Tundra

By Daniel Sory

Biome Location:

The Tundra is located near the north pole, and some are near the south pole. The Tundra is usually found in places like Alaska, northern Canada, Northern Russia, Scandinavia, Greenland, and Iceland. It is generally is found very far north, close to the poles, so the environment is very cold

The location of the tundra

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Description

The Tundra is a flat treeless landscape where permafrost occurs, you can find it 3 feet down. Permafrost is when the soil is permanentally frozen, meaning that plants cannot grow there, but some do. In the summer, the first 10 inches or so of permafrost melts, creating a swampy, marshy bog.

An average day on the tundra

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Weather

The temperature in the tundra ranges from -40 to 18 degrees celsius. The weather in the tundra is usually cloudy or sunny, the tundra usually gets about 150 to 250 millimeters of precipitation each year, most of which is snow. The tundra is actually a very windy place, winds can get up to 97 kilometers an hour!

Landforms

The word "tundra" comes from the Finnish word "tunturia", meaning "treeless plain", so I bet you can imagine what it looks like. as the word suggests, the tundra is mainly just frozen plains as far as the eye can see, apart from the occasional hill or lake. A bit south of the north pole, right where the tundra meets the taiga, there are trees, usually conifers, that grow there because the permafrost is not so bad there.

Animals

Animals in the tundra are scarce, but there are a few who can live in the cold, including; lemmings, caribou, ermines, musk oxen, and some arctic hares, but let's not forget about POLAR BEARS! One of if not the fiercest predators in the arctic. It will feed on the abundance of seals in the area. Other predators include Arctic foxes, snowy owls, and feral wolves. Some birds like the Harlequin Duck come to the tundra for migration reasons.

Plants

Due to the permafrost I mentioned earlier, plants cannot grow in the tundra most of the year, but in the summer, the topmost layer of permafrost thaws, allowing plants to grow there. Some plant species that live there are some lichens, many mosses, bearberries, and shrubs. Since there can be a long period of time without sunlight in the tundra, many plant species have adapted to conserve energy for that period and for the harsh cold.

A lichen, one of the few plants that populate the tundra

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Catastrophic events

Fire is a very common event, believe it or not, in the tundra. But some of the most devastating disasters are involved with, say it with me now, "global warming". Floods, animals changing their habits, huge fluctuations in animals we depend on for food, all of these things happen because the heat is causing the ice caps to melt.

Human Impact

The tundra is a very fragile environment, any misbalance can throw the whole ecosystem into chaos. Many people come to the tundra to search for oil, hunt some of the animals, and just to live. Many towns have been founded in the tundra, greatly throwing off the balance of the ecosystem. The animals have been pushed out of their natural habitat, and some have even been killed. The polar bear population has declined lately due to the people disturbing their food sources . Even the birds have been harmed, the use of pesticides has disturbed the insects, which many birds migrate there to eat.