The Arctic - Huge Case Study

This is a large series of notes on the Arctic, looking at biodiversity and other immplications for the region. Its 44 pages. 

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  • Created on: 08-10-15 21:23
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The
Arctic
­
Large
case
study
Three
sections
1. Detail
on
all
areas
2. Notes
that
summaries
areas
(begins
at
word
`overview')
3. Case
studies
Biomes
and
Biodiversity
Definition
- "Biodiversity"
means
the
variability
among
living
organisms
from
all
sources
including,
inter
alia,
terrestrial,
marine,
and
other
aquatic
ecosystems
and
ecological
complexes
of
which
they
are
a
part:
this
includes
diversity
within
species,
between
species,
and
of
ecosystems.
o According
to
the
convention
for
biological
diversity.
- Ecosystems
as
a
dynamic
complex
of
plant,
animal,
and
micro-organism
communities
and
their
non-
living
environment
interacting
as
a
functional
unit.
o According
to
the
convention
for
biological
diversity
(CBD).
- There
is
not
single
definition
of
the
Arctic,
which
causes
trouble
for
multilateral
environmental
agreements
(MEAs).
o Edexcel
define
it
as
66
degrees,
32
North
(Arctic
circle).
Arctic
natural
resources
- Continental
shelf
-
The
central
feature
of
the
Arctic
is
the
Arctic
Ocean.
The
Arctic
Ocean
has
the
widest
continental
shelf
of
all
the
oceans.
- Sea
route-
With
climate
change,
the
Northwest
Passage
and
the
Northern
Sea
Route
may
become
increasingly
important
navigation
routes.
Currently,
however,
a
sparse
network
of
air,
river
and
land
routes
surround
the
Arctic
Ocean.
- Forests-
Boreal
forests
of
the
Arctic
cover
about
17%
of
the
global
land
area,
representing
the
largest
natural
forests
in
the
World.
o But
also,
Seven
of
the
world's
ten
largest
wilderness
areas
are
located
in
the
Arctic
region.
- Freshwater-
The
Arctic
contains
a
large
freshwater
resource.
o With
Together
with
the
Antarctic,
the
largest
fresh
water
source.
- Fish-
The
total
catch
of
wild
fish
in
the
Arctic
mounted
to
7.26
million
tonnes,
or
10%
of
the
world
catch
(2002
data).
- Gold
-
Approximately
3.2%
of
the
world's
gold
production
comes
from
the
Arctic.
- Diamonds-
Arctic
Russia
produces
21%
of
the
global
gem-quality
diamonds,
while
almost
15%
of
the
world
production
is
now
being
extracted
from
northern
Canada.
- Oil
-
About
10%
of
the
global
oil
production
and
25%
of
the
global
gas
production
takes
place
in
the
Arctic.

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Page 2

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Animals:
27%
of
Marine
mammals,
1%
of
terrestrial
mammals,
15%
of
marine
birds,
10%
of
lichens.
Biomes
- The
Arctic
contains
three
terrestrial
biomes
and
one
marine
ecosystem.
o Boreal
forest
(also
know
as
taiga)
o Tundra
o Polar
deserts
o The
Arctic
Ocean
Boreal
forests
- Outline
o Boreal
forests
make
up
29%
of
the
world's
forest
cover.
o Characterized
by
coniferous
forests
and
generally
long
and
cold
winters.…read more

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Taigas
have
few
native
plants
besides
conifers.
The
soil
of
the
taiga
has
few
nutrients.
It
can
also
freeze,
making
it
difficult
for
many
plants
to
take
root.
The
larch
is
one
of
the
only
deciduous
trees
able
to
survive
in
the
freezing
northern
taiga.
o Shrubs
and
flowers,
mosses,
lichens,
and
mushrooms
cover
the
floor
of
a
taiga.
These
organisms
can
grow
directly
on
the
ground,
or
have
very
shallow
roots.…read more

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Clear-cutting
involves
cutting
down
all
the
trees
in
a
designated
area.
! This
destroys
habitats
for
many
organisms
that
live
in
and
around
the
trees,
and
makes
it
difficult
for
new
trees
to
grow.
Clear
cutting
also
increases
the
risk
of
erosion
and
flooding
in
the
taiga.
! Without
a
root
system
to
anchor
it,
a
taiga's
soil
can
be
blown
away
by
wind
or
worn
away
by
rain
or
snow.…read more

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However,
for
much
of
the
year
there
is
physiological
drought
as
the
moisture
is
frozen.
o Case
study:
Verkoyansk
is
situated
in
the
tundra
region
of
eastern
Russia.
! It
experiences
temperatures
below
freezing
for
much
of
the
year
so
that
the
majority
of
the
soil
layer
is
permanently
frozen
(permafrost).
! During
the
brief
summer,
when
the
sun
is
continuously
above
the
horizon,
the
temperatures
rise
above
freezing,
giving
a
short
growing
season
for
plants.…read more

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The
caribou
feed
mainly
on
mosses
and
lichens
during
winter
when
they
shelter
within
the
great
coniferous
forests.
! In
summer
they
migrate
in
huge
numbers
to
the
open
tundra
where
their
diet
is
supplemented
by
grasses.
! Caribou
have
large
spreading
hooves
that
allow
them
to
walk
on
snow
or
boggy
ground
and
they
have
a
thick
coat
of
hollow
hairs
which
gives
them
excellent
insulation.
! Under
natural
conditions
caribou
are
constantly
on
the
move
and
no
overgrazing
results.…read more

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In
the
southern
regions
of
the
Arctic,
the
surface
layer
above
the
permafrost
melts
during
the
summer
and
this
forms
bogs
and
shallow
lakes
that
invite
an
explosion
of
animal
life.
Insects
swarm
around
the
bogs,
and
millions
of
migrating
birds
come
to
feed
on
them.
- Threats
o With
global
warming,
the
fall
freeze
comes
later
and
more
of
the
permafrost
is
melting
in
the
southern
Arctic.…read more

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The
desert
vegetation
consists
of
algae,
lichens,
and
mosses.
Lichens
are
the
most
dominant
plants.
o
The
ground
is
bare
with
patchy
cover
of
lichens
and
mosses.
o Flowering
plants
are
also
seen
but
not
as
common.
It
only
contains
60
species
of
flowering
plants.
- Threats
o Whaling
o Overfishing
-
in
the
Bering
Sea
there
is
a
lot
of
fishing
due
to
the
high
populations
of
halibut
and
Alaskan
Pollock.…read more

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Lion's
mane
jellyfish
are
abundant
in
the
waters
of
the
Arctic,
and
the
banded
gunnel
is
the
only
species
of
gunnel
(an
eel
like
fish)
that
lives
in
the
ocean.
o The
Arctic
Ocean
has
relatively
little
plant
life
except
for
phytoplankton.
!
Phytoplankton
are
a
crucial
part
of
the
ocean
and
there
are
massive
amounts
of
them
in
the
Arctic,
where
they
feed
on
nutrients
from
rivers
and
the
currents
of
the
Atlantic
and
Pacific
oceans.…read more

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Walruses
also
use
it
as
a
place
to
rest
and
congregate,
so
its
!
absence
often
forces
them
to
overcrowd
shorelines
and
swim
greater
distances
to
reach
food.
o Reflects
sunlight
! Earth's
poles
are
cold
mainly
because
they
get
less
direct
sunlight
than
lower
latitudes
do.
! But
there's
also
another
reason:
Sea
ice
is
white,
so
it
reflects
most
sunlight
back
to
space.
! This
reflectivity,
known
as
"albedo,"
helps
keep
the
poles
cold
by
limiting
heat
absorption.…read more

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