Flashcards in Cold Enviornments Deck (28):
Name two biomes that are cold environments
Polar and tundra
Describe 4 of the characteristics of where and what happens at polar and tundra environments
Covers one quarter of earths land surface
Found at high latitudes
Cold sinking air generates freezing winds and sunlight is thin/sparse
At high latitudes the sun doesn't rise for several months
Where are polar regions & Name some polar areas and a characteristic
Found in inland areas far from warming influence of sea
Northern Russia (Siberia)
Average monthly temperature is always below freezing, this allows snow and ice to accumulate over time.
Most polar regions are partly or completely covered with ice caps
Where are tundra regions, name some and give some characteristics
Found south of ice caps in the northern hemisphere
They occupy around 1/5 of earths land surface e.g. Russia and Canada
Places don't have permanent ice cover but experience very weather for most of the year
Has low lying shrubs and mosses, no trees and most of the ground is permanently frozen
What is permafrost
Permanently frozen ground found in polar and tundra regions
Physical characteristics of cold environments
Cold sinking air created freezing winds and at the highest latitudes the sun may not rise for several months of the year - tilt of earths axis
Average temp is below freezing
Tundra = dry
Not much rain because air is to cold to evaporate water
Nutrient cycle in tundra
Biggest circle will be biomass
Soil and little will be relatively small
Describe a tundra food web
The producers= mosses, lichens and grasses form at the base
Primary consumers\herbivores= depend on producers for survival are musk ox, artic hare and pikas.
Secondary consumers\carnivores= eat the herbivores are the arctic foxes, brown bears.
Above them are the artic wolves, polar bears and snowy owls - third order consumers.
Tertiary/top predator = man who kills animals and birds.
Decomposers = Bacteria and fungi
Describe the interdependence of climate, permafrost, soils, plants, animals and people.
The permafrost relies on the climate to be cool enough so it remains frozen, the climate relies on man not to break through permafrost in which contains methane gas= global warming.
Plants and animals rely on climate for suitable living conditions and the plants rely on the soil to be able to grow and the animals rely on plants to eat and other animals rely on those animals to eat.
Humans rely on plants for oxygen in the environment and for the animals for food and materials
How do animals adapt to the cold environments
Tundra wolf= white fur to camouflage, small rounded ears, smaller nuzzle and legs to reduce heat loss. Thick undercoat to keep warm, large padded feet.
Musk ox= dark thick long hollow haired fur to keep warm, the hollow hairs keep air warmed by body heat. They huddle together to keep warm, horns= protection.
Snowshoe rabbit= fur can be different colour in seasons, in winter they are white and in spring/summer they turn a reddish brown. Both used for camouflage. A lot of fur and large legs to support walking.
Caribou= compact, stocky body with short tail and ears to reduce heat loss. Skinny legs have veins and arteries that run side by side so that the heat of the arterial blood coming from the body warms cooler blood from lower legs. Split hooves = help balance walking
How do plants adapt to cold environments
Bearberry plant= low growing to survive strong winds, bright red berries eaten by birds which helps distribute seeds, hair stems to retain heat, small leathery leaves help retain water in dry environment
Caribou moss= can go a long time without water, they grow dry and go dormant when there isn't enough water and can grow again after being dormant for a very long time, grows close to floor 1-4 inches high and stems are hollow.
Issues related to biodiversity
Climate change= melting ice and rising sea level can put many species in danger eg polar bears , when ice isn't there anymore it can't reflect sunlight which reduced heat.
