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Characteristics of cold climates
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Characteristics of cold climates



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  • 1. The Tundra & Taiga (and Alpine) Environments
  • 2. Biome v. EcosystemA regional scale assemblage of plants and animalsA local scale set of interactions between biotic and abiotic elements
  • 3. Source:
  • 4. Tundra
  • 5. The TundraTundra comes from the Finnish ‘tunturia’, whichmeans barren or treeless land. Trees do not growin the tundra because ? Photo © Anna Grandfield.
  • 6. Permafrost: Ground that is frozen for more than 2 years. In some places in Alaska it will be up to 700m deep, although in Siberia it can be closer to 1500m. Describe the Location of continuous permafrost Extent: Found in approximately 20% of the world. Permafrost is widespread in the northern part of the Northern Hemisphere, where it occurs in 85 percent of Alaska, 55 percent of Russia and Canada, and probably all of Antarctica.Source: permafrost." Encyclopædia Britannica. Deluxe Edition. Chicago: Encyclopædia Britannica, 2008
  • 7. The Arctic tundra climate
  • 8. Secondary consumers (Large carnivores/omnivores) Polar bears, arctic wolf Secondary consumers (Small carnivores/omnivores) Arctic fox, snowy owl, golden eagle Primary consumers Caribou, lemming, musk ox, arctic hare ProducersGrasses and sedges, mosses and lichens, woody shrubs and herbaceous plants
  • 9. Caribou, for example, are remarkably well adapted to life in the far north. Caribou hooves havea snowshoe-like spread that is much wider than any member of the deer family; under eachhoof is a pad that thins in winter, making the hoof sharp-edged for traction on ice. Their coatsprovide such efficient insulation that they remain warm until temperatures plummet below -70F. Caribou are also able to smell and locate lichens beneath the snow and can subsist on thisnutrient-poor food for some time.
  • 10. Taiga
  • 11. Alpine
  • 12. Alpine environments  What is an Alpine environment?  Describes any high mountains, but more accurately refers to areas characterized by glacial erosion with a cold but not dry climate.  What are mountains?  “In general, mountains can be said to be higher than 300 m but it is more appropriate to discuss them in terms of zones of similar altitude, slope and vegetation type.” Source:
  • 13. Chamois