In this unit, students examine Earth as a set of four interacting systems: the atmosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere and lithosphere. Students explore the physical requirements for life and consider the effects of natural and human-induced changes in chosen ecosystems. They investigate the physical environment and its components, the function of local ecosystems, and the interactions that occur in and between ecological components over different timescales. Students monitor and measure biotic and abiotic components of their local ecosystems.
In this unit students consider pollution as well as food and water security as complex and systemic environmental challenges facing current and future generations. They examine the characteristics, impacts, assessment and management of a range of pollutants that are emitted or discharged into Earth’s air, soil, water and biological systems, and explore factors that limit and enable the sustainable supply of adequate and affordable food and water.
This unit focuses on environmental management through the examination and application of sustainability principles. Students explore the management of the biosphere, concepts of biodiversity and the services provided by all living things. They analyse the processes that threaten biodiversity and apply scientific principles to a threatened species. Students also investigate a case study on an Earth system scale, including impact on the atmosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere and lithosphere.
Students analyse the social and environmental impacts of energy production and use on society and the environment. They explore the complexities of interacting systems of water, air, land and living organisms that influence climate, focusing on both a local and global scale. Students also explore the use of non-renewable and renewable energy resources and look at how science can be used to reduce the impacts of energy production.