extreme cold environments (Arctic russia,Nenet)

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Extreme Cold Environments

The Nenet people live on the Yamal Peninsula north of the Arctic Circle in Russia.  This is a land covered in ice and snow.  During the winter the temperature falls as low as minus 50°C.  Summers are very short, with long hours of daylight.  Winters are long, with few hours of daylight.

Adaptations of the Nenet

1).  Farming Methods: The Nenet adapt by moving their animals south during the winter when temperatures fall to – 50°C.  Most Nenets migrate and move to graze their reindeer on moss and lichen in the southern forests (the taiga biome).

2). Building methods: The Nenet live in tepee-like homes called “choom” which are made from reindeer skins.  Women put up the poles (taken from the trees in the taiga (forest)) to make a frame on which to hang the reindeer skins.

Figure 1- a nenet choomFigure 1 A Nenet Choom

3).  Clothing: Bruce Parry found their clothes warmer and easier to move around in than his high-tech clothes.The Nenet wear two fur jackets with attached fur gloves and fur hoods and thigh-high fur boots.

4). Transport: The Nenet travel on wooden sleds that are pulled by reindeer.  They catch the reindeer with lassos made from reindeer tendons; tools and sledge parts are made from reindeer bone.

5). Energy use: The Nenet cut down trees and chop it up for firewood. This is carried on sleds so they can use it on the journey. they travell using reindeer pulled sleds so that they do not need to worry about carrying petrol.


Reindeer meat is the most important part of the Nenets’ diet. It is eaten raw, frozen or boiled, together with the blood of a freshly slaughtered reindeer, which is rich in vitamins. They add salt to preserve the meat and stop the blood from congealing.


 The Nenet’s knowledge of the land and how to survive in an area where most people would die.  They are stewards of the tundra.  They travel the area and are able to report on how the land is changing due to climate change.  Cultural tourism – people want to visit the Nenet people and experience their lifestyle.


The Nenets are at risk of extinction.

1. The first time this happened was when Russia was a part of a communist country which was called U.S.S.R which stands for Union Soviet Socialist Republication. The Nenets were split into brigades (


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