I've been meaning to discuss this topic for awhile but quantifying this topic with measurable value's is difficult. I've found some material to broach this subject however so lets begin. First the tundra isn't what most people would imagine, it is not a vast expanse of nothing other than rock. During the summer, it is a very boggy, wet and living landscape. In the winter, well, its ice and snow. Oh yeah, and there are lakes everywhere.
I recently found a scientific interpretation of satellite images from ten years ago compared to last summer. They found in approx 1000 mile square zone of Nunavut there were 125 fewer lakes than 10 years ago. The reason for this is (and for so many lakes in the arctic) is the permafrost. The permafrost is a area of ground that never thaws. The depth at which the permafrost begins can give you a good idea of how far north you are. Most area's do have a number of inches that melt in the summer. For example the permafrost here is around 16 inches below ground level.
Now, increases in global temperature's have caused these levels to go deeper than previously recorded. Now, this means the thaw comes earlier and lasts longer than in the past. This means tree's are travelling further north every year. Another result is that the lakes are disappearing. The permafrost causes many low lying depressions to become lakes effectually sealing the depression to collect water. However with the reduction in permafrost many of these lakes are actually draining causing the lake to dry up, thus affecting all life around it.
So there you have it, easily measurable and quantifiable look at global warming in northern habitats.
ammendum: This post was made early, prematurely and upon erroneous results. Global warming is not affecting the tundra, the natural cycle of climate is. But hey, if you live in the south, just listen to the news and believe that BS, your life will be easier. To the Sierra club, Greenpeace, the sea shepard, et al, kiss my ass, you people know nothing of the north till you live and grow here. Talk to the people instead of the press and you may learn something. I repeat "Kiss my Ass``.
Sunday, March 11, 2007