Wednesday, 20 June 2012

The End of A-Level Geography : (

Well as the 4B exam was yesterday (I hope it went well for everyone that sat it!), it officially marks the end of A-level Geography for us all. So, congratulations fellow students we have finished and teachers well, congratulations for surviving 2 years with us (especially Millie for putting up with my class as we weren't exactly an easy bunch)!!!

On behalf of all the Geographers at college, I would like to thank Millie, Nikki and Nick for all their help and support over the last two years; you really do make a great department! On a more personal note, I would like to thank all three for putting up with my endless questions and entertaining my enthusiasm which I realise probably became a great annoyance at times. Nikki, thanks for marking endless past paper questions and helping me make sense of human geography a bit more - hopefully I finally got my exam technique right and remembered to mention people - it helped me so much. Thanks Nick for helping me with 4B, an exam that I don't think I will ever understand but hopefully I have done better this time. And lastly Millie, well thanks for everything! You more than anyone has had to deal with my questions and my desire to understand stuff that the syllabus does not allow for. You have taught me so much in two years it is actually quite remarkable, whilst also giving me a passion for Geography which provoked me to totally change my future plans. I really could not thank you enough for all you have done for me, including getting me blogging!

I personally think this blog has been a success as it certainly has helped in a many ways, including improving my writing and my ability to recall facts/statistics; and I hope that other students have found it useful too. I think that what Millie has trialed and achieved with social media's incorporation into education is incredible! For me, I think it makes learning so much more accessible, extending it beyond the classroom and I feel that so many more students could benefit from it if it was to be extended to other subjects across college.  The benefits of what Millie has incorporated into her teaching could form an endless list, in my opinion, but it would be really great though to get some feedback what you think about this blog (and Millie's blog along with all the other social media stuff she has used, if you have used it) regarding if you have found it useful and why, any improvements you could suggest and if you would like to see this in other subjects etc. I know that Millie, myself and college would really appreciate this feedback. So if you have got a minute just leave a comment below, email or FB me - it is always great to know if someone finds this helpful!

Whats next for the blog though I hear you all cry!? Well, there is no way that I can survive the entire summer without doing anything Geography-related so I will probably write the odd post every now and again, so pop back from time to time if you too are missing Geography! Hopefully, if everything goes to plan, I should be off to university later in the year to study (you guessed it!) a Geography-related degree so as long as the university doesn't mind I will blogging about 'What I learnt in Geography this week.....'! Also, as all my a-level notes will remain on here, hopefully they will continue to help all students embarking on a-level Geography (best A-level to take in my opinion by the way!).

So thats it, the end of A-level Geography, it has gone so fast, and seems really wierd to think that I have no studying to do all summer. We have all worked so hard, so time to relax and and enjoy your summer - I bet we are all hoping for some lovely summer anticyclones, right!?!

Monday, 18 June 2012

Issues that the physical geograhy of the Himalayas presents to settlement and economic activity......

I bet many of you are getting fed up of saying "the Himalayas are a fragile environment", considering it the key issue underlining the AIB - more interesting than a bridge right!!! It is important to understand why it is fragile and how this has affected people; here are just a few examples but there are many more, let me know which ones you think are most important.....

- Very seasonal, therefore limits agricultural productivity by dictating vegetation. This has limited export potential in a region low on mineral wealth also, and restricted Nepal to low levels in both the Demographic Transition Model and Rostow Model of Development. Could be said that climate consequently restricts carrying capacity of the Himalayas.
- Not correct climate for early industries, like those that developed in the UK, as too hot and lack of water all year round
- Climate controls tourist season, especially that liked to trekking, making reliance on this industry more economically vulnerable
- Climate change in this fragile environment likely to make it more vulnerable
- Climatically controlled hazards such as flooding from glacial outbursts, with risk of flooding and landslides accentuated by deforestation as it reduces interception store and leaves nothing to bind the soil

- High altitudes and difficulties of the environment means only really trekking tourism is attracted, with lower Himalayas not accessible due to topography
- Altitude closely linked to climate
- Steep gradient makes settlements harder and mobability challenging, hence poor trade links, therefore more local industry and subsistence agriculture is depended upon ( = anti-globalisation!?!)
- Terracing of landscapes has been implemented to make agriculture easier

