy pathways problems with these Trans-Siberian Pipeline

  • How energy supplies can be disrupted e.g. Russia

  • Environment impacts of looking for more energy e.g. Tar Sands in Canada, Arctic Oil

  • Who they key players are in supplying future oil OPEC, TNCs - Gazprom

  • Why we are uncertain about the future of energy

  • The advantages and disadvantages of the possible futures

  • How energy insecurity will lead to geopolitical tensions e.g. USA involvement in Middle East, China and India

  • How can meet our future energy needs?

Key Terms

Energy Pathways

Supply routes between energy producers and consumers e.g. pipelines or

shipping routes

Energy Poverty


Energy Security

When a country or region has insufficient access to reliable sources of power This is vital to the functioning of any economy any country that is self-

Energy surplus

sufficient in energy resources will be secure When a country or region has more than enough sources of power for its needs


and is able to export its surplus power to other countries Political relations among nations, particularly relating to claims and disputes regarding boarders and resources

Low-carbon standard

Initiative introduced in California in 2007 aimed to reducing the carbon

intensity of transportation fuel by 10% by 2020



Peak Oil

The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries e.g. Iran, Iraq, Kuwait The year in which the world or an individual oil-producing country reaches its

highest level of production, production declines after

Security Premium



The extra cost built into the price of oil to allow for any disruption in supply Something that is done as part of a plan that is meant to achieve a particular

Supply shock

purpose or to gain an advantage A significant interruption to supply due to an environmental, economic or

Tar Sands

political event Naturally occurring mixtures of sand or clay, water and dense form of

Energy crisis

petroleum called bitumen A serious shortage of energy which interrupts domestic supplies and impacts

Environmental impact assessment

on all sectors of the economy Details all of the impacts on the environment of an energy type or another

Fossil fuels

project above a certain size Fuels consisting of hydrocarbons (coal, oil and natural gas) formed by the

Renewable resources

decomposition of prehistoric organisms Sources of energy such as solar and wind power that are not depleted as they are used

Strategic Petroleum Reserve

The USA’s reserve supply of oil which should last for about 3 months in the


event of severe interruptions to imported oil The built environment constructed for the exploration, development and


Energy TNCs

production of energy, and all the networks Transnational corporations that specialise in the exploration, development,


production and sale of energy products When a country decides to place part or all of one or a number of natural


Carbon credit

resources e.g. oil under state ownership A permit that allows an organisation to emit a specified amount of greenhouse gases

Carbon Trading

A company that does not use up the level of emissions it is entitled to can sell

Coal gasification

the remainder to another company A process which converts solid coal into a gas that can be used for power generation

Green taxation

Taxes levied to discourage behaviour that will be harmful to the environment


Generators producing electricity with an output of less than 50KW

How energy sources can be classified and the advantages and disadvantages of these

The main way to classify energy is between renewable, non-renewable and recyclable sources Renewable = can be used over and over again e.g. wind and solar power (also known as FLOW RESOURCES) Non-renewable = these are finite resources so as they are used up the stock that remains behind is reduced (also known as STOCK RESOURCES) Recyclable resources = fuel that has been used once can be used again to generate power e.g. nuclear reprocessing can make uranium waste reusable

Energy source





  • Releases large amounts of Co2 contributing to climate change e.g. 2 billion tonnes from USA plants per year

  • Carbon capture technology to remove Co2 is unproven

Natural Gas


  • Releases Co2 on use

  • Issues of security of supply


Non-renewable (may be

  • Health risks and accidents e.g. Chernobyl


  • Disposal of radioactive material an issue



  • Global supplies may have reached their peak

  • Release Co2 when burnt



  • Availability varies across the globe

  • Expensive compared with fossil fuels



  • Only certain locations suitable

  • Technology for large-scale generation unproven



  • Only certain locations suitable

  • Wind energy is variable so hard to manage power supply



  • Acts as a carbon sink so combustion releases carbon dioxide

  • Limited potential for large sale generation



  • Availability limited to a few locations e.g. Iceland


Renewable and recyclable

  • Large scale schemes are expensive


  • Dam building creates wide scale flooding

Reasons for global variations in energy access and consumption


  • China produced 41.1% of global coal in 2007

  • USA produces 18.7%

Distribution of energy reserves:

Reasons for global variations in energy access and consumption COAL:  China produced 41.1% of global


  • Russia and USA produce 40% of world’s total


Germany world

leader at


Germany, USA

and Spain

account for

58% globally

HEP: China, Canada, Brazil and USA account for 46% of global total
China, Canada,
Brazil and
USA account
for 46% of
global total


  • In 2007 the Middle East = 30.8% of oil production

  • N. America = 16.5%

  • Saudi Arabia dominates production 12.6% of world’s total

  • Russia accounts for over ½ of production for Europe and Eurasia

Why energy supply varies:



  • Deposits of fossil fuels are only found in a limited number of places

  • Solar power needs a large number of days a year with strong sunlight

  • Large power stations require flat land and stable foundations

2) Economic

  • Onshore deposits of oil and gas are cheaper to develop then offshore deposits

  • In poor countries foreign direct investment is essential to develop energy resources

  • Most accessible and low cost deposits of fossil fuels are developed first

3) Political

  • Countries wanting to develop nuclear power need to gain permission from the International Atomic Energy Agency

  • International agreements such as the Kyoto Protocol can influence energy decisions

  • HEP schemes on ‘international’ rivers require the agreement of all countries that share the river


China accounts for 1/3 rd of the growth in global oil demand since 2000

Demand for oil in China is expected to rise by 5-7% year

Energy consumption


Developing Countries:

  • Most are struggling to pay for their energy requirements

  • Energy demand is influenced by rate of economic development and rate of population growth

  • In the world 2 billion people lack access to household electricity

  • Traditional biomass in these countries accounts for 90% of total energy consumption


  • The USA shows huge demands for energy resources

  • Germany and UK have improved their energy efficiency resulting in a modest increase in demand compared with NICs

It is important to note that the use of energy in all countries has changed over time due to:

Technological developments nuclear power only been available since 1954

Increasing national wealth incomes increase resulting in increasing use of energy

Changes in demand Britain’s trains were powered by coal

Changes in price Electricity production in UK switched from coal to gas power stations are

they are cheaper to run Environmental factors/public opinion can influence decisions made by governments

Factors effecting energy security

Energy security has a number of risks:


Physical exhaustion of reserves or disruption of supply lines

2) Environmental Protests about environmental change caused by exploitation of energy resources 3) Economic sudden rises in costs of energy forcing increased imports of higher-priced energy

4) Geopolitical political instability in energy-producing regions

The energy security of a country can be measured using the ‘Energy Security Index’ (ESI).

This is based upon:

  • - Availability – the amount of a country’s domestic oil and gas supplies and its level of reliance

on imported resources

  • - Diversity the range of energy resources used

  • - Intensity the degree to which the economy of a country is dependent on oil and gas The higher the index, the lower the risk and therefore the greater the energy security

Case Study: Energy Security Issues: California Case Study


Largest state in the USA

Lowest per capita energy consumption rate in the USA due to mild weather

16% of USA oil reserves, but only 3% of gas reserves

Produces 5% of USA total electricity

More motor vehicles that any other state

Why is the USA in energy crisis?


Consumption In 2007 USA consumed 23.8% of the world’s oil

2) Reliance on imports Between 1960 and 2003 USA’s reliance on imported gas and oil increased by 18% to 58%

  • 9/11 terrorist attack highlight concerns on dependence on imports from the Middle


East Price In 2006 the price of oil had risen from $20 to $60 per barrel


In 2008 the oil

was $140 4) Reserves of fossil fuels are being to run out reserves should last for between 40-65 years

5) Global sources of energy are unevenly distributed most are concentrated in politically unstable parts of the world 6) Demand for energy is increasing the growth of economies in China and India has meant more competition for resources

So why is California suffering an energy crisis?

Due to the fact that the US energy market is privatised the market is driven by the desire to make most profit. Between June 2000 and May 2001 California experienced a series of blackouts due to various factors:

  • a. The weather:

    • 2000 was the 3 rd years of drought so less surplus energy due to lack of hydro- electricity from surrounding states

    • Summer was very hot so increased demand for air-conditioning

    • Winter was unusually cold so increased need for heating

  • b. Insufficient generating capacity strong anti-pollution laws in the 1970s meant energy companies were unwilling to build new power stations that were expensive

  • c. Limited capacity of power lines to important more electricity

  • d. Eron used supply and demand to ensure energy prices remained high enough when supply was good

  • Therefore the two major power companies in California were forced to shut off electricity supplies to conserve limited stocks

    Impact of growing global energy demand e.g. China case Study


    In 2001, China accounted for 10% of global energy demand, in 2007 it was 15%

    Per capita energy demand is still relatively small due to its huge population (e.g. 2006 consumed

    less than 7 million barrels/day a 1/3 rd of USA) Controls 3% of world oil reserves (enabled China to be self-sufficient until 1995)

    Causes of rising demand:

    • 1. Since 1949 China has been a communist country separate from the rest of the world, however in 1986 the government developed an ‘Open-Door Policy’ to overseas investment.

    • 2. 1990s became more of a capitalist economy allowing individuals to accumulate wealth = still not a free-market economy as most companies are state owned (LINK TO SUPERPOWER UNIT)

    • 3. Rising energy demand is due to both economic growth and the demands of the new industry but also rapid urbanisation and growing car ownership Rural-urban migration in China is 8.5 million people per year (45million expected to move to the cities by 2012) Car ownership to grow from 16 cars per 1000 people in 2002, to 267 cars per 1000 people in 2030 (by 2020 expected to have 140 million private cars on the road) Only uses 10% of its energy for transport currently but will need huge amounts in the future

    Where does the energy come from? Coal Relies on coal for 70% of its electricity generation and the huge demand means China is building on average 3 coal-fired power stations a week. Creates environmental problems for them e.g. Beijing Olympics. Majority of the coal is located in the north and west, whilst industry is located in the south and east. HEP – Accounts for 16% of china’s energy production e.g. Three Gorges Dam and China aims to build HEP dams on all of its major rivers Oil Oil production has now peaked and exploration into offshore fields has begun, however territorial disagreements in the South China Sea is making this difficult importing more oil


    China’s energy security problems matter to the rest of the world due to its size and the impact that

    an increase in demand would have on everyone else. However is energy dependency is only 12% compared with USA of 40% and Japan of 80%.

    Potential Exam Question: Discuss how far economic development can be affected by energy security (15 marks)

    Impact of geopolitics on energy security

    Energy security demands on resource availability, both domestic and foreign, and security of supply. It can be affected by geopolitics because there is little excess capacity to ease pressure on energy supplies if supply becomes disrupted. For example, following the 1973 Arab-Israeli war, the Arab nations reduced the supply of oil to the USA and Western Europe to reduce their support for Israel this created a serious energy shortage.

    Since then in 1977 the USA construction a ‘Strategic Petroleum Reserve’ with the initial aim to store

    1 billion barrels of oil which could be used in the event of supply issues.

    Energy pathways problems with these

    Energy pathways between producers and consumers highlight the considerable levels of risk involved in the energy industry.


    Oil has a complex global pattern of PATHWAYS and PLAYERS (exporters and importers). The Middle East exports around 15 000 barrels per day, mainly to Japan, Europe and CHINA.

    Substantial amounts flow from Africa, Canada and South and Central America TO the USA.

    Russia supplies some oil to CHINA, but the bulk of its exports now head to Europe.

    Gas pathways are different in that they tend to be localised and regional rather than global. Traditionally gas is transported through pipelines, whereas oil has been transported by ship. A possible future is that as movement through pipeline becomes less dependable (for political reasons); there will be a switch towards shipping gas in tankers as LNG.

    Physical and human causes of disruption:

    Long running tensions in the Middle East e.g. destruction of oil wells during Iraq war

    consumed 6 million barrels of oil a day for 8 months Hurricane Katrina in 2005 affecting oil production and refining in the Gulf of Mexico

    causing oil and petrol prices to rise In 2005 explosions and fires at Buncefield Oil Storage Depot destroyed fuel worth £10

    million. It supplies Heathrow and as a result had to ration fuel 2006 and 2008 disputes between Russian and Ukraine disrupted gas supplies to Western Europe.

