Identify The Broad Range Of Temperatures Over Which Life Is

Temperature is one of the limiting factors which can determine the presence of life on Earth. There is a diverse array of living organisms found on earth, across a broad range of temperatures – ranging from -70 degrees (at the poles) to 55 degrees (in deserts) and 350 degrees (near ocean vents). There is an enormous variation in temperature on land (-80 to 60) compared to temperature changes in water (-2 to 30), these great variations have allowed for diversification of organisms.

Much like enzymes, species have an optimal range of temperature in which they can function – this tends to be a relatively narrow temperature range. The temperature range in which an organism can survive is known as its tolerance range – few organisms can survive in broad temperature ranges.

Examples : the Pompeii worm can withstand an enormous temperature range (80 to 20 at any one time) this is due to bacteria on the worms back which have a symbiotic relationship with the worm - in which the worm provides food for the bacteria and the bacteria protect the worm from temperature changes. The Sahara desert ant can maintain its core temperature of 56 degrees, even though the external environment is at 70 degrees – this is also useful as the desert environment experiences great temperature differences between day and night.