Extreme environments

  • Created by: Holly45
  • Created on: 24-02-15 17:39

Polar regions

Alaska, Siberia and the Antarctic

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Hot arid regions

The Sahel and central Australia

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Monthly temperatures usually below zero and never above 10 degrees.
Winter months- -20 to -30 degrees

Hot arid:
Long hot summers
Temperatures frequently above 30 degrees and never below 15 degrees

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Dry- less than 300mm per year
Precipitation is snow

Hot arid:
Dry- less than 500mm per year
Precipitation is short but rainstorms

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Adaptions for plants

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Adaptions for animals

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Adaptions for flora

Hot arid:
Water is stored in roots, stems or leaves of plants

Plants form rounded 'cushions' 5-10cm high to protect from winds

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Adaptions for fauna

Hot arid:
Desert animals are very small with large surface area

Have thick fur and some have white fur for camouflage

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Food supplies and farming

Hot arid:
Indigenous people in Sahel plant crops in zai pits
They dig wells to trap ground water

Farming is not possible
Inuit and Saami adapt for protein and fat diets

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Building design

Hot arid:
Houses have flat roofs and small, shuttered windows in thick walls which keep heat out
Solar panels are modern adaptions

Steep roofs to shed snow
Build on stilts to avoid melting ground

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Body shapes and clothing

Hot arid:
The Masai are tall and slender
Clothing is light and loose

Inuits are short and stocky
Clothing is multi-layered and uses local skins and furs

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Transport and communications

Hot arid:
Travel often at night

Areas of the ground is frozen
Pipelines are built above ground in stilts and roads built on gravel pads to stop permafrost melting.

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Energy conservation and use

Hot arid:
Irrigated green areas can help reduce excessive heat
Buildings designed to reduce the need for air conditioning

Energy use is high

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Cultural uniqueness

Inuit people are normadic, moving as herds moved
They live in igloos in winter and animal hide tents in summer

Hot arid:
Women have high status in Tuareg society

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Inuits treat people, the land, animals and plants with respect
They waste nothing and have strict hunting rules

Hot arid:
The Tuareg have become great traders
The trade means that can gain the resources they need

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Out migration

There are jobs in the oil, gas and mining industries but work is physically hard
Isolation and lack of social opportunities

Hot arid:
The Sahel is affected by drought
Basic human needs are often not met so people migrate

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Cultural dilution

In Alaska industry and immigration by oil workers has damaged traditional culture
Diets have changed and alcohol have effected communities

Hot arid:
Masai people in Kenya and Tanzania often perform and sell souvenirs to people

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Resource exploitation

Oil and Gas drilling has changed landscapes
The land has roads and pipelines which disrupt migration routes for animals

Hot arid:
Sahel land had been overgrazed by cattle and ploughed for crops
More population increase means land has to be kept used

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Land degradation

Oil spills are common in Siberia. About 0.5 million tonnes leak into their rivers

Hot arid:
Desertification turns farmland into desert

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Rainfall and higher temperatures (hot arid)

Impacts on natural systems:
-increase desertification and erosion of topsoil
-more rainstorms causing floods
-species forced to migrate

Impacts on traditional economies:
-increased frequency of drought and famine
-forced migration

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Warmer temperatures and shorter winters (polar)

Environmental impact:
-melting permafrost as temperatures rise
-loss of Arctic sea
-increase of coastal erosion

Impact on people:
-traditional hunting style undermined as prey become scarce
-migration to urban areas
-threat to coastal communites because of erosion

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Adjust climate change (hot arid)

  • small earth damns can be built by local people to trap and store rain. They're cheap and easy
  • conventional farming to help conserve water, increase crop yeilds and resist drought
  • plant breeding to create new crop varieties
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Adjust climate change (polar)

  • in Shishmaref, costal erosion has been increasing and people are moving to the mainland
  • in Greenland, cruise ship tourism has increased providing new income sources but can damage the environment thorough litter or air
  • as permafrost melts, road transport will become difficult
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