    Trans-Siberian Pipeline

    Energy pathways  problems with these Energy pathways between producers and consumers highlight the considerable levels
    Energy pathways  problems with these Energy pathways between producers and consumers highlight the considerable levels

    The pipeline project was proposed in 1978 as an export pipeline from Russia to Europe. The pipeline was constructed in 1982-1984. The pipeline runs from Siberia's gas field to Uzhgorod in Western Ukraine. From there, the natural gas is transported to Central and Western European countries. Trans-Alaskan pipeline crosses 3 mountain ranges and several large rivers. In these areas there are issues of permafrost and to avoid this pipelines are build above ground

    How energy supplies can be disrupted e.g. Russia


    Tensions between Russia and Ukraine have been high since 2004,

    when pro-Western forces led by President Viktor Yushchenko won control of the government over Viktor Yanukovych, a

    Moscow ally. Russia also opposes Ukraine’s desire to join the

    North Atlantic Treaty Organization and the EU. The EU gets a quarter of its gas supplies from Russia - 80% of which passes through Ukraine

    What sparked the crisis?

    How energy supplies can be disrupted e.g. Russia Background: • Tensions between Russia and Ukraine have

    Ukraine and Russia have faced negotiations over the renewal of gas supply contracts every year,

    but by midnight on 31 December 2008 they had failed to agree on the price Kiev should pay in


    This has happened 3 times before but this year, gas supplies were completely halted from 7 January, after Russia accused Ukraine of siphoning off gas meant for European customers, leaving more than a dozen countries without their expected supplies of Russian gas. The European Union called the supply cut "completely unacceptable", demanded immediate restoration and entered into shuttle diplomacy between Kiev and Moscow. A deal reached on 12 January, whereby EU and Russian observers would monitor supplies across Ukraine collapsed within hours. The EU said both sides had failed to meet its terms. The two countries also failed to agree on a price Russia would pay Ukraine for gas transit to Europe.


    Some, like Bulgaria, Serbia and Bosnia, are almost completely dependent on supplies via Ukraine and so were left with major shortages, during a very cold spell in Europe.

    In the meantime European countries had to shut down industrial plants and domestic heating systems, find alternative sources of gas or switch energy plants to oil. Schools were shut and people had to revert to using log fires to heat their homes.

    Europe’s energy security – should they be worried?


    The amount of gas Russia supplies to Europe means that any disruptions have large-scale impacts


    Even during the Cold war the supply of Russian gas was stable and the Europe is now looking to enhance its energy security through:

    Reducing its dependence on Russiabuilding of the South Caucasus pipeline supplying gas from

    Azerbaijan via Turkey, bypassing Russian territory altogether Press Russia and Ukraine to sign long-term contracts, with accepted pricing formulae, similar

    to those that Gazprom already has with most EU countries. Diversify its sources of energy, something that it must do anyway if it is to meet its ambitious climate-change targets.

    Potential Exam Question: Russia uses its oil and gas as a political and economic weapon. Discuss

    Environment impacts of looking for more energy

    Environment impacts of looking for more energy Tar Sands in Canada This place contains up to

    Tar Sands in Canada

    This place contains up to 2.5 trillion barrels of oil that is more than Saudi Arabia’s reserves

    Oil sands are made of sand, water and a hydrocarbon tar called bitumen. Since the rising oil prices and technological advances they have now become more feasible to extract.

    Alberta’s tar sands produced a million barrels of oil a day in 2003 and expected to reach 3.5 million a day by 2011. By 2030 they aim to produce at least 5 million a day and export the surplus.


    • Oil in the shale is not easily separated out so immense amount of heat is needed usually through burning natural gas

    • Process uses huge amounts of water e.g. every barrel of oil produced requires 4 barrels of water. The water then also becomes polluted where is can damage ecosystems

    • Issue of disposing of the shale once the oil has been removed

    • Very expensive and only viable when oil costs over $30 a barrel (costs $15 per barrel compared with $2 for convectional crude oil)

    • Processes tar sands are a large source of greenhouse gas emissions

    • 470km2 of forest have been removed and lakes of toxic waste cover 130km2


    • Alternative source of oil during times of political or access issues

    • By 2030 the tar sands could meet 16% of North America’s demand for oil ENERGY SECURITY

    • Provide additional source of energy until more renewable sources can be found

    • Mining companies are required to replant land disturbed by mining

    • Oil is vital to Canada’s economy (2007= 20% of exports)

    Players involved:

    • 1. Canada and Venezuela (countries containing Tar Sands

    • 2. TNCs e.g. Shell and BP

    • 3. Alberta Energy Research Institute

    • 4. Environmental groups e.g. Greenpeace

    • 5. Local people (those employed by the companies or those affected by pollution)

    Arctic Oil

    This place is estimated to contain up to 25% of the world’s

    undiscovered oil and natural gas. Issue regarding who can lay claim to which parts of the ocean Russia has claimed nearly half of the Arctic but other interested parties e.g. USA, Norway failed to uphold their claim.


    • Oil companies have already destroyed large parts of Alaska and Siberia so should be kept out of the Arctic

    Arctic Oil This place is estimated to contain up to 25% of the world’s undiscovered oil
    • New oil rush in the Arctic is only possible because of the increased shrinking of the polar ice cap due to global warming

    • The Arctic is a pristine environment containing over 45 species of land and marine animals

    • Issue over who has the right to claim ownership of the natural resources countries who have been conflicting over this have now agreed to sign the UN Law of the Sea Convection stating the 8 Arctic states are allowing to exploit offshore resources within 200 nautical miles of their territory


    • At around $70 per barrel it makes drilling in the Arctic viable. (2007 prices reached $100).

    • Contains up to 25% of the world’s undiscovered oil and natural gas

    Players involved:

    • 1. Arctic States USA, Russia, Canada, Norway, Denmark, Finland, Sweden and Iceland

    • 2. UN will decide the control of the Arctic by 2020

    • 3. Local people

    • 4. Environmental Pressure groups

    Who they key players are in supplying future oil

    Energy TNCs e.g. Shell

    Historically the energy industries have been dominated by large TNCs such as Shell but the power of the TNCs has been challenged by OPEC and recently national energy companies. This is due to the fact that TNCs have come under attack from environmental groups and companies like BP have worked hard to establish a positive public image through investments in renewable energies.

    Shell consists of a global group of energy and petrochemicals companies with a strategy to reinforce their position as a leader in the oil and gas industry in order. One of their focuses has been to explore for new oil and gas reserves.

    Key Facts:

    • Produce 2% amount of world’s oil

    • Produce 3% amount of world’s gas

    • 3.1 million barrels of gas and oil every day

    • $2 billion spent on CO 2 and renewable energy technologies over the last 5 years.

    • In 2009 greenhouse gas emissions were approximately 35% below 1990 levels.


    The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is a permanent intergovernmental organization of 12 oil-exporting developing nations

    OPEC was formed in 1960 to protect the interests of oil-producing

    companies and have formed what some view as a CARTEL.

    Its sets

    OPEC The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) is a permanent intergovernmental organization of 12

    oil production quotas for its members in response to economic growth rates and demand-and-supply conditions. It therefore aims to ensure fair and stable prices

    for its members.

    At the end of 2006, the OPEC members had over 78% of the world’s total oil reserves and they produce around 45% of the world’s crude oil and 18% of its natural gas.

    OPEC is criticised that it controls the price of oil as it is worried that increasing the supply of oil would mean investors would stop investing causing a collapse in the price.

    Why we are uncertain about the future of energy

    It is hard to predict energy demand as it is strongly affected by economic growth rates, conservation of resources and the pace at which the world can switch to renewable sources of power. It is thought that world oil demand will grow by 32% by 2020 and global gas demand by 48%.

    The issue of Peak Oil:

    The International Energy Agency predicted peak oil production to occur between 2013 and 2037, whilst USA Geological Survey predicted it is at least 50 years away.

    Impact of rising living Size of undiscovered oil and gas reserves standards Scale of global population
    Impact of
    rising living
    Size of
    undiscovered oil
    and gas reserves
    Scale of global
    Discovery of
    new energy
    of the global
    The scale of the
    possible switch to

    The advantages and disadvantages of the possible futures

    Business as usual

    If we do nothing forecasts predict that by 2030:

    • Global primary energy demand will rise by 53%

    • Fossil fuels will remain the dominant source of energy worldwide

    • Emissions from electricity generation will account for 44% of energy-related emissions

    • Over 70% increase in the energy demand will come from developing countries due to rapid economic growth and population growth


    • By 2008, 439 nuclear reactors were supplying 15% of the world’s electricity

    • Does not produce greenhouse gas emissions

    • Uranium is relatively cheap to mine and reserves should last around 150 years

    • Very cost effective to transport as only used in small quantities

    • Produces 1% of global electricity supply

    • 1986 Chernobyl incident highlights the issues

    • Very expensive to build several billion pounds

    • Nuclear waste disposal is an issue as it remains radioactive for 10,000 years

    Renewable energy with the emphasis on wind power

    • Costs of generating wind today are about 10% of what they were 20 years ago

    • In some areas first generation wind turbines are being replaced with modern turbines which give better performance

    • NIMBY people are concerned that the turbines could blight their homes and views

    • Turbines can kill birds

    • Suitable areas are often near the coast where land is expensive

    Energy Conservation

    • a) Combined Heat and Power (CHP) power stations waste 65% of the heat they generate but CHP plants can be up to 95% efficient as they can use different fuels in the same boiler including biomass but also cut emissions and reduce fuel dependency

    • b) Green Taxation aimed at cutting the use of natural resources and encouraging recycling. E.g. road tax increase in 2010 will see 9.4 million motorists pay more road tax aimed to punishing heaviest polluting cars. The government will receive more that £1billion in additional revenue.

    How energy insecurity will lead to geopolitical tensions

    USA Involvement in the Middle East

    In March 2003 USA and allied forces invaded Iraq (4 th largest oil reserves in the world); the then leader was considered to pose a threat to the security of Western oil supplies in the Middle East as

    he was making deals with Russian and Chinese oil companies.

    Before the invasion the USA put

    pressure on Iraq to admit it had stockpiled weapons of mass destructions or faces military action. The USA goal in invading Iraq was to reduce its dependence on Saudi Arabia for oil and increase its energy security by introducing a new supplier, Iraq. The USA hoped that its involvement in Iraq and

    Afghanistan would democratise the Middle East. However, America is excluded from deals between Russia, China and Iran and is fighting hard to secure oil by means of energy pathways running through friendly countries.

    China vs. India

    India’s demand for energy has grown due to high economic growth rates, lack of energy-efficient technologies, reliance on heavy industry and widespread power stealing. In 2005 oil imports accounted for 2/3rds of India’s oil consumption and China is seen to be much more energy secure than India. In terms of investment India is also behind with only $3.5nillion in overseas exploration compared with $40 billion made by China. Various policies have been introduced:

    • India will have to rely on imported oil and gas in the short term required increased diplomacy with South Asia etc

    • Investing in offshore gas fields in Vietnam

    However, India has strained relations with energy suppliers and the countries that the supplies have

    to pass through.

    How can meet our future energy needs?

    Emissions controls Kyoto Protocol adopted in 1997 aimed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Countries are required to achieve specific reductions in their greenhouse emissions (average of 5% against 1990 levels by 2012). The USA refused to sign

    Emissions trading EU emission Trading Scheme meant that heavy industrial plants have to buy permits to emit greenhouse gases over the limit they are allowed by government. Under the Kyoto Protcol carbon emissions are now tracked and traded like a commodity so that any excess reductions

    can be sold in the ‘carbon market’

    Green taxes Taxes on individuals for using air transport and pollution charges on companies. Other ideas are aimed to reduce energy consumption such as removing stamp duty on carbon neutral homes Offshore wind turbines Building offshore costs at least 50% more than on land but wind speeds are generally double those on land so they can generate more electricity. Carbon storage this involves capturing the carbon dioxide released by burning coal and burying it deep underground, but it is not proved that the carbon dioxide will actually stay underground and it is very expensive. Geothermal In the Philippines 25% of the electricity is generated from underground heat which is free and available all day. However, the heat is often too deep to be economical. Bio fuels algae There are 3 main types; crops e.g. grasses, sugar, trees and algae. Algae are hard to grow but produce oil that requires less refining before it becomes a bio fuel.

