004 - People and Places

Geographic Knowledge and Understanding

Impacts of climate change on people and places, including health hazards, migration and ocean transport routes.


Global climate change will impact people and places. Some places will be impacted to a great extent than others depending upon the location and the processes at work.


  • To have knowledge and understanding of the impacts that climate change has on the migration of people.

  • To have knowledge and understanding of the impacts that climate change has on the health of people.

  • To have knowledge and understanding of the impacts that climate change has on ocean transport routes.

Key Terminology

            • 2015 Paris Agreement

            • West Nile fever

            • IPCC

Define the key terms above by using the 'Useful Links' below:

Useful Links

Activity One - Why Focus on Climate Change?

As we know climate change is a controversial topic but it has been in the news for years. Why are we bothering to study a topic that seems old news? Read the article below and make notes on the impact that climate change could have if the Earth warmed by just 1.5 Celsius.

Activity Two - Impact - Sea Levels

The United Nations is now suggesting that our planet is on course for warming by 3 Celsius and this would have a dramatic impact on sea levels. Many people live by the coast as it provides opportunities for food, transportation, and employment. Unfortunately, areas that would have been seen as desirable areas to live are now at risk and it could cause mass migration or even death. Asia is the continent that is the most at risk due to the sheer amount of people who live near the coast. Answer the following questions to gain knowledge and understanding of the impact of the change in sea levels.

      1. Using Image One, describe the areas in the world that are going to be impacted by sea-level changes.

      2. Where is the greatest damage expected to occur?

      3. How many people are expected to be impacted by the change?

      4. What problems are occurring now?

      5. How does this impact link to another element of the course? (Higher or Standard Level)

Activity Three - Impact - Migration

As we have now looked at sea level changes we are going to link this a little to migration. If you are a Higher Level geographer you will have an example of forced migration due to climate change. If not or you need to add more detail we are now going to focus on Kiribati in Micronesia and Kivalina, Alaska. Answer the following questions:

      1. Where is Kiribati?

      2. How many people live there?

      3. What is the problem?

      4. What is the impact of the issue?

      5. Describe the plan to save Kiribati's people.

      6. Where is Kivalina located?

      7. How many people live there?

      8. What is the impact of climate change on Kivalina?

      9. Describe the links that can be made to other areas of the Geography course.

Activity Four - Impact - Transport Routes

We are going to be sticking with the theme of water and investigating the impact of less ice in the North Sea.

      1. What is happening to ice in the Arctic?

      2. What is the impact of the changes to the ice sheets in the Arctic?

      3. What links can be made to other areas of the Geography course?

Activity Five - Impact - Disease

We often think of global warming as something that is happening in other areas, we do not feel a huge impact in Switzerland, yet. We have had warmer summers and we can't ski for as many days as we used to but we are safe, aren't we? Tropical disease are migrating to Europe and as temperatures continue to rise there is nothing to stop them impacting us. Climate change can also cause malnutrition in humans as the crops people are used to relying on for food may no longer grow in certain areas. We are going to look at the West Nile virus in Europe and malnutrition on the Pacific Islands. Answer the questions below.

      1. What is West Nile Virus?

      2. Using the image below describe which countries are more susceptible to West Nile Virus.

      3. Reading the two articles in the 'Useful Resources' box below, describe and explain the movement of tropical diseases to Europe. Remember to mention time - past, present and future.

      4. Using the same articles as question 3, describe the impact of the movement of the West Nile Virus to Europe.

      5. How is climate change impacting what people can grow and eat on the Pacific Islands?

      6. What is the impact of the change in diets?

Exam Style Question

'Climate change can have a positive impact on humans.' Discuss [10 marks]