Development opportunities

Cold environments provide several development opportunities that can generate income, allowing the economy to grow. These development opportunities include:

  • Mineral extraction - reserves of gold, silver, iron ore and copper can all be found in cold environments. These minerals are extremely valuable and countries are increasingly tempted to mine from underneath the tundra. Russia has already started exploiting minerals from beneath the tundra.
  • Energy - fossil fuels such as gas and oil are abundant in cold environments. The US government are extracting oil from the Alaskan oilfields near Prudhoe Bay. This has caused concerns as heat from the terminal buildings, workers' houses and transporting warm oil through the 800 km pipeline has led to the permafrost melting.
  • Fishing - the coastal waters of cold environments have good fish stocks. These waters are increasingly attractive for commercial fishing due to an increasing global population to feed and reducing fish stocks in other parts of the world.
  • Tourism - cold environments such as Antarctica have seen a huge increase in the number of tourists. Over 36,000 tourists visited Antarctica in 2014 to observe its wildlife and experience its beautiful wilderness.