    What types of questions have been asked?

    Study Figure 1. (Explain why oil exploration in the areas shown could lead to high economic and environmental costs.


    What types of questions have been asked? Study Figure 1. (Explain why oil exploration in the

    Assess the relative importance of named players in the global supply of energy. (15)

    The development of alternative energy sources is a possible response to future energy demands. Assess the possible costs and benefits of this approach. (15)

    Explain how the world price of oil has a major impact on oil exploration by TNCs and governments (10)

    Assess the potential environmental, economic and political risks in exploiting new energy resources


    Suggest how the contrasting distribution/pattern of major oil exporters and importers shown in Figure 1 could affect the energy security of some nations. (10)

    Suggest how the contrasting distribution/pattern of major oil exporters and importers shown in Figure 1 could

    Study Figure 1. Suggest the possible environmental consequences of the changes in electricity consumption shown. (10 marks)

    Suggest how the contrasting distribution/pattern of major oil exporters and importers shown in Figure 1 could

    Assess the degree of uncertainty over future global sources of energy supply (15 marks)

    Topic 2: Water Conflicts

    What do I need to know?

    • Physical factors affecting water supply Climate, river systems and Geology Example of California to support

    • How water stress can occur Agriculture, Industry, Domestic use and supply Examples of China and India to support 3

    • How Human activity can make water stress worse pollution, over extraction and salt water incursion

    • How water supply is linked to developmentWater Poverty Index examples of Canada and Ethiopia

    • Aral Sea case study role of different key players here and impacts

    • Conflicts over the same water source examples of Middle East, Ganges and Nile

    • Geopolitics of water supply within a country example of Colorado River Basin USA and Helsinki Rules

    • What water future are going to be

    • How different key players opinions on future water usage may conflict

    • Dams as a solution example of 3 Gorges Dam, China. Impacts of these

    • Water transfer schemes as a solution. Learn the pros and cons of 2 of China transfer, Ebro River, Snowy Mountain or Turkey to Israel

    • How Restoration can solve the problems example of River Kissimmee and Aral sea

    • Role of Water Aid ( NGO) in solving problems

    • How we can conserve water

    • Role of technology in solving future problems e.g. desalinisation, drip irrigation, GM crops

    Key Terms


    A rock, such as chalk, which will hold water and let it through

    Arid and semi-arid

    Describe conditions where rainfall is less than 250mm and 500mm of


    precipitation per year respectively The conversion of salt water into fresh water


    An extended period of abnormally dry weather that causes water shortages and crop damage. A drought starts when total rainfall is well below average for several months.

    El Nino

    A southerly warm ocean current, which develops off the coast of Ecuador, it is


    associated with major variations in tropical climates All water found under the surface of the ground which is not chemically

    combined with any minerals present, but not including underground streams

    High pressure

    A region of high atmospheric pressure, otherwise known as an anticyclone




    The process of the water entering rocks or soil The supply of water to the land by means of channels, streams and sprinklers in

    La Nina

    order to permit the growth of crops An extensive cooling of the central and eastern Pacific. Globally La Nina means that parts of the world that normally experience dry weather will be drier and those with wet weather will be wetter.


    The filtering of water downwards through soil and through bedding planes,


    joints and pores of a permeable rock The amount of evaporation and transpiration that can occur given a sufficient



    supply of water The deposition of moisture from the atmosphere onto the Earth’s surface in form of rain, hail, snow, frost or sleet


    Most frequent, most common


    The sale of a business/industry so that it is no longer owned by the government

    Rain shadow

    An area of relatively low rainfall to the lee side of uplands (sheltered from winds). The incoming air has been forced to rise over the highlands causing

    Relief Rainfall

    precipitation on the windward side This forms when moisture-laden air masses are forced to rise over ground. The air is cooled, the water vapour condenses, and precipitation occurs


    Relating to a river bank. Owners of land crossed or bounded by a river have

    ‘riparian’ rights to use the river


    The uneven distribution/location across a landscape or surface of e.g. population

    Spatial imbalance Stream flow

    The flow of water in streams, rivers and other channels.

    Surface runoff

    The movement of over ground of rainwater. It occurs when the rainfall is very heavy and when the rocks and soil can absorb no more


    The migration of rural populations into towns and cities.

    Virtual water


    Water rights

    The amount of water used in the production of a good or service The legal right of a user to use water from a water source e.g. a river

    Water Scarcity

    Can be divided into ‘apparent scarcity’ which exists when there is plenty of

    water but it is used wastefully, and ‘real scarcity’ which is caused by

    insufficient rainfall or too many people relying on a limited resource

    Water Stress

    Measured as annual water supplies below 1,700m3 per person

    Water wars


    World Water Gap

    International conflict as a result of pressure on water supplies. The difference between those people, who live in water poverty and those who have ready and reliable access to water for drinking and sanitation

    Physical factors affecting water supply Climate, river systems and Geology

    Physical factors affecting water supply – Climate, river systems and Geology Climate • River systems •
    Climate • River systems

    Regions near the equator

    recieve high levels of annual precipitation

    Equatorial areas such as

    Amazon have 2 distinct period of wet weather per year

    Monsoon areas of Asia have 1 very wet season

    The world's major rivers store large quantiies of water and transfer it across continents.

    River flow increases downstream as more tributatries feed into the main river


    where rocks underlying a river basin are impermeable water will remain on the surface creating a high drainage density

    Aquifers can store huge amounts of water underground

    Case Study: Factors affecting California’s water supply

    Geographical Controls on water supply:

    • Mountain chains run parallel to the coast and prevent moist air reaching inland

    • Most rainfall falls in a coastal zone no more than 250km wide

    • South and far east of California receive under 100mm of rainfall due to the rain shadow cast by the Sierra Nevada mountains

    • High pressure systems over the Pacific ocean block moist air currents reaching southern California

    • Most of the major rivers are fed by snowmelt from the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

    • In recent years extended droughts have meant groundwater and surface storage levels have decreased


    • a) Precipitation

      • Much of California is arid with annual average precipitation of between 200-500mm

      • 65% of precipitation is lost through Evapotranspiration, 13% flows out to sea = only 22% for human use

      • 50% of the rain falls between November and March = seasonal shortages

  • b) Population

    • Has grown from 2 million people in 1900 to 37.7 million in 2007

    • Spatial imbalance as three quarters of demand for water comes from areas south of the Sacramento 75% of the rain falls to the north

    • Increasing demands for water exceed natural supplies

    How water stress can occur Agriculture, Industry, Domestic use and supply

    Water stress occurs when demand for water exceeds the amount available during a certain period, or when poor quality restricts its use. Therefore when a country’s water consumption is more than 10% of its renewable freshwater rate it is said to be water stressed.

    During the 20 th Century water consumption has increased by 600% due to population growth and economic development:

    Farming uses 70% of all water and in LEDCs this is up to 90%

    Industrial and domestic use has to compete with farming needs as a country develops

    Daily domestic water use on average is 47 litres per person in Africa, compared with 578 litres in the USA

    This has lead to the development of a world water gap with 1.4 billion lacking clean drinking water and

    12% of the world’s population consuming 85% of the world’s water.

    Agriculture some forms of farming are less water efficient than others e.g. a kg of beef is 10x more water costly to produce then a kg of rice. 17% of the global area used for growing crops is irrigated.

    Industry 21% used for industry but rapid growth expected since the development of countries such as India and China. Industry is generally a more efficient user of water then farming.

    Domestic Only 10% of world’s water is used for this purpose but this varies from country to country. Domestic demand seems to be doubling every 20 years.

    Named Examples: India vs. China


    4% of the world’s freshwater but 16% of the population

    Demand will exceed supply by 2020

    Water tables are falling rapidly as 21 million wells are used


    8% of the world’s freshwater but 22% of the population

    2/3rds of cities do not have enough water all year round

    Stress levels expected to occur by 2030

    Annual population growth rate is about 2.5% in Beijing

    How Human activity can make water stress worse pollution, over extraction and salt water incursion

    Key factors:

    • a) Sewage disposal in developing countries is expected to cause 135 million deaths by 2020. In the UK we add 1,400 million litres of sewage to our rivers daily although most of it has been treated

    • b) Chemical fertilisers contaminate groundwater as well as river and water supplies. These add nutrients to the water leading to an increase in the growth of algae downstream.

    • c) Industrial waste every year the world generate 400 billion tonnes of industrial waste which is pumped untreated into rivers, seas etc.

    • d) Dams trap sediment in reservoirs which reduces floodplain fertility and the flow of nutrient from rivers into seas.

    • e) Abstraction removing water from rivers and groundwater sources can cause issues that in some arid areas rainfall can never recharge these underground stores and the removal of freshwater from aquifers in coastal locations can lead to salt water incursion.

    How water supply is linked to developmentWater Poverty Index

    Water insecurity means not having access to sufficient, safe water. Around 20 developing countries

    are classified as ‘water scarce’.

    Water scarcity occurs for 2 main reasons:


    Physical scarcity shortages occur because demand exceeds supply

    2) Economic scarcity - people cannot afford water, even when it is readily available

    The Water Poverty Index was established in 2002 and uses 5 parameters:

    • Resources the quantity of surface and groundwater per person, and its quality

    • Access the time and distance involved in obtaining sufficient and safe water

    • Capacity how well the community manages its water

    • Use how economically water is used in the home and by agriculture and industry

    • Environment ecological sustainability (green water freshwater taken from rainwater stores in the soil as soil moisture) Each of these is scored out of 20 to give a maximum of 100

    How Human activity can make water stress worse – pollution, over extraction and salt water incursion

    How water links to poverty:

    Lack of water hampers attempts to reduce

    poverty and encourage development. Improved water supply can increase food production, bring better health and provide better standards of wellbeing.

    Named Examples: Canada vs. Ethiopia These 2 countries are at the opposite ends of the spectrum

    Named Examples: Canada vs. Ethiopia

    These 2 countries are at the opposite ends of the spectrum when looking at water and development.



    • Each household uses 800 litres per person

    • Water used for lawns, parks and swimming

    • Issues of rising water bills and leakages

    • Each person uses 1 litre per day

    per day


    • Water is fetched daily from a shared source

    • Issues of water shortages, pollution and risk of disease

    • Water poverty index = 78

    • Water poverty index = 45

    • Water use agricultural = 12%

    • Water use agricultural = 93%

    • Water use industrial = 69%

    • Water use industrial = 6%

    • Water use domestic = 20%

    • Water use domestic = 1%

    • GNI ($ per person) = 33,170

    • GNI ($ per person) = 170

    • Population in 2000 (millions) = 30

    • Population in 2000 (millions) = 62.9

    What problems can the use of water sources create?

    Secure water supplies are needed to support irrigation and food production, manufacturing and energy generation. However the use of water resources can lead to various problems. E.g. the depletion of underground aquifers and salinisation of the soil.

    Aral Sea case study role of different key players here and impacts

    Aral Sea case study – role of different key players here and impacts Location: north-western part

    Location: north-western part of Uzbekistan and southern Kazakhstan Background: Formerly, one of the four largest lakes of the world with an area of 68,000 square kilometers, the Aral Sea has been steadily shrinking since the 1960s.


    In the early 1960's, the Soviet central government decided to make the Soviet Union self-sufficient in cotton and increase rice production. Government officials ordered the additional amount of needed water to be taken from the two rivers that feed the Aral Sea. Large dams were built across both rivers, and an 850-mile central canal with a far-reaching system of "feeder" canals was created.



    Over 30 years, the Aral Sea experienced a severe drop in water level, its shoreline receded,

    and its salt content increased. The water level has dropped by 16 metres and the volume has been reduced by 75% 2) The marine environment became hostile to the sea life in it, killing the plants and animals. As the marine life died, the fishing industry suffered. All 20 known fish species in the Aral Sea are now extinct, unable to survive the toxic, salty sludge.

    3) The sea has shrunk to two-fifths of its original size and now ranks about 10 th in the world.


