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.

  • Sunlight and 'right' microbes convert Arctic carbon into carbon dioxide
    on October 4, 2017 at 8:38 pm

    A new study outlines the mechanisms and points to the importance of both sunlight and the right microbial community as keys to converting permafrost carbon to CO2. […]

  • In warmer climates, Greenlandic deltas have grown
    on October 4, 2017 at 5:35 pm

    Unlike most other deltas worldwide, Greenland's are growing -- a trend with major consequences for both fishing and tourism. […]

  • Antarctica: Return of the Weddell polynya supports Kiel climate model
    on September 29, 2017 at 1:33 pm

    Currently, winter has still a firm grip on Antarctica. At this time of the year, the Weddell Sea usually is covered with a thick layer of sea ice. In spite of the icy temperatures in the region, satellite images depict a large ice-free area in the middle of the ice cover. […]

  • Winter cold extremes linked to high-altitude polar vortex weakening
    on September 22, 2017 at 1:40 pm

    When the strong winds that circle the Arctic slacken, cold polar air can escape and cause extreme winter chills in parts of the Northern hemisphere. A new study finds that these weak states have become more persistent over the past four decades and can be linked to cold winters in Russia and Europe. […]

  • Atmospheric effects of Arctic snowmelt
    on September 20, 2017 at 2:00 pm

    Researchers are exploring the changing chemistry of the Arctic's atmosphere to help answer the question of what happens as snow and ice begin to melt. […]

  • End-of-summer Arctic sea ice extent is eighth lowest on record
    on September 19, 2017 at 8:01 pm

    Arctic sea ice appeared to have reached its yearly lowest extent on Sept. 13, scientists have reported. Analysis of satellite data showed that at 1.79 million square miles (4.64 million square kilometers), this year's Arctic sea ice minimum extent is the eighth lowest in the consistent long-term satellite record, which began in 1978. […]

  • Arctic sea ice once again shows considerable melting
    on September 15, 2017 at 2:36 pm

    This September, the extent of Arctic sea ice shrank to roughly 4.7 million square kilometres, scientists have determined. […]

  • Forest fires are not limited to hot or temperate climates
    on September 14, 2017 at 12:40 pm

    Evidence of wildfires dating back 20,000 years was recently discovered in the Massif du Queyras, in the heart of the French Alps, 2,240 meters above sea level. This discovery echoes the recent wildfires in the Arctic tundra, where the presence of trees have become increasingly common. […]

  • Cold region 'tipping point' now inevitable
    on September 11, 2017 at 4:26 pm

    The decline of cold regions called periglacial zones is now inevitable due to climate change, researchers say. […]

  • Unraveling a major cause of sea ice retreat in the Arctic Ocean
    on September 6, 2017 at 2:36 pm

    Quantitative analysis has evidenced the acceleration system of melting ice: dark water surfaces absorb more heat than white ice surfaces, thus melting ice and making more water surfaces in the Arctic Ocean. […]

  • Reindeer grazing protects tundra plant diversity in a warming climate
    on September 4, 2017 at 1:34 pm

    Climate warming reduces the number of plant species in the tundra, but plant-eating animals, such as reindeer and voles, can turn this negative effect into something positive. […]

  • An alternative to wolf control to save endangered caribou
    on August 29, 2017 at 1:10 pm

    The iconic woodland caribou across North America face increasing predation pressures from wolves. A short-term solution to caribou conservation would be to kill wolves. But a new government policy looks at reducing the invasive species moose numbers propping up the wolf population. Researchers have now evaluated the effects of this policy on the caribou population. […]

  • Past and future of sea ice cover in the Arctic
    on August 29, 2017 at 1:10 pm

    Temperatures in the Arctic are currently climbing two to three times faster than the global average. The result is dwindling sea ice. Climate researchers now show that, in the course of our planet's history, summertime sea ice was to be found in the central Arctic in periods characterized by higher global temperatures -- but less CO2 -- than today. […]

  • Methane from tundra, ocean floor didn't spike during previous natural warming period
    on August 23, 2017 at 5:12 pm

    The last ice age transition to a warmer climate some 11,500 years ago did not include massive methane flux from marine sediments or the tundra, new research suggests. Instead, the likely source of rising levels of atmospheric methane was from tropical wetlands, authors of the new study say. […]

  • Methane hydrate is not a smoking gun in the Arctic Ocean
    on August 22, 2017 at 2:04 pm

    Methane hydrate under the ocean floor was assumed to be very sensitive to increasing ocean temperatures. But a new study shows that short term warming of the Arctic ocean barely affects it. […]

  • 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. […]