Geopolitics of Antarctica

A-level section teachers' notes

Sample A-level questions

This document presents specimen exam questions drawn from different AS and A2-level specifications (for first AS examination 2009, first A2 in 2010) that can be answered, or exemplified, with knowledge gained from the Discovering Antarctica A-level Section.

AQA AS Unit 1 Physical and Human Geography: Option 1: Cold environments

Outline how a glacier mass balance might change over time. (3 marks) (Section 1, especially 1.4 on ice sheets and glaciers)

Distinguish between warm and cold-based glaciers. (4 marks) (Section 1, especially 1.4)

Why should Antarctica be protected from development? (15 marks) (Section 3 on ecosystems, especially 3.4)

AQA A2 Unit 3 Contemporary Geographical Issues: Option 3: Ecosystems

Evaluate the concept of biodiversity, and suggest why it is an issue about which people should be concerned. (10 marks) (Section 3)

With reference to one example, discuss the effectiveness of ecological conservation areas. (10 marks) (Sections 3.3 and 3.4 on the Southern Ocean)

AQA A2 Unit 3 Contemporary Geographical Issues (Section C)

Critically evaluate the possible effects of the phenomenon known as global warming and suggest possible responses to them. (40 marks, 1 hour) (Section 2 discusses the phenomenon and some of the effects linked with polar regions)

Edexcel AS Unit 1 Global Challenges: Topic 1: World at Risk (4 climate change)

Suggest two ways of investigating medium and longer term climate change, before global temperature records were available (from 1861). (2 marks) (Section 1.2 fossil evidence, Section 2.3 ice cores)

Edexcel A2 Unit 3 Contested Planet: Topic 3: Biodiversity Under Threat

Evaluate the relative importance of global and local threats to one named global ecosystem. (15 marks) (Sections 3.2, 3.3, 3.4 – terrestrial or marine south polar example)

Edexcel A2 Unit 4 Geographical Research

Explain why international initiatives are increasingly needed to cope with the risks of disease and pollution. (70 marks, 1.5 hours) (Section 2.4 – example of ozone hole, Section 3.4 example of the Southern Ocean)

OCR AS Unit F761 Managing Physical Environments: Topic 3: Cold environments

Comment on the problems associated with sustainable management of two contrasting cold environments. (9 marks) (Section 3.4 Southern Ocean as one example)

OCR A2 Unit F763 Global Issues: Option A2: Ecosystems and environments under threat

Describe and evaluate the attempts made to manage a named ecosystem. (30 marks) (Section 3.4)

'Ecosystems are the product of distinctive physical factors.' Evaluate this statement with reference to a named local ecosystem. (30 marks) (Section 3.2 – a terrestrial Antarctic ecosystem, and supporting information on the environment and climate from Sections 1.1 and 2.1)

Teachers section pages



British Antarctic SurveyRoyal Geographic SocietyForeign and Commonwealth OfficeBritish Antarctic Territory