Tundra News -- ScienceDaily The Tundra Biome. Read the latest research on the tundra including information on tundra ecology, energy resources and the effects of climate change on this biome.

  • Radioactive 129I waste used to track ocean currents for 15,000 km after discharge from nuclear...
    on August 16, 2017 at 2:03 pm

    Radioactive 129I has traveled the equivalent of a third of the way round the globe, since being released from nuclear fuel reprocessing plants in the UK and France. The iodine's 15,000 km journey begins in the nuclear plants at Sellafield and La Hague and continues via the Arctic Ocean and then southward via the Grand Banks towards Bermuda, where it is found at very low concentrations about 20 years later. […]

  • Extreme melt season leads to decade-long ecosystem changes in Antarctic polar desert
    on August 7, 2017 at 3:15 pm

    An abnormal season of intense glacial melt in 2002 triggered multiple distinct changes in the physical and biological characteristics of Antarctica's McMurdo Dry Valleys over the ensuing decade, report investigators. […]

  • Alaska's North Slope snow-free season is lengthening
    on August 3, 2017 at 6:10 pm

    On the North Slope of Alaska, snow is melting earlier in the spring and the snow-in date is happening later in the fall, according to a new study. […]

  • Loss of Arctic sea ice impacting Atlantic Ocean water circulation system
    on July 31, 2017 at 3:46 pm

    Arctic sea ice is not merely a passive responder to the climate changes occurring around the world, according to new research. Scientists say the ongoing Arctic ice loss can play an active role in altering one of the planet's largest water circulation systems: the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC). […]

  • Summer sea ice melt in the Arctic
    on July 24, 2017 at 5:31 pm

    Earlier this year Arctic sea ice sank to a record low wintertime extent for the third straight year. Now NASA is flying a set of instruments north of Greenland to observe the impact of the melt season on the Arctic's oldest and thickest sea ice. […]

  • Mountain glaciers recharge vital aquifers
    on July 21, 2017 at 1:54 pm

    Small mountain glaciers play a big role in recharging vital aquifers and in keeping rivers flowing during the winter, according to a new study. The study also suggests that the accelerated melting of mountain glaciers in recent decades may explain a phenomenon that has long puzzled scientists -- why Arctic and sub-Arctic rivers have increased their water flow during the winter even without a correlative increase in rain or snowfall. […]

  • Thawing permafrost releases old greenhouse gas
    on July 19, 2017 at 12:48 pm

    The thawing permafrost soils in the Arctic regions might contribute to the greenhouse effect in two respects: on the one hand rising temperatures lead to higher microbial methane production close to the surface. On the other hand thawing subsurface opens increasingly pathways for old, geologic methane. […]

  • Toxic mercury is accumulating in the Arctic tundra, Study finds
    on July 13, 2017 at 12:02 am

    Vast amounts of toxic mercury are accumulating in the Arctic tundra, threatening the health and well-being of people, wildlife and waterways, according to a scientist investigating the source of the pollution. […]

  • Warm winter events in Arctic becoming more frequent, lasting longer
    on July 11, 2017 at 4:15 pm

    Arctic winter warming events -- winter days where temperatures peak above 14 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 10 degrees Celsius) -- are a normal part of the climate over the ice-covered Arctic Ocean. But new research by an international team that includes NASA scientists finds these events are becoming more frequent and lasting longer than they did three decades ago. […]

  • Warmer Arctic linked to weaker vegetation growth in North America
    on July 11, 2017 at 1:43 pm

    The warmer Arctic has triggered cooler winters and springs in North America, which has in turn weakened vegetation growth and lowered carbon uptake capacity in its ecosystems, research shows. […]

  • Greenland ice sheet toxicity
    on July 11, 2017 at 3:27 am

    The Greenland ice sheet is often seen as a pristine environment, but new research has revealed that may not be the case. Scientists have examined how microbes from the ice sheet have the potential to resist and degrade globally-emitted contaminants such as mercury, lead, PAH and PCB. […]

  • Global ocean health relatively stable over past five years
    on July 5, 2017 at 8:45 pm

    While global ocean health has remained relatively stable over the past five years, individual countries have seen changes, according to a new study. […]

  • Ancient fungi could help Canada's future northern forests
    on July 5, 2017 at 2:40 pm

    As Canada's vast boreal and tundra ecosystems experience dramatic warming due to climate change, trees are rapidly spreading north. New research suggests some of these trees could be getting help from a surprising source: fungi that have lain dormant underground for thousands of years. […]

  • More summer sunshine leading to increased Greenland ice melt
    on June 28, 2017 at 6:49 pm

    A marked decrease in summer cloud cover during the last 20 years has significantly accelerated melt from the Greenland ice sheet, a team of researchers has concluded. […]

  • As climate stirs Arctic sea ice faster, pollution tags along
    on June 27, 2017 at 2:53 pm

    A warming climate is not just melting the Arctic's sea ice; it is stirring the remaining ice faster, increasing the odds that ice-rafted pollution will foul a neighboring country's waters, says a new study. […]