- Avalanches, especially on roads halt economic activity, severing any trade links due to limited infrastructure
- Mass movement destroys trekking paths, perhaps encouraging tourists to veer of set paths thereby increasing soil erosion in the fragile environment
- Flooding, increased by deforestation
- Such hazards in a LDC wipe out any existing development in the region, whilst making it very unattractive to TNCs and potential appending FDI crucial to initiating cumulative causation

Soils and Ecosystems
- Not a lot of soil! With morraines providing a surface for succession to occur upon but this process is slow
- Gradient is too steep to 'fix' soil, thereby limiting agriculture
- Great leaching of nutrients and erosion/washing away of topsoil
- Great variety of ecosystems, all very climate dependent, not that productive so offer limited benefits for local people

Consequential to the hazards and lack of benefits posed by the fragile environment to people and settlements, rapid urbanisation is occuring, again accentuated by population pressures. However, this is placing enormous pressure on limited resources and infrastructure, thereby hampering development. Practical Action's 'Sustainable Urban Environment' programme aims to help solve this by providing safe drinking water and improving waste management. It is based on building effective partnerships between local governments and NGOs. Education of locals is also key in ensuring sustainability so whilst raw materials required are provided, labour is covered by locals so that they understand how to build and repair the biogas plants and bio-toiliets. This scheme was satarted in 2009, helping 30,000 women and children in 8 settlements around Nepal. Approach taken provides oppurtunities for additional income-generation and socio-economic development to take place, through adoption of a community-managed, de-centralised approach. The use of appropriate technology is sustainable as locals can economically maintain it whilst PracticalAction provide education to do so. Therefore knowledge will be passed to the next generation to sustain the scheme which is helping development start from its grassroots level in small communities and helping solve some of the issues associated with rapid urbanisation that act as barriers to development in Nepal.

I have been asked to write a post regarding interpretation of the photos, so I will try and write that this evening but for now, good luck with the rest of your revision!

Fuelwood - Issues with usage, possiblities to reduce them in Nepal

Fuelwood is used by 80% of the 4.2 million  of the households in Nepal. However there are issues with this, similar to those seen in the Sahel. AT remains one of the best options, on a small scale, for Nepal but HEP, if FDI is provided, could go a long way to accelerating development in the region. Many of you many remembering doing this in the Energy module last year, but just incase, here is a basic overview of fuelwood usage in LDCs.........

In LEDC’s fuelwood is a very important source of energy as it is readily available and can provide energy for both cooking and heating. It is estimated that 40% of the global population rely on fuelwood as a source of energy. Honduras source 65% of their primary energy from fuelwood and in many African countries this percentage is substantially higher (often over 90%). The reason that this is such a popular choice is that it is cheap and relatively sustainable. Also the use of fuelwood as a source of energy does not require communities to be connected to a national grid. This means that for remote communities it is often there best source of energy.

Theoretically, fuelwood is a sustainable source of energy as trees can be replanted to replace those used. This will maintain the amount of trees in a region. Although it will take a while for the trees to fully grow, as long as it they are not used faster than they can be replaced, it is renewable. This means that, if afforestation schemes are implemented, that fuelwood can be a sustainable source of energy.

Fuelwood usage in the Sahel 

Fuelwood is a major source of energy in the Sahel region. However, an already dry region has been made drier by the deforestation that has taken place as the reduction in transpiration has reduced rainfall. The removal of trees has means that there are no longer any roots to bind the soil and, as the soil is exposed, it becomes more vulnerable to soil erosion. The combination of deforestation, over grazing and over cultivation has led to desertification. Deforestation has also allowed for salinisation to occur. As the soil is no longer shaded from the sun, the antecedent moisture is evaporated and, the hot temperatures draw the salts out of the soil. These salts are toxic to most plants and after this has happened it becomes increasingly likely that crops will fail.  In the Sahel they have experienced a lack of rainfall since the 1970’s and famines (the largest one occurring in the 1980’s) because the land is not very productive and, as the population increases, there are more and more people to feed.  
To help to remedy the problems created by deforestation many charities have set up tree planting schemes and have provided ‘magic stones’ which are used to build walls and trap the nutrients so that crops can be grown. Fuelwood is mainly used to generate heat which is then used for cooking. Appropriate technology has been used to make stoves more efficient so that they consume less fuelwood and so reduce communities’ dependency on fuelwood as a source of energy. Another method has been to encourage families to use solar cookers instead as this means that they can cook food without using any energy source apart from the sun.

