Study Notes

GCSE Geography | Using Technology to Protect Cold Environments (Cold Environments 9)

Level:
GCSE
Board:
AQA, Edexcel, OCR, Eduqas

Last updated 19 Jul 2023

Cold environments have been significantly harmed by economic development. Hunting has caused some species to be at risk of extinction, mineral extraction and energy industries have polluted the land, and indigenous communities have had their traditional cultures threatened.

Preventing out-migration

Life for traditional indigenous communities in cold environments is harsh, and many young people have moved away as a result. However, technology has started to make life easier which might stop out-migration. For example, people now buy clothing (often online) made from modern materials rather than having to make clothes from animal skins and hides; children have access to TV and ICT so can play computer games and communicate with friends online, whereas they used to have to play outside so therefore were bored during the bitter winter season; and traditional communities such as the Inuit get around by snowmobiles and cars (where there are roads), rather than relying on kayaks and sleds pulled by dogs - although these are still used.

Connected to the rest of the world

The internet has been a lifeline for remote communities within the Arctic Circle - this started with wireless radio and satellite links set up in all of the main settlements, and then shared computer and internet facilities. Access to technology is still patchy in places, however there are some tiny remote communities who have access to a mobile phone network, despite not having traditional methods of communication set up, such as landlines and regular mail delivery.

Many people in remote communities access education and health services through video conferencing, such as Zoom. This has enabled Inuit children to connect online to lessons being delivered by teachers in other schools. Students in isolated regions can complete a range of online courses and degrees run by the University of Alaska.

Recently high-speed broadband networks have been set up in even the remoteness of communities - a 15,600km fibre optic cable has been laid along the Arctic coastline of North America connecting these isolated communities to the rest of the world. This investment into communications infrastructure has been made easier due to global warming, as it is easier to lay cables when the ice thins.

Using Technology to Protect Cold Environments | AQA GCSE Geography | Cold Environments 9

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