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Flashcards in Physical - The Living World Deck (45)
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1

What is a polar region?

Regions surrounding poles
- N = Polar ice caps on Arctic Ocean
- S = Antarctica continent

2

What is a tundra region?

Flat, treeless Arctic (60N+) regions

3

Temperature in P/T?

P= 0C summer, -40C to -90C winter
T= 10C summer, -50C winter

4

Precipitation in P/T?

P= Up to 100mm / yr
T= Up to 380mm / yr

5

Seasons in P/T?

Clear. Coldest in Winter

6

Soil in P/T?

P= Covered by ice sheets and permafrost. Never exposed.
T= Covered by permafrost but exposed in growing season. Thin, infertile.

7

Plants in P/T?

Few, slow growing and short (e.g. lichens and moss)

8

Animals in P/T?

Few, e.g.
P= Polar bears, penguins, whales, seals, walrus
T= Lemmings, arctic hares, wolves, reindeer

9

People in P/T?

P= Almost none. Some scientists (Antarctica), some indigenous (Arctic)
T= Many people. Towns. Indigenous people.

10

What is permafrost?

Permanently frozen ground.
Continuous = one large sheet of frozen material
Discontinuous = broken sheet, some melts and some doesn’t

11

How long must ground be frozen for to be called permafrost?

2 years

12

How thick is permafrost?

1m to 1000m

13

What is the active layer of permafrost?

- Melts for 1 to 2 months in tundra due to summer warming
- More areas melting due to climate change
- Exposes soil, allowing plant growth
- Problem for infrastructure, as ground shifts.

14

What is interdependence?

When ABIOTIC and BIOTIC factors depend on each other for survival

15

Give an example of interdependence

PLANTS get nutrients from SOIL and provide these nutrients to ANIMALS when they are eaten. ANIMALS spread seeds, helping PLANTS reproduce.

16

Why is the tundra food web so basic?

All nutrients stem from producers, which have short growing season.
Conditions are harsh to survive in

17

Is biodiversity low or high in cold environments?

Low

18

How is global warming affecting biodiversity of cold environments?

Getting lower.
Species adapted to polar environments can’t go anywhere colder.
Face extinction

19

What are some cold environment plant adaptations?

- Become dormant in Winter (conserve energy)
- Short and rounded (protect against strong wind and make warm air pockets)
- Small leaves (conserve water)
- Shallow roots (permafrost below soil)
- Photosynthesise fast (short growing season, 50-60 days)

20

Example of adapted plant to cold environments?

Bearberry Plant
- Red berries (Attract birds to distribute seeds)
- Hairy stem (Retains heat)
- Thick stem (Stability against wind and heavy snow)
- Low growing, 5-15cm (Protect against wind)
- Small, leathery leaves (Retain water and heat)

21

What are some cold environment animal adaptations?

- Well insulated, fur/ blubber (reduce heat loss)
- Some hibernate in Winter (conserve energy)
- Non-hibernators change food in Winter (adapt to what is available)
- Some migrate to warmer area in Winter (easier to survive there)
- White coats (camouflage from predators)
- Hollow hairs (trap air near body, warmed by body heat)

22

Example of adapted animal to cold environments?(1)

Alaskan Wolf
- Short legs, mussle, ears (reduce surface area for heat loss)
- Fur coat and thick undercoat (defend against wind)
- Soft fur near skin (trapped air layer for body heat to warm)
- Large feet (conserve energy as don’t get stuck in snow)

23

Example of animal adaptation to cold environment?(2)

Caribou
- Compact, stocky body (reduce surface area to conserve heat)
- Noses have chamber for holding heat
- Hollow outer hairs (trap air and heat)
- Adaptable digestion (adapts to food available)
- Splithooves (easier to walk on snow)

24

What is a wilderness area?

Undisturbed areas that haven’t been modified by human activity

25

Why are cold environments fragile (take ages to recover after interference)?

- Plants grow slowly
- Species are highly specialised to specific conditions

26

Why protect cold environments (Wilderness areas)?

- Biodiversity (only habitat for some species)(medical ops)
- Science (can study species in natural habitat)
- Final frontier (last remaining unaltered areas)
- Snow and ice (high albedo, sun reflection monitors global temps)(store lots of greenhouse gases)

27

How can we balance economic development and conserving cold environments?

- Use of tech
- Conservation groups
- Role of government
- International agreements

28

Ways tech reduces impact in cold environments?

- Building on stilts and elevated oil pipelines (keeps permafrost frozen)
- Zig-zag pipes (flex with permafrost)

29

How do conservation groups protect cold environments?

Put pressure on government for sustainable management (eg WWF)

30

Example of government law in cold environment?

1964 Wilderness act - designated areas to protect

31

Example of international agreement in cold environments?

1959 Antarctic Treaty
- Signed by 12 nations
- Limited development

32

Location of Alaska?

- Northern hemisphere, North America
- US state but borders Canada
- Pacific Ocean in South
- Arctic Sea in North

33

What ecosystem is Alaska?

Tundra

34

Opportunities in Alaska?

- Oil
- Fishing
- Mineral extraction
- Tourism

35

Oil in Alaska?

- 1/2 income
- 1/4 US oil
- Trans-Alaska pipeline takes oil from Prudhoe Bay (N) to Valdez (S)

PROBLEM: Spills are damaging

36

How long is the Trans-Alaska pipeline?

800km

37

Fishing in Alaska?

-$5 billion economy
- Employs 79,000
- 3 sided coastline, 3000 rivers, 3000000 lakes

PROBLEM: 5lb bycatch for every 1lb catch

38

Mineral extraction in Alaska?

-1/5 income
- Gold, silver, iron, copper
- Mainly in Tintina gold belt

PROBLEM: Running out of minerals to extract

39

Tourism in Alaska?

-2 million per year
- One of biggest employers

PROBLEM: Seasonal work (Summer) and poorly paid

40

Population of Alaska?

736,000

41

Where do most people in Alaska live?

South/ South-East (e.g. Anchorage)

42

Challenges in Alaska?

- Inaccessability
- Infrastructure
- Extreme cold

43

Inaccessability in Alaska?

- Far from rest of US
- Some towns only accessible by air/ dangerous ice roads
- Permafrost makes travel hard

44

Infrastructure in Alaska?

- Hard to build to cope with permafrost and weather
- Construction only in lighter, warmer summer

45

Extreme cold in Alaska?

- Average temp in Prudhoe Bay (N)= -9C
- Can cause injury and death, healthcare far away