GEOGRAPHY extreme environments

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  • Extreme environments
    • hot arid
      • mostly in the tropics
      • deserts- less than 250mm rain annually
      • drylands- 250-500mm rainfall annually
    • cold polar
      • Only found at high lattitudes
      • glacial- ice covered
      • tundra- frozen soils
    • Fauna and flora
      • polar
        • glacial- very little life, small tough plants and some small animals
        • tundra- many animals and evergreen trees
          • fauna are adapted to have thick fur and fat layers to keep heat in eg arctic bison
      • hot arid
        • semi arid regions- animals store water in fat, are nocturnal to avoid heat
          • flora store water for draught, have long shallow roots to get water before it evaporates
    • they are vulnerable
      • cold polar- ice melt = flood, whole ecosystems can be wiped out, permafrost melt = landslides and ecosystem damage
      • hot arid- draught = no life, desertification (soil to desert) = semi arid wiped out
    • human adaptations
      • cold polar
        • cold- trip;e glazing, thick clothes, geothermal power (iceland)
        • frozen ground- houses on stilts (ground melts), hunting not farming,roads on gravel (ground melts)
        • snow- steep roofs (snow slides off)
      • hot arid
        • heat- whire walls (reflect heat), thick walls and small windows (keep heat out), air con, loose clothes and head coverings
        • lack of water- flat roofs (collect water), irrigation and nomadic farming
    • Human influences
      • cold polar, ALASKA- oil spills, permafrost melt (industry), cultural dilution (increased travel), out igration for better opportunities (youth)
      • hot  arid, SAHEL-  air pollution (industry) overgrazing leads to desertification,youth out migration (opportunities), traditions performed for tourist entertainment
    • Climate change
      • polar- warm summers means ice and permafrost melt, species migration, extiction.
      • hot arid- rainfall drops, so desertification occurs, and unpredictable weather means draughts and storms
    • sustainable management- making sure environments can support people, recover quickly, is damaged less and understood by the locals
      • hot arid, tanzenia- water management (wells etc)
      • cold polar- geothermal power (iceland), laws for fishing and pollution, ecotourism and culture preservation
    • Global management
      • polar- Antarctic treaty, 1961 (restricts development) protocol environment protections (no new activity in Antarctica besides low impact
      • hot arid- UN convention for combating desertification 1994- 195 countries give money and share info on it

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