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Most models of climate change predict a gradual and sustained increase in sea level over the next century. Examine how the geographical impacts of such a rise might vary from place to place.

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The Three Gorges Dam: Is it worth the trouble? Question: "The potential benefits from financial growth and commercial development greatly outweigh any potential drawbacks". Do you agree? The Three Gorges Dam is a hydro-electric power project started in 1994 by China to provide one-seventh of the total electricity supply produced by the country which will make it the largest hydro electric project in the world. The proposed dam will be 185m high, with a lake behind it, 600km long and 1.1km wide costing US$40 billion when completed in 2009. The project has been built on China's Yangtze river, the river is 6,300km long which makes it one of the longest rivers in the world, the distance is also the same as the distance between the UK and USA. The Dam is set to put China on the world map and save them millions of pounds compared to other energy sources such as coal or oil, but there are more disadvantages to this project than many people seem to take in to account. ...read more.


The design of the dam would have to allow for ships to be raised by a series of locks alongside it. This will further increase the costs of the project and it will slow down the import-export trade for china if they do not put on locks for the ships to go through. Tourism is also being developed in China. Among the areas that would be flooded are the gorges themselves, considered to be spectacular scenery. Considering that China has quite a big tourism industry losing some of its visitors would be a great loss to the economy of the country. The dam would also flood over 12,000 cultural and archaeological sites; if the dam is built 20,000 fossils will need to be rescued. Even though this does not affect the economy of the country it does affect the heritage of China as well as the heritage of this Earth. As well as the social and economic disadvantages the dam could bring there may also be a problem in the fact that the dam may actually collapse. ...read more.


This dam has been built to the highest standards and another collapse seems very unlikely as this dam is such a high profile project. The dam has also been protected against earthquake intensity 7 and analysis shows that the maximum earthquake in the region should not exceed 6. The standards of this dam seem to be much higher than any dams before and collapse is seemingly impossible. In conclusion the Three Gorges project in theory should be highly successful for now and the future and it definitely is a step in the right direction. But there are many social problems in the project such as the re-allocation of the citizens and environmental issues such as keeping the great scenery of the three gorges. The final decision is up to the Chinese government and if they make the right decisions in terms of supporting their people and acting on moral values I can see this project being a blue-print for alternative energy projects around the world. Nathan Ranamagar 6S3 17th November 2004 Geography, Ms. Franks ...read more.

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