Fuelwood usage in Nepal

Nepal is situated in the foothills of the Himalayas and so experiences high levels of precipitation and snow melt. Deforestation is a big problem in Nepal and only around 29% of the forest cover remains. This is due to the fact the Nepal sources 87% of its domestic energy from fuelwood. The forests of Nepal are home to many animals and 2.9% of them are classed as being endemic, which means that they don’t’ exist in any other country and deforestation has led to the destruction of their habitats. As well as the other obvious environmental impacts, deforestation has had some social impacts as well. For example, the women, who traditionally gather the wood, now have to spend hours at a time looking for wood and cows have to be taken further afield to find grazing land. In turn this has escalated the deforestation problem as grazing animals often eat the tree seedlings before they have a chance to grow and as demand for fuelwood increases, in relation to population growth, the problem is spreading. The impacts of deforestation are not only felt in Nepal though. Deforestation has reduced the interception store and so surface runoff has been increased. This means that the risk of flooding in Bangladesh has been increased. Also, as there are not roots to bind the soil or trees to trap sediment, the risk of landslides has been increased.   
To try and reduce the deforestation problem in Nepal, biogas run cookers are being installed in rural areas. Most people leaving in rural areas own at least one cow and the idea is that  a system is installed that collects the methane produced when livestock manure decomposes and then the gas collected is used to light stoves. This not only reduces dependency on fuelwood as a source of energy but also has health benefits as the smoke produced when either fuelwood or dried dung is burnt causes many respiratory problems. Even the waste left behind can be utilised as it works as a good, natural, fertiliser.  Another project has also been put in place which aims regenerate the forests by promoting the planting of trees that are grown in tree nurseries by local volunteers.

If you look back at some of my AS posts from the Energy module, there wil be some stuff on HEP that you may find helpful if you need to refresh you memory....

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Presenting the data in 4B Nepal AIB

Hello everyone, I have had a request to go over the data representation specific to this AIB and fortunately there is not a lot of data so this post will be relatively short -  I hope the revision is going well!!!

Figure P2 - Climate of Kathmandu
Don't think this is the exact same data as in AIB!
Well there is only really one option for this one..... a climate graph!!! So the bars represent precipitation (in mm) and the line temperature ( in degrees C), therefore there are often 3 axis which all need to be numbers, with months on the x-axis. Not really sure what else to say about the climate graph other than it is good as you can represent both precipitation and temperature on the same graph which in the case of Kathmandu shows clear correlation between the two i.e the warmest month (July) is also the wettest, it is very easy to highlight peaks and easy to plot/read. Interestingly, if you compare this data set with the P3 (the number of tourists) the lowest number of tourist arrivals seems to coincide with the most 'extreme' weather, which could possibly be explained by looking at P4 at due to why people visit Nepal.
Figure P3 - Total tourist arrivals in Nepal, excluding Indians, per month (2007)

For this data set, a line graph is probably most suitable as it suugests conitinuous variation over time, something that is crucial when displaying tourist arrivals per month, but most importantly only continuous variation in one variable. Line graphs are visulally effective and easy to read sa peaks in the data are clearly visual. This therefore is more appropriate than stacked bar charts, which represnt a range if information which is not related, or a bar chart which suggests discontinuous variation. So to plot the line graph months of the year should be placed along the x-axis and number of tourist arrivals each month along the y-axis. On the y-ais I would use a false origin and start the scale at 15,000 and then go up in 5,000. After labelling bith axis, the data points in P3 should be plotted accordingly.

