Tuesday, November 14, 2006

"Ice Floe: Nowhere to Go" - the End of Extremes (Cont.)

Picture by J.L. Sollid from CICERO site.

Just a reminder of the content of this 'final' lesson on Extreme Environments:

a) Hard copy of the 500 word piece (Task B) into my folder by the end of the lesson, and an electronic copy saved in the Pilot GCSE folder on Pupils on Curriculum (U) - might also be worth adding the details of the task itself (available by looking for the labels down the right hand side of the blog page)
b) Hard copy of the portfolio slides for your blue exercise books - File, Print, Select printer (not that annoying default Primo PDF), Print What ? Handouts, then choose 3, 4 or 6 handouts per page.
May also want to INSERT, Slides from Files and add some of the slides from the Boardworks presentation which look at the effect of GLACIATION on the landscape. Remember that there are glaciers on Svalbard.
You SHOULD be able to !

c) Collect hard copy of the replies from Steve Johnston. I shall add more of these when I get the chance, but it's a time consuming job. There are some excellent pictures still to come - a pity we can't see them all at school.

Final things to add:
The cold temperatures experienced in Svalbard and other cold non-glacial climates result in the ground freezing solid. The top few centimetres thaw out in the summer and then freeze again in the winter - this particular part of the soil is called the ACTIVE LAYER. The reason for the name is that as the ground thaws out, large quantities of water are released, and the ground starts to move (it's a process called SOLIFLUCTION) - it results in a very hummocky landscape with lots of surface water called THAW LAKES (I have a 'thaw' finger from all this typing....)

CICERO is the Centre for International Climate and Environmental Research in Oslo. There is an excellent illustrated page HERE. This is a great place to start for explorations into the impact of this thawing of the permafrost on Svalbard (and in other parts of Norway and the Arctic too...)

I suggest you take a look at the WIKIPEDIA page on Permafrost, and take a look at some of the weird and wonderful things that happen to the surface when it is constantly being frozen and thawed out. This produces a whole range of new Geographical vocabulary: Palsas, Thufurs, Ice Wedges, Stone Polygons, Stone Garlands, Stone Stripes, Felsenmeer, Pro-Talus ramparts, Naleds and Pingos...

No, not Pingu....Pingu being animated: from Japanese Pingu page

There are some good penguin related resources on Tony C's weblog (see the link to the right...)

Incidentally, some people think that Penguins are found in the Arctic. They are generally only found in the Southern Hemisphere (and the odd zoo...) so Polar Bears wouldn't eat penguins (although if you offered them a dead one who knows ?) Came across this useful site of FAMOUS PENGUINS. I never knew there were so many famous penguins ! Nor did I want to know really...

Permafrost around the world is thawing, in some cases for the first time since the Ice Age 10,000 (ish...) years ago.
The BBC picked up on this story some years ago, but more recently on BBC News 24 there was a half hour programme about the thawing permafrost. Unfortunately the tape copy I made seems to have gone weird, and the audio is scrambled so people sound like they've been inhaling helium...
There are some of the relevant news stories available on the BBC WEBSITE, with stories HERE,
HERE (all about the possible effects on Global Warming as methane is released when the permafrost thaws)

Why is this a problem for Svalbard ? The CICERO page gives some ideas on this. It's something you could also do with knowing...

Final reminder: please add the printouts to your book. Label everything up, and bring your exercise book to the next lesson!

I also recommend Ice Age 2 as a suitable film for this topic. The website for the film has some amusing Flash elements. Please note that this should not be seen as the definitive resource on glacial landscapes and processes...DVD available from all good retailers...

And finally, while looking for a few websites to give you for this topic, I came across a particularly good ARCTIC THEME site by the US based NOAA (the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) This has numerous links to related websites and images such as the one below:Image from NOAA Photo Library
This is called PANCAKE ICE - can you see why it's called that ?
What other types of sea ice are there ? (Tony C will be able to tell you more...)

And that's a wrap...
Coming soon: MY PLACES (for a preview check out GeographyPages...)

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