Multiple Choice Questions

Question 1

This question carries 20% of the marks for this assignment.
In your opinion, what are the most serious environmental issues today? Outline one global and one local issue and give two reasons for each choice.
(20marks)
(Question 1 has a word limit of 250 words. Include a word count at the end of your answer.)
Advice on answering Question1
The process word (the process word tells you what your answer has to ‘do’) used in this question (and also in Questions 2 and 3), is ‘outline’, which means give the main features. The subsequent reasons you offer will be your own view so there is no one right answer. You may wish to refer back to your answers to Activity 1.1 in Block 1.
A word limit is given for this question. To develop good academic practice of writing concisely, you should stay within the word limit for the question. Where a word limit is given, you are expected to state the number of words used (see also theU116 Assessment guide).
You will be awarded up to 4 marks for the clarity of your answer to Question 1.

Question 2

This question carries 40% of the marks for this assignment.
Figure 1 Area of forest cover in selected African countries between 1990 and 2015 (adapted from Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, 2015).
Long description
Note: No data are given for 1995.
Look at Figure 1 and answer the following questions:
a.Outline the main trends in the area of forest cover for each of the four countries shown between 1990 and 2015. State whether Figure 1 tells you anything about the causes of the trends.
(5 marks)
• b.Estimate the area of forest cover in 2000 and in 2015 for each of the four countries and record the results in a table.
In your table, calculate the sum total of the forest cover from these four countries for each of the years 2000 and 2015. Use the total in 2000 and the total in 2015 to calculate the average (mean) change per year over this period.
(20 marks)
• c.In Nigeria the area of forest in 2000 was approximately 13 million hectares and in 2015 it was approximately 7 million hectares. Calculate the average (mean) change per year over the period. Compare this answer to your answer in part (b), and comment on the comparison.
(5 marks)
• d.Using examples from Block 1 Parts 1 and 2, identify two possible consequences of the change in forest cover identified in b.
(6 marks)
• e.Imagine you have been asked to give a biased view of the information in Figure 1. How could you use some of the data in the figure selectively, to give the impression that changes in forest cover are more dramatic in any particular country?
(4 marks)
There is no word limit for this question but it is expected that your answer for each part of this question can be given in a few sentences.
Advice on answering Question 2
This question assesses your ability to read information from a bar chart, so look carefully at all the information presented before answering. You may wish to refer back to the ‘Study Note: Reading a graph’ and ‘Study Note: Bar charts’ in Block 1, Part 1.
The question asks you to draw up a table. Tables should always have an appropriate title and labelled columns. The question also asks you to do a calculation. With any calculation you should show how you did the calculation and express the answer with appropriate units.
The new process words used in this question are:
a, state, which means to present in a brief, clear way
b, estimate, which means to roughly calculate or judge the value of a quantity
c, compare, which means to show the similarities or differences between examples
d, identify, which means to pick out or select.
Please note there is no requirement to find or check the data or to have any background knowledge of the countries
named.
Reference
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (2015)Global forest resources assessment 2015: Desk reference[Online], Rome, FAO. Available athttp://www.fao.org/3/a-i4808e.pdf(Accessed 17 October 2017)

Question 3
This question carries 20% of the marks for this assignment.
Read the article in Appendix A of this TMA (Today’s special is fish infused with your toxic microplastic) and then answer the following questions.
The writer of the article, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, is a food writer and campaigning TV personality.
a.From your knowledge of Block 1, outline the characteristics of the Anthropocene period the writer refers to in the first paragraph.
(4 marks)
• b.What supporting evidence does the writer offer for the effects of plastics on marine life in the article?
(4 marks)
• c.In your own words, explain the linear and circular economies discussed in the article.
(6 marks)
• d.What is the source of this article? Suggest who the intended audience might be and the purposse for which it might it have been written
• (6 marks)
(Question 3 has a word limit of 500 words. Include a word count at the end of your answer.)
Advice on answering Question3
The module glossarymay be of use in explaining any terms you do not understand.
This question assesses your ability to extract information from a passage of writing and consider its purpose. You may wish to refer back to Activity 1.2 and SAQ 1.1 and the study notes on reading in Block 1, Part 1.
The new process word used in this question is ‘explain’, which means give details about how and why something is so.
(Question 3 has a word limit of 500 words. Include a word count at the end of your answer.)
Reference
Fearnley-Whittingstall, H. (2016) ‘Today’s special is fish infused with your toxic microplastic’, The Sunday Times, 4 September, p. 21.

Question4
This question carries 20% of the marks for this assignment.
a.What prompted you to take up studies about the environment? How far were you motivated by personal interest, career hopes, or something quite different? Write a few sentences to explain your motivation, both for yourself and to help your tutor to understand your motivations.
(4 marks)
• b.How do you feel your studies are progressing? Identify three things, at least one that is going well, and at least one you find more challenging.
(6 marks)
• c.Looking ahead, outline how you plan to manage your study time for the module.
(5 marks)
• d.Besides time management choose one other skill you plan to develop over the next few months. What made you choose this skill and what might your first steps be?
(5 marks)
(Question 4 has a word limit of 300 words. Include a word count at the end of your answer.)
Advice on answering Question4
This question gives you an opportunity to think about what motivated you to study, to think about how you are getting on with your studies so far and let your tutor know of your progress. How you answer this is entirely up to you but you should try to explain yourself clearly.
For tips on managing your study time see The Essential Guide to U116 (the booklet posted to you with your block books).
You may also find it helpful to look at a Help Centre resource called Plan your time.
Other skills include numeracy, academic writing, using your computer for study, asking questions and seeking help, working with other students.

