GCSE biology Climate Change





30 minutes


Learning Path

This course covers a range of biological and geographical concepts that will give you a basic understanding of the causes of global warming, climate change, food security and deforestation. It will also give you a good understanding of the consequences of these topics.

Climate change can have a large effect on ecosystems. Warming can force species to migrate to cooler climates, such as at higher elevations. The migration of species can have a significant knock on effect as they are part of a food web, and the survival of other species can depend, indirectly or directly, on that species.

Climate change can also lead to excessive erosion that can effect habitats of populations.

The carbon cycle explains how carbon moves around earth. The carbon begins in the sky as C02, then is used by plants in photosynthesis to produce glucose. Some plants are eaten by animals, that will give off most of the carbon as CO2through respiration. These animals will eventually die, as will other plants. Decomposers then break down the dead organisms and return the carbon in their bodies to the atmosphere as carbon dioxide by respiration. This process then repeats. Carbon dioxide is also released into the atmosphere through auto and factory emissions. It is this release of carbon dioxide through the combustion of fossil fuels that is adding to the enhanced greenhouse effect.

the carbon cycle

Food security is a measure of how much food is required, how much food can be supplied and how accessible the food can be made to a household. It is very important to protect food security so that food scarcity is avoided.

Food security is made vulnerable by

  • An increase in population
  • pathogens and diseases can reduce crop yields
  • Global warming
  • increased costs of farming (e.g. water scarcity)
  • Armed conflicts can lead to destruction of farms

Deforestation is the permanent removal of trees, leading to the gradual decline of rain forests and the surface area of tree coverage as well as the decline of biodiversity. If it progresses it can lead to desertification.

Deforestation occurs because

  • land is needed for farming / building
  • Wood is used as bio-fuel, building materials or it is sold.
  • Animal grazing, cattle require large amounts of land to feed on.

The main biological consequence of deforestation is the damage it causes to biodiversity. Biodiversity is the variation of species within a habitat, and it is an incredibly important notion to protect, we need a variation of species for a range of reasons (e.g. medicine, many medicines come from the discovery of new species)

Welcome to your Biology GCSE

Which of these gases does not contribute to global warming?
Through what process do plants take in carbon dioxide?
Which of these doesn’t harm food security?
Which reason does not lead to deforestation?
Which of these does deforestation lead to?


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