Extreme environments can be found in a lot of place. The main extreme environments are mountains which can be found in variety of locations. Polar environments can be found towards the top and bottom of the Earth. Desert environments are usually found along the equator.
Extreme environments can be a variety of different conditions that make it hard to survive in and difficult for the human body. For example an extreme environment can be very cold or hot, very dry or remote, they can also be very high up with low altitude. Also if they are very low like the bottom of the ocean there is high pressure which can have a devastating affect.
Polar environments are extremely cold, this can affect the human body in quite a few ways. A way it affects the body is when your body is in a cold environment most of your body's energy is used to keep you internally warm. Over time your body will move your blood from your outer skin, hands and feet etc to the centre of your body. This allows the exposed skin to cool extremely rapidly and increases your risk of frost bite. Frost bite has many affect including your hands going numb and not being able to use them. Here is an image of frostbite.
Hypothermia is a condition where body’s core temperature drops below that is required for an normal metabolism and body functions. This is normal body heat which is about 35 degrees C. As body temperature decreases side affects can occur like shivering and mental confusion. Hypothermia can also lead to death.
Antarctica is a big land mass. It even has an active volcano MT Erebus whilst the arctic is just a frozen area of sea. Antarctica is colder than the arctic and contains the largest amount of ice and snow in the world.
Antarctica actually sustains life to animals and plants. The main animal found in Antarctica is penguins. Penguins eat by diving through holes in the ice and eat fish under the ice. Of the 17 species of penguin only 4 breed on the continent Antarctica. When penguins travel quickly they will leap clear of the water every few feet. This is called porpoising. This enables them to “catch their breath” and reduces their chances of being eaten by a predator but they can also use it to leap onto land. So they can use this to come back up through the hole they dived through.
Antarctica is becoming a very popular destinations for tourist. There is now a concern that to many people will change the nature area. Not only do tourist visit on cruise ships, some tours allow skiing to the south pole.
Antarctica is actually a polar environment but there is also debate if it is a desert. Just because a location is called a desert does not mean its hot. A desert is defined as an area of low and irregular rainfall, no permanent surface water and no vegetation. Antarctica is the worlds driest place, it receives less than 2 inches of precipitation annually. Antarctica is 5.5 million square miles( about 14,245,000 square miles) in area. Annual snowfall on the polar plateau is equivalent to less than 5cm of rain fall.