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Specification: 

  • OCR Topic 3.1 Climate Change

  • WJEC Unit 4.5 Weather and Climate

Click to view the graphic in the article below and then answer the questions:

Polar vortex sends Texas into deep freeze

  • Referring to the graphic use your own words to explain why Texas has experienced temperatures as low as -18C (a 30-year low).

Read the two articles below describing the consequences of the weather on water and power utilities and the effects on people.

Millions of Texans left without safe drinking water after severe weather spell

Texans demand answers after dramatic collapse in power supply

  • How far in your opinion do the graphic and the articles describing the consequent weather provide another piece of evidence of climate change?

  • President Biden has declared a major disaster, triggering Federal funding, for the affected areas. Describe the severity of the situation leading to his decision.

  • The Texas state governor will ask utilities companies “why equipment was not ‘winterised’?” What does this mean?

  • How do you think the utilities would reply to this question?

  • Evaluate the importance of this dialogue in the context of mitigating the effects of climate change.

  • What effect might this one weather incident and its repercussions have on strategic winter mitigation planning in other southern US states?

Read this advice:

How to stay safe in freezing weather

  • Create a poster for the people of the USA to sum up the advice

Further listening:

Global Weirding with Katharine Hayhoe

“This can’t be hand-waved away as if it’s entirely natural,” Judah Cohen, told the Guardian. “This is happening not in spite of climate change; it’s in part due to climate change.” Such counterintuitive effects are one reason the climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe uses the phrase “global weirding.”

Further reading:

Failed State: Texas Power Grid Collapse Impacts Millions. Black & Brown Communities Are Worst Hit with Robert Bullard, distinguished professor at Texas Southern University and co-chair of the National Black Environmental Justice Network, who is known as the “father of environmental justice.”

Stephen Schwab, RGS

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