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  • Writer's pictureVictoria Hewett

Humanities in the News – Edition 3

1// 2014, the warmest year on record

Towards the end of 2014 the BBC published this article suggesting that 2014 was set to be the warmest year on record.

It initiated the article identifying that the global average air temperatures for the first 10 months of the year had been 0.57 degrees Celsius above the average, whilst up until November in the UK we had produced an average temperature  of 1.6 degrees Celsius above the long-term average.  There was certainly a noticeable difference in the temperature throughout the Autumn months of 2014.

Then by the end of the year, NOAA published their annual global climate analysis which confirmed that “the year 2014 was the warmest year across global land and ocean surfaces since records began in 1880”.  This meant it broke the previous records  of 2005 and 2010. It’s scary to see that the top 10 warmest years have been since 1998.  The NOAA report makes for interesting reading, I recommend taking a look at it.

News Articles

1. Global warming made 2014 a record hot year – in animated graphics  –  A concise video at the end of the article on the #HottestYearEver

2. 2014 officially the hottest year on record –

3. 2014 warmest year on record, say US researchers –

4. Why has the year 2014 been so hot? –

5. What makes different years warmer or colder? –

6.  2014: a warm year for the US and the warmest yet worldwide –

7. 15 of the hottest spots around the world in 2014 –

8. 2014 was UK’s hottest year on record, says Met Office –

9. Climate deniers lost for words: 2014 set for hottest year on record –

10. Time is running out on climate denial –

Teaching Resources

Visit the National Geographic Education Blog for ideas on discussion activities on the topic.

The NOAA education site from NOAA has resources on teaching about climate with a variety of resources and links on climate measurements and the global temperature record.

2// Brazil’s Drought

At uni my passion was water resources; for my dissertation I investigated the sustainability of water resources for Ashford in Kent following the development of 32,000 new homes in an area that already had to seek alternatives due to water shortages.

This story is really useful for GCSE Geography, particularly Edexcel B. My year 10’s have just finished Battle for the Biosphere and are now moving onto Water World. This story leads on to the next topic perfectly.

In 2014, rainfall in São Paulo and the surrounding south-eastern area had been extremely low, with CEMADEN recording the lowest rainfall on record. The South Eastern region is the most populated area of Brazil, with over 20 million people living in São Paulo alone. The drought has been ongoing for some time but conditions are worsening and the impacts are being felt throughout the city and country. Brazil are looking to experts from overseas to help deal with the consequences of this drought but the issues are rapidly growing.

Lots of interesting articles both on the cause and response to the issue.

1. Reservoir hogs –

2. Brazil drought: Sao Paulo sleepwalking into water crisis –

3. Brazil’s most populous region facing worst drought in 80 years –

4. Sao Paulo’s water supply in ‘critical’ condition as drought bites –

5. ‘Brazil drought is linked to Amazon deforestation’ –

6. Drought hits Brazil’s coffee industry –

7. Brazil drought stokes worries over energy shortages –

8. Drought sees Rio’s main hydro plant turned off –

9. Brazil’s worst drought in history prompts protests and blackouts –

Teaching Resources

Drought in Brazil from Teachit Geography –  A great fact sheet on the drought in Brazil published in march 2014. This could easily be given as background information for a decision making exercise on what the government should do to deal with the issue.

Tutor2U has provided two videos explaining the drought in São Paulo.

Here on the TES are a whole load of resources from my NQT that make up a SOW on Investigating Brazil, why not incorporate this issue in this topic.

Sorry there are only two stories this term, time constraints and all that.

Hope they are of use though.

Mrs Humanities

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