Part 2. Consequences of Global Climate Change

Conceptual Understanding

Key Question:

​What are the effects of global climate change on places, societies and environmental systems?

Key Content:

  1. Climate change and the hydrosphere, atmosphere and biosphere, including:
    • water stored in ice and oceans, and changing sea level
    • carbon stored in ice, oceans and the biosphere
    • incidence and severity of extreme weather events, including drought
    • spatial changes in biomes, habitats and animal migration pattern
    • changes to agriculture, including crop yields, limits of cultivation, soil erosion
  2. ​Impacts of climate change on people and places, including health hazards, migration and ocean transport routes

Synthesis, evaluation and skills opportunities

The uneven spatial distribution of effects and uncertainty about their timing, scale and impacts for individuals and societies.

Thursday 10 and Tuesday 15 November 2022

1. Climate change and it’s impact on WATER stored in ice and oceans, and changing sea levels


Discuss the causes and consequences of the changing balance between water stored in oceans and ice. 

Lesson 1. Impacts on ice in the ocean and on land (Google Doc)

Task 1. Watch the animation linked below and use it to complete the tasks in the Google Doc linked above.

Now watch the two videos below to consolidate your understanding. Add to your notes any important information.

Task 2. Study this article from New Scientist and this one too.

Make notes on the content of both articles including the common misconceptions that exist in this field of research. 

Task 3. The North West & North East Passages. 

Lesson 2. Mapping The West and North East Passages (Google Doc)

Open the document above. On the first map, mark on the location of the following global shipping ports.

  1. Rotterdam.
  2. Yokohama.
  3. San Francisco.

Now draw the shipping route between Rotterdam and Yokohama (Suez Canal), Rotterdam, and San Francisco (Panama Canal) as a red dashed line.

On the second map mark on the routes taken by ships on both the Northwest and Northeast passages. Use the diagram below to help you do this.

Finally, go back to the first map and mark these new routes with a different colour. 

Task 4. Much of the news out there rightly cites the negative impact of sea level rise on the world, however, the video to the right hand side studies the implications of ice melt on improved shipping routes in the Arctic. 

Watch the video below and then read the article from the BBC followed by this article from the Independent.

Whilst doing these tasks, you should take notes on the implications (both positive and negative) of this new shipping route on future trade and geopolitical relations. 

​Use screenshots from the video as well as graphics from the news articles to illustrate your notes with key data, route and emissions. 

Task 5:

Use the video below to take notes on why sea level rises are recorded to be much higher in certain parts of the world (like New York) than others. It may help to take some screenshots of crucial parts of the video to help revision at a later date. 

Thursday 17 November 2022

2. Climate change and it’s impact on CARBON stored in ice and oceans, and the biosphere.


Discuss the causes and consequences of the changing balance between carbon stored in ice, oceans and the biosphere.

What is the Biosphere?

The biosphere, also known as the ecosphere, is the worldwide sum of all ecosystems. It can also be termed the zone of life on Earth. It is one of five main spheres found on Earth (see below).

  1. Biosphere
  2. Atmosphere (Troposphere, Stratosphere, Mesosphere, Thermosphere, Exosphere).
  3. Cryosphere
  4. Hydrosphere
  5. Geosphere (Lithosphere and Asthenosphere)
Spheres of the Earth poster in 2021 | Earth's spheres, Earth science  activities, Earth science

Starter: Spheres Quizizz!

Task 1: Watch this excellent video from the team at ‘Time for Geography’ which introduces the carbon cycle.

Main Task:

Choose one of the following two activities…. (either Activity A or Activity B)

Activity A. Download the document below and save it to your folder for this unit of work.  Complete the following tasks using the information contained within the 12 pages. 

Lesson 2. Activity A. The Carbon Cycle (PDF)

  1. Outline where in the world carbon is present.
  2. What is the name given for a store of carbon and what is the name given to the movement of carbon between two stores? 
  3. Give an example of three of these movements in the cycle then make a brief copy of figure 1 on page 1 of the document. 
  4. How does the carbon cycle link into the atmospheric energy budget (think back to our first lessons in this unit of work)? 
  5. Outline the relationship between carbon sources and carbon sinks. 
  6. What does the abbreviation ‘pg’ refer to and how it is calculated? 
  7. Create a spider diagram/bullet point list showing the four major carbon pools with a 50 word max explanation of each including pg data.
  8. Create a further spider diagram / bullet point list that shows the five natural carbon fluxes.
  9. Make note on how human activity can cause fluxes to occur focusing on fossil fuel combustion and land use change. 

