TUNDRA

Created by Elli Kuhn

LOCATION

This is the world's youngest biome at only about 10,000 years old. It is usually between 55° to 70° North, covering about 20% of the Earth's surface, circumnavigating the North Pole. Small tundra-like regions exist in Antarctica and in the Southern Hemisphere, but due to the fact that they are much colder than regular tundras, they don't really have the right conditions for a true tundra to form.

CLIMATE

The name literally means, a barren land; the ground here is permanently frozen 10 inches to 3 feet down, meaning trees can't grow here. Since the ground is so bare, and occasionally rocky, it can only support low growing plants. Winters are very cold and dark, while summers, when the snow and top layer of permafrost melts, it is very soggy and covered in marshes, lakes, bogs, and streams. These are the two main seasons here. The tundra is the world's coldest and driest biome, with an average temperature of -18°F that can drop to -94°F. Here it only receives about 6 - 10 inches of precipitation (mostly snow) each year, making it like a desert. During the summer the sun shines almost 24 hours a day, giving it the nickname of the Land of the Midnight Sun. It is also a windy place - winds can blow between 30 to 60 miles an hour.