Animals at the extremes: The desert environment
Animal life has adapted to survive in the most unlikely and inhospitable habitats. This free course, Animals at the extremes: The desert environment, looks at the surprisingly diverse desert climates throughout the world and mammals, birds, lizards and amphibians that survive there. It splits these animals into three groups according to their strategy for survival: evaders, evaporators and endurers, then discusses how these strategies work on a biochemical and physiological level. Author(s): Creator not set

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2.5.1 Physical and weather-related indicators

The indicators collected in Table 4 have been observed to change over large regions of the Earth during the 20th century. According to the TAR, there is now a good level of confidence that what is being recorded is the result of long-term change rather than short-term natural fluctuations. As we noted earlier (Section 2.2.2), the most recent period of warming has been almost global in extent, but particularly marked at high latitudes. So are the changes in Table 4 consistent with rising tempe
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2 A 4.6 billion-year history

Climate change is a natural process of warming and cooling that has occurred all through the Earth's history. Throughout geological time there have been ‘hot-house’ periods and ice ages. In order to understand the current situation, it is necessary to have some sense of context and perspective, from historical and geological time-scales. The document below shows a chart showing a generalised temperature history of the Earth.

Click on the link below to see the chart


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5.3.2 Plan auditing

Having got the draft plan, it is worth checking it over to see that all the major issues have been covered. The appendix below contains a set of guidelines for the initial audit of a generic ‘general purpose’ plan. For site-specific plans such as might be produced by an SHE manager in industry, or a business continuity manager for an office complex, the headings may need some modification.

Guidelines for an emergency response plan audit (PDF, 2 pages, 0.1MB)

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5.7.1 Plan preparation

Perhaps the first question to ask is ‘What is an emergency plan?’ Dodswell, in his guide to business continuity management, defined an ‘emergency management plan’ as simply:

A plan which supports the emergency management team by providing them with information and guidelines.

(Dodswell, 2000, p. 56)

Another definition, of an ‘emergency preparedness plan’ prepared in the co
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Engineering small worlds: micro and nano technologies
How do you see the invisible? Today, mechanical, electrical, chemical and biological engineering of ‘small worlds’ is revolutionising our lives. Atomic Force Microscopes are an important tool when creating engineering solutions on the micro and nano scale. The 4 video tracks on this album examine the AFM's engineering and operation, explain how it can be adapted for a wide range of applications and describe its use in the life sciences and semiconductor industries. This material forms part o
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Water supply and treatment in the UK
Have you thought about the journey water makes to get to your taps? What processes has it undergone to make it safe to drink? The tracks in this album examine issues of water supply and treatment in the UK, where each of us uses approximately 150 litres a day! We hear from different parties involved in water management including the bodies representing the consumer, the environment, and the suppliers. The scope of the discussion ranges from wastage and emergency treatment to recycling and efflue
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Personal and career development in engineering
What's it like working as an engineer, and what career opportunities are available? On this album, 6 practicing engineers talk about the work they do and the career path they have followed. This material forms part of The Open University course T191 Personal and career development in engineering. The OpenLearn team.
First published on Fri

