Atmosphere, weather and climate
1) Discuss the hole in the ozone layer by referring to:
i) The role that the ozone layer plays in protecting the earth from harmful rays from the sun
ii) The contributions that human actions has on increasing its size
iii) The effects that it has on the environment and human health
iv) The possible ways in which we could slow this process down
2) Discuss global warming by referring to:
i) The reason why it is also being referred to as a ‘green-house effect’
ii) Mentioning the factors that contribute to this phenomenon
iii) Mentioning the ways in could we slow this process down or even stop it from happening?
3) Explain how acid rain is being formed and the negative effects that it has on plants, birds and water systems. Explain why industrialization in one country can also contribute to harmful effects to the health of countries far away.
Structure and changing landforms of the earth
Compare the rate at which soil is being formed through weathering and the rate at which it is being displaced by erosion. Discuss ways in which erosion could be minimized. Refer to the following aspects in your answer:
i) Weathering (Climate: rainfall and temperature)
ii) Organisms (living in and on the soil)
iii) Parent material (rock from which soil was formed)
iv) Hunan impacts (agricultural practices, deforestation, roads and urbanization, climate change)
v) Prevention and remediation (increase vegetation, terracing, windbreaks, planting methods such as mixed cropping as opposed to monocropping)
People and Places: Population
1) Mention and discuss some of the negative impacts of urbanization in South Africa, such as:
i) Urban sprawl
ii) Higher costs of living – transport and energy requirements
iii) Ecological degradation leading to low quality living, unhygienic conditions and being prone to natural hazards such as floods and pestilence
2) Mention and discuss some of the reasons why migration from the SADC-States to South Africa happen such as:
ii) Land grabs
iii) Economic difficulties
iv) Ecological degradation of the environment
3) Mention and discuss why some young people would prefer life in the city to life in rural areas such as:
i) Increased unfamiliarity with traditional agricultural practices
• increased degradation of the land
• unpredictability of environmental disasters such as flood and droughts and pestilence
• better status attributed to people from the cities than those of rural existence
ii) Better opportunities for education, work, pleasure and to express individualism
iii) Increased competition from huge-scale agricultural ventures
iv) Ease of existence in the city as opposed to rural life
v) Housing subsidies
4) Mention and discuss stress factors that people migrating from rural areas to urban areas face, such as:
i) Alienation issues
ii) Increased financial burdens (daily life costs)
iii) Negative social aspects
iv) Increased disparities or class segregation
5) Compare traditional rural/village culture with the current urban culture. Discuss the cultural implications that rural-urban migration has on people by discussing:
i) Common bloodlines, intimate relationships and communal behaviour characterizing rural settlements
ii) Distant bloodlines, unfamiliar relations and competitive behaviour characterizing life in major cities
6) Explain why it might be good for the environment when many people live in a smaller area like a city while few live outside the cities and major towns, by discussing:
i) The micro-climate of urban areas
ii) Birth rates
iii) Opportunity for ecosystems to recover
7) Explain the negative effects that huge-scale agriculture and industrialization has had on the existence of middle-size farms and small businesses on rural South Africa, by discussing:
i) Rural labour market
ii) Rural education
iii) Less care for the elderly
People and their organizations
Ask the grade to identify a real environmental problem
• to investigate the causes and the extent
• who are responsible for the problem
• who is supposed to prevent these actions…
Then organise themselves for action in any method they choose e.g. a local pressure group campaigning where there is high visibility; contacting a non-governmental organization for assistance; or even a political organization.
Discuss legislation regarding pollution
Human nutrition, related diseases and allergies
1) Explain the importance of food to have nutritional value – (vegetables, meat, grain…).
2) Explain the role that the type and quality of soil plays in this regard.
3) Explain what is meant with ecological recycling as opposed to soil management styles of agri-business. Make reference to the following concepts:
• Organic farms
• Species being supported
• Food-web structure
• Nutrient recycling
• Protection of biodiversity
• Use of renewable energy
• Chemicals and fertilizers
• Genetic engineering
Environmental studies; Biodiversity, change and continuity
Some parts of the earth have more or less the same kind of a-biotic and biotic factors spread over a large area, creating a typical ecosystem over that area. Such major ecosystems are called biomes. Biomes may be defined by factors such as plant structures (such as trees, shrubs, and grasses), leaf types (such as broad-leaf and needle-leaf), plant spacing (forest, woodland, savanna), and climate.
South Africa’s climate varies greatly from west to east, from north to south and from the coast to the Highveld.
o The western parts of the country are drier than the eastern side;
o Rain falls in winter in the west but in summer in most other regions;
o Temperatures in the mountains and on the highveld are more extreme than along the coast.
These different climatic zones give rise to different types of vegetation. In turn, these vegetation regions support different animals. These regions are called biomes.
1) Compare each of the following biomes with reference to South Africa, by pointing to
• animal and plant characteristics (size, speed, colouring, smell, hearing, sight, defence and protection mechanisms)
• animal and plant behaviours that allow them to take advantage of their specific environment (mutualism, commensalism, parasitism, competition and predation…)
iv) Nama Karoo
vi) Succulent Karoo
2) Explain energy flow of a specific ecosystem mentioned by means of food chains and food webs and relate how the water cycle, nitrogen cycle and carbon cycle forms part of it their life cycles.
3) Identify the challenges that face organisms (drought; disease; fires; floods; tornados; volcanic eruptions) here.
4) Mention threats to indigenous ecosystems, such as
• exploitation (muti plants or roots);
• commercial forestry and agriculture;
• deforestation and habitat destruction;
• invader plants and alien species;
• human activities (exploration / development / hunting or poaching or fishing), tourism…and pollution.
5) Present a case for the importance of conservation in the area by pointing to the sustainable utilization of resources and in maintaining a well-balanced biodiversity.