Figure P4 - Tourist arrivals in Nepal, by type (2007)

Now, I think there are two options for this one! First up is a pie chart which can be used to show the share total value of something. They are visually effective but difficult to read and accurately assess the percentages, whilst also not offering raw values - although to compare something precentages are best to use. To construct a pie chart you need to first draw a circle! Then the data needs to be converted into percentages (divide the number by the total and times by 100), then multiply by 3.6 to convert it to degrees. You are meant to start at a vertical position and measure round clockwise from this point, and include a key. Another option is a stacked bar chart which shows a range of information on the same topic which is not necessarily related. This is an easier way to clearly compare date from different locations, and is less time consuming as can either be plotted with percentages or raw values. There is probably not a lot of difference between the two, but which ever one you pick you need to be able to justify why you picked that one. One issue though with the data in P$ is that there is significant overlap between the categories, with the possibility of a tourist being considered in more than one, therreofre it is debatable how reliable/significant trends shown are.
I realise that this sounds really patronising but I think the main lesson I have learnt from the Poole exam is that you have to explain things really well and write as if the examiner doesn't really know an awful lot when it comes to questions like 'how would you represent data in fig....?'. Therefore not only to do you need to know how to plot each one, but also justification for use. The above are the ones that Nick feels are the most likely to come up as are relevant to the data in the AIB, but briefly looking over other methods of representation may be a good idea. The main other skill that Nick has mentioned a lot is commenting on photos, perhaps talking about to what extent they show the Himalayas to be a fragile environment....remembering that labelling pictures is considered a geographical skill! A quick note on this, I would say that the pictures in the AIB and those referred to (probably a very good idea to look at those before Tuesday!!!) are arguably biased as not only were they taken by a tourist so show touristy places, and therefore regions damaged by tourism but they were also taken by a geographer who would no what to look for in regards to environmental fragility and damage. But they do still offer a good insight in Nepal, and considering we couldn't exactly go there on a fieldtrip, it is all we really have to rely on!
Anyway, I hope this was helpful, let me know what you think about this, and if you have any more requests....

Management of tourism in Lakshadweep - lessons to be learnt for Nepal???

Attempts to regulate tourism in Nepal are quite limited (mainly to Sherpas and paying tourists back deposits for returning with rubbish) and subsequently the environment has started to suffer. However there are other regions of the world that have started to successfully manage their tourim.....
Lakshadweep is a tropical island system, with environmental sustainability at the heart of its development. The heritage of ecology and culture is supported by an extremely fragile ecosystem, as with in the Himalayas. However Lakshadweep are committed to the cause of eco-tourism, following a middle path between tourism promotion and environmental conservation. The impacts of tourism on the environment is carefully monitored, ensuring that promotion of tourism is consistent with ecological concerns. It seems that an  effective strategy has been implemented to avoid excess pressure on  the environment, meaning that tourism does not exceed the carrying capacity of the islands.

In order not to adversely affect the physical environment promotion of tourism only occurs in those islands that can sustain it keeping in view the concept of carrying capacity. The facilities are developed in such a way that they do not result in loss of bio-diversity. No development is permitted in geologically unstable zone. Adequate buffer zones exist between development and the cf existing shoreline, including a ban on high buildings whilst all construction materials/methods are compatible with environment and height, shape and location of building merge with the natural vegetation.
All tourism development schemes are first analyzed from environmental impact point of view and only if they meet the norms in this regard implementation is taken up. EIA includes...

1 All proposed construction should have thatched roof or tiled sloping roof.
2 Only bio toilets to be installed as far as possible.
3 Rain water harvesting to be set up to conserve fresh water.
4 Use of Pump Sets should be minimized; the pump set in any case should have a cut off mechanism to ensure that water below the minimum safe level is not drawn.
5 Waste disposal system like incinerators for non-recyclable/non bio degradable waste should be installed and system of returning all non-biodegradable waste must be in position.
6 Minimum cutting of tress/ greenery and maximum plantation of trees, plants, shrubs and creepers.
7 Carrying capacity study of the island before taking up development in any uninhabited island
8 A regular system to educate tourists about environment fragility of eco system

Harsh environments are in some cases often the most fragile and Hawaii due to its tectonic setting can be described as quite a fragile environment. Living with geomorphological hazards is not easily and can be detrimental to the economy, therefore development but Hawaii, as with Iceland, have started to utilise tourism as a way to enable development in harsh environments. By 1966 in Hawaii, the tourism industry had overtaken the export of sugar and pinapples as the main source of income and since then, with the invention of the Boeing 747, this industry has boomed. An estimated 7,000,000 tourists visited Hawaii in 2009, with the average American tourist spending $180 a day and Asian tourists $250 a day. Tourism brings huge benefits to Hawaii such as:

- Provides 35% of the country's total revenue ($9billlion in 2009)
- Generates over 18,000 jobs, mainly in hotels, which represents over half the total employment of the state
- Income from tourism provides money to protect the environment as well as helping to pay for health care, education and social security on Hawaii
Similarities can therefore be drawn with Nepal as the tourism industry accounts for aruond 10% of their GDP, but most importantly provides a direct income for local people in an area where agricultural productivity is limited. However, there are also similarities between the issue associated with tourism's exploitation of the environment......

