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living at high altitudes UPSC NOTE

 Economic Challenges:

  • Limited opportunities for settlement in high-altitude regions like the Himalayas due to lack of economic prospects.

  • Agriculture is challenging as the land needs to be terraced, and water for irrigation is scarce.

  • Higher altitudes have fewer organisms to enrich the soil, affecting agricultural productivity.

  • Grazing livestock is only feasible during warmer months, limiting economic activities.

  • Mining is done based on resource availability, attracting settlers to certain high-altitude areas.



Oxygen and Atmospheric Pressure:

  • Low-altitude dwellers face difficulties adjusting to the reduced atmospheric pressure and lower oxygen levels at high altitudes.

  • People require more oxygen at high altitudes due to the increase in basal metabolic rate.

  • It takes a few weeks to acclimatize to the low-oxygen environment.

Lung Capacities:

  • High-altitude-adapted populations, such as Tibetans and Andeans, have similar metabolic rates at high altitudes as those at lower altitudes.

  • Lung capacities of high-altitude-adapted individuals are often higher

  • with increased forced vital capacity (FVC) and FEV1 (amount of air exhaled in one second).

  • Certain indigenous populations, like the Quechua, have deep chests and higher lung capacities compared to their counterparts at lower altitudes.

Health and Fitness:

  • Living at high altitudes can contribute to better fitness levels. 

  • Studies show that the average blood pressure remains healthy in elderly populations.



  • Challenging living conditions promote physical fitness among high-altitude inhabitants.


Compensatory Benefits:

  • Some studies indicate potential compensatory benefits of living at high altitudes, such as increased lifespan

Mice raised in a low-oxygen environment simulating the Everest base camp lived 50% longer.

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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: living at high altitudes UPSC NOTE
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