10 Interesting Facts about Arctic Tundra

One of these following facts about Arctic tundra should definitely provide you much information about what kind of biome tundra is. Arctic tundra occurs in the far Northern Hemisphere, north of the taiga belt. The word “tundra” usually refers only to the areas where the subsoil is permafrost, or permanently frozen soil and includes vast areas of northern Russia and Canada. Arctic tundra contains areas of stark landscape and is frozen for much of the year. The soil there is frozen from 25–90 cm (10–35 in) down, and it is impossible for trees to grow. Furthermore, to get to know more about this biome, here are some other facts about Arctic tundra you might be interested in.

Facts about Arctic tundra 1: Low-growing Plants

Instead of trees growing, bare and sometimes rocky land can only support low growing plants such as moss, heath (Ericaceae varieties such as crowberry and black bearberry) and lichen.

Facts about Arctic tundra 2: Seasons

There are two main seasons, winter and summer, in the polar tundra areas. During the winter it is very cold and dark, with the average temperature around ?28 °C (?18 °F), sometimes dipping as low as ?50 °C (?58 °F).

Facts about Arctic tundra - Arctic tundra

Facts about Arctic tundra – Arctic tundra

Facts about Arctic tundra 3: Habitat Conservation

Arctic tundras are sometimes the subject of habitat conservation programs. In Canada and Russia, many of these areas are protected through a national Biodiversity Action Plan.

Facts about Arctic tundra 4: Windy Area

The tundra is a very windy area, with winds often blowing upwards of 50–100 km/h (30–60 mph). However, in terms of precipitation, it is desert-like, with only about 15–25 cm (6–10 in) falling per year (the summer is typically the season of maximum precipitation).

Facts about Arctic tundra - Arctic hares

Facts about Arctic tundra – Arctic hares

Facts about Arctic tundra 5: Biodiversity

The biodiversity of the tundras is low: 1,700 species of vascular plants and only 48 species of land mammals can be found, although millions of birds migrate there each year for the marshes.

Facts about Arctic tundra 6: Animals

here are also a few fish species such as the flatfish. There are few species with large populations. Notable animals in the Arctic tundra include caribou (reindeer), musk ox, arctic hare, arctix fox, snowy owl, lemmings, and polar bears (only near ocean-fed bodies of water).

Facts about Arctic tundra - Greenland

Facts about Arctic tundra – Greenland

Facts about Arctic tundra 7: Human Activity

Due to the harsh climate of the Arctic tundra, regions of this kind have seen little human activity, even though they are sometimes rich in natural resources such as oil and uranium. In recent times this has begun to change in Alaska, Russia, and some other parts of the world.

Facts about Arctic tundra 8: Global Warming

A severe threat to the tundras, specifically to the permafrost, is global warming. The melting of the permafrost in a given area on human time scales (decades or centuries) could radically change which species can survive there.

Facts about Arctic tundra - Polar bear

Facts about Arctic tundra – Polar bear

Facts about Arctic tundra 9: Greenhouse Gasses

The amount of greenhouse gases which will be released under projected scenarios for global warming have not been reliably quantified by scientific studies, although a few studies were reported to be underway in 2011. It is uncertain whether the impact of increased greenhouse gases from this source will be minimal or massive.

Facts about Arctic tundra 10: Dead Vegetation

In locations where dead vegetation and peat has accumulated there is a risk of wildfire such as the 1,039 square kilometres (401 sq mi) of tundra which burned in 2007 on the north slope of the Brooks Range in Alaska.Such events may both result from and contribute to global warming.

Facts about Arctic tundra - Siberia

Facts about Arctic tundra – Siberia

Hope you would find those Arctic tundra facts really interesting, useful and helpful for your additional reading.

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