Ice fragility

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`Cold Environments are Fragile and Need to be Managed in a Sustainable Way.'
Definition of a cold environment, including presently glaciated and postglacial cold
Description of how they are fragile environments, for example a description of the
ecosystems and it's interrelations, the low precipitation and temperature,
permafrost and the action of frost heave, short growing seasons due to the climate.
Brief description of the concept of sustainability and its basic principles.
Alaska: Resource exploitation: socially and economically sustainable as it provides
employment and revenue for the company, allowing the development of infrastructure and
services within the state. The oil industries employ 700 000 people in Alaska, and provides
many of the schools and improved healthcare services. However it is not environmentally
sustainable as it is disrupting the migration patterns of species such as caribou, results in oil
spills (Exxon Valdez) and affects the permafrost. A large proportion of the native Inuit's are
against further oil exploitation, as they have traditionally relied upon he caribou. However
there are some groups who support the development as it allows them to advance socially
and economically.
Alps: Shows how tourism has damaged the fragile ecosystem, due to poor management for
example during the Olympics, where massive environmental damage was done. The
Olympics were also socially unsustainable because it provides few longterm jobs, and
caused disruption to everyday lives. The continuation of ordinary tourism is also
unsustainable as it encroaches onto a greater amount of land, higher up he slopes and so is
doing even more damage, as well as removing water from below the water table and
removing vegetation.
Cairngorms: An example of the postglaciated cold environment, where a furnicular has
been installed with some environmental damage. However it has bought more control to
management of tourists, provided more employment, localised the damage and will attract
more damage.
Antarctica: An example where sustainable management is vital, and presently this is done
via the Antarctic Treaty, which basically prevents any development or exploitation.
However the threat of tourism is affecting the sustainability of current activities in Antarctica.
It is vital that the continent is sustainably managed as we do not fully understand it and its
ecosystems, but we do know it plays a vital role in monitoring the global climate.
Conclusion: The statement is very true, as can be seen from the affects of the ski industry in
the Alps and the overexploitation of oil and development in Alaska. These environments
need to be managed sustainably to retain the environment for future generations, e.g.
Antarctica is not yet fully exploited, so management strategies are being used to try and
preserve the pristine environment.


Mr A Gibson

A useful essay plan "Cold Environments are Fragile and Need to be Managed in a Sustainable Way" which covers a wide range of examples. It is concise an accurate.

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