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Wednesday, 29 May 2013

Fox hunting adaptation

Animals and plants must adapt to survive in cold environments. Long periods of freezing temperatures and precipitation falling as snow mean that both food and water are scarce. Animals can adapt in both physical and behavioural ways. One of the best surely must be the way that the fox below hunts mice:

To see further clips of animal adaptations to the yellowstone winter, see the BBC clips site for the episode here.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Nintendo: A Global Company

A. Arshad has produced an excellent review of Nintendo's operation as a global company which is below. It demonstrates well placed examples at times and is an example of how to make a presentation visually interesting:

Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Oklahoma Tornadoes

There has been a huge tornado in Oklahoma, part of a series of large twisters this month. Though relative to a tropical storm the area covered is more narrow, the damage from the hazard of strong winds is very severe with winds thought to have reached 200mph. At least 2 people died and 21 were injured on Sunday. The storm has been classified as EF-4 on the enhanced fujita scale. You can see how tornadoes form and 2 storify versions of the event below:

Thursday, 16 May 2013

Cyclone Mahasen - A Case Study

Cyclone Mahasen is beginning to make landfall in the Bay of Bengal today...

A useful study for A level students is below:

A quick reminder of Hurricane formation is here. The shallow coastal shelf and warm seas in the Bay of bengal will channel Cyclones and magnify their strength as they approach land.

The path of the storm and its storm surge can be seen below:

Tropical storms bring the fourfold hazard of strong winds, heavy rain, storm surges and large waves.As it goes these are not as severe as they could be since it satarted to make landfall at low tide and the winds have only been clocked at 60mph thus far. It has been reported as not being severe in twerms of these primary hazards but Bangladesh's low lying and flat terrain still make it susceptible to the secondary hazard of flooding from storm surges and the heavy rain may induce a secondary hazard - landslides.

Thus far, 2 people have been reported dead in Bangladesh and up to 50 Rohingya muslims being evacuated may have drowned as an evacuation boat capsized.
Dozens of houses collapsed in Patuakhali district as it inundated the land with waist deep water.
Though ti did not make landfall in Sri lanka, the heavy rain triggered mudslides and floods which killed 7 people.

Bangladeshi authorities have given out a warning level of 7 out of 10 for the incoming storm in the low lying areas around Chittagong and Cox's bazaar; a good example of identifying areas most at risk and focussing strategies to mitigate for hazard risk.
The main response has been the evacuation of large numbers of people from areas at risk. At least 956,372 people have been evacuated in Bangladesh to more than 3200 storm shelters. All schools and colleges and some hotels have been declared cyclone shelters. In Burma more than 160,00 people have been evacuated.
Bangladesh has also shut airports in the areas at risk.

Magnifying the Hazard
The presence of tens of thousands of Rohingya Muslims displaced by internal conflict last year in temporary refugee camps in Rakhine state has increased the overall risk from this storm.

In terms of the strength of the primary hazards it is not as large as it could be, but the scale in terms of area covered is still large - affecting 3 countries and millions of people. By contrast the Tornadoes in Granby in Texas (link here) have kileld at least 6 as a result of much more forceful wind but have affected a much smaller area of land, thus decreasing the overall risk of the hazard.

A link to the BBC news story on the event is HERE

Thursday, 2 May 2013

#bsgeogdebate : The Outcome

"This house believes that global warming is one of the fundamental problems humanity must deal with". 

The event was oversubscribed, but whether standing, sitting or lingering in the doorway, those present were given a treat. The proposition focussed on the extent of scientific support and evidence and the potentially far reaching consequences, whilst the opposition replied questioning the motives of scientific evidence the convolution of myriad sources in determining its causes and the elaboration of effects by the proposition. It finished with an attack on Al Gore delivered flamboyantly by J.Strode, which though humorous and scathing was tempered and ultimately defeated by P.Ziya's calm presentation of returning to the key science and potential outcomes. The #prostrode lobby would add of course that the opposition did win the audience vote, though the motion was carried by the judges.

You can listen to the debate again Here. Many thanks to Aquilla Radio for recording it and hosting it in their player. (Currently track 9 on the player)

A tense crowd awaits the debate...