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Geography / Year 10 / Geographical Knowledge and Understanding / Unit 1: Environmental change and management

View on Australian Curriculum website Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority
Curriculum content descriptions

The application of systems thinking to understanding the causes and likely consequences of the environmental¬†change¬†being investigated¬† (ACHGK073)

Elaborations
  • describing the nature of the environmental change and its effect on the sustainability of environmental functions
  • examining the interconnections between biophysical processes and human actions that generate environmental change, together with the consequences of these changes
General capabilities
  • Critical and creative thinking Critical and creative thinking
Cross-curriculum priorities
ScOT terms

Reasoning,  Biogeochemical cycles,  Environmental impact

Video

Carbon sinks release carbon dioxide

Carbon from the atmosphere can be taken up and stored in oceans, soils and trees. These are known as carbon sinks. This clip will help you to appreciate where and how carbon is stored, and the way human actions can result in releasing carbon to the atmosphere. It is all about the carbon cycle.

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Make no bones about ocean acidification

Extra carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is posing a real problem for the world's oceans. It's leading to ocean acidification and coral reefs are the big losers. See how acidification of the water leads to less calcium carbonate, a vital ingredient corals use to build their skeleton. Watch this clip to find out more.

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Ocean change affects symbiotic relationship

Polyps are the miniature architects of coral reefs. Find out about the relationship between polyps and an alga, Zooxanthellae. How does each benefit and what causes the coral to eject the Zooxanthellae with often devastating results? View the clip to find out.

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Time to act on climate change

Could human activities push the Earth's climate to breaking point? Find out why concentrations of atmospheric carbon dioxide are reaching critical levels and how we can lessen future climate change. View some of the evidence and claims presented in this clip.

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Summer bushfire fears

Unseasonably warm weather leading up to the start of the 2013 fire season was an ominous sign. This clip from September that year investigates how technology is used to better predict the likelihood of bushfire, as well as helping firefighters bring blazes under control.

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How will fire change the climate?

Considering the impact of a changing climate on the severity and frequency of fires is one thing, but how about the impact of fires on climate? Why does Professor David Bowman describe this scenario as a 'fire spiral'? What are the consequences of a world with fewer forests? As Professor Craig Allen explains, drought and ...

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Damming the free and mighty Mekong

The Mekong has been a rare thing: a largely untouched and free-flowing river. Stretching for nearly 5,000 km from the mountains of Tibet to Vietnam's Mekong Delta, it has provided a way of life for millions of people and been an important trading route between south-western China and south-eastern Asia. In this clip from ...

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Cotton on to why the Aral Sea is disappearing

The Aral Sea began to disappear after rivers were diverted to provide water for cotton irrigation schemes in Central Asia. In this clip you will learn why past governments made significant environmental modifications in this region.

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Environmental implications of new Cotter Dam

A new, larger wall is being constructed at Canberra's Cotter Dam. It will markedly increase the dam's storage capacity and help to ensure the sustainability of Canberra's water supply. However, important environmental work has been taking place behind the original dam wall. This clip investigates techniques used to carefully ...

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Analysing carbon dioxide

Dr Paul Fraser has been part of the Greenhouse Gas team at the CSIRO for over 40 years. His team measures the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, by taking and analysing air samples from different locations around the world. Paul explains that there are a number of versions of carbon dioxide, made up of different isomers ...

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Melting permafrost: a sign of climate change?

Until recently, evidence led scientists to think that Arctic permafrost was melting at a much slower rate than is the case now. During climate change talks, a stark warning was sounded that permafrost thawing could push the Earth's climate past a tipping point. In this clip, find out a bit more about permafrost melting ...

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The Mekong: a damming example

The government of Laos has plans for many revenue-raising dams along the Mekong River. Find out about a dam, the Nam Theun 2, which was completed in 2010 and lies across the Nam Theun river in the Nakai Plateau. This clip from the same year asks if the dam could be the flagship for others to be built along the Mekong. Discover ...

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Oceans are the great providers

Did you know that the world's oceans provide the oxygen for every second breath you take? While oceans represent the largest habitat on Earth, they remain relatively unexplored. What is clear is that the oceans play a major role in shaping life on this planet. Watch this clip and prepare to be amazed!

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Spawning dams, not fish, on the Mekong?

The Mekong is the largest freshwater fishery in the world; however, this may be about to change. Discover in this 2010 clip how migration of fish species along the lower Mekong may be impeded by the proposed construction of dams along this mighty river. Do the economic benefits of the dam outweigh the potential loss of ...

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Are ocean waves increasing in size?

Evidence suggests that our climate is changing, potentially affecting our world in different ways. This clip explores a growing interest in the relationship between changes in atmospheric circulation patterns and the height of ocean swells around the world. Find out how a variation in wave heights may affect Australia's coastline.

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Coral reefs fading fast

Coral reefs represent a unique partnership between two separate organisms. It's an amazing symbiosis that has thrived for millions of years. But right now, the effects of climate change threaten the reefs on a global scale due to coral bleaching. Find out what causes this phenomenon and the significance of carbon dioxide ...

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Can coral reefs survive?

Coral reefs are one of the world's most diverse ecosystems and they're often called the 'rainforests of the oceans'. Find out where the world's coral reefs are concentrated and why they are so important for marine life, the coastal environment and people. Also discover some of the threats to coral reefs around the world.

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Hawkesbury River: tourism and river health

The Hawkesbury-Nepean river catchment provides a useful example of river management issues. This clip shows conservationist canoeists completing their journey along the Hawkesbury River in the 'Source to Sea' project. See what's being done to protect a fragile ecosystem of the river: seagrass. Find out how increased demand ...

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Understanding the causes of climate change

Did you know that climate change is not a recent phenomenon? In the past, natural events led to changes in the climate. Although natural events still affect climate, they're not enough to explain the big changes we've been seeing in the last 150 years. What changes on earth can account for such dramatic changes to our climate? ...

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Yucatán Peninsula: sustainable tourism

The Yucatán Peninsula in south-eastern Mexico is a popular tourist destination. This clip focuses on examples of sustainable tourism - tourism that aims to have a low environmental impact. View Tulum, a town under threat of being developed similarly to Cancún, a major tourist resort destination.