Activity B. Using the worksheet linked below and this weblink, complete the activities set out. 

Lesson 2. Activity B Worksheet (Google Doc)

Tuesday 22 November 2022

Geography in the News!

2. Climate change and it’s impact on CARBON stored in ice and oceans, and the biosphere.

Starter: 5, 4, 3, 2, 1…

5 – layers of the atmosphere

4 – of Earth’s spheres

3 – major carbon sinks

2 – benefits of the melting of the Arctic sea ice

1 – definition for the long term carbon cycle

Evidence Board Activity

Using the evidence board resources below, complete three separate factsheets (see the template below) that show the impact of climate change on carbon emitted by ice (glaciers), oceans and the biosphere. 

Evidence Board Template (Google Doc)

Evidence Board #1. Ice (Glacial Retreat)

Florida State University Article

Evidence Board #2. Oceans (Acidification)

NOAA Article

Evidence Board #3. Biosphere (Deforestation)

Guardian Article

Rainforest Alliance Article

Wednesday 23 November 2022

3. Climate change and it’s impact on BIOMES, Habitats and Animal Migrations.

Starter: What is a Biome?

Biomes are based on the geography and climate of a particular region. Therefore, a biome is a geoclimatic zone that is identifiable on a global scale and includes things such as plants and animals.

There are generally thought to be TWELVE major global biomes. TEN of these are terrestrial biomes (they are located on land), ONE is the ocean biome, and ONE includes freshwater biomes.

Terrestrial Biomes:

Using the map and the cards that you have been provided with, locate the ten different terrestrial biomes on the map, and match the descriptions to the correct biome.

Task 1. Impacts of Climate Change

Create a table with the following headings:

  1. Biomes
  2. Habitats
  3. Animal Migrations

Watch the following video clip and make notes under the three headings in the table on how climate change is impacting the three areas.

Read the following PBS Article and Science Article and add further notes to your table.

Tuesday 29 November 2022

This is a continuation from last week’s lesson…

Watch the following video and add to your table (the Biome column) how climate change is killing the Boreal Forest.

Task 2. Global Biome Research Task

Using the sites linked below and your own research, present the impacts of climate change on a biome of your choice. Include in your presentation at least the following:

  • Examine the impacts of climate change on the biome including: the physical environment, habitat and animal migration.
  • Develop a sense of place by using maps in your presentation.
  • Examine the scale of the impact in terms of the local, regional and global impacts.
  • Assess the level of importance of different impacts.

Resources List:


We are going to have a timed test next Wednesday 07 December 2022.

These are the questions:

  1. Briefly outline how the natural greenhouse effect operates (2 marks).
  2. Explain how the global energy balance can be changed by:
    • (i) solar radiation variations (2 marks)
    • (ii) global dimming due to volcanic eruptions (2 marks)
  3. Explain two reasons why sea-level change may result from global warming (2 + 2 marks).
  4. “Albedo changes and feedback loops are the most significant natural cause of climate change.” To what extent do you agree with this statement? (10 marks). OR
  5. “Climate change has had the greatest impact on the ocean biome as opposed to terrestrial biomes.” To what extent do you agree with this statement? (10 marks).

You can plan your responses to these questions, but cannot bring your plan to the lesson.

Thursday 01 December 2022

4. Climate change and it’s impact on the incidence and severity of EXTREME WEATHER EVENTS, including drought


Study the graph below:

  1. Describe the change in the number of recorded hazards events
  2. To what extent does climate change explain this pattern?
  3. What other factors do you think might explain the increasing trend?

Task 1. What does Climate Science say?

So what does climate science tell us about the links between climate change and extreme weather and what impact is this likely to have on future events? Is science making progress on the attribution of any one extreme event to climate change?

Lesson 5. What does the Climate Science say? (Google Doc)

Use the Google Doc above to take notes on the information from this website about increasing extreme weather events. You should then use the links below to access news reports of recent case studies which give examples of these events.

Heat waves – Canadian Heat Dome June 2021

Storms and floodingFlooding in BC November 2021

Fires – Canadian Forest Fires

HurricanesHurricane Harvey Texas 2017

Task 2. Drought

Watch the series of short videos below (note that LIC / MIC / HIC impact) and outline how climate change may be attributed to an increase in severity and number of droughts around the world.

​Record your notes for the first three videos on the note taking framework below.   

Lesson 5. Drought Note Taking Frame (slides presentation)

You should also refer to this real-time map that shows global distribution of severity of drought events. 

Task 3. Are we running out of water?

Time to get comfortable and spend 23 minutes listening to this particularly excellent BBC Inquiry episode. 

