GCSE AQA Biology 3 Environmental Issues

Lilac Potato
Mind Map by Lilac Potato, updated more than 1 year ago
Lilac Potato
Created by Lilac Potato almost 5 years ago


A mind map showing information about the impact humans are having on the environment, carbon dioxide & the greenhouse effect, deforestation, peat bogs, climate change and global warming.

Resource summary

GCSE AQA Biology 3 Environmental Issues
1 Human impact on the environment
1.1 Population is rising very quickly - mostly due to modern medicine & farming methods


  • Reduced no. of people dying from disease & hunger
1.1.1 Causing increased demand on environment - take more resources, people demanding higher standard of living, use more raw materials & energy for manufacturing
1.2 Producing more waste - it affects...
1.2.1 Water


  • Sewage & toxic chemicals from industry can pollute lakes, rivers & oceans, chemicals used on land can also be washed into water (fertilisers)
1.2.2 Land


  • Toxic chemicals are used for farming (pesticides & herbicides), nuclear waste is buried underground & household waste is dumped in landfill sites
1.2.3 Air


  • Smoke & gases released into atmosphere can pollute the air - sulphur dioxide can cause acid rain
1.3 Humans reduce amount of land & resources for plants & animals by:
1.3.1 Building
1.3.2 Farming
1.3.3 Dumping waste
1.3.4 Quarrying for metal ores
2 Carbon dioxide & the greenhouse effect
2.1 Carbon is present in atmosphere as carbon dioxide
2.1.1 Many processes cause it to be released Too much carbon dioxide causes global warming Carbon dioxide can be sequestered in natural stores like oceans, lakes & ponds, green plants & peat bogs
2.2 Gases in atmosphere naturally act as insulating layer - absorb heat that would be radiated out into space & re-radiate it in all directions
2.2.1 If didn't happen, at night there'd be nothing to keep heat in The greenhouse gases keep heat in - main ones are carbon dioxide & methane Earth is gradually heating up because of increasing level of GG - global warming (type of climate change that causes other types of climate change)
3 Deforestation
3.1 Definition: The cutting down of trees
3.1.1 Done for various reasons... To provide timber for building material To clear more land for farming - to provide more food/grow crops for biofuels To produce paper from wood
3.2 Leads to 4 main problems...
3.2.1 MORE METHANE - rice is grown in warm, waterlogged conditions (ideal for decomposers which produce methane); cattle produce methane as well
3.2.2 MORE CARBON DIOXIDE - released when trees are burnt to clear land; microorganisms feeding on dead wood release carbon dioxide from respiration
3.2.3 LESS CARBON DIOXIDE TAKEN IN - cutting down lots of trees means less is removed during photosynthesis
3.2.4 LESS BIODIVERSITY - (biodiversity = variety of different species in habitat) habitats like rainforests contain huge numbers of species so when they're destroyed some may become extinct causing number of lost opportunities
4 Peat bogs
4.1 Bogs are areas of land that are acidic & waterlogged - plants living in bogs don't fully decay when they die (not enough oxygen) so gradually build up to form peat
4.1.1 Carbon in plants stored in peat instead of being released - if peat bogs are drained (so area can be used as farmland/cut up & dried for using as fuel/being sold as compost) then peat starts to decompose, releasing carbon dioxide People should buy peat-free compost to reduce demand for peat
5 Climate change
5.1 The consequences of global warming
5.1.1 Sea gets warmer & expands causing sea level to rise
5.1.2 Higher temp. makes ice melt causing sea level to rise more
5.1.3 Changing weather patterns - regions will suffer more extreme weather e.g. more hurricanes
5.1.4 Distribution of species may change - some may become more widely distributed (ones that need warmer temp.) & some may become less (ones that need colder temp.)
5.1.5 Biodiversity could be reduced if species can't survive a change in climate & become extinct
5.1.6 There could be a change in migration patterns
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