Friday, 25 April 2008

Malaria in conflict

Conflict causes 30% of malaria deaths in Africa.
In 2007, 26 million people were driven from their homes by conflict. The effects of climate change - and conflict over limited resources like water, food and land - mean that every year, many people are likely to be forced from their homes. They often end up on land which has been abandoned because of the risk of malaria, or forced to live in over-crowded camps with poor health services, water, food and shelter.
In these situations, malaria is at its most deadly: frequently, more people die from the disease than the actual violence!
Insecticide-treated bed nets have a vital role to play in preventing malaria. But nets don't work so well if, like many displaced people, you have no bed, and no home. Malaria prevention, diagnosis and treatment require intensive, local information gathering which is often extremely difficult when people are still migrating or when violence is rife.
Read the rest here.
Another good article here for revision for Int 2 and Higher here

Recycle the sunshine

Interesting idea here to keep roads ice free in winter. Is this better than using salt on roads. The old question of how drivers of salt-spreading lorries get to work could soon be answered under government plans to recycle summer sunshine collected by Britain's roads and use it to keep them ice-free in winter. The Highways Agency plans to install pipes underneath a section of road to gather solar energy in summer and recirculate it in winter. Experts hope the scheme could be a way to treat the roads which are the first to freeze. Listen to the podcast here and see if you think it is useful? All I can see is roads now flooded when these pipes burst and water is wasted – am I just cynical? Full article here.

Hydrosphere revision

A little reminder of this site. We may get a chance to use it in class on Monday but time is tight before your NAB on Tuesday.

Don't forget to use the labels on the right here to help you revise. Look at the lithosphere one and Higher Coasts. Lots for the Hydrosphere and Atmosphere too. (for Int 2 as well!) We haven't finished the Biosphere yet so there isn't much chance of this one appearing. No more hints!

Thursday, 24 April 2008

Climate Change Revision

Great video here highlighted by Tony Cassidy. Many thanks. Bit sexist but I’ll forgive this time!

A few more videos to be seen here on Cooltube.
and this page summarises lots of good stuff. Explore the rest yourself.

Map Games to fill your time

Try these ones – just for fun. There are some “help” maps below you can link to to make these easier. Make them as hard or as easy as you like.

Help maps here.Roll the mouse over the map to get the names you need.

Geospy Game
Good one here for revision for S4 and S5 and a bit of fun for the rest of us. Have a go and see how good (or not!!!) you are.

Cities at Night

Amazing pics by NASA here. You can see more at this site. Look at the grid iron pattern of roads in Chicago and Denver.

Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Earth Day

You may see the Google logo today is different. The title tells you why. Try to find out what this is all about.

Cool stuff!

Iceland's energy answer comes naturally.
Iceland is the only country in the world that can claim to obtain 100% of its electricity and heat from renewable sources. The glaciers and rivers of the interior of the country are harnessed to generate 80% of the country's electricity needs through hydropower, while the geothermal fields provide up to 20% of the country's electricity needs. Geothermal water is used to heat around 90% of Iceland's homes, and keeps pavements and car parks snow-free in the winter. Geothermal energy in Iceland happened by accident. In 1907, a farmer in west Iceland took steam from a hot spring that ran below his farm through a concrete pipe and into his house several metres above. A few years later, another farmer became the first Icelander to use hot spring water for heating, and extensive distribution of hot water to heat homes began in the capital in 1930. Geologists say that Iceland has barely scratched the surface of its geothermal energy potential.
Read the full article here.

Africa plans biggest dam project

A plan to build the largest and most powerful hydroelectric dam in the world is being discussed in London. The scheme in the Democratic Republic of Congo would generate twice as much energy as China's Three Gorges dam. It is hoped it will boost Africa's electricity supply by a third, but objectors say it will not help the poorest Africans. They still have no electricity. In order that construction can start as planned in 2014, the World Energy Council is calling for study to be done as soon as possible. The Grand Inga project would be built on the Congo river alongside two hydroelectric schemes which are there already and is expected to be working between 2020 and 2025. This is not a new idea. The idea for the project was first discussed in the 1980s, but political unrest in the DR Congo meant that the plans could not proceed. Will this be the solution to African poverty? Read the rest here.