.....There are some issues with tourism linked to vulcanicity. Honeypot sites have developed around the volcanoes, which are not evenly distributed so overcrowded results, and the appending impacts of soil erosion and various forms of pollution are causing issues for the surrounding environment. Then greater pressure is exerted to increase size of visitor centres which only accentuates detrimental impacts. Management and strict guidelines, such as those imposed in the USA National Parks, can reduce the impacts but, especially in developing countries these are no legally enforced. How many people actually live by the rules, 'leave nothing, take only photographs'? Unfortunately for the delicate ecosystems many of us visit, not enough, so does this mean that it is not possible for true eco-tourism to exist in reality? Perhaps that is a topic for another blog post but whilst tourism can have social and economic benefits for an area, often without carfeul management and inforcement of legislation it can harm to environment and currently this is being seen in Nepal.

So, can Nepal learn any lessons from what has been done in Lakshadweep and Haiti? Well I definently think that carrying out an EIA would be a very good idea! To me I think the main issue at present is the number of tourists, which seems to exceed the carrying capacity of the Himalayas, therefore perhaps raising the cost of visas would reduce the number visiting Nepal each year. The difficultly is that due to lack of resources and minerals, tourism is crucial to this developing country and is likely to continue to be so unless TNCs relocate and provide FDI to kickstart other industry...... what is clear though is that something needs to be done to reduce the detrimental impact of tourism in this fragile environment.

What steps do you think need to be introduced? Let me know what you think!

Thursday, 14 June 2012

4B Nepal - An Introduction

Well I think it is safe to say that that exam wasn't much fun at all (bit of a disaster in my case to be honest!) but for many of you that will mark the completion of A-level Geography so congratulations!!! However, some, like me, can't get too excited yet as we still have 4B to do. Therefore over the weekend, I am going to try and write some 4B stuff up on here, so stay tuned, remember though that all the skills have already been covered back in January so I am not intending to go over this again, just click on the Geographical Skills tab to go straight there....
What better place to start than with the issue....
People are concerned about damage to the fragile environment and ecosystems because of tourism which has arisen because of the need to develop but might be resolved by appropriate technology and sustainable energy sources.
The AIB/issue present is based in the Himalayas, mainly in Nepal. The Himalayas are a mountain range in Asia that stretches from north India, through Pakistan, India, Nepal, Butan, Bangladesh, Myanmar and China. Mount Everest and K2 are located here as well as the Tibetan Plateau to the northwest. They are situated north of the equator and influence monsoon patterns. They are a fragile environment with 15,000 glaciers, even though they are close to the tropics, indicating the influence of altitude on climate. There are 6 parallel climate zones within the Himalayas mountain range which can be identified by their altitude, and therefore the vegetation that grows. However, fragility of the ecosystems increases with altitude.
Summary of 4B Nepal AIB Well that is a brief summary, hopefully I will find the time at the weekend to write up some more details before the exam on Tuesday but let me know if there is anything you would like me to focus on.....

Tuesday, 12 June 2012


Hello everyone!!! I suspect the nerves are starting to kick in so good luck to everyone doing the AQA A2 Unit 3 Geography exam! This is a rather late request from quite a few people so I thought I would quickly write it - last minute cramming always helps right.....