  • Monitoring changes in wetland extent can help predict the rate of climate change
    on June 26, 2017 at 4:45 pm

    Monitoring changes to the amount of wetlands in regions where permafrost is thawing should be at the forefront of efforts to predict future rates of climate change, new research shows. […]

  • Ocean predicts future northwestern European and Arctic climate
    on June 21, 2017 at 2:01 pm

    There is a clear potential for practical and useful predictions of northwestern European and Arctic climate based on the state of the ocean, new research indicates. […]

  • Polar bears' declining mercury levels likely due to climate-related shifts
    on June 14, 2017 at 1:18 pm

    To understand how human activities are affecting the planet, scientists often study the health of animals in the wild. Now a new study finds that the levels of mercury in some polar bears are declining. But rather than heralding a drop in mercury in the environment, the decrease could indicate how climate change has led the animals to shift foraging habits, which has affected their diets and weight. […]

  • Large Canadian Arctic climate change study cancelled due to climate change
    on June 13, 2017 at 7:06 pm

    The Science Team of the Canadian Research Icebreaker CCGS Amundsen has cancelled the first leg of the 2017 Expedition due to complications associated with the southward motion of hazardous Arctic sea ice, caused by climate change. […]

  • Iqaluit could start running out of fresh water by 2024
    on June 12, 2017 at 3:53 pm

    Without action, the supply of fresh water in Iqaluit will begin to dwindle by 2024 due to climate change and increased demand, new research has found. […]

  • How the Arctic Ocean became saline
    on June 6, 2017 at 3:27 pm

    The Arctic Ocean was once a gigantic freshwater lake. Only after the land bridge between Greenland and Scotland had submerged far enough did vast quantities of salt water pour in from the Atlantic. […]

  • Domes of frozen methane may be warning signs for new blow-outs
    on June 5, 2017 at 7:19 pm

    Several methane domes, some 500m wide, have been mapped on the Arctic Ocean floor. They may be signs of soon-to-happen methane expulsions that have previously created massive craters in a near-by area. […]

  • High release of strong greenhouse gas nitrous oxide found from northern peatlands at permafrost thaw
    on May 31, 2017 at 1:14 pm

    Permafrost thaw may greatly increase emissions of nitrous oxide (N2O) from northern permafrost peatlands, research shows. Nitrous oxide is a strong greenhouse gas: 300 times more powerful per unit mass in warming the climate than carbon dioxide. […]

  • Spotted owls benefit from forest fire mosaic
    on May 31, 2017 at 12:44 pm

    Fire is a crucial part of the forest ecosystem on which threatened spotted owls rely, but climate change and decades of fire suppression are changing the dynamics of these forests. A new study examines California spotted owl habitat use and shows that while owls avoid the badly burned areas left behind by massive stand-replacing fires, they benefit from habitat that includes a mosaic of burned patches of different sizes and degrees of severity. […]

  • Previously, on Arctic warming
    on May 30, 2017 at 6:48 pm

    Arctic warming occurred in the early 20th century due to the warming phases -- 'interdecadal variability mode' -- of both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans, suggests new research. […]

  • Some grizzly bears appear to target railways for foraging in Canadian national parks
    on May 24, 2017 at 6:18 pm

    Spilled grain, rail-killed ungulates, and the effects on other species of increased light and warmth may all attract grizzly bears to forage along railways in Canada's mountain parks, which could increase their risk of being hit by trains, according to a study. […]

  • Are wolverines in the Arctic in the climate change crosshairs?
    on May 24, 2017 at 5:11 pm

    Will reductions in Arctic snow cover make tundra-dwelling wolverines more vulnerable to climate change than previously thought? That's a question scientists hope an innovative method described in a new study will help answer. […]

  • Rare tooth find reveals horned dinosaurs in eastern North America
    on May 23, 2017 at 12:25 pm

    A chance discovery in Mississippi provides the first evidence of an animal closely related to Triceratops in eastern North America. The fossil, a tooth from rocks between 68 and 66 million years old, shows that two halves of the continent previously thought to be separated by seaway were probably connected before the end of the Age of Dinosaurs. […]

  • GIS: A powerful tool to be used with caution
    on May 18, 2017 at 2:40 pm

    A recent study provides a new perspective on the severe impacts of escalating climate change on the heritage resources of Canadian Arctic. Referring to the application of Geographic Information System analytical methods in assessing the threat of shoreline erosion to archaeological sites, it details steps taken to review the quality of the GIS model in light of a discrepancy with rates observed during actual survey visits. […]

  • Measuring the impact of a changing climate on threatened Yellowstone grizzly bears
    on May 11, 2017 at 6:19 pm

    A new analysis of Yellowstone grizzly bear diets reveals that grizzlies in the region continue to feed upon the products of an endangered tree species currently declining at the hands of climate change. Such changes are forcing some bears to look for more varied food sources. The researchers say the results call for increased monitoring efforts in the region. […]