Monday, 21 April 2008

No to Wind Turbines

Plans to build one of Europe's largest onshore wind farms in the Outer Hebrides were formally rejected today after Scottish ministers ruled the £500m scheme would devastate a globally significant peatland. Read why this was rejected here and about the loss of jobs to the area too. Good argument for adv higher in an exam question.

Orang-utan protest

Environmental protesters dressed as orang-utans today staged demonstrations against Unilever to highlight the destruction of the Indonesian rainforest. A Greenpeace report says companies that supply Unilever with palm oil are destroying the Indonesian rainforest. Read here.

River processes

Gapminder video
Great one here on the contrasts between EMDCs and ELDCs. Only 4 mins long too!
The Interactive section of this site is brilliant for Higher, Int 2 and S grade. Take your time to look at all the different “bits” and read all the graphs. You never know what graphs they will use in the dreaded exams!!!
Use the maps in the Gapminder World section and play about looking at different countries. Check out the rapid progress of China and India in recent years and compare especially to USA and the UK. Look at some African nations too as well as Brazil. Lots to see.
This video shows what life is like in some slums. Not pleasant but good revision folks. Hope you realise how lucky we ALL are in Britain.

Coastal Erosion

Look at the excellent photos on the guardian here to show this process and read about what is proposed for the future here – very controversial!

Global Warming worse than Stern report said.
Listen to the podcast here on this as a bit of S4 revision and good for everyone else too or you can read the article here.

EU set to scrap biofuels target amid fears of food crisis

Under the proposals, to be turned into law within a year, biofuels are to supply a tenth of all road vehicle fuel by 2020 as part of the drive to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 20%. Britain has set its own biofuels targets, which saw 2.5% mixed into all petrol and diesel fuel sold on petrol stations in the UK. The government wants to increase that to 5% within two years, but has admitted that the environmental concerns could force them to rethink. The target is being strongly criticised by the commission's own scientific experts and advisers to the EU. "The diversion of crops to fuel can raise food prices and reduce our ability to alleviate hunger," warned an agricultural scientist. Germany recently announced a retreat from its biofuel policies. Read the full article here.

Biofuel rules 'could make millions homeless'
The aid charity, Oxfam, has warned that 60 million people in Asia, Africa and South America are threatened with possible eviction to make way for "green" fuel plantations, whether palm oil, soya or sugar cane.
Article here

China – Worlds Worst Polluter video

English at its best!

I loved this one! Nothing to do with Geography but............
A woman, without her man, is nothing
A woman: without her, man is nothing.
Rising sea levels threaten to flood many of the islands in the fertile Ganges delta. Across the delta, homes have been swept away, fields ravaged by worsening monsoons. Lying one-third in India and two-thirds in Bangladesh, the Sundarbans are where two of Asia's biggest rivers, the Ganges and the Brahmaputra, widen and flow into the Bay of Bengal. Read the rest here.

Wednesday, 16 April 2008

Biofuel Essay help

Lizzie - some help here with this article to help you explain the Brazil situation. Hope it is easy to understand! Independent article here.
Another one here to look at too! Might be a good idea to read others bits on this page.

Sunday, 13 April 2008


Gordon Brown raised fresh concerns about the impact of biofuels yesterday, as he put rising food prices on the world agenda by writing to fellow G8 leaders to prepare an international package on food scarcity.
More here and other articles too here.
Independent article here.

Higher Physical NAB revision

2 good sites here useful for NAB revision and exam revision a little later.

1 here for the Biosphere. We will be looking at this after Easter in the last section of the course.

