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University Degree: Environmental & Physical Geography

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  • Marked by Teachers essays 1
  1. Environmental Management. The London smog of 1952 is one of history's most important air pollution episodes in terms of its impact on science, public perception of air pollution, and government regulation.

    Sensitivity analysis reveals that only an extremely severe influenza epidemic could account for the majority of the excess deaths for this time period. Such an epidemic would be on the order of twice the case-fatality rate and quadruple the incidence observed in a general medical practice during the winter of 1953. These results underscore the need for diligence regarding extremely high air pollution that still exists in many parts of the world. On December 4th 1952 an anticyclone settled over London.

    • Word count: 2833
  2. Global Warming. Due to too much information, there are many conflicting views on whether human activity is leading to climate change and further to global warming. Warburton (2001) explains: The consequences of global warming are unclear and have cau

    Warburton (2001) explains: "The consequences of global warming are unclear and have caused much controversy (p.57) Whereas, Ian Stewart (2007) warns us of the dangers of global warming and climate change. He explains that humans operate on a different timescale to the planet. In changing this world we are altering every environment that allowed our species and civilization to flourish. Just like the dinosaurs, we can't cope with sudden change. This time it is us, not dinosaurs who are top of the food chain.

    • Word count: 2807
  3. Critically assess why it is difficult to accurately forecast the amount of anthropogenic climate change we can expect to see by 2050

    to 377.38 ppmv in 2004 (Keeling, C and Whorf, T, 2005) accounting for 55% of total anthropogenic emissions. (Andrews, J et. Al, 1996:181) According to Manahan, "Carbon Dioxide is increasing by about 1ppm per year." (Manahan, 1991:341) Methane (CH4), a component of natural gas has seen increases from 0.7 parts per billion during the pre-industrial period to 1.7 parts per billion (Manahan, 1991:341). Highlighting that; "Methane is going up at a rate of almost 0.02 ppm/year" (Manahan, S, 1991:341) accounting for 15% of total anthropogenic emissions. (Andrews, J et. Al, 1996:181) This is a small but significant increase as 'CH4 is 20-30 times more effective at trapping heat compared to CO2'.

    • Word count: 2117
  4. What are the main factors that should be considered when performing a programme of ecological restoration?

    When endeavouring upon a programme of restoration most of the decisions should be made in the planning stages. This paper trys to explore the best ways on making these decisions, and then goes onto explain the reasoning some decision might be made and in reference to what. I have also advocated the post monitoring stage in chapter 3. The plan: Do's and Dont's Deciding on a site has many complications, and landscape ecology must be taken into account. Proximity to neighbouring site similar to the desired target habitat may be invaluable (Richardson et al 2000,Borgman 2005) as it allows for natural succession, but it could negatively impact on a site if exotic invasive species are a concern.

    • Word count: 2242
  5. Drawing on a range of sources, discuss what might be the 'core' of modern geography and comment upon the forces that are contributing to, or working against, intellectual fragmentation.

    In attempting to answer the question, 'What is the core of geography in the modern world?' it is useful to look at the ways that some academics choose to elucidate the definition of geography. This is proven by Johnston's assertion that geography, '... combines (physical and human) to provide a much-needed capability to study and understand interactions between people, and between people and the physical environments in which they live and upon which they ultimately depend, both locally and globally. This is the core of geography'. (Johnston, 1991, 2) Here the core is seen as human-environment focused with emphasis on the merging of the human and physical worlds.

    • Word count: 2164
  6. "The ISO 14000 environmental management series is a major step forward in corporate environmental management" Discuss with particular reference to the ISO 14001 EMS.

    Case studies are used in order to identify the positive and negative aspects of ISO 14001. ISO 14000 SERIES The International Organisation for Standardisation (ISO) was established in 1947 and is a non-governmental organisation. The series provides a framework for organising the tasks essential for effective environmental management.5 ISO 14001 is a specification standard published in 1996, which states the requirements for establishing an EMS. Its aim is to support environmental protection and prevent pollution in harmony with socio-economic needs.6The standard is similar to BS 7750, however, the wording is not as prescriptive as BS 7750 which allows for wider interpretation.7 The standard is intended to be applicable to all types and sizes of organisation, from anywhere in the world.

    • Word count: 2997
  7. Choose a public policy in Hong Kong and then discuss the most appropriate model for explaining the way in which the policy was made. Give reasons for your choice.

    The main argument of this paper is that the incremental model is the most appropriate one in explaining the Hong Kong government in making environmental policies. Incrementalism Levine (1990, p. 82) suggests, "incrementalism is the prevailing mode of describing and explaining decision-making in some government. Their public decision making seems as muddling through rather than as a comprehensive search for the best policy possible". So incrementalism basically refers to the decision makers take what they are currently doing as given, and make small, incremental, marginal adjustments in their current behaviors.

    • Word count: 2371
  8. Research On Environmental Degradation

    This project can be divided into three parts. Firstly, to what extent, three of the main costs caused by deteriorated environment, including air pollution, water pollution and land pollution, will be considered. Secondly, the harms brought by environmental problems can affect human beings to cause illness and death. So, the governments of some nations take actions to solve the problems that achieve some improvements. Finally, the relationship between environment and developing countries is brought out and analyzed that the utilization of pesticides, rapid increase of population and less widespread of public environmental awareness can been seen as the major important reasons for environmental deterioration.