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The fascination with crime
Whether it's literature, television or film, crime has always been a popular genre with wide-appeal; but why is this source of fear such a fascinating subject to us? This four track audio album strives to answer this question through interviews with key figures such as criminologists and crime authors, with members of the general public also offering their definitions of crime. This material forms part of The Open University course T214 Understanding systems: making sense of complexity.
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Combating air pollution
What’s in the air you breathe and how do you know it’s safe? Pollution control is vital since nobody has a choice when it comes to inhaling the air around them. This album introduces the scientific processes behind air monitoring and air quality management. The five video tracks explore the nature of pollution arising from different forms of transport, and look at how data is interpreted and how pollutants can be minimised. To complete the album, Senior Lecturer Rod Barratt explains the cho
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Finite Element Analysis
Formula 1 is the ultimate motor sport. It demands the highest level of skill from both drivers and the engineers behind the cars. So what are the secrets of good car design? How are Formula One cars engineered for maximum performance? This album takes a behind the scenes look at Red Bull Racing, a front-runner on the F1 grid. Using thrilling archive and expert testimony, the tracks explore how the techniques of Finite Element Analysis are used to optimize the performance of different elements of
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Supply chains: Smart cars
What happens when you bring the best of two famous brands together? What sorts of innovations can emerge, and how is a brand image created for the new product? The Smart car came about as a result of a collaboration between car manufacturer Mercedes-Benz and Swatch, the Swiss watch maker. This album examines the innovations behind the Smart car, its supply chain, and its assembly line in Hambach, France, where a finished car is produced every 96 seconds. With its major suppliers situated on the
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Supply chains: healthcare
From surgical tools to obstetric instruments, personalised colostomy bags to hip implants, the UK's National Health Service requires an astonishing number of products to be manufactured, delivered and routinely managed. What happens behind the scenes to ensure the systems function smoothly? This album focuses on the different roles of B.Braun, a large supplier of medical equipment which also provides customised services for patients. In this time-critical setting, their supply chain processes mu
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Structural Integrity: Silver Bridge
The 1967 collapse of the Silver Bridge over the Ohio River was an engineering mystery and a human tragedy - 46 people died. Why did a suspension bridge built to last a century not make 40 years? Built in 1928, it was a slimmer version of similar bridges built in nearby Pittsburgh. The slimming down was deemed to be safe because of the use of a tougher steel and ‘silver coloured anticorrosion paint’. The tracks in this album look at the factors which led to the catastrophic failure of one of
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Ebusiness technologies: foundations and practice
Major retailers today face a major challenge to manage and distribute goods from suppliers around the world. What systems enable big business to keep in touch with latest sales information from their stores? How are Internet and Web technologies and their associated applications used in practice? This album explores how these technologies are changing the way businesses operate internally and externally. The seven video tracks examine a Tesco supply chain and present an insider's view of web ser
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Innovation Design: Sustainable Communities
Can you picture the future in a world without fossil fuels? Perhaps you think that living an "alternative" lifestyle has to mean painful and radical changes to the way you live now. This album looks at various small scale initiatives which show that living sustainably may not be as unpalatable as you might imagine. Bedzed, Findhorn, Hockerton, Samsoe Island; these are all decentralised communities at the forefront of a major social and technological experiment. In our world of finite resources a
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Integrated health, safety and environmental management
Just how dangerous is the everyday workplace? What can be done to mitigate risks and avoid hazards? And what trade-offs have to be made between the competing demands of safety, efficiency and wider social responsibility? This album looks at three very different case studies - farming, food manufacturing and urban redevelopment - and explores the varying approaches to risk management within each different sphere. It includes a visit to Fox's Biscuits and Brooksby Agricultural College in the UK an
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Introduction to forensic engineering
Why do products fail and who finds out why? In this free course, Introduction to forensic engineering, we enter the complex world of forensic engineering and examine how scientists analyse product failure. From investigating a ladder accident to determining the reasons behind the failures in medical products, you will understand how the truth can be established. Author(s): Creator not set

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2.1 What is a group?

Our tendency to form groups is a pervasive aspect of organisational life. As well as formal groups, committees and teams, there are informal groups, cliques and cabals.

Formal groups are used to organise and distribute work, pool information, devise plans, coordinate activities, increase commitment, negotiate, resolve conflicts and conduct inquests. Group working allows the pooling of people's individual skills and knowledge, and helps compensate for individual deficiencies. It has been
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Musée du Louvre
The Muse du Louvre houses 35,000 works of art, including the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo, but how were they brought together as a collection? This free course examines the importance of art through history and the impact of personality and conflict. First published on Fri, 05 Feb 2016 as Author(s): Creator not set