Changes in Arctic Temps Impact Variety of Species

Male Caribou.  Photo Credit:  Jon Nickles/U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

Male Caribou. Photo Credit: Jon Nickles/U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

A recent study which surveyed Arctic conditions found a number of rapid changes — changes that are quite harmful to a number of species.  Species once thought to be immune, or at least thought to be affected less, by increasing Arctic temperatures were discovered to be suffering.  Migratory caribou are experiencing decreased survival of their calves.  Plants are blooming earlier, but calves are born at the same time which means there is less food when they arrive.  At the same time, non-migratory reindeer on the Norwegian Svalbard Islands and musk ox are experiencing a boom because of easier foraging.  Similarly, while Arctic foxes have decreased, red foxes have extended their range north.  Interestingly, this has happened with an increased temperature of 1 degree Celsius over the past 100 years.  For more information, see the Scientific American.

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