Development challenges

Developing infrastructure for mineral extraction, fossil fuels or tourism is very difficult in cold environments. The following challenges can cause problems for development:

  • Extreme temperature - very low temperatures and long hours of darkness make building very difficult.
  • Relief - mountainous areas and rugged terrain make cold environments very inaccessible for vehicles delivering materials for construction.
  • Buildings - if the permafrost layer begins to melt, the ground becomes very unstable and susceptible to landslides. Creating foundations for buildings is very difficult making further development challenging.
  • Infrastructure - building roads, railways and pipelines for water and electricity supplies is very difficult on frozen ground that is liable to melting.
The Antarctic peninsula
Hikers on the Antarctic peninsula