Cold environments checklist

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Revision Checklist
1. Processes and factors that give cold environments their distinctive characteristics
Weathering
Frost action, snow action (nivation), wet/dry, pressure release,
hot/cold, vegetation, solution, acid action
Erosion
Glacial (bulldozing, plucking, abrasion) meltwater, wind action
Transport
Mass movement (solifluction, frost heave, avalanche, creep, flows,
slides) meltwater, ice, wind
Deposition
Glacial (lodgement, ablation, englacial), meltwater, wind
Periglacial
Ice expansion, ice contraction, seasonal melt, mass movement
Factors
Physical – extreme climate, perma–frost, glacial features, ecosystem
Human – low population, little farming, long ignored, recreation
2. Why cold environments are considered to be fragile
Climate
Extreme with ‘sudden’ events e.g. very cold snap
Perma-frost
Delicate nature of supply (global warming)
Energy
Low energy environment (low inputs – cold)
Nutrients
Low stores, vulnerable flows
Species
Limited range of – limited gene pool and food chains
Population
Largely undisturbed until twentieth century
3. Issues associated with the development of cold environments
Opportunities
Settlement – military and research bases
Power production – wind
Industry – tourism, furs, fish products
Mining – oil, gas, ores
Agriculture – grazing, use of heated greenhouses
Transport – pipelines, coastal, air
4 Challenges to development
Physical
Climate – harsh and extreme
Relief – glacial and peri-glacial deposits
Vegetation – thin and tough
Drainage – role of permafrost – poor drainage
Ecosystem – hostile or low productivity
Soils – leached, permafrost
Human
Population – sparse and often nomadic indigenous populations
Transport – limited by climate and permafrost
Costs – high cost of offsetting conditions & remoteness
History – long ignored and considered marginal
Settlement – few large towns for services etc
5. Managed to ensure sustainability - the issues
Physical
Need to protect fragile environment
Endangered species
Impact of global warming and impact on global warming
Drainage and seasonal flooding
Human
Role of indigenous groups – exploitation, cultural viability etc
Pollution from mining
Resource exploitation – e.g. over fishing
Impact of recreation and tourism
Transport improvement – out versus in migration
© Owned by or under licence to Pearson Education Limited 2008
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