MONSOON = a large scale seasonal reversal in wind direction

This wind reversal is experienced in regions across the world but the most significant is the South East Asian Monsoon (this is our example of a climate in a tropical region) and is influenced by three main factors:-
1. Movement of the ITCZ - moves with regards to season as point of maximum insolation changes due to the 23.5 degree tilt of the Earth so ITCZ moves north of equator during northern hemisphere summer
2. Differential heating of land and sea which initiates pressure differences - land masses heat and cool quicker and to more extremes in relation to smaller heat changes over nearby seas; these differences are responsible for strength and direction of winds
3. Himalayas, which are high enough ot influence the general atmospheric circulation in the region

Summer: SW Monsoon = June - September
  • ITCZ dragged north
  • Low pressure over India
  • Land warmer than ocean
  • Coriolis deflects northerly winds to the east
  • Heavy rains move north along west and east coast
  • East rains deflected west due to Himalayas
  • Pattern of rainfall in summer monsoon is altered by topography. Western Ghats create rainshadow in central India, whilst Himalayas have same effect for central India
  • Some areas of SE India and Sri Lanka recieve rainfall in winter as winds pass over Bay of Bengal and gain moisture
Winter: NE Monsoon = October - May
  • ITCZ dragged south
  • High pressure over central Asia
  • Land cools rapidly
  • Coriolis deflects southerly winds to the west
  • Dry air dries further as it moves over Tibetan Plateau
  • Air warms as ut descends to the Indian Plains
- Monsoon in both retreat and arrival is stepped so Sri Lanka gets rainfall in early May whereas Pakistan in July. Retreat begins in September but does not reach Southern India until late November

Couple of facts.....
- 40C in May - average temperature is 30-35C year round
- 13000mm rain per year in Cherrapunji (well its spelt something like that!)
- 80% rain falls between June and September

Positives : )
- Very predictable!
- Relief from hot season as monsoon cools areas that reach 45C so cities have powershortages
- Reservoirs topped up
- Crop growth = stable diet is rice and Indian agriculture built around monsoons
- Monsoon clears out dust and pollution and rejunventates vegetation

Negatives : (
- Temperature restricts tourist season
- Droughts and issues with water supplies
- Flooding increases spread of water bourne diseases
- Restricts agricultural productivity
- 500 died in 1994 flash flood in Bangladesh

Monsoons and Global Climate Change
  • Half of global population rely on annual monsoon to bring water for agriculture
  • Variations of timing and intensity will affect billions of people
  • Frequency has increased 10% since 1950s and severe rains have doubled
  • Impacts of heavy rains i.e flash floods/landslides which then impact agriculture
  • Temperature increase of 3C means some areas get more rain, others droughts
  • Increase in malaria and cholera
Well I think that is about it for monsoons, well atleast I hope so as I don't think I really know anymore and the exam is tomorrow afternoon.

Good luck everyone!

P.S after unit 3 is out the way I will try and write some stuff for 4B at the weekend but remember all the skills stuff is already on here from January!

Thursday, 7 June 2012

Development and Globalisation Case Study Map

This is by no means a definite or complete list of case studies for the development and globalisation module but is a few facts from some different countries - there is plenty more that I could (and probably should!) add but unfortunately I simply do not have the time! However, hopefully it may still be useful - the countries are in no particular order... Let me know if you have found any other interesting case study facts!

Case studies are by no means my favourite thing to revise, so if anyone has found a more interesting way to do so then let me know, I know I am not the only one who would love to hear it! The timeline of the FB page is really good, especially for the tectonics module I think, so check it out if you are struggling with your case studies!!!


I have had lots and lots of requests for this one!!! I am going to try and explain it as best as possible but just shout if there is something I havent done so well - some of this climate stuff gets quite tricky so if you are struggling it is probably best to go to a workshop or ask on the FB page rather than just rely on what I am about to write, although I am hoping this is will stilll be useful!
Depressions form when two air masses with differing characteristics meet. Above the UK this is usually polar maritime (PM) air and tropical maritime (TM) air, which is seperated by the polar front.
Warmer, lighter TM air rises, because, being warmer it has a lower atmospheric pressure so is less dense. As it is warmer, it also carries more moisture than the cooler polar air mass and, as it rises, it cools and condenses and produces water droplets and consequently clouds. This is the embryonic stage and the depression moves in a north easterly direction, under the influence of the Polar Jet, whilst Coriolis establishes the anti-clockwise circulation that permits more Tm air to protrude into the depression. As the depression matures, warm air rises over colver air to the east so lower pressure is created, with adiabatic cooling of air. This adiabatic cooling forms high altititude clouds, followed by lower cirrostratus, altostratus and nimbostratus from which heavy precipitation for a long period of time occurs. Where Tm air remains in contact with the ground, indicating no forced ascent, skies remian clear and cloudless but the faster moving cold front, where strongest winds are generated, force cumulonimbus clouds that prodcude heavy precipitation. Once all the Tm air has been 'forced' off the gournd and the two fronts have caught-up with each other, occlusion occurs. This is marked by a decrease in cloud cover and wind speeds, after a period of steady light precipitation, and an increase in pressue which signifies the decay of a depression.

