Extreme Climates

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  • Extreme Environments
    • Polar Regions
      • Located in areas of high latitude meaning in colder climates.
      • Winters are very cold up to -50 degrees and no hours of lights.
      • Summers are short with many hours of light, this is the growing season in the Tundra.
      • Variations: Tundra = frozen soil- e.g Alaska Glacial = ice-covered- e.g Greenland
    • Hot Arid
      • Located mostly in the tropic areas.
      • Cold night temperatures because there aren't any clouds to retain heat.
      • Dry- Some years may receive less than 250mm of precipitation.
      • Variations: Deserts = less than 250mm rain per year- e.g Sahara  Drylands = 250-500mm rain per year- e.g Sahel
    • Why are Extreme environments fragile?
      • Polar: Fauna and Flora - Glacial regions. Only able to support life other than mice, insects and arachnids. Some hardy plants grow close to the ground to survive the strong winds.
      • Hot arid: Fauna and Flora -The animals found in this region are able to store water in their fat like a camel and tend to be nocturnal throughout the day, but out of sunlight. Insects collect moisture from the air. Some animals are able dissipate heat, e.g large ears. Plants store water and have deep roots so they can reach the water stored deep underground.
      • Tundra regions- More animals, insects and birds are able to adapt to tundra regions. As animals have thick fur and layers of fat. Many of the animals have white fur this is used for camouflage against the white snow away from predators.
    • People and Extreme climate
      • Adaptation to the cold: Triple glazing windows in their houses. Wear layers of wool, fur etc, to keep warm. Use geothermal power.
      • Adaptation to frozen ground: Houses are raised by stilts. Hunting rather that growing crops. Roads built on gravel to prevent cracking with solifluction.
      • Adaptations to the snow: Steep roofs so that the snow falls off easily.
      • Adaptations to heat: Buildings painted white to reflect the heat. Thick walls and small windows to keep the heat out. Air conditioning in homes. Wearing head coverage.
      • Adaptations to the lack of water: Flat roofs to catch water. Irrigation used to grow crops.


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