    Drinking water supplies have dwindled, and the water is contaminated with pesticides and

    other agricultural chemicals as well as bacteria and viruses. 5) Highly toxic pesticides and other harmful chemicals are blown from the dried-up sea creating dust containing these toxic chemicals. 6) As the Aral Sea has lost water, the climate has become more extreme. 7) Respiratory illnesses including tuberculosis and cancer, digestive disorders and infectious diseases are common ailments in the region. 8) There is a high child mortality rate of 75 in every 1,000 newborns and maternity death of 12 in every 1,000 women. 9) The Aral Sea fishing industry, which use to employ 40,000 and reportedly produced one- sixth of the Soviet Union's entire fish catch, has been ruined

    The stakeholders involved:

    • The former soviet government began the irrigation scheme designed to develop fruit and cotton farming

    • Fishing community use to be a prosperous industry but now huge unemployment

    • Local residents health problems and highest infant mortality rates in the world

    • Scientists climate has now changed and extinction of species in the area

    • International economists people can no longer feed themselves as the land is infertile, could create 10 million environmental refugees

    Conflicts over the same water source

    Water conflicts occur when the demand for water overtakes the supply and several stakeholders wish to use the same resource. Conflict is more likely where developing countries are involved as water is vital to feed their growing populations and promote industrial development. The UN reports there are around 300 potential water conflicts in the world. Some examples include:

    • China vs. India due to the Brahmaputra River

    • Turkey vs. Syria and Iraq due to the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers

    • India vs. Pakistan due to the Indus River

    Case Study: Middle East Water conflicts

    The Middle East is one of the most water-scarce regions in the world. Due to population growth, increasing affluence (demands for swimming pools etc) and the development of irrigated farmlands there are increasing pressures on the water supplies. Further instability is created due to:

    • - Overall scarcity of water but also poor access

    • - Declining oil reserves with future drop in oil revenues

    • - rising youthful population and increasing demands

    Conflicts over the same water source Water conflicts occur when the demand for water overtakes the

    At the moment the Middle East uses revenue from their oil exports to pay for expensive desalinisation plants to provide extra water, but also pay for water and food imports. No single country in the Middle East can resolve its water problems without impacting on another country.

    Potential conflicts:


    The Euphrates and Tigris rivers originate in Turkey but supply Syria and Iraq with water. Turkey

    wants to dam these rivers to improve incomes in Anatolia (south-east turkey) 2) In 1967, Syria and other Arab states objected to Israel’s National Water Carrier Project and tried to destroy it. Israel then bombed their attempts to divert the River Jordan from Israel 3) Droughts across the whole region between 1990-2005 increased fears of conflicts 4) Bombing of Lebanese water pipelines by Israel in 2006

    Geopolitics of water supply within a country

    Often when countries compete for water resources international agreements and treaties have to be drawn up on how best to manage shared water supplies. Under the Helsinki Rules there is an agreement that international treaties must include concepts such as equitable use and share. Therefore the criteria for water sharing should include:

    • Natural factors rainfall amounts, share of drainage basin

    • Social and economic needs population size, development

    • Downstream impacts restricting flow, lowering water tables

    • Dependency are alternative water sources available?

    • Prior use existing vs. potential use

    • Efficiency avoiding waste and mismanagement of water

    Case Study - Geopolitics with the USA: The Colorado River

    Background The basin of the Colorado River is the most heavily used source of irrigation water in the USA. Original water rights were allocated in 1933. Since then a series of treaties between the 7 US states with water rights and between Mexico have been signed. A series of dams has been built to serve the water needs to 30 million people.


    1920s ‘Law of the River’ = divided the water between upper basin states or Colorado, Wyoming, Utah

    and New Mexico and their responsibility to supply the lower basin states. California was given highest proportion of water due to its large population and political power. (Around this time was a period of higher rainfall and water surpluses)

    Stakeholders and conflicts

    Farmers - 80% of the allocation and at 1/20 th of the cost. US government -
    Farmers - 80% of
    the allocation and
    at 1/20 th of the
    US government -
    under pressure
    from own
    politicians NOT to
    change water
    City dwellers are
    demands. In 2007
    Arizonia for the
    1st time took full
    share of water for
    its cities
    Mexican people -
    90% of water is
    used before it
    reaches Mexico.
    Effecting local
    - development of
    lakes for
    recreartion is
    wilderness and
    wetland areas
    Indigenous groups
    - have claims to
    water gihts based
    on treaties signed
    in the 1880s

    Issues of developing water pathways

    In some areas with a shortage of water one of the solutions is to divert water from one drainage basin to another. However these can produce political risks

    Case Study: The Snowy Mountains Scheme

    This scheme involves 16 major dams, 7 power stations and a network of pipes and aqueducts.

    Water then flows west into the Murray and Murrumbidgee Rivers
    Water then flows west into the
    Murray and Murrumbidgee Rivers

    Collects water and diverts water so that is can be used by power stations to create electricty

    Water used to irrigate farms and provide water for communities in New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia

    Problems created:

    • Creation of storage lakes has destroyed wildlife habitats

    • Snowy River flow has fallen to 1%

    • Groundwater salinisation results from low flow

    • Water scarcity has lead to competition between users

    • Political fallout meant governments had to restore some of the flow in the Snowy River and invest in water-saving projects

    • Record droughts due to El Nino have used up the water allocations

    Water future s?

    The issues of future projections are that climate change is occurring but its exact impact cannot be predicted. Also continued economic growth may not be inevitable e.g. credit crunch, finally political and religious conflicts can create further issues.

    Alternative scenarios for water by 2025


    Water Changes by 2025

    Wider impacts

    Business as usual

    • Water scarcity will reduce food production

    • Developing countries will rely on

    • Consumption will rise by +50%

    food imports but increased

    • Household water use rise by +70%


    • Industrial water demand in developing countries will increase

    • In parts of western USA, China etc water will be pumped out faster than can be recharged

    Water Crisis

    • Global water consumption will increase

    • Food production will decline and

    • Demand for domestic water will fall

    food prices increase

    • Demand for industrial water will +33%

    • Conflict over water between and within countries will increase


    • Global & industrial water use will have to fall

    • Global rain-fed crop yields increase due to

    • Food production could increase slightly


    improvements in water harvesting and sustainable farming

    • Investment in crop research and technology would increase

    • Agricultural and domestic water prices double

    • Unsustainable pumping of groundwater would end

    How different key player’s opinions on future water usage may conflict

    Different players and decision makers have key roles to play in securing future water supplies but their aims may conflict.




    International organisations e.g. UN, regional and local councils, pressure groups

    Economic (Business)

    World Bank, governments, utility companies e.g. Thames Water, agriculture, industry, TNCs

    Social (Human welfare)

    Individuals, residents, farmers, consumers, NGOs e.g. Water Aid

    Environmental (sustainable Development)

    Conservationists, planners, NGOs e.g. WWF

    Alternative Strategies for managing water supplies in the future

    Hard engineering projects to increase water shortage and transfer

    Case Study: China’s Three Gorges Dam

    Location: Yangtze River and is the world’s largest hydroelectric scheme



    • 18,000MW of electricity generated

    • Dammed waters will down 100,000 hectares

    • Will supply water to the region responsible

    • 1.9 million people will be displaced

    for 22% of China’s GDP

    • Pollution increases as abandoned mines and

    • Dam failure, earthquakes and heavy rain could

    • Flood protection will save lives and cut financial losses

    • Navigational improvements could open up

    factories are flooded

    cause serious issues

    China’s interior to development

    • Ecological impacts on fishing and habitats

    Case Study: China’s South-North Transfer Project

    Project began in 2003 and involves building 3 canals to run across the eastern, middle and western

    parts of China and link the country’s 4 main rivers.



    • Transfer 44.8 billion m3 per year

    • Significant ecological and environmental

    • Central government to pay 60% of the cost

    impacts along the waterways

    • Water conservation, improved irrigation,

    • Resettlement of people will be needed

    pollution treatment and environmental project

    • Declining water quality

    • Will supply big cities like Beijing

    • Will cost $62 billion

    • Will take 50 years to complete


    At a local scale this can involve restoring meanders, replanting vegetation and using sustainable

    methods to manage watercourses for people and the environment.

    Case Study: Restoring the Aral Sea

    In 2007 the Kazakhstan government secured a $126 million loan from the World Bank to help save the northern part of the Aral Sea. The government has already built a dam to split the sea into 2

    parts and the new loan is to be used to build a dam to bring the water back into the deserted port of Aralsk.

    • Fisherman have been able to resume fishing

    • Rain has returned

      • The southern part of the sea is still shrinking

      • The waters from the Amu Darya and Syr Darya are controlled by other countries

    Water conservation

    This involves reducing the amount of water used (demand) rather than trying to increase water supplies. In the UK around 22% of water does not reach the end user due to leakage. Examples include:


    Reducing domestic consumption

    • - installing water meters in every home

    • - reducing the amount of water used in lavatory cisterns

    • - planting drought resistant species in ‘water-wise’ gardens

    • - using grey water to flush the lavatory or water the garden


    Reducing industry consumption

    • - installing more efficient systems to reduce water costs

    • - Agricultural irrigation = use of micro-irrigation techniques using drip irrigation from tubes

    reduces the volume of water used

    Role of technology in solving future problems

    Technology can help increase both water supply and access. Examples include:

    • Desalination – provides 70% of Saudi Arabia’s water but it is the most expensive option for water supply due to its energy use

    • Towing flexible polypropylene bags will with freshwater has been propose e.g. Kielder to Essex

    • USA uses reverse osmosis membrane technology to filter salt from brackish water

    • In developing countries ore intermediate technology is more appropriate:

      • - Water collection e.g. catching rainwater or building small dams

      • - Wells built by NGOs e.g. Water Aid

      • - Using plastic or glass bottles filled with contaminated water exposed to the sun for 6 hours destroys micro-organisms

    What questions have been asked?

    Using named examples assess the role of different players and decision makers in trying to secure a sustainable ‘water future’ (15)

    Referring to examples, assess the potential for water conflict in areas where demand exceed supply


    Referring to examples, explain why future water supplies for many regions are increasingly insecure


    Referring to examples, assess the validity of the statement that ‘water conflicts are as much to do with water quality as quantity’ (15)

    Suggest how water resources and human wellbeing might be affected by the data in Figure 2 (10)

    What questions have been asked? Using named examples assess the role of different players and decision

    Explain how physical and human factors have contributed to the variation in water scarcity shown (10) Jan 2010

    Explain how physical and human factors have contributed to the variation in water scarcity shown (10)

    Using named examples, assess the contribution of large scale water management projects in increasing water security (15) Jan 2010

    Study Figure 2. Explain how human interference in the water cycle can affect water availability. (10)

    Explain how physical and human factors have contributed to the variation in water scarcity shown (10)

    Using named examples, assess the potential for water supply to become a source of conflict. (15)

    Topic 3: Biodiversity under Threat

    What do I need to know?

    • Ways in which biodiversity can be defined

    • Key processes and factors that influence biodiversity

    • Global distribution of biodiversity and biodiversity hotspots

    • The value of ecosystems

    • The distribution of threatened areas

    • Global factors threaten biodiversity

    • The impact of these threats on ecosystem processes

    • The link between economic development and ecosystem destruction/degradation

    • The concept of sustainable yield

    • The role of different players in managing biodiversity

    • Spectrum of strategies and policies for managing biodiversity

    • The future of biodiversity

    Key Terms:


    The total amount of organic matter




    A major terrestrial ecosystem of the world. A system of which both the living organisms and their environment form components (elements) - these components are linked together by flows


    and are separated from the outside by a boundary. The gradual and predictable change in plant and animal species over time, for example bare ground is colonised by plants and there is a series of

    Net primary productivity (NPP)

    sequential replacements as one set of dominant plants replaces the other The difference between the rate of conversion of solar energy into biomass in an ecosystem and the rate at which energy is used to maintain

    the producers of the system




    Living components of an ecosystem The non-living parts of an ecosystem

    Goods and services

    ‘goods’ are direct products that can be derived from an ecosystem and

    ‘services’ are the benefits that the ecosystem provides

    Energy flow


    Nutrient cycle

    The movement of energy through a community The movement of nutrients in the ecosystem between the three major stores of the soil, biomass and litter.


    The variability amongst living organisms from all sources including terrestrial, marine and other aquatic systems, and the ecological complexes of which they are part: this includes diversity within species,

    between species and of ecosystems.