Location and basic facts on Alaska
Alaska is located in the Southern Hemisphere to the west of Canada and is owned by America
Alaska is a tundra biome
What are som the of the development opportunities found in Alaska
What are the facts/reasons why and effects of mineral extraction
1/5 of mining wealth is from gold
Humans and ecosystems can be harmed by the toxic environments and gasses released
Machinery used can release chemicals which pollute the air and also damage the permafrost
Can extract mercury, gold, nitric extracts
Used for medicine g
What are the facts/reasons why and effects of the use of energy and oil as a development opportunity
Oil leaks can damage the environment e.g.- a broken pipeline spilt 1 million letters of oil in 2006
Fast reserves of oil
Industry provides 100,000 jobs
Contributes to 1/3 of Alaska annual earnings of $40 billion
Can realise toxins
What are the facts/reasons why and effects of fishing in Alaska
There are 2 types of fishing; commercial and subsistence
Commercial fishing is of salmon, crab and whitefish which is done on a large scale whereas subsistence fishing is by native Americans and is done on a small scale and they use the fishing for oil (food) and bones (clothes).
Successful and sustainable $6 billion a year
3 million lakes
What are the facts/reasons why and effects of tourism on Alaska
Damages animals habitats
Can cause pollution
Historical sites are view
60% crew ship passengers
Fish, view, wildlife, whale watching and kayaking
Tourism brings 1-2 million visitors a year
Seasonal and poor pay
What are the challenges of developing extreme temperature
The newer and changed temperatures could result in certain plants not being able to grow there anymore, therefore effecting food chains as there could be a decline of primary consumers.
Certain animals won't have adaptations or characteristics that match or fit with the more extreme temperatures
Loss of habitat for species eg- melting ice increases sea levels and decreases amount of land for animals such as polar bearsp
What are the challenges of developing inaccessibility
As they are inaccessible people might not be able to rely upon reliable supplies of food and energy.
Harder to travel and access in summer as ice cracks
Hard to reach people in need or help
What are the challenges of developing provision of buildings and infrastructure
Houses have to be raised up above ground to prevent subsidence
Roads are built on gravel to prevented them cracking
Oil pipelines are raised on stilts to prevent melting of permafrost
Many houses have triple glazing to prevent heat loss
Geothermal power is used where underground pumps pump water deep underground where it is warmer and then brings that warmed water back to surface to heat buildings
Buildings have steep pitched roofs to get rid of snow that falls
What is the value of cold environments as wilderness areas
Ice reflects back light to reduce global warming, if the area wasn't a wilderness area and was covered in buildings then this wouldn't happen
Provides clean non polluted air
Acts as a laboratory for the rest of the world where changes can be measured in isolation from effects of man- crucial for us to find out about the effects of global warming including using ice cores to date back hundreds of thousands of years ago.
Why should wilderness areas such as Antarctica be protected
Antarctica is the last and largest unspoiled wilderness area on earth- reminder of what the planet was like before the influence of man.
Wildlife in which isn't found in any other areas- help protect them and their habitats, if not they could become extinct.
Antarctica acts as a laboratory for the rest of the world where changes can be measured in isolation from effects of man- crucial for us to find out about the effects of global warming including using ice cores to date back hundreds of thousands of years ago.
The ice in Antarctica reflects the sunlight which decreases temperature- helps combat global warming
What are the 4 main strategies used to balance the needs of economic development and conservation in cold environments
Use of technology
Role of governments
How has technology been used to balance the needs of economic development and conservation in cold environments
Spread awareness for the need to He protect it
Designing certain technology and machines so when out there we can limit amount of damage done
Learning new ways to protect the environment e.g.- raising oil pipes so it doesn't heat permafrost
How has role of government been used to balance the needs of economic development and conservation in cold environments
The government have been able to asses the needs and been able to meet the needs by giving money to contribute towards helping conserve the environment.
The government have also put in place certain rules and regulations to help conserve it e.g.- closing off certain parts so they remain untouched and saying that tourists cannot go within 1 metre of the wildlife or their habitats
How has the role of international agreements been used to balance the needs of economic development and conservation in cold environments
International agreements have brought together very powerful strong and wealthy countries to help work together to preserve the environment eg- Antarctic treaty in 1961 (1959)- no new activity is allowed unless the potential impacts of the environment have been fully assessed and minimised.