Flashcards in Cold Environments Deck (26):
What are the 3 reasons an environment might be cold?
They're at a high latitude, high altitude or they're are in the middle of continents.
Why are high latitudes colder?
Because they receive less solar radiation as the sun hits the Earth at more of an angle so it's spread over a larger area.
Why are high altitudes colder?
Air temperature decreases with increasing altitude, as less of the Sun's energy reflected back from the Earth is trapped at higher altitudes. Lower air pressures higher up also mean temperates drop - it gets between 6 and 10 degrees celsius colder for every 1000m you go up.
Why are continental interiors colder?
Because they're far away from the sea - in the summer, the land heats up quickly and the sea heats up slowly. In the winter, the land cools quickly and the sea cools slowly, so in the winter the sea heats up the land near the coast, but not the interior. This effect is called continentality.
What are the 4 types of cold environment?
Glacial, periglacial, alpine and polar.
Where are glacial environments found?
High altitudes and high latitudes.
What are glacial environments?
Areas of land permanently covered by ice - either by glaciers or ice sheets.
What are glaciers?
Masses of ice that flow downhill.
What are the 2 main types of glaciers?
Valley glaciers and corrie glaciers.
What is the difference between a valley glacier and a corrie glacier?
Valley glaciers fill valleys and can be several kilometres long. Corrie glaciers are smaller glaciers that are found in bowl-shaped hollows high up in mountains.
What are ice sheets?
Domes of ice covering huge areas of land.
What's an example of a glacial environment found at a high latitude?
The Antarctic ice sheet and the Greenland ice sheet - they're both entirely above 60 degrees latitude in the northern hemisphere.
What's an example of a glacial environment found at a high altitude?
The Himalayan mountains - they're the highest mountain range in the world.
Where are periglacial environments found?
High altitudes, high latitudes and continental interiors.
What are periglacial environments?
Periglacial environments are places where the temperature is frequently or constantly below freezing, but not covered by ice. They contain a layer of permafrost on or below the surface.
What is permafrost?
Permanently frozen ground.
What's an example of a periglacial environment found at a high latitude?
The northern parts of Asia, North America and Europe.
What's an example of a periglacial environment found at a high altitude?
The Tibetan Plateau in Asia and the Bolivian plateau in South America.
What's an example of a periglacial environment found in a continental interior?
Siberia in central Asia.
Where are alpine environments found?
What are alpine environments?
Cold areas of land at an altitude above the treeline.
What is the treeline?
The limit of the area that trees can grow in - above the treeline it's too cold for trees to grow.
What's an example of a alpine environment found at a high altitude?
The Himalayas, the Andes and the Alps.
Can alpine environments include periglacial and glacial conditions?
Yes - temperature decreases as altitude increases - permafrost (periglacial conditions) may exist above and below the treeline, and permanent snow and ice (glacial conditions) may exist even higher up.
Where are polar environments found?
Around the poles (high latitudes).