    The protection of natural or man-made resources for later use. The place where a particular species lives and grows. It is essentially the environment- at least the physical environment- that surrounds,

    Endemic species

    influences and is utilised by a particular species. Exclusively native to a particular place of region. Endemic species tend to have a high conservation value.

    Sustainable Yield

    Key part of sustainable management of ecosystems. It represents the

    ‘safe’ level of harvest that can be hunted/caught/utilised without

    harming the individual ecosystem

    Genetic diversity

    The diversity of genes found within a species


    Species diversity Ecosystem diversity

    The variety of plant/animal species in a given area (habitat) The variety of different ecosystems and the habitats surrounding them

    Biodiversity Hotpot

    in a given area, it includes biotic and Abiotic components. An area containing a huge number of species, a large percentage of which are endemic

    WRI (World Resources Institute)

    An economic scorecard which shows the condition of the world’s major

    MEA (millennium ecosystem assessment)

    ecosystems and their ability to provide future good and services. A multi scale assessment commissioned by the UN


    Loss in quantity


    Loss in quality

    Ways in which biodiversity can be defined

    Biodiversity is the total genes, species and ecosystems in a given area. It can be investigated by looking at diversity within species and also between ecosystems.




    Genetic diversity range of genes found within a particular species. Variation within

    • Allows accurate picture of the diversity within a population

    • Difficult to assess without high-level biological skills as DNA has to be analysed

    genetic makeup makes it easier to adapt to changing environments

    • Helps explain how isolated groups have adapted to new environments

    Species Diversity variety of plants and animal species

    • On a basic level areas can be compared

    • Many species are yet to be discovered

    present in an ecosystem

    • Need to compare similar size areas for it to be fair

    Ecosystem Diversity number of different ecosystems within

    • Involves the interaction of species with each other and

    • Hard to know where to place the boundaries for each area

    a given area

    their environment = complex

    • Needs a consistent set of criteria

    Key processes and factors that influence biodiversity

    Ways in which biodiversity can be defined Biodiversity is the total genes, species and ecosystems in
    Higher altitude = lower biodiversity Lower latitudes = warmer climate – rapid nutrient cycling Latitude Temperature
    Higher altitude = lower
    Lower latitudes = warmer climate
    – rapid nutrient cycling
    Temperature extremes =
    low biodiversity
    Hunting and direct
    exploitation of flora
    and fauna
    The rate in which plants photosynthesise is measured. TRF have high GPP = high biodiversity Amount
    The rate in
    which plants
    is measured.
    TRF have high
    GPP = high
    Amount of light
    Size of the area
    and topography
    More species
    can live and
    interact in a
    larger area
    Rate of nutrient
    Human effects
    e.g. pollution
    The level of
    recording of species
    within the region
    Found particularly on
    islands, species that
    are found nowhere
    else and this
    increases biodiversity
    Humans are in
    competition with
    other species for
    space and resources.
    As human population
    increases = decrease
    in biodiversity

    Global distribution of biodiversity and biodiversity hotspots

    Coral Reefs: Tropical Rainforests: Found in South and Central America, Madagascar, Malaysia and Indonesia Corals with
    Coral Reefs:
    Tropical Rainforests:
    Found in South and Central America,
    Madagascar, Malaysia and Indonesia
    Corals with the greatest
    species are found in the
    Pacific Ocean and eastern
    edge of the Indian Ocean
    Main patterns:

    The top 5 countries with the highest diversity index are found around the EQUATOR or the TROPICS. Countries with the lowest diversity index are found in either cold countries or ones with large areas of desert. Greatest biodiversity is found in areas of TROPICAL RAINFOREST with +1/2

    the world’s species, although they cover only 7% of the earth’s surface.

    Biodiversity Hotpots

    This is an area containing a huge number of species, a large percentage of which are endemic. They

    cover less than 2% of the earth’s surface but contain 44% of the world’s planet species and 35% of

    the animal species. They are divided into 3 categories:


    Continental hotspots richest in terms of biodiversity

    2) Large island hotspots have distinctive species 3) Small island hotspots low in species number but contain a high proportion of endemics

    Global distribution of biodiversity and biodiversity hotspots Coral Reefs: Tropical Rainforests: Found in South and Central

    Named Example: Continental Hotspot Fynbos, South Africa

    Fynbos is the major vegetation type of a small region in South Africa known as the Cape Flora Kingdom. It is the smallest and richest area with the highest known concentration of plant species at 1,300 per 10,000km2. (TTF = 400 per 10,000km2). Home to +7700 plant species, 70% are endemic. This hotspot was created due to unusual geology and soils, topography and a distinctive fire regime. However there are a number of threats:

    • Spread of alien plants

    • Commercial forestry using non-native species e.g. European pines

    • Frequent bush fires

    • Construction of housing estates around Cape Town

    • Increased farming

    Named Example: Continental Hotspot – Fynbos, South Africa Fynbos is the major vegetation type of a
    Named Example: Continental Hotspot – Fynbos, South Africa Fynbos is the major vegetation type of a

    The value of ecosystems

    Value can be looked at through direct use values e.g. Uses humans put biodiversity to in terms of consumption or production and include food, medicines etc. Indirect uses include the services that biodiversity provides such as soil formation.

    Provisioning services/goods - products coming directly from the ecosystem e.g. timber, meat Regulating services - vital
    Provisioning services/goods - products
    coming directly from the ecosystem
    e.g. timber, meat
    Regulating services - vital to the
    functioning of the earth's systems e.g.
    forests remove carbon dioxide and
    release oxygen into the atmosphere
    Cultural services - include the
    aesthetic and spirtual enjoyment
    people gain from recreation
    Supporting services - processes such
    as nutrient cycling, soil formation that
    are vital to the wellbeing of the

    Case Study: The Value of a global ecosystem - Coral Reefs

    Coral reefs are located in shallow seas (no deeper than 25m) with an average annual temperature about 18°c. Corals are extremely sensitive and the greatest concentration of coral reefs is found in South-east Asia (30%).

    Ecological Value

    Economic Value

    Cultural/Aesthetic Value

    • Coral reefs act as protection

    • Aquarium trade

    • Education and research

    for the coastal, breaking the power of the waves before they reach the land

    • Medicine algae and sponges contain bioactive compounds used by the pharmaceutical

    easily accessible from the shore

    • Coral and shells are used for

    • Highly diverse ecosystems


    traditional crafts

    • Building materials coral reefs are mined for lime and stone in developing countries

    • Recreational use

    • Tourism some Caribbean countries gain ½ of their GNP from tourism

    • Food in the far east, reef fisheries feed 1 billion people

    The distribution of threatened areas

    Case Study: The Value of a global ecosystem - Coral Reefs Coral reefs are located in

    There are various ways of measuring threatened ecosystems:


    Economic Scorecard shows the ability of ecosystems to produce goods and services

    2) The Living Planet Index monitors changes over time in the populations of representative animal

    species in various ecosystems 3) Ecological footprint measures the human impact on the planet 4) Red List of endangered species shows species at risk of extinction 5) Millennium Ecosystem Assessment is a multi-scale assessment by the UN

    The majority of areas under threat are located with the tropics and areas of lower biodiversity tend to have lower threat levels as these regions are not in demand for agriculture due to unsuitable climates.

    Factors threatening biodiversity

    Global Factors:

    • a) Climate Change expected that the climate will change so quickly that species will be unable to adapt. Recent climate changes have shown impacts on the ecosystems:

      • - laying and fruiting have been advancing by several days each decade

      • - Coral bleaching due to warming seas has increased since 1980s

      • - Ocean acidification caused by rising levels of carbon dioxide

      • - Poleward’s migration of species by an average of 6km per decade

  • b) Deforestation clearance of forest cover results in loss of biodiversity and resources but also has knock-on effects on the food web and nutrient cycling

  • c) Pollution can cause various issues:

    • - Ozone depletion due to CFCs

    • - nitrate pollution of lakes

  • d) Human population growth this is forcing people to spread into more areas and is encroaching onto areas with high biodiversity

  • Local Factors

    • a) Fire was used widely in Europe and N. America to clear forests for development. Controlled fire as a management option is useful but large-scale burning for soya bean production causes loss of biodiversity

    • b) Habitat change developing natural habitats for agriculture, minerals or urban growth e.g. overfishing in the North Sea

    • c) Recreational use plants are vulnerable to trampling and animals to disturbance

    The impact of these threats on ecosystem processes

    Factors threatening biodiversity Global Factors: a) Climate Change – expected that the climate will change so

    Energy Flow

    Primary producers (green plants) convert sunlight into energy through photosynthesis, as energy is lost through respiration at each stage, the amount of biomass at each trophic level decreases. Human action on one level of the chain has an impact on the others that are dependent on it e.g. the catching of tertiary consumers

    Nutrient cycling

    This occurs alongside the flow of energy through an ecosystem and involves the feedback of miners from decomposed organic material back into the plants so that they can grow and continue the cycle. In hot climates of the tropics there is faster nutrient cycling then in cold regions. People can impact upon the cycle by adding nutrients via fertilisers, by reducing the biomass through overharvesting and deforestation, and by degrading the soil. Once deprived of nutrients,

    soils are vulnerable to erosion.

    Biomass Litter Runoff Soil Weathering Leaching

    Growth or uptake pathway

    Movement of species

    The movement of species can occur by accident or deliberately but has a serious threat to ecosystems. Alien or exotic species can become established at any trophic level and often have:

    • - enhanced survival rates as they are more efficient competitors

    • - lack any native predator

    • - Not susceptible to native diseases

    Deliberate introductions include:


    Game species such as pheasant and rainbow trout for hunting

    2) Hedgehog was imported from the Scottish mainland to the Outer Hebrides to deal with a

    plague of garden slugs but have since effected the populations of ground nesting birds whom they eat the eggs of

    Accidental introductions include:


    Alien species can arrive by ship e.g. Zebra mussel arrived in North America from the Caspian Sea by clinging on the sides of ships. These were brought into the Great Lakes where the multiplied to 70,000 per km2

    2) Air transport was responsible for introducing snakes to the Pacific Island of Guam which had huge impacts on the food web

    Nutrient Overload

    Excess nutrients are washed into the lakes and rivers but this has been increased by the human use

    of fertilisers etc. The extra nutrients cause increase growth in plants but also the growth of algal blooms which block out the light causing plants to die out. This uses up the oxygen in the water

    leading to further deaths and the food chain collapses

    The extra nutrients cause increase growth in

    plants but also the growth of algal blooms which block out the light causing plants to die out. This

    uses up the oxygen in the water leading to further deaths and the food chain collapses Eutrophication.

    The link between economic development and ecosystem destruction/ degradation

    The shift of countries from economies based on primary industries, to mixed industries including manufacturing and industry has put huge pressure on their ecosystems as natural resources are extracted.

    Movement of species The movement of species can occur by accident or deliberately but has a
    Movement of species The movement of species can occur by accident or deliberately but has a

    A country with a stable economy and education has the freedom to choose to support biodiversity without compromising its

    people’s ability to be

    fed and housed

    Less development near pristine environments in which indigenous people live mainly due to lack of access and technology

    Rapid industrial development e.g. China has led to air pollution such as acid rain, which has an impact on forests. Expansion of agricultural land due to population growth

    Named Example: Udzungwa Mountains National Park: a pristine area

    This national park has huge amounts of biodiversity with 276 tree species

    and 50 endemic species.

    The local villages are also reliant upon it for

    watershed protection, medicines and food. However their access is limited and highly controlled due to increasing pressures on the park such as population growth. The Tanzanian National Park authorities therefore decided to involve the local people in sustainable bottom up strategies for example, setting up tree nurseries and promoting ecotourism. This was the best way forward due to the issues of policing a vast area with a skeletal ranger force; instead the local people become responsible for the area.

    Named Example: Udzungwa Mountains National Park: a pristine area This national park has huge amounts of

    Named Example: Masai Mara game reserve: a degraded area

    This reserve experienced a breakdown in management which has led to the decline to the grassland ecosystem. The park fees from tourists were meant to go towards management of the area and providing social services to the local tribesman. However the park rangers were not paid properly and lacked basic equipment so could do little to stop illegal hunting. In 2008 a private organisation called Mara conservation took over control and runs on a non-profit basis uses 50% of revenue to build roads and anti-poaching patrols and 50% to the local tribes. This is needed as the local people have to give up cattle grazing land for tourism but are having a hard time seeing the benefits.

