003 - Cold Environments

Geographic Knowledge and Understanding

Relief and climatic characteristics that make environments extreme.
How relief, climate, human discomfort present challenges for human habitation and resource development.

Key Concepts

The extreme nature of some locations helps to define them as a place. Their extreme nature means that they be infamous, newsworthy or even tourist destinations. The power of physical processes led to the extreme nature of these cold locations. The possibilities associated with climate change is likely to lead to the cold areas shrinking or becoming warmer which could make human habitation and resource extraction easier but opportunities for tourism more limited.


To be able to describe the relief and climatic characteristics that make cold environments extreme.
To be able to explain the risk of flash floods in cold environments.
To be able to describe and explain how relief and climate can create human discomfort, challenges for human habitation and resource development in cold environments.
To give detailed examples of cold environments.

Key Terminology

Activity One - Describe

There are a whole host of clips that we could watch to really see how the climate of cold areas impacts our activities and mobility. Regardless of your thoughts of Top Gear it gives a lively overview of what the North Pole is like - a high latitude environment. Watch the clip below and write down how this environments impacts what the presenters wear, eat and travel. You could record your thoughts in bullet points or a small mind map.

Top Gear - Race to the North Pole

  1. What are the key climatic characteristics of cold environments? Use the youtube clip below to answer this question and then the textbook 'Glaciation and Periglaciation' by Jane Knight to help flesh out your answer. 
  2. What is the relief like in arid environments. Use the youtube clip below to answer the question.

Why the Northernmost Town in America Exists


Useful Resources

Taken From: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Glaciation-Periglaciation-Advanced-Master-Masters/dp/184489617X
Pages 8-11