Introduction

Chapter

Abstract

The common perception of the world’s cold regions are those inhospitable frigid zones extending outward from the north and south poles that are covered (at least for part of the year) with ice and snow, and where one may expect to find vast expanses of frozen ground, glaciers, ice caps, frozen lakes and ice-covered seas. Further away from the poles, climatic conditions generally become less severe, and the ice and snow may disappear for large parts of the year. This advance of milder conditions with decreasing latitude does not occur uniformly, however, being strongly affected by factors such as surface elevation and large scale atmospheric and oceanic circulations. Thus, latitude alone is not the most useful of markers for the boundary between the cold regions and the temperate zones of the mid-latitudes, where sub-zero temperatures occur infrequently. For this reason, researchers have sought a more comprehensive definition of a cold region on the basis of measurable criteria. Since by far the greater part of the Earth’s land mass and population are found in the Northern Hemisphere, the northern cold regions have received much of the attention.

Keywords

Freeze Soil Bare Ground Cold Region Freeze Ground Permafrost Region 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Geography and Earth SciencesMcMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada

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