    Named Example: Udzungwa Mountains National Park: a pristine area This national park has huge amounts of

    The concept of sustainable yield

    Sustainable yield represents the ‘safe’ level of harvest that can be hunted/caught/used without

    harming the individual ecosystem. It is measured through:

    • 1. Maximum sustainable yield (MSY) the greatest harvest that can be taken indefinitely while leaving the ecosystem intact.

    • 2. Optimum sustainable yield (OSY) best compromise achieve in the light of all economic and

    social factors. In order to manage wildlife etc models estimating carrying capacity have been developed the

    maximum human population that can exist in equilibrium with the available resources.

    Carrying Capacity
    Carrying Capacity

    Zone of overharvest

    population begins to be threatened by overharvesting

    Named Example: Udzungwa Mountains National Park: a pristine area This national park has huge amounts of
    Named Example: Udzungwa Mountains National Park: a pristine area This national park has huge amounts of
    Named Example: Udzungwa Mountains National Park: a pristine area This national park has huge amounts of
    • MSY is halfway between 0 and the carrying capacity

    • OSY is lower than MSY as it enabled the ecosystem to have a high aesthetic value

    Named Example: Campfire Project, Zimbabwe

    Named Example: Campfire Project, Zimbabwe This was developed in the late 1980s aimed to long-term development,

    This was developed in the late 1980s aimed to long-term development, management and sustainable use of natural resources. The responsibility for the area was placed in the hands of local people and therefore an example of a bottom-up approach. Some schemes made money from big-game hunting at sustainable yield levels and this was then fed back into the communities. Environmentalists disagreed with this approach as how was hunting endangered species helping to protect them? The scheme was then undermined by the economic collapse of Zimbabwe and lack of funding.

    The role of different players in managing biodiversity


    International Treaties:

    • a) Ramsar Convention 1971 - to

    conserve wetlands

    • b) World Heritage Convention

    1972 - protect outstanding

    cultural and natural sites

    • c) CITES 1973 - controlled

    trade in a range of species



    Regulation establish and enforce laws to conserve and

    protect various areas and species. Preservation preserve areas

    of biodiversity often through taxes and subsidies

    TNCS - determine which goods and services are produced and how environmentally friendly they are.

    International agencies e.g. World Bank, WTO - very top- down and often favour large short-term projects

    NGOs e.g. WWF and Greenpeace - aim to stop degradation of the planet's natural environment



    Indigenous groups depend on biodiversity for basic survival e.g. spiritual significance Farmers strong views about conservation as it conflicts with their aims


    In the developed world, ethical consumerism has led to people choosing to buy environmentally friendly products e.g. dolphin friendly tuna. Scientists and researchers work for variety of organisations and monitor the state of the biodiversity

    Spectrum of strategies and policies for managing biodiversity

    Conservation strategies follow the idea of a spectrum from complete protection through to commercially exploited areas where limited parts are protected for publicity purposes.

    Total Protection was the main focus of conservation during the 1960s. Total protection has been criticised as:

    • - In developing countries there is a conflict between conservation and cutting people off from biodiversity

    • - Totally protected reserves are often narrowly focused for scientific purposes so may fail to take into account social, economic factors etc

    • - Many protection schemes are based around political boundaries and not the ecosystem natural boarders

    • - These strategies rely on the co-ordination of outside agencies which often forget about the

    local people’s needs.

    Biosphere Reserves identifies a core area which is heavily protected with buffer zones around it. However some countries do not have finances to fully monitor or mange these reserves and the pressure from development may be difficult to control. These act at a number of different levels; locally they involve local people and the landscape they know in order to better serve the community and ensuring continued biodiversity e.g. community conservation schemes. On a national level they aim to inspire further conservation e.g. National Parks. Globally the biosphere designation of the Galapagos Islands helped implement a zoning strategy to solve the problems the area faces.

    Restoration this can include recreating wetlands or linking up small fragmented reserves to produce a large reserve. These can be very expensive and much of the success depends on how readily plants will reseed and how polluted the land is.

    Conservation this can involve ex-situ conservation where an endangered species establish a captive population away from its natural habitat. This includes captive breeding with release schemes and biodiversity banks such as genetic and seed banks in zoos and botanical gardens. For example giant panda

    Named Example: The Galapagos Islands Zoning Strategy (Hot-Spot Management Strategy)

    Location: found on the Equator 1,000km off the coast of Ecuador

    Key facts:

    Nearly one fourth of the Galapagos marine life is endemic - found nowhere else on earth There are 13 large islands and six small, which were formed by oceanic volcanoes some three to five million years ago

    Threats facing the islands:

    Named Example: The Galapagos Islands Zoning Strategy (Hot-Spot Management Strategy) Location: found on the Equator 1,000km
    • Extensive migration from mainland Ecuador from 1982-1998 population growth was around 6% but in the last 10 years the number of people on the islands has more than doubled to take it to 16,000.

    • absence of a quarantine system to avoid the introduction of foreign species

    • illegal fisheries that apply great pressure on the islands’ marine resources (until 1990s only a few hundred fishers were involved but by 1999 660 were registered as global over-fishing grew due to demand for seafood and speciality products e.g. shark fins)

    • lack of an adequate legal framework to ensure the long-term preservation of the islands

    • Tourism since 1969 charter flights began bringing people to the islands and it became the main economic activity employing 70% of the active population. In 1998 - $75 million was generated through tourism. However out of this only around 1% is used to support conservation.


    1936: the Galapagos National Park (GNP) established 1968: Boundaries finally established; effective park administration began

    1984: Recognized as a Biosphere Reserve under the UNESCO Man and the Biosphere Program 1986: The Galápagos Biological Marine Resources Reserve (GMRR) established to include all waters within 15 nautical miles 1992: Zoning plan for Marine Resources reserve included 4 zones:

    • General Use Zone for sustainable use of the reserve

    • Recreational Fishing Zones for the benefit of residents

    • National Marine Park Zones for human activities where natural resources are neither damaged nor removed

    • Strict Nature Reserves where human access is not permitted.

    2002: Poza de las Diablas on Isabela I. declared a Ramsar Site of International Importance


    The future of biodiversity

    The Millennium Ecosystems Assessments (MEA) identified 4 scenarios predicting rapid conversion of ecosystems to farmland and urbanisation.

    Global Orchestration

    Order from Strength

    • All trade barriers and subsidies are removed to allow for free trade

    • Protection of national boundaries will see rich countries close their boarders to protect

    • Problems of ecosystem degradation in

    • Ecosystem collapse huge biodiversity loss

    • Economic growth is high and standard of living in developed countries improve

    • As wealth increases there will be more money to deal with environmental problems = too

    • High biodiversity loss

    their own standard of living

    developing countries


    Adapting Mosaic

    Techno garden

    • Will manage ecosystems locally and regionally = more sustainable

    • Using technology to help provide ecosystem services

    • Lower biodiversity loss than 1 and 2

    • Excellent sharing of ideas at a global level

    • People working together to develop

    • May become over reliant on technology

    economically but also maintain ecosystems

    • Wealth increases in poor countries as knowledge and technology is shared

    WWF’s Living Planet Report – looked to model ways of ending ecology ‘overshoot’ (the amount by which the ecological footprint exceeds the biological capacity of the space available to that population). They also showed 4 possible scenarios:


    Business as usual increased ecological footprint and no reduction in overshoot


    Slow shift gradually reducing the ecological footprint by developing many sustainable


    policies so that ecosystems can recover by the year 2100 Rapid reduction radical policies to control ecological footprints lead to elimination of


    overshoot by 2040 Shrink and share breaking the world into regions in order to share responsibility for controlling the overshoot problem

    Case Study: Named Global Ecosystem- Daintree Tropical Rainforest

    Location: North east coast of Australia in Queensland

    Why is Daintree so special?

    • World Heritage site measuring ½ the size of Wales

    • 135 million years old

    • Greatest number of threatened species of plant and animals in the world

    • ½ of Australia’s bird species

    • 65% of all butterfly and bat species


    1) Tourism

    • - In 1983, 17000 tourists visited Daintree but by 2002 this had grown to 436000 visitors

    2) Destruction of ecosystem to cope with demand

    • - tarmacking of roads has lead to small areas of forest being

    divided into plots for sale

    • - Occupied plots are often bulldozed and turned into cattle ranches 3) Development

    Case Study: Named Global Ecosystem- Daintree Tropical Rainforest Location: North east coast of Australia in Queensland
    • - Increased numbers of tourists had lead to the development of Port Douglas changing the

    village’s character

    4) Climate Change a global temperature increase could threaten the distinctive ecosystems environment 5) Logging the commercial timber industry in began in Daintree in the 1930s. The rainforest acts as a carbon store so the removal of these releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere adding to the

    greenhouse effect







    Money spent by tourists

    $147 million per year

    Infrastructure improved e.g. tarmac roads


    Impact on tribes Local people suffer from congestion and overcrowding

    3500 jobs created Destructive of native tribes as they lose their land and move away Cultures westernised

    Australian heritage lost Increase in population = increase in house prices = local people move out Tourism could decline


    Increase in population Soil erosion from deforestation Loss of habitats Disruption of native species Litter

    Breeding patterns affected Food web disrupted

    Release of C02 from trees Extinction of species Invasion of alien species

    Management of Daintree Key players: a) Wet tropics Management authority = formed in 1990 to research

    Management of Daintree

    Key players:

    • a) Wet tropics Management authority = formed in 1990 to research and monitor the state of the wet tropics. Looks at developing management agreements with land holders and native tribes.

    • b) Cairns Regional council- aimed to gradually reduce population in Daintree. Increased ferry costs to reduce number of visitors and rejected plans for a bridge across the river as more people would endanger the rainforest.

    • c) Australian Rainforest Foundation – operation ‘BIG BIRD’ – the cassowary given a wildlife corridor to protect it. Money given to buy back land from developers and return it to rainforest

    • d) Wildlife Preservation Society of Queensland community based looking at a sustainable future for people and wildlife. They are for a ban on development in the area.

    • e) Australian Tropical Rainforest Foundation build visitor centres and education facilities to highlight the global importance of the tropical rainforest ecosystems.

    • f) Rainforest co-operation research council community development allowing up to 1400 people to live in the area but must conserve the land. Looks to identify hotspots for conservation where no development is allowed. Aims to recognise the rights of native people to own land and promote their culture in the forest.

    What kinds of questions have been asked?

    Explain the distribution of the world’s terrestrial and marine hotspots (10 marks)

    What kinds of questions have been asked? Explain the distribution of the world’s terrestrial and marine

    Evaluate the relative advantages and disadvantages of the ‘hot-spot’ approach to biodiversity management (compared with other strategies) (15 marks)

    Evaluate the relative importance of global and local threats to one named global ecosystem (15 marks)

    Assess the role played by different players in managing areas in which biodiversity is under threat (15 marks)

    How far is it possible to reconcile the desire for development with the need to manage biodiversity (14 marks)

    Referring to examples, discuss the threats to biodiversity hotspots and why these threats could prove critical (15)

    Explain how human activities have contributed to the condition of ecosystem goods and services. (10)

    What kinds of questions have been asked? Explain the distribution of the world’s terrestrial and marine

    Using named examples, evaluate the success of global actions designed to protect biodiversity. (15)

    Explain the pattern of alien species invasions, and suggest the possible impacts of alien species on ecosystems. (10)

    Explain the pattern of alien species invasions, and suggest the possible impacts of alien species on

    Topic 4: Superpower Geographies

    What do I need to know?

    • How to define the idea of superpower

    • How patterns of power change over time

    • Theories for the growth of Superpowers

    • How power can be maintained

    • Role of superpowers on international action and decision making

    • Nature of trade and who controls it. Does this maintain global power?

    • Superpowers cultural influence

    • The impacts on Water, energy, environment and land demand of the rising superpowers

    • The impacts of the rising new superpowers on the old superpowers

    • Implications for the Majority world (Less developed countries) of the new superpowers good or bad?

    • Shifting power may lead to tensions

    Key Terms


    An economic system in which all or most of the means of production and distribution are privately owned and operated in a relatively competitive environment

    Cold War

    A state of political tension and military rivalry between nations that stops short of full-scale war e.g. US vs. Soviet Union following World War II




    The system or policy in which a country maintains foreign colonies A form of political development that aims to create equality and a classless society.


