Climate Change

Study and revision resources

Fossil fuels, nuclear & renewable energies


Work as part of a group to research and put together revision guide for the energy resources that you are allocated. Your guide should include the following information:

  1. A description/explanation of what each energy resource is/how it works/is harnessed.
  2. The advantages and disadvantages of each energy resource: ease of use, cost, availability, reliability, environmental impact (pollution, biodiversity loss, etc).
  3. Case study for each energy: a detailed example of a country which uses it, why they use it, its contribution to the energy security of the country.
  4. You revision guide should be clearly laid out - include diagrams/pictures where they are beneficial, be colourful and engaging. Don't just make a boring doc.

Individual tasks

  1. Compare and contrast 2 energy sources, you should extend your answer to consider significant advantages or disadvantages (are they easily overcome/can we use technology to solve them, are they a regional/international/global problem etc?).
  2. With reference to examples, discuss the factors that affect the choice of energy sources used by different countries.

Case Study: Energy Security, El Hiero, Spain

El Hierro is a small island located in the Atlantic Ocean. Rather than relying on imported fossil fuels to generate electricity they have been transitioning to self sufficiency using renewable technologies.


  1. Read the BBC article and watch both videos.
  2. Screenshot the map from the article showing where the island is. Describe the renewable energies that the island is using.
  3. Explain how the lake is used as a storage battery for energy
  4. Why is this such an important part of the island becoming self sufficient in energy.
  5. What arguments are given against the scheme to develop renewable electricity?
  6. How does the scheme help with ensuring the supply of fresh water?
  7. How many barrels of oil is the scheme expected to save each year?
  8. How much does this equate to in CO2 emmissions?

links to use

Fig 7.2: El Hiero, Spain

Energy Efficiency

Increasing energy efficiency can substantially contribute to increased energy security for countries through reducing the demand for energy.


  1. Research ways in which people and industry are increasing their energy efficiency:
    • Housing (insulation, improved glazing of windows)
    • Domestic appliances & lighting
    • Transport (mpg, hybrids, electric cars)
  2. links
Fig 7.13: Energy possibilities from buildings
Fig 7.21: UNEP Yearbook 2010

United Nations Environment Programme

Tasks based on the UNEP Year Book 2010

Using the UNEP 2010 pdf, read from page 33 and answer the following questions


  1. Study Figure 1. Describe the changes in surface air temperatures between 1880 and 2000. [3 marks]
  2. Compare the 5-year mean with the annual mean. [3 marks]
  3. The figure in Box 1 shows how human activities and natural processes can have a warming or cooling effect on the climate.
  4. Identify the factor that had the greatest warming effect. [1 mark]
  5. Identify the factor with the greatest cooling effect. [1 mark]
  6. Identify two human activities that have both a warming and a cooling effect. [1 mark]
  7. Which of these has the greatest warming effect? [1 mark]
  8. Compare the total natural influence with total net human influence. [2 marks]
  9. Figure 2 shows the extent of Arctic sea ice between 2002 and 2009.
  10. Describe the seasonal pattern of sea ice shown in Figure 2. [2 marks]
  11. Suggest reasons to explain this pattern. [3 marks]
  12. 5 Figure 4 shows regional climate change from 1980 to the present, compared with 1950–80.
    • Describe the changes in temperature shown in Figure 5. [3 marks]
    • Describe two changes associated with precipitation. [2 marks]
  13. Figure 5 shows two scenarios for precipitation change in the Mediterranean region. Scenario A2 is a high-emission scenario, with a carbon dioxide concentration of 850 ppm, whereas scenario B2 is for a lower-emission scenario with a carbon dioxide concentration of 570 ppm. Compare and contrast the rainfall patterns suggested by the two scenarios. [4 marks]

Climate Change Mitigation


Fig 7.32: Solar Shades
Fig 7.33: Extracting CO2 from the atmosphere

Other Geo-engineering links

Fig 3.7: OECD Aims
Fig 3.6: Tragedy of the comons

Ecological Footprint and Earth Overshoot

Fig 3.7: Earth Overshoot Historical
Fig 3.7: Earth Overshoot Day per Country
Fig 3.6: Ecological Footprint

Ecological Footprints


Use the 3 web link to answer the following questions:

  1. What is the Earth overshoot day (use this link)
  2. Study figure 1: Describe the pattern shown in the graph below (use data). [3 marks]
  3. Suggest 3 reasons for the pattern shown. [3 marks]
  4. Why should we be concerned about the pattern (link your answer to sustainability) [3 marks]
  5. Study figure 2 Explain why some countries have much earlier dates than others. (include population levels, development, natural resources, biomes) [8 marks]
  6. Use this link to calculate your own Ecological Footprint. Screenshot the result and insert in your doc. [2 marks]
  7. How could you reduce your ecological footprint - suggest 2 main ways. [2 marks]
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