This is quite a good animation if you are a more visual learner. I think explaining depressions is easiest with diagrams like we used in class but I am struggling to find good diagrams

Knowing what weather is associated with each point also seems to be important and this is largely due to whether clouds have formed - the animation covers this quite well. When Tm touches the ground you get nice warm(ish!) weather, with clear skies so no rain. In complete contrast at the cold front where winds are strongest you get cumulonimbus clouds forms which bring the heaviest rainfall. During occlusion as high pressure starts to be created and moisture leaves, you get steady light precipiation and winds. The basic idea is that weather changes as a depression travels over an area and matures!
We also have to be able to find the three distinct stages on a synoptic chart - have a go with this one!
The very unscientific way I remember it is that:
                                   Occluded = icicles and suns are fully mixed
                                   Mature = icicles and suns may mix at top but are largely separated
                                   Embryonic = effectively a line of suns and a line of icicles

This is not an easy topic, but hopefully this helps - lets just hope that it does not feature too much in the exam!!!

A few brief TNC case studies....

Hello everyone - I hope the revision is going well; not long left now!!! Now, I realise that everyone, in my class atleast, did a different TNC case study as a research class, on top of the notes we made on Wal-Mart after watching that documentary, but a few people have asked me to write about a couple of notes on some TNCs - as well as Wal-Mart I have chosen Rio Tinto (that is the one my group did) and Unilever as that one is in the booklet.... I hope this is helpful!

--> 400 brands globally, with 35 in the UK
--> Everyday 160 million choose one of their products
--> Founded in 1930
--> Headquarters in both Rotterdam and London
--> Grown mainly by acquiring other companies
--> Has operations on every continent (apart from Anatarctia), with 264 factories and research labs worldwide

+ Committed to source all palm oil from sustainable sources by 2015
+ 50% tea sourced from Rainforest Alliance Certified farms
+ 1.6% carbon dioxide emission reductions between 2007-2008, and a 39% reduction since 1995
+ 63% reduction in water usage during production of products since 1995

- Mecury pollution
- Gas pollution in Brazil
- Testing on animals
- Use of child labour
- Workers in Dalda fired
- Buying palm oil form sources responsible for deforesting Indonesia

Rio Tinto
--> Largest mining TNC - major products are iron ore, aluminium, copper and gold
--> Operates on 6 continents with headquarters in London and Melbourne
--> 77,000 employees worldwide
--> Worth US$147 billion with a net annual income of US$15.2 billion
--> Are making the 2012 Olympic medals!!!

+ Implementing health and safety, education and sustainability in African mining projects as seen in Guinea
+ Supporting Guinea's Classifed Forest project
+ US$130 million to ensure sustainable water supply for iron ore mining in Australia, with excess water used to cultivate crops needed to feed 30,000 cattle

- Poor working conditions in Nambia and very low wages, leading to strikes both in LDCs and MDCs
- Uranium mine workers exposed to radiation levels 7 times higher than limit
- removed workers health benefits and any other benefits recieved by retired workers
- Contaimination of rivers in UK by posinous metals

- Created in 1962 and originally based in USA
- Largest non-oil based TNC
- Vast majority of production facilites in China where workers are paid less than $3 per weeks and production runs 24/7
- Employ 189,000 females in Bangladesh working in inhuman conditions
- Somthering assembled for $0.18 is retalied for atleast $14.96
- Exported $18 billion worth of goods from China to USA in 2004 alone
- Employs 2.1 million people worldwide, including 1,4 million i USA
- 9600 retail untis operating across 28 countries
- Serves 200 million customers a week
- In USA workers are unhappy with pay, hours and last of health insurance. They are facing lawsuits in 31 states across America for unfair treatment, exploitation of illegal immigrants and discrimination against women
- Fined $10.1 milloin in 2001 for water contamination in Texas