    Promoting the culture of one society into another e.g. Tea to India

    Cultural Imperialism Dependency theory

    Notion that resources flow from a ‘periphery’ of poor and underdeveloped states into a ‘core’ of wealthy states


    Development theory Direct influence

    A number of theories outlined how desirable change is best achieved The power of persons or things to affect others by means of power based on wealth


    The inequality or difference

    Disparity International Monetary Fund

    An international organisation established by the UN to promote monetary

    Market economy

    cooperation, international trade and stability An economy in which prices are determined by buyers and sellers with a relatively high degree of freedom

    Modernisation theory

    The socio-economic development and process that evolves from a traditional society to modern economies e.g. USA


    North Atlantic Treaty Organisation founded in 1949 for the purposes of


    opposing communism during the Cold War. Describes the ways in which rich countries dominate the economy of poorer countries through economic imperialism rather than political control


    The process of moving from a government controlled system to a

    privately run system


    Purchasing Power Parity Superpower

    The value of gross national income related to local prices A nation that is able to project its power and influence anywhere in the world




    A government tax on imports or exports Soviet Union a former communist country in eastern Europe and Northern Asia established in 1922. Was dissolved in 1991

    World Bank


    World Trade

    UN agency created to assist developing nations by issuing loans Set up in 1995 to open up and ensure fair play in international trade.


    How to define the idea of superpower e.g. USA and USSR




    Size countries with a large land

    USA is the 3 rd largest

    World’s largest country with

    area tend to have greater natural resources and extend their influence over a larger number of neighbours

    country with land over 9 million km2

    land area over 22 million km2

    Economic strength in 2007, the 12 largest economies earned

    Managed as a democracy and had a free-market (capitalist)

    Promoted communism and the economy was state controlled

    around 2/3rds of the world’s GDP

    approach to the economy

    and control investment

    Contains 776 of the largest

    • - determine economic policies


    which effect the globe

    Dollar is the world reserve

    Culture spread of Americanisation across the globe Religion religious leaders can influence politics through their beliefs e.g. contraception

    currency Rapid growth in film and television industry helped to convey a positive image on USA and its high standard of living.

    Tried to sell itself as high culture with ballet, music and art. Very tight censorship so no criticism allowed.

    Population countries with a large population are important as economic growth cannot be sustained without sufficient number of workers

    250 million live in USA

    World’s 3 rd largest with over 285 million at the time of its breakup

    • - cheap workers can help promote economic growth

    • - large populations encourage

    economic growth through markets

    Resources countries with resources necessary for economic development should have

    Land contained valuable minerals, metals, forests and a modern agricultural and

    Huge amounts of oil and gas (2 nd largest economy)

    significant power

    industrial system (World’s

    greatest economy)

    Military strength countries with

    The world’s largest and most

    Had the largest land based army

    a large military force are seen as

    powerful navy and one of the

    and the world’s largest stockpile

    more power but also the types of weapons are important e.g. nuclear weapons

    two most powerful air forces in the world

    of nuclear weapons

    How patterns of power change over time

    Named Example: The rise and fall of the British Empire

    The British Empire was founded on exploration and sea power as its royal navy dominated the seas from 1700-1930s. There were 3 key phases:

    Phase 1: Mercantilist (1600-1850) = small colonies set up on coastal islands e.g. Jamaica with focus on trade including slaves. Phase 2: Imperial (1850-1945) = whole conquest of territories, religion and culture spread e.g. cricket. Governments set up to rule the colonies and complex trade networks. Phase 3: Decolonisation (1945 - ) = After 2 nd World war the UK was bankrupt and could not support the empire as before. Growth of anti-colonial movements e.g. India some colonies granted independence.

    Britain still maintains a superpower legacy and has control over 14 overseas territories e.g. Falkland Islands. The Commonwealth contains 53 states (former British colonies) that cooperate in common interests.

    Named Example: collapse of Communism

    The causes of the collapse were reforms in the USSR in 1985 by President Gorbachev which increased freedom of speech and allowed private ownership of small businesses. As these reforms spread there was soon an open revolt against the communist system and the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 ended the symbol of separation of the Cold War superpowers. The USSR collapsed in 1990 when the communist party gave up its monopoly on power. This led to the breakup of the entire country as countries such as Latvia and Georgia broke away into independent nations.

    Named Example: The Rise of the BRICs

    These are Brazil, Russia, India and China as they show:

    • - Strong economic growth

    • - Large populations

    • - Access to key resources e.g. fossil fuels

    • - Market economies

    • - Regional power and influence

    It is expected that the USA will see a decline in its power, especially in relation to China

    Theories for the growth of Superpowers

    Modernisation theory Rostow 1960s Aimed to explain the dominance of the British Empire and USA. Rostow believed that as these were the first countries to experience the Industrial revolution this gave them an initial advantage over other regions. He believed that countries moved through 5 stages of develop.

    Theories for the growth of Superpowers Modernisation theory – Rostow 1960s Aimed to explain the dominance

    Dependency Theory Frank 1971 Countries become more dependent upon more powerful, frequently colonial powers, as a result in interaction and development. This is because the colonial power often exploits the resources of its weaker colony as the colony becomes more dependent upon it. However, the rise of the NICs argues against this as they are examples of countries that have developed, however some of these did receive huge economic support and aid from the USA.

    World Systems Theory Wallenstein 1974 This treated the whole world as a single unit broken down into the core (MEDCs), periphery (LEDCs) and the semi-periphery. It also allowed change to take place as countries began to develop.

    Theories for the growth of Superpowers Modernisation theory – Rostow 1960s Aimed to explain the dominance

    Named Example: China vs. India

    World Systems theory would suggest that industrial capitalism was born in Europe and that the rise of India and china is another stage of the growth and spread of the global economy. Dependency theory however would see the current growth as a shift back to an older world order when India and China were powerful economic forces as Frank believed Britain and other European powers were the first NICs.

    Path to development:

    China state-led industrialisation and intensification of agriculture but largely cut off from the rest of the world. India Home-grown technology with high import tariffs, still however mainly a rural society.

    How power can be maintained

    Superpowers have shifted the maintenance of their power from colonial rule to indirect neo-colonial rule. Following the end of the colonial rule, decolonialisation occurred but brought about conflict rather than immediate freedom for 3 main reasons:


    Colonial boarders did not match religious or ethnic boundaries

    2) Colonies had a government but indigenous people were excluded from running them so therefore when the colonial rule was removed there was not enough experience 3) As colonial powers left, insurgents pushed them out = violence

    Named Example: Colonialism- India

    In India today there are still symbols of colonial power such as the residence of the governor-general of India in Delhi. Culture was also spread through British traditions such as cricket, tea drinking and the English language. India became modernised so that the economy could serve Britain more effectively e.g. the building of railway system improved transport and trade but allowed efficient military transport to put down rebellions. Independence was granted in 1947 but this plunged India into a period of chaos.

    Neo-colonialism refers to a form of indirect control over developing countries, most of them former colonies. In this direct political control decreased whilst economic control increased through:

    • - Economic dependence on primary goods issues created with trade as these goods have low export prices compared with high prices the developing world must pay for manufactured goods

    • - Economic dominance of multinational companies foreign direct investment e.g. manufacturing

    located in developing world allows for big profits for TNCs but low wages and skills for the developing world

    • - Impact of foreign aid and debt developing nations pay huge sums in interest which often exceed aid receipts

    • - Strategic alliances USA for example allied with many developing nations to spread their global influence, often by means of foreign aid

    • - Aid – often given with ‘strings attached’

    Named Example: Neo-colonialism in Ghana

    In 1957 Ghana gained independence from British colonial rule and in recent years has been seen to be making progress in economic and social indicators. For example GNP has risen from $5.7 billion to

    $14.9 billion in the last 20 years.

    However Ghana is still very much influenced by external factors,

    perhaps identifying an example of neo-colonialism?

    External factors:


    Commodity markets in London and New York

    • - Cocoa prices depend on global demand which may vary

    • - Competition with Ivory Coast for cocoa. If prices in Ghana are too high, buyers will purchase for lower-priced countries

    2) Overseas Tariffs

    • - EU import tariffs are much higher for processed cocoa than for raw beans. This means

    Ghana is better off exporting raw cocoa beans as import costs are lower and they would make

    more money

    • - Means that Ghana is unable to develop its own processing industries as most of this is done in

    Europe = loses out on value added

    3) WTO

    • - Before 1995 Ghanaian government subsidised its farmers to encourage them to stay on the land and grow food for their growing cities

    • - Ghana then joined the WTO in an attempt to increase its global trade

    • - WTO imposed joining condition that the Ghanaian farmers could no longer be subsidised

    • - Farmers could no longer compete with imports of heavily subsidised foreign food e.g. EU tomatoes are cheaper to buy then home-grown ones

    Role of superpowers on international action and decision making





    Monitors the economic and

    44 governments originally now 185. USA = 17%,

    Monetary Fund

    financial development of

    EU=25.7%, Africa =1%


    countries. Lends money to countries facing difficulties

    Reflects USA concerns so lent to countries

    World Bank

    Gives advice, loans and grants to reduce poverty and promote

    threatened by communism. Can impose conditions Similar to IMF. USA = 16%. Bad reputation in 1970s for financing projects that caused environmental damage and created debt. MDGs!

    United Nations

    economic development Prevents war and arbitrates on

    192 members in 2008. Most influential


    international alliance in the world

    World Trade

    international disputes. Trade policy, agreements and

    All countries get 1 vote but votes never actually


    settling disputes. Promotes

    just through mutual consent with biggest


    global free trade

    markets deciding outcome. Allows subsidies for USA and EU!

    North Atlantic

    Military alliance between



    European countries and the



    The G8

    Meetings about global policy direction for western democracies

    Represents 65% of global GDP but 14% of population. Very restricted membership

    Davos Group

    Swiss based non-profit

    Business CEO’s, political leaders, Media,

    foundation to discuss business and profits

    celebrities No official status but attended by presidents

    Nature of trade and who controls it. Does this maintain global power?

    The WTO established a series of trade agreements since the 1950s which have resulted in huge growth in trade and wealth:

    Removal of taxes and tariffs on imports

    Removal of quotas on imports

    Removal of subsidies for domestic producers

    This has therefore seen the growth of areas such as Asia e.g. China and India but the decline in Africa’s share of world trade as the international trade is mostly in the hands of TNCs who have decided not to invest in Africa and in Asia they have developed free trade zones which attract more investment.

    However the idea of free trade for some countries is an illusion as trade takes place between trade blocs e.g. EU and NAFTA. Thos countries not a member of a trade bloc still have to pay tariffs and quotas etc.

    Finally developed nations also control innovation and technology which are not shared with developing nations. 75% of fees/royalties go to three main powers, USA, EU and Japan.

    Superpowers cultural influence Americanisation

    Global culture has been seen as a way to spread a superpowers influence. The USA is seen as the most powerful force in cultural globalisation.

    Named Case study: McDonaldisation

    Opened in Des Plaines in 1955 with a profit for the 1 st day at $366.12 and has grown to having $41 billion in sales

    Adapting to different cultures:

    • Portugal only country where soup is served

    • Pakistan McArabia and the spicy chicken burger

    • Saudi Arabia no pork products sold as against Islamic law. All meat is halal

    • China all drinks were in china cups



    Encourages developing nations to export their crops when most children are undernourished

    2) Use lethal poisons to destroy vast areas of the Central American rainforest to create grazing pastures for cattle (800 square miles of forest per year needed to keep McDonalds supplied for paper for 1 year)

    3) Workers in catering do not have a specific union so little help with disputes 4) Forcing indigenous tribes from their native lands

    However, McDonalds have also donated over $180 million to McDonald’s Children charities and claim

    to donate more money than any other commercial enterprise in the USA ($50 million each year)

    The impacts on Water, energy, environment and land demand of the rising superpowers e.g. China

    Impact on resources:

    • Energy rapid rise in oil prices in 2007 and 2008 leading to oil being pumped out quicker than new reserves can be found = PEAK OIL

    • Environment – China and India’s ecological footprint may be similar to those of the EU and USA by 2040

    Named Case Study: China an emerging superpower

    Rapid economic growth in China has been achieved at high environmental and social costs:

    Environmental Costs

    Social Costs

    • China is going through industrial revolution in

    • Rural population still in poverty

    a compressed timeframe resulting in it being

    • 20% of population live on less than $1 a day

    the largest contributor to C02 emissions

    • Child labour used in some factories

    • 16 of the top 20 most air-polluted cities

    • Housing in some parts of Beijing were

    • 2003 air pollution blamed for 400,000 deaths

    demolished to make way for Olympic facilities (300,000 evicted)

    • 30% of China suffers from acid rain due to emissions from coal-fired power stations

    • During the Olympics the authorities banned non-residents from being in the city e.g.

