Monday, August 20, 2012

Quick facts about tundra

Tundra refers to area where specific climatic and geographic conditions hinder the tree growth, resulting in specific vegetation that includes dwarf shrubs, sedges and grasses, mosses, and lichens.

The world's most famous tundra is Arctic tundra. At winter, the temperatures in Arctic tundra go below -40°C with average temperature being −28 °C.

Arctic tundra is also characterized by very strong and cold winds. The powerful winds in Arctic tundra often blow 30–60 miles an hour.

In the last few decades some shrubs in the Arctic tundra have turned into trees as a result of the climate change and increased temperatures in Arctic. Because of the increased temperatures Arctic tundra is shrinking, and in process opening the door to rapid forestation. What this means is that many trees can now survive in places that would have been too cold before

The ever-growing climate change impact has already significantly increased vegetation in Arctic tundra regions, and many scientists believe that this increase in vegetation can lead to further global warming acceleration by leading to a faster melting of the snow in spring.

Tundra is usually characterized by low biodiversity due to harsh natural conditions. The only real exception to this rule is the fact that millions of birds migrate in tundra each year for the marshes.

It is believed that Arctic tundra is rich with many important resources such as oil and uranium.

The three main types of tundra are Arctic tundra, alpine tundra, and Antarctic tundra.

Unlike Arctic tundra, Antarctic tundra is characterized by the lack of large mammal fauna.

The main difference between the Antarctic and alpine tundra is that alpine tundra typically does not have permafrost. The dominant flora of alpine tundra is dwarf shrubs.