    • Word count: 2634
  9. Critically examine the role of environmental legislation in the attempt to prevent problem shifting between environmental media.

    The recognition that a common environmental policy was required occurred in line with the public attitude. This resulted in the first Environmental Action Program to be implemented in 1973 following the United Nations conference on the Human Environment in Stockholm, 1972 (Holck, J´┐Żrgensen et al. 2002). The European Union since has operated an environmental policy that its member states must uphold; although as the initial formation of the Union was based upon an economic agreement, these early policies were merely aimed at building the single market with environmental protection rather than solely for the sake of the environment (Leveque 1996).

    • Word count: 2326
  10. We assume in economic theory that the preferences of consumers will determine their welfare.

    The Contingent Valuation Method (CVM) is a method of placing a monetary value on non-market ones; otherwise known as passive use values. The CVM is used to estimate economic values for environmental services. The method is essentially a direct approach - to ask people their valuation of an environmental good. This is done by asking what value they would be willing to pay for an environmental benefit, or willing to accept to receive as compensation to tolerate a cost. Evidently, people value environmental resources, and a valuation is needed if the resource is somehow violated, but because they are essentially public goods without a monetary market, we need to know what value we can place on it.

    • Word count: 2966
  11. "The tropical rainforest is the most complex ecosystem on Earth, yet human use of this precious resource does not reflect its ecological importance and immense biodiversity." Discuss.

    1.1 Abiotic components Abiotic components include non-living elements, such as solar energy, air, soil, water and nutrients. Tropical rainforests receive abundant solar energy as they are located in low latitudes. The annual mean temperature is about 27ºC. At the same time, the annual and diurnal range of temperature is rather small, about 2 to 4ºC only. For its moisture features, there is abundant heavy rainfall, usually over 2000mm. Figure 2 shows the climate graph of Manaus, a place in Brazil of and it shows the typical climate of tropical rainforest area.So the relative humidity is constantly high and seasonality is lack.

    • Word count: 2744
  12. Should humans should be responsible for preserving endangered species and natural resources?

    Even though President Roosevelt brought these environmental issues to the forefront during the early nineteenth century it is still very much an issue today. Due to our invasive behavior on the environment, it is society's responsibility to protect endangered species and conserve our environmental resources. An invasive species by definition is a species that is non-native to the ecosystem under consideration and whose introduction causes or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm or harm to human health (National Invasive).

    • Word count: 2140
  13. Analysis of the documentary "The Great Global Warming Swindle".

    A geneticist featured in The Rise and Fall of GM later said, ?I feel completely betrayed and misled. They did not tell me it was going to be an attack on my position.? (Monbiot) The style of the documentary can be compelling, but is also worthy of criticism. The use of clips with a variety of scientists and opinionated intellectuals aids to build the argument by relying on varied sources. The use of corny childish animations when explaining scientific processes can be called helpful or annoying.

    • Word count: 2888

Conclusion analysis

Good conclusions usually refer back to the question or title and address it directly - for example by using key words from the title.
How well do you think these conclusions address the title or question? Answering these questions should help you find out.

  1. Do they use key words from the title or question?
  2. Do they answer the question directly?
  3. Can you work out the question or title just by reading the conclusion?
  • Human impacts at the coast intended to stabilise a coast line can alos lead inadvertently to increased coastal erosion. Discuss

    "Conclusion There are many types of coastal defence schemes each of which have positive and negative affects on protecting land and property from the sea. Whatever man made features are made there is a good chance that they will interfere with the natural movements of beach sediments. This may lead to increased erosion in certain areas eventhough the structure was originally desighned to prevent this problem."

  • "The ISO 14000 environmental management series is a major step forward in corporate environmental management" Discuss with particular reference to the ISO 14001 EMS.

    "CONCLUSION The importance of the ISO 14000 series cannot be denied: 'This is a significant milestone in the whole area of business and the environment'58 ISO 14001 differs from many traditional environmental regulatory systems since it allows organisations to focus on environmental efforts against internationally accepted criteria.59Thus allowing progress to be made towards achieving sustainable development. It could be argued that the major attraction of the ISO 14000 series is its flexibility and its ability to capture the attention and backing of top management.60 However, the standard is not without faults. There appears to be a lack of trust when it comes to believing the claims of businesses regarding the environment and the existence of an audit privilege does not help alleviate such worries. Furthermore, it cannot be forgotten that ISO 14001 only provides the minimum requirements for establishing an EMS. That said, at least the standard has managed to get companies to pay attention and get involved in the environment."

  • Choose a public policy in Hong Kong and then discuss the most appropriate model for explaining the way in which the policy was made. Give reasons for your choice.

    "Among the decision making models, such as the rational comprehensive model, incrementalism, mixed scanning and contingency model, each of them have its own merits and drawbacks. There is no concrete conclusion to tell which one is the best in public policy making. Instead, it is mainly depending on the nature of the policy as well as the degree of urgency."

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