​”We cannot survive without water. But for a quarter of the world’s population, there just isn’t enough. The most vulnerable are those with the least access, and even if there is enough, it’s often in the wrong place”. 

Listen to the podcast and complete the quotes activity and 100 word summary tasks outlined in the document below. Click the link below to access the podcast. 

Lesson 5. Are we running out of water? (Google Doc)

BBC Podcast

Tuesday 06 and Tueday 13 December 2022

5. Climate change and it’s impact on AGRICULTURE, including crop yields and soil erosion

Task 1. Agriculture and Crop Yields

Using the blank world map template and the Guardian infographic (see below) create a map of the impacts of climate change on agriculture and crop yields. Include the following on your map:

  1. Show regions where agriculture may benefit and crop yields increase
  2. Show regions where agriculture may suffer and crop yields decrease
  3. Identify hotspot regions where severe impacts on food production and are most likely
  4. Identify the changes to cultivation that may occur

Guardian Article

Task 2. Soil Erosion

Watch the video linked below and complete all of the tasks in worksheet linked below.

Lesson 6. Soil Erosion (Google Doc)

Task 3. Climate Change and Increased Soil Erosion

Read the statements below about climate change and soil erosion. In a google document, write the statements out into a 9 card diamond ranking (see example diagram below) to show the most important factors causing increased soil erosion to the least important.

Ensure that you explain your reasoning for your top three most important statements, and your bottom three least important cards.


  1. Heavier rainfall events leading to increased run-off
  2. Increased frequency and severity of heat waves
  3. Loss of organic matter reducing soil moisture retention
  4. Loss of vegetation cover, leading to soil exposure and reduced transpiration
  5. Increased number of droughts
  6. Population pressure leading to overgrazing/overcultivation
  7. Poor land management
  8. Lowering of the water table
  9. A fall in freshwater supply, due to loss of glacier fed streams and lakes

Homework: The Soil Solution to Climate Change

Watch the documentary below and make notes on how soil can be part of the solution to climate change.

Tuesday 10 January 2023

6. Climate change and it’s impact on HUMAN HEALTH, and HUMAN MIGRATIONS.

Human Migrations:

For Climate Change and its impact on Human Migration we are going to study climate refugees in Bangladesh. This is a forced movement of people caused by the rising sea levels and more intense typhoons. We have alreasy studied this case study in our first unit of work (Population Change). To refresh your memory please visit this link.

Human Health:

  • Climate change is the single biggest health threat facing humanity, and health professionals worldwide are already responding to the health harms caused by this unfolding crisis.
  • Climate change affects the social and environmental determinants of health – clean air, safe drinking water, sufficient food and secure shelter.
  • Between 2030 and 2050, climate change is expected to cause approximately 250 000 additional deaths per year, from malnutrition, malaria, diarrhoea and heat stress.
  • The direct damage costs to health (i.e. excluding costs in health-determining sectors such as agriculture and water and sanitation), is estimated to be between USD 2-4 billion/year by 2030.
  • Areas with weak health infrastructure – mostly in developing countries – will be the least able to cope without assistance to prepare and respond.
  • Reducing emissions of greenhouse gases through better transport, food and energy-use choices can result in improved health, particularly through reduced air pollution.

Task 1.

Take some brief notes from the videos below on the likely health hazards that humans will face resulting from climate change.

Task 2.

Visit this weblink.

The report outlines 7 key ways that climate change will impact human health:

  1. Temperature related deaths and illness.
  2. Air quality impacts
  3. Extreme events
  4. Vector-borne diseases
  5. Water-related illnesses
  6. Food safety, nutrition and distribution
  7. Mental health and well-being

Choose ONE of the areas above that interests you most and take some time to read the key findings for the chapter related to that area. Make a short summary of the key findings in your notes.

Synthesis – Impacts of Climate Change

Task 3. Using the world map read the climate change headlines of 2022.

  1. Place them around the template world map in the correct location
  2. Classify the impacts under the following headings (colour them and the location according to the headings)
  • Water stored in ice and oceans, and changing sea levels (light blue)
  • Carbon stored in ice, oceans and the biosphere (orange)
  • Incidence and severity of extreme weather events, including drought (red)
  • Spatial changes in biomes, habitats and animal migration patterns (green)
  • Changes to agriculture, including crop yields, limits of cultivation, soil erosion (yellow)
  • Changes to human health (pink)
  • Change to human residence and migrations (purple)
  • Solutions to climate change (dark blue)

      3. Draw a line connecting different headlines and annotate your line to explain the connection

Homework: Answer the ‘Check Your Understanding’ questions on page 450.