    • 1/12 th of people rely on the polluted Yangtze

    • C02 emissions in 2006 more than 6.2 billion tonnes (increase of 9%)

    • 70% of China’s rivers and lakes are polluted

    beggars, mental illness

    river for drinking water

    • Beijing’s pollution levels are 3x higher than

    safe WHO levels

    Although China’s stature and power are growing it needs to look to resolve some of its environmental

    and social costs to ensure long-term sustainability. China is however one of the few countries trying to tackle their issues e.g. rapidly increasing their forest cover, wind turbines and solar panels.

    The impacts of the rising new superpowers on the old superpowers

    Recently the emergence of the new superpowers has been seen as an opportunity as the EU, Japan and USA have experienced economic growth and falling consumer prices due to the explosion of

    economic activity in NICs and RICs.

    It is thought however, in the future that the USA will become

    less dominant and that shortage of fuel, food and water will lead to conflicts.

    Named Example: Russia the rebirth of a superpower

    In the past 20 years Russia has uncovered significant reserves of both oil and gas which adds to

    Russia’s global power. Russia currently supplies 25% of EU gas and is the largest producer of natural

    gas in the world.

    Russia has also developed links with China as Asia’s cities need to switch to less

    polluting natural gas. Russia’s nature resource reserves have also allowed it to growth in confidence:

    • In 2006 Russia cut off gas supplies to the Ukraine for 3 days and in March reduced supplies by 25%

    • In August 2007 Russian submarines planted 2 flags on the Arctic seabed claiming sovereignty over a large area

    • Russian gas supplies to Ukraine and EU cut off in 2008-09

    Named Example: USA car industry

    The USA car industry has shrunk since 1970s due to lack of investment and a failure to compete with Japanese car technology. In 2000, car sales in the USA were at 17 million but this has declined in 2007 to 13 million. In 2008, the top five best selling cars in the USA were Japanese. Chinese car industries are also beginning to launch themselves onto world markets and it is thought that by 2015 Geely will produce 1.7 million cars per year.

    Implications for the Majority world (Less developed countries) of the new superpowers

    Some periphery nations have gained economic independence through 2 ways:


    Nationalisation state has taken control of the company or its land owning

    2) Cartels formation of cartels e.g. OPEC

    Named Example: OPEC an oil cartel

    The organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) was created in 1960 to counter oil price cuts from American and European oil companies. In 1979, the OPEC countries produced 65% of the world oil but only 35% by 2007. There were concerns that they had reached peak oil but it has allowed them to control the price of oil within a range of $22-28 per barrel. This means they control the amount of crude oil they export to avoid flooding or squeezing the international marketplace. The profits made from oil have allowed member countries to invest and diversify their economies and to generate wealth over the past 40 years. It has also ensured that countries maintained favourable relationships with the OPEC countries and that the Middle East would be involved in economic cooperation and development with industrialised countries.

    Named Example: China’s investment in Africa – Colonisation or development?

    The growth of the emerging powers has been seen by many to provide the developing world with new opportunities to develop. Chinese companies are investing in Africa to help exploit and export raw materials:

    • - Around 30% of all used in China comes from Africa

    • - In 2007 Chinese investment in Africa totalled $30 billion

    However many believe that China has little interest in developing Africa; they are just wanting its resources. This is because most investment goes to the governments, TNCs and Chinese companies, and not to the local people. Much of the infrastructure has also been built by Chinese nationals and not local people. China now has:

    • - 45% ownership of oil field in Nigeria

    • - Minerals investment in Zimbabwe

    • - $175 million invested in copper mining in Zambia

    Shifting power may lead to tensions

    Although the USA and Europe are allies there still remain cultural tensions between them. USA attitudes tend to focus on individual provision of healthcare and education, are more overtly religious and are concerned about being number one! Europe has a stronger emphasis on the welfare state, more liberal attitudes and is more family orientated.


    This is a growing feature of the 21 st Century and tends to be located in areas where the involvement of the USA and other countries are seen as directly opposed to the interests of Islam and Muslims by extreme Islamic groups. It is mostly directed toward the USA, with the biggest attack being the 9/11. Many people in the world believed the USA deserved the attack as they ignored international agreements for example the world criminal court in which they refuse to have its own citizens stand

    but wanted war criminals prosecuted. They had reduced its aid to the poorest nations and supported political regimes where it suited them e.g. Kuwait.


    In 2002 the invasion of Iraq was thought by many Europeans to be less about removing Saddam

    Hussein and this alleged weapons of mass destruction but about ensuring the USA had access to Middle East oil supplies. The USA drawn-out attempt to restore a form of peaceful, functioning

    government in Iraq undermined the USA’s international status.

    The Future

    There are 4 main cultural world views which are present in the emerging powers; American corporate capitalism, European liberalism, the Islamic world and Chinese Confucianism. There are various

    possible scenarios


    Multi-polar world USA remains the most powerful but less dominant superpower but rise of

    China and India 2) Arms race possibly nuclear in the middle east and east Asia if tensions cannot be resolved 3) Resource nationalisation rising tensions as oil and water run short and there is a dash for new resources 4) Decline of Europe and Japan due to rapidly ageing populations 5) Resource rich powers (Russia, Middle East) will challenge the political and economic order

    What questions have been asked?

    ‘The tensions between today’s superpowers are economic rather than political’ Discuss. (10)

    To what extent have the ways of maintaining power changed over time (10)

    Suggest and justify a set of criteria for defining what is a superpower (10)

    Examine ways in which superpowers exert their influence (10)

    Evaluate the factors which lead to superpower status (15)

    Using examples, assess the view that the relationship between the developed and the developing world is a neo-colonial one (15)

    Assess the view that economic development in not possible without causing environmental degradation


    Using figure 4 - explain how membership of International Organisations gives some countries political and economic power (10 marks)

    What questions have been asked? ‘The tensions between today’s superpowers are economic rather than political’ Discuss.

    Referring to examples discuss the factors that cause power to shift between superpowers over time


    To what extent is the USA’s superpower status threatened by the emerging power of the BRICs (Brazil, Russia, India and China)? (15)

    With reference to Figure 3 and your own knowledge, explain how the USA maintains its superpower status. (10)

    Figure 3 The USA abroad: aid, McDonalds and military bases

    With reference to Figure 3 and your own knowledge, explain how the USA maintains its superpower

    US overseas aid: the top 20 receiving countries

    McDonald’s restaurants around the world

    USA military presence around the world

    Topic 5: Bridging the Development Gap

    What do I need to know?

    • How the development Gap can be measured

    • Theories on why the gap exists

    • The role of different Key players on development

    • General physical, economic, political and social causes of the gap

    • Role of trade and investment in the development gap

    • Social, economic and environmental impacts of the development gap

    • Impacts on minority groups

    • Impacts on Megacities

    • The positive and negative impacts of countries trying to close the gap on migration and the environment

    • Theoretical ways of reducing the development gap

    • The advantages and disadvantages of methods of closing the development gap

    Key Terms:




    Refers to gifts or repayable loans made by one country to another Meaning segregation, used to describe a political and legal system used

    Bilateral aid

    in South Africa to separate different ethnic groups Foreign aid (in the shape of money, expertise, education or technology) from a single donor to a country

    Bottom-up development

    Occurs at a community level – people’s needs are indentified and local


    projects are designed to meet them High-cost industries such as mining where machines do most of the work and few jobs are created

    Debt service

    Payments of interest, plus a proportion of the original loan, which are required in order to pay back a debt over a given period of time


    Means ‘change’ and implies change is for the better


    Development gap Formal economy

    The social and economic disparity between the wealthy and the poor The economy that is regulated by the state so is taxed and monitored by the government.

    Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

    The value of goods and services produced in a country over a year.

    Gross National Product (GNP)

    Like GDP but includes overseas investment such as shares and earnings

    Human Development Index (HDI)

    for overseas companies and branches. Created by the UN to provide a measure of life expectancy, education and GDP for every country in the world.

    Informal economy

    All economic activities that are neither taxed or monitored by the government


    Refers to repayable loans used to develop a country but with an expectation of a share of the profits e.g. when TNCs invest in a factory

    Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)

    Agreed at the UN summit in 2000, 8 goals were agreed to provide a set

    Multilateral aid

    of development goals for the world to reach by 2015 Aid given from alliances for several countries or organisations to another

    Multiplier Effect

    An effect in economies in which an increase in spending produces an increase in the national income and consumption greater than the


    amount originally spent Idea that market exchange is capable of acting as a guide for all human action. State interventions are minimized including the obligations for


    the state to provide for the welfare of its citizens The employment of people overseas to do jobs previously done by

    people in the home country


    Per capita Purchasing Power Parity (PPP)

    Per person Shows what per capita income will purchase when the cost of living is taken into consideration

    Structural Adjustment Programmes (SAP)

    Re-scheduling loans to make them more affordable

    Tied Aid

    Where foreign aid benefits the donor in the shape of interest

    repayments, access to new markets or political allegiance.


    Top-down development Trade liberalisation

    Development projects are made by governments or large organisations Also known as ‘free trade’, removing barriers such as duties or customs

    How the development Gap can be measured

    • Gross Domestic Product total value of goods and services produced by a country in a year. Does not take into account the way in which the cost of living may vary between countries. Also only average figures which do not tell the way in which wealth is distributed within a country or how the government invests the money it has.

    • Human Development Index (HDI) measures life expectancy, educational attainment and GDP per capita. These are converted to an index which has a max value of 1.0

    • Gender related development index (GDI) measurement of overall achievement for both men and women in the 3 factors measured in the HDI

    • Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) established in 2000 to reduce global poverty substantially by 2015. Measurement of progress is based on 1990 figures.

      • Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger

      • Achieve universally primary education

      • Promote gender equality

      • Reduce child mortality

      • Improve maternal health

      • Combat HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases

      • Ensure environmental sustainability

      • Develop a global partnership for development

  • Development Cable identified that in order for a country to develop there are key developmental factors that interact. The outer strands are the outcomes of development and are integral to development

  • How the development Gap can be measured  Gross Domestic Product – total value of goods

    Theories on why the gap exists

    Rostow’s model (Modernisation Theory)

    Stated that a country passes from underdevelopment to development through a series of stages of economic growth. He thought that capital should be transferred from developed to developing countries to assist development. Did not take into account factors such as high rates of population growth or political changes

    Theories on why the gap exists Rostow’s model (Modernisation Theory) Stated that a country passes from

    Poverty Cycle

    Idea that less developed countries are trapped in a continually cycle of poverty because of a lack of money and low incomes. Did not take into account the rapid economic growth of countries like China, India and South Korea. Also does not consider the amount of foreign aid or loans from international banks.

    Dependency Theory (Frank)

    Countries like the USA control and exploit less developed areas of the world. This produces a relationship of dominance and dependency which can lead to poverty and underdevelopment.


    Theories on why the gap exists Rostow’s model (Modernisation Theory) Stated that a country passes from

    Countries are becoming increasing connected and interdependent at a global scale. Global flows that connect places involve the movement of people, capital, technology, ideas and information.

    Debt In the last 50 years, many poor countries accepted loans from rich countries and interest payments on loans affect development as they put pressure on the financial situation in the country. Debt is also an issue due to corruption within developing countries’ governments which divert loan money from the intended target and trade barriers imposed by developing countries which make it hard for poorer countries to export their goods.

    The role of different Key players on development






    Impact on development in developing countries Aim to prevent the disruption of international financial system so



    countries can renegotiate through the IMF the terms of debt and


    impose conditions called ‘stabilisation programmes’ which often


    World Bank

    hinder the development Provides investment for economic and social projects to improve standards. Conditions attached to the loans hinder development and