Tropical Storms

Tropical Revolving Storms... also known as:- hurricanes in the USA and Caribbean- cyclones in India, Bangladesh and other parts of southern Asia- typhoons in Asia Pacific (esp. Japan)- willy-willies in Australia...are large storms (300-400 miles across, and 5-6 miles high) rotating round areas of extreme low pressure.They occur between 5o and 20o N and S of the equator (Coriolis force nearer to the equator is too weak to cause the storm to rotate) where sea surface temperatures are 27oC or greater.There's a nice summary from the Met Office here, an animated guide from the BBC, and you might like to have a look at Towers in the Tempest which looks at how "hot towers" cause hurricanes to intensify.Plenty of info also from the National Weather Service and the National Hurricane Center.As well as understanding how TRSs form, you need to know about the effects they have, and how these are likely to be different in countries/regions at different levels of development.
Hurricane Katrina
hit the south-eastern USA in August 2005. It is believed to have killed about 1500 people, and with the cost of damage estimated to have been about $300 billion, was the most costly disaster to hit the USA.
The Met Office have put together a very good case study page here which looks at the physical impacts, human impacts and responses, and also has a set of activities for you to have a go at.
There are lots and lots of other sources of information available - one of the best is probably the BBC's In Depth Guide and it's well worth spending some time investigating this properly.
This "Storm Viewer" shows the track of Hurricane Katrina, but also shows you how the pressure, wind speeds and precipitation changed with the development of the hurricane. Various similar animations of other hurricanes here.

The world's first wind-powered mega structure

Skyscraper powered by wind

Quite honestly I think this is fantastic. What do you think? I don’t think it will catch on in Maybole though!

Weather revision S grade

Weather maps and symbols.

Yes I know this is in German but you can see the current weather data for the UK on this site Good to use along side the BBC site. Check and see if they match!
BBC Weather site
Killie weather webcam!
Glasgow George Square webcam
This site gives you access to lots of webcams over the UK. Big borother is watching you!
And heres one in Europe too. Dream of your summer hols!

Brazil makes 'rainforest' condoms

Making love might not seem like the most obvious way to save the world's largest tropical rainforest - and combat the threat of Aids.
But according to the Brazilian government, which this week opened a £10m condom factory deep in the Amazon jungle, it could be an effective weapon in the battle to stop the chainsaw damage of Amazonia.
The Brazilian government has begun producing condoms using rubber from trees in the Amazon. The Brazilian government has one of the biggest programmes in the world to distribute free condoms in the fight against the disease. The latex will come from the Chico Mendes reserve, an area named after the famous conservationist and rubber tapper who was shot dead in 1988 by local ranchers.
The factory will benefit at least 500 families and provide 150 jobs . Read here and here.

School Uniforms

Schools offered uniforms made from old bottles
Britain's first line in completely recycled jackets and trousers goes on sale next week from an outlet in Yorkshire which previously pioneered the waterproof, odour-resistant blazer. The Ecosmart range is intended as just the beginning of ex-bottle clothing in schools. Read here for the full article.

Sunday, 6 April 2008

What happened to Global Warming?

Global temperatures are set to drop slightly this year according to the world's leading meteorologist. La Nina makes an impact. Interesting news item here from the BBC. Watch the video here. There is a definition of La Nina here to help you understand.

Health in EMDCs

In just 10 years, a child born in the west of scotland will die younger than a child born anywhere else in Europe. Good case study to use in exams here.
Scotland's DREADFUL reputation as the sick man of Europe is confirmed today with the publication of a major new study that reveals some of the poorest areas of eastern Europe will shortly overtake our levels of life expectancy. Death rates among young Scots men are rising due to violence, suicide, drugs and alcohol, a pattern that is not repeated elsewhere. And a higher rate of middle-aged women in the west of Scotland are dying because of cancer, heart attacks, stroke and liver disease.
Many of the factors directly contributing to this poor health - such as smoking, too much alcohol , obesity and poor diet - are well known.

In about 10 years time, the west of Scotland will have the lowest life expectancy of all the regions, while residents in the poorest areas in Poland and the Czech Republic are expected to be living longer.

Read carefully here.

Thursday, 3 April 2008

Higher, S grade revision

Some good animations here for revision of S grade river features. (Ignore all the rest S4 as your course is different. Highers / Int 2 - Look at the rivers and coast links and Higher only - use the Atmosphere links too. Plenty to keep you out of those Kirkmichael parties!

Link here
This one is good too although again a slightly different syllabus to ours.
A reminder also of S-cool here and the English GSCE Bitesize site as well as the Standard Grade and Higher Bitesize sites for Scotland. Use them all folks!

Wednesday, 2 April 2008


Thanks to Geography and All that Jazz for highlighting this National Geographic video. Even the Americans are getting the message but this doesn’t mean we can stop now.

Amazing penguins

Loved this spoof BBC video from 1st April. Great stuff!

Try looking on Youtube for thefamous spaghetti tree April Fools joke as well if you have time. Classic!