The Tundra

by Jesse Raney


The Tundra biome- furthest North. So far North indeed, it is very much near the North Pole. Places such as Alaska, Russia, the Canadian Islands, and Greenland have Tundras! Tundras aren't ever near the equator, where it is never cold enough for permafrost. Did you know Tundras cover a fifth of the Earth?

The Tundra can't form in Antarctica, seeing it is far too cold, so there is absolutely nothing but snow and ice.

Calculated, the range in latitude is from 75° N to 60° N.

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The highlighted zones in the picture above shows where the Tundra is located.
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The above image shows a picture of a plain of plants, and mountains.

General Description

Although in the summer, small plant life is allowed to grow, the Tundra is still very cold! One very unusual aspect of the Tundra is the Permafrost- no plant life can grow here, it is very solid, and stays permanently. Only in the Summer can small plants grow. There are also usually mountains! The Tundra also formed over 10,000 years ago, the earliest biome here on Earth. The longest seasons here are Summer and Winter, because Spring and Fall are very short.


Though it may seem ironic, there is actually low precipitation in the Tundra! It is like a desert that is cold! And it is also referred as, "The Cold Desert, "Freezing desert," due to the the such low precipitation. With dry winds and less than 10 inches of rainfall per year? Very ironic, indeed, for a place you'd imagine to be covered with snow!


Few animals can actually live in this very frigid area! Animals have had to change, or adapt, to the terrible cold, growing a lot of fur. Surpisingly, there are only about 48 land mammal species found here.

Animals such as the Turnstone (a bird), Owls, Swans, foxes, Caribou, etc., can live in this climate.


Hear this- The temperature can go down to- wait for it... -60 degress Fahrenheit!

On rare occasions, however, the temperature can go barely above 32 degrees Fahrenheit.

The average temperature can be between 10 to 20 degrees Fahrenheit! The least cold month can be up to 50 degrees Fahrenheit, at least!


In the Tundra, few plants can grow due to the solid permafrost. Though, if thawed a little, there can be some. There aren't a lot of trees when this happens, not any, besides birches. Plants such as shrubs, grasses, and several others can grow here. The soil is very poor in nutrients for the soil, yet places where animals have relieved fertilizes the soil some.

Weather and Climate

The Tundra is a cold desert, as said previously. Also previously, there is a yearly precipitation of below 10 inches. Not many plants and animals are able to live, due to the year-long permafrost to make plants, in which plants allow animals to live, starting a food chain.

It is without trees, without much life.


Bodies of water:

During the Summer, snow melts and a lot of surface water forms. It can go through the soil a bit, but stay at the top layer of soil due to permafrost.


Mountains are usually formed in the, "Alpine Tundra," where, of course, there are a lot of mountains, with even colder snowy peaks.


There aren't really a lot of canyons in the Tundra, observing the terrain is usually level, with some mountains.


Despite the fact there are plenty of bodies of water in the Summer, the Tundra has no islands. There simply isn't enough water for this, seeing the yearly precipitations is below 10 inches.

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Ecological Issues

The Tundra is a terrible place for plant and animal life to life in the Winter. It has a lot of Carbon Dioxide in the air. So much indeed, it is one of the three in Earth's "Carbon Dioxide sinks." This means that the Tundra gets a lot more Carbon Dioxide than it lets out. This is due to the Global Warming theory. It is also polluted from a lot of oil drilling.