Why are ecosystems in cold environments fragile?

Cold environments such as Western Antarctica (including peninsula) and Arctic tundra are extremely fragile, mainly due to the low temperatures severely limiting vegetation growth and thus any development will destroy the natural environment.

Are cold environments fragile?

Cold environments provide one of the last wilderness areas on Earth and have fragile ecosystems. Economic development puts these ecosystems at serious risk of damage and therefore these areas need to be protected.

What are the threats to cold environments?

The main threats facing Antarctica:

  • 1 – Climate change / Global warming, resulting in a warming of the sea and loss of sea ice and land-based ice, this is greatest long-term threat to the region. …
  • 2 – Fishing, both legal and illegal. …
  • 3 – Invasive species.

Why do cold environments have low biodiversity?

They have an extreme climate and unique characteristics such as the soil type and the plants and animals found there. The biodiversity in cold environments is relatively low because very few species survive there.

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Why might it be difficult to exploit cold biomes?

Many cold environments are sparsely populated and have few communication links going through them. This makes them difficult to reach (inaccessible) and people may not be able to rely upon reliable supplies of food and energy.

Why are cold environments so important?

Cold environments provide several development opportunities that can generate income, allowing the economy to grow. These development opportunities include: Mineral extraction – reserves of gold, silver, iron ore and copper can all be found in cold environments.

Why is Antarctica a fragile environment?

The collapse of the Larsen C ice-shelf is a reminder that Antarctica and the Southern Ocean are very fragile environments, with the land, waters and marine life increasingly impacted by the effects of climate change. … As ice shelves collapse the glaciers behind them retreat more quickly, causing further sea-level rise.

Why are cold environments found?

The main cause of cold environments is latitude. In the far northern and southern latitudes, where temperatures are extremely cold, permanent ice sheets exist and in Antarctica for example, they cover much of the continent and are as thick as 2000m in many areas.

Why is Antarctica so cold?

Both the Arctic (North Pole) and the Antarctic (South Pole) are cold because they don’t get any direct sunlight. The Sun is always low on the horizon, even in the middle of summer. … The ocean under the Arctic ice is cold, but still warmer than the ice! So the ocean warms the air a bit.

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How has technology been used to protect cold environments?

Technology. Technology can provide environmentally friendly solutions to some of the challenges faced by developing cold environments. An example of this is the use of stilts to raise the Trans-Alaskan pipeline above the ground and insulation of the pipe, to reduce the risk of thawing permafrost.

What adaptation make animals survive in colder climates?

Animals have many adaptations to survive in this harsh environment; Animals need shelter and insulation in the Tundra. The animals here tend to have thicker and warmer feathers and fur. Many of them have larger bodies and shorter arms, legs and tails which helps them retain their heat better and prevent heat loss.

Why are polar environments cold?

Both polar regions of the earth are cold, primarily because they receive far less solar radiation than the tropics and mid-latitudes do. At either pole the sun never rises more than 23.5 degrees above the horizon and both locations experience six months of continuous darkness.

How does vegetation adapt to cold environments?

Adaptations. Deciduous plants handle the lack of water by shedding their leaves, which tend to evaporate water into the air. During cold winter months, most deciduous plants drop their leaves and go dormant. … Plants may hold onto dead leaves for insulation, or use deep snow like a blanket to protect against the cold.

Why is it difficult to live in the tundra?

‘ The extremely cold temperatures of the tundra, combined with the lack of precipitation makes for a rather barren landscape. But there are a number of plants and animals that still call this unforgiving ecosystem their home.

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How cold environments like Svalbard can provide challenges for development?

Development challenges in Svalbard

Winter temperatures can drop below -30°C in Svalbard. This, along with limited sunlight in the winter, makes working outside very challenging. In the winter the sea freezes and roads become very dangerous.

How is Alaska at risk from economic development?

Development challenges in Alaska

Winter temperatures can drop below -30°C in the north of Alaska. … In addition, in the winter the sea freezes and roads become very dangerous. Buildings and Infrastructure. Permafrost in Alaska creates considerable challenges for building and constructing infrastructure.