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Learning Path: Geography

What causes desertification?

Starter Main Plenary Extension

Learning Objective

  • To understand the theory of global warming

What to do?

  • Watch the clip Droughts: man-made disasters?
  • Use the information and images from the clip to create a diagram showing the theory of global warming. Use the following labels:
    1. The Earth
    2. Heat from the Sun
    3. Infrared rays
    4. Atmosphere
    5. Carbon dioxide

Dr. Mark Mulligan says that one definition of desertification is a reduction in the ability of the land to sustain life - especially plants. He goes on to say that changing the plants on the surface of the Earth changes the climate. So climate change reduces the number of plants, and reducing the number of plants causes climate change.

  • Complete the following sentences:

Desertification is a type of climate change. Climate change can be caused by physical processes such as ...

Climate change can also be caused by human processes such as ...

Learning Objective

  • To understand the physical and human processes that have contributed to desertification over time

What to do?

Learning Objective

  • To consider the human causes and effects of desertification.

What to do?

The World Day to Combat Desertification has been observed since 1995 on 17th June.

Logos for campaigns to tackle climate change often use symbols of nature, the colour green or blue, and focus on the damage to plants and animals. Desertification has a huge impact on the lives of people.

  • Watch the clip Saharan desertification II: modern disaster
  • Design a logo that you think could be used for a desertification awareness campaign that focusses on the need to change human behaviour and prevent human suffering.

Learning Objective

  • To evaluate your own water use

What to do?

As droughts become more frequent, desertification increases, and there is an ever-increasing population relying on water supplies, water shortages become more of a risk.

  • Watch the clip Living without a water supply
  • Write down all your everyday actions that directly or indirectly use water.
  • How you could make small changes to decrease the amount of water you use?

Droughts: man-made disasters?