Teacher LP
Mississippi Floods

Key Question: What are the dangers of living on river flood plains?

Objective: To produce a case study of the Mississippi floods

During this web quest you will be using various websites to look at the causes, effects and response to the floods of 2005.

The following websites cover the 2005 floods, but if you want to make the case study more recent (May 2011 floods) you will need to find your own websites. 



  1. What were the causes of the 2005 floods?


  1. What are storm surges?



  1. What were the social effects of the flooding?
  2. What were the economic effects of the flooding?


  1. Why was the height of New Orleans significant?



  1. How did people respond to the hazard?


  1. Start from the bottom of the page to see how the disaster unfolded.

Extra reading





The case study will be marked using the level boundaries. 

China´s Ageing Population


See how wind turbines generate clean electricity from the power of the wind. Highlighted are the various parts and mechanisms of a modern wind turbine.

2011: The Year in Photos


2011: The Year in Photos


Deep Heat: Geothermal Energy Explained

An animated video from ScienceNordic explores sources of geothermal energy, from volcanic heat just under the surface of the Earth to radioactive heat five kilometers below. Deep Heat was created by Per Byhring and Arnfinn Christensen.


Some 15 million Africans abandon the countryside every year in pursuit of better lives in the city. Climate change and further desertification will only exacerbate the trend. How will these ballooning urban populations survive? OnEarth articles editor Jocelyn C. Zuckerman and photographer Antonio Bolfo traveled to Kenya and Ghana, where they found that the best strategy is sowing seeds right in the heart of cities, where the people live. See Bolfo’s photos and hear Zuckerman tell journalist Jaime Bedrin about their trip in this audio slideshow, then read “The Constant Gardeners“ in OnEarth’s Winter 2012 issue.

Arctic Sea Ice Melting Infographic: Shows how Arctic sea ice has changed over the past 20 years, from 1984-2011.


Arctic Sea Ice Melting Infographic: Shows how Arctic sea ice has changed over the past 20 years, from 1984-2011.


Hot Planet? - BBC Documentary (HD)

IB students watch this.  Causes, effects (core 3) and solutions (core 4).  Alternative energy comes in around 35 minutes.  


“…China is increasingly seen as a predator on the world’s forests.

China is now overwhelmingly the biggest global consumer of tropical timber, importing around 40 to 45 million cubic meters of timber annually. Today, more than half of all timber being shipped anywhere in the world is destined for China. Many nations in the Asia-Pacific region and Africa export the lion’s share of their timber to China.

China faces three criticisms by those worried about the health and biodiversity of the world’s forests. First, the country and its hundreds of wood-products corporations and middlemen have been remarkably aggressive in pursuing timber supplies globally, while generally being little concerned with social equity or environmental sustainability. For instance, China has helped fund and promote an array of ambitious new road or rail projects that are opening up remote forested regions in the Amazon, Congo Basin, and Asia-Pacific to exploitation. Such frontier roads can unleash a Pandora’s Box of activities — including illegal colonization, hunting, mining, and land speculation — that are often highly destructive to forests.”

Source: Yale360


“My wife sent a few samples in and Hales said someone had screwed up the samples because the [dissolved CO2 gas] level was so ridiculously high,” says Wiegardt, a fourth-generation oyster farmer. But the measurements were accurate. What the Whiskey Creek hatchery was experiencing was acidic seawater, caused by the ocean absorbing excessive amounts of CO2 from the air.

Ocean acidification — which makes it difficult for shellfish, corals, sea urchins, and other creatures to form the shells or calcium-based structures

The region’s thriving oyster hatcheries have had to scramble to adapt to these increases in acidity.

they need to live — was supposed to be a problem of the future. But because of patterns of ocean circulation, Pacific Northwest shellfish are already on the front lines of these potentially devastating changes in ocean chemistry. Colder, more acidic waters are welling up from the depths of the Pacific Ocean and streaming ashore in the fjords, bays, and estuaries of Oregon, Washington, and British Columbia, exacting an environmental and economic toll on the region’s famed oysters.”

Source: Yale360