Appendix A
Today’s special is fish infused with your toxic microplastic
HUGH FEARNLEY-WHITTINGSTALL
Plastics are cheap, versatile, light, easy to wash – and incredibly durable. And there’s the rub. Indeed, the plastic we carelessly throw away, as if there were such a thing as “away”, will still be around long after we have gone. We might see ourselves as living in the space age or the computer age, but to archaeologists of the far future our times will be demarcated by a thin layer of faded but stubbornly persistent plastic. What geologists are starting to call the Anthropocene, they may well call the “Plasticene”.
The scale of our plastic problem is so vast it’s hard to know where to start. I did have a go at the disposable coffee cups in which many of us drink our morning lattes in my recent BBC1 series, Hugh’s War on Waste. The problem with these otherwise relatively recyclable “paper” cups is the pernicious layer of plastic that lines them. It renders the 2.5bn of them that we use every year in the UK effectively unrecyclable – and therefore destined for landfill or incineration. Our programmes revealed that the big coffee companies were happy to do nothing, mainly because so few of their customers even knew this was a problem.
The grim consequences of plastic pollution are already on us, demanding urgent action or threatening dire consequences. The ever-growing mountain of plastic rubbish that we are accumulating is now so huge that the problem is no longer confined to land, where to some extent it can be managed, but has spilt over into our seas, where it rapidly spirals out of our control.
Every year we’re adding up to 12 million tons of plastic waste to the oceans – so much that it has been estimated that by 2050 the marine environment will contain more plastic than fish. No corner of the planet’s oceans will be spared this assault. As The Sunday Times revealed last week, plastic waste gets everywhere – it’s even frozen in Arctic sea ice. That is the real meaning of throwing something “away”.
Although plastic waste is extremely persistent, it doesn’t hold the same forms after we chuck it. It gradually breaks down into smaller and smaller pieces, or microplastics. Some marine life can die from choking on larger plastic waste, while other species are seriously harmed as the tiny plastic particles become the main component of their diets. Fish mistake microplastics for plankton and fill their bellies with this useless “food”, stunting their growth and weakening their resistance to disease and predation.
Plastics act as pollution magnets and sponges in the oceans, with toxic chemicals binding to their surface and pores. The microplastics are consumed by small fish, which are consumed by bigger fish and so on, concentrating the pollutants up through the food chain until they eventually arrive on our plates, enticingly packaged in salmon, swordfish or any of the other large, predatory fish that humans prefer. And they contain a museum of toxins, including residues of stuff we banned years ago, chemicals that were gradually dispersing and breaking down in the oceans until we found a way of collecting them together and getting them back into the food chain.
Microbeads, the plastic pollution now dominating the headlines, are the sucker punch of this sad story. They are not all that different from any other plastic, once it is broken down in the oceans. But rather than gradually making their way to the sea via getting stuck in trees, blowing across fields and falling in streams and breaking down into tiny particles over years, microbeads are a plastic pollution that we pour down the plughole and into our water system.
You find them in hand creams and face scrubs, toothpastes and shampoos, as well as floor cleaners and washing powders. A committee of MPs recently warned that just one shower could send up to 100,000 microbeads down the drain and into our seas.
Thanks to pressure from the media and a campaign by Greenpeace and others that mobilised hundreds of thousands of people, the UK government has signalled it is about to take action to solve the problem. Frankly, it would be a pretty stunning dereliction of duty if it didn’t. Yet microbeads are just the tip of the giant plastic iceberg stalking our blue planet. They represent only about 4% of the overall plastic pollution in our seas.
If we want to stop the giant landslide of plastic flowing into our rivers and oceans, we need to tackle this problem at source. And this means moving from a linear economy, where we extract resources from the natural world and either dump them as landfill or incinerate them, to a circular economy, where we reuse as much of these resources as possible.
Right now, for example, only a third of plastic packaging in Europe is recycled, with the rest dumped in landfill, incinerated or exported. In the UK we use about 13bn plastic water bottles a year – more than 200 per person. Even though these constitute high-value plastic packaging and are recyclable, less than 25% of the bottles are reused or recycled.
Just as we need to outgrow our dump and-forget relationship with plastic, so do the designers, manufacturers and retailers of plastic products. Telling us their packaging is recyclable “in theory” isn’t good enough. They need to ensure facilities are there to process plastic and they must stop producing waste – from the familiar daily grind of coffee cups and plastic bags to the invisible flood of microbeads – that can’t be dealt with.
We all must make a choice. Do we want a responsible, circular economy that protects our environment and our health by recognising “waste” as a resource and therefore keeps plastic in sight and in use? Or do we stick with the current plan (or lack of one) that sends it out into the oceans, weakening the resilience of the entire marine ecosystem, then sucks it back up the food chain and onto our dinner plates.