Extreme Environments

Extreme Environment notes for OCR specification A.

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Extreme Environments
Extreme: Characteristics are at edge of range, as far from Average as possible.
Environment: a person or animal's natural surroundings.
An Extreme Environment is:
A place where it is difficult to find:
o Food
o Water
o Shelter
o And Transport
It is extreme in:
o Relief
o Temperatures
Temperatures are at the edge of the ranges, as far from the average as
possible.
Hot Deserts
WHY ARE DESERTS SO HOT?
Deserts are hot for two main reasons:
Lack of cloud cover enables all of the sun's rays to hit the ground, there is
no protection from the heat
Where deserts are situated:

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Ray A is shorter than Ray B making it more concentrated, it also covers less
surface area of the Earth; this means that where the rays land it gets much
hotter. Ray B has longer to travel and has to cover a larger surface area, as it
comes from the sun it collects dust and particles making it less concentrated.…read more

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Ephemerals
Lie dormant under the surface until rains
Flowers for a few days
Pollenates in a few days
Animals
Camel
DESERT PROCESSES…read more

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Weathering is the breaking up of rocks where they are
Erosion is moving these pieces of rock through wind or water (flash flooding)
Abrasion is where pieces of rock wear away each other
You only need to know one process and one desert landform:
A desert process:
Freeze-Thaw Weathering
Water seeps into a crack in a rock
At night the water freezes
When water freezes it expands
It thaws again in the day
At night the process happens again
This keeps happening until the crack…read more

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HUMAN USES OF HOT DESERTS & IMPACTS
Oil companies
o Need to supply lots of people with food and water
o Waste management
o Burning fossil fuels results in CO2
Scientists (Above impacts)
Tourists- looking for adventure (Above impacts)
Native tribes, i.e.…read more

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The environmental degradation of land
Can be caused by humans with over cultivation
Linked to climate change
Polar Regions (Antarctica)
WHY ARE POLAR REGIONS SO COLD?
A
Ray B is has travelled much futher to reach the Earth than Ray A, it has picked
up dust along the way making it less concentrated, it also has to cover a larger
surface area of the Earth again, making it less concentrated. The average
winter temperature of Antarctica is -60°C and summer is -27.5°C.…read more

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Polar regions spend 6 months in almost complete darkness and 6 in
complete sunlight
VEGETATION
Lowest species diversity on the planet
Mostly lichens and moss
Evergreen leaves so can photosynthesise all year round
PROCESSES
Due to the lack of water erosion does not occur quickly. The most common
process is freeze-thaw weathering.…read more

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Inuit people have lived there for 1000s of years. MEDC (more economically
developed country) explorers have learnt a lot from them
About 4000 scientists live in Antarctica during the summer. 2000 are from the
U.S.A. Research centres have negative impacts such as they can result in
sewage leaks and oil spills, but they are also researching things like global
warming and this research is beneficial. In the winter there is no way of
getting of the island.…read more

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Isolation
o Having to cross seas to take fuel back
o Sinks may sink due to icebergs, also may destroy pipelines
o The annual freeze
o Dark for 6 months
Global warming may make it easier to mine
POLAR FUTURES
Melting Icecaps
Disruption of ecosystems
Destroying of world's last wilderness
Animals lose habitat
Wide-scale flooding
ANTARCTIC TREATY
http://www.antarctica.ac.uk/about_antarctica/geopolitical/treaty/update_1959.…read more

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