Our take: With the changing temperatures, the Arctic tundra is producing new plants and shrubbery that will have an effect on the condition of the tundra in years to come.
Even as insect infestations and other factors accompanying warming have led to the browning of some stretches of boreal forest between temperate regions and the Arctic tundra, the tundra appears to be greening in a big way, various studies have shown. The newest such work, focused on scrubby windswept regions along Russias northwest Arctic coast, has found a particularly noteworthy shift is under way.
In this part of the Arctic, which could be a bellwether for changes to come elsewhere with greenhouse-driven warming, what might be called pop-up forests are forming. Low tundra shrubs, many of which are willow and alder species, have rapidly grown into small trees over the last 50 years, according to the study, led by scientists from Oxford University and the Arctic Center of the University of Lapland. The researchers foresee a substantial additional local warming influence from this change in landscapes, with the darker foliage absorbing sunlight that would otherwise be reflected back to space. But the fast-motion shift to forests will likely absorb carbon dioxide, as well.
- 10 things to know before going to Salt Lake...
- 5 parenting lessons from movies
- Ben Barnes, Katherine Heigl in tune in...
- Sutton Foster promises 'an intimate look at...
- Salt Lake festival lets people 'share yoga'
- 'Guardians' stays atop cinemas amid worst...
- 5 takeaways from a punch-less summer box office
- 10 celebrity couples who have made marriage work
- It's about time the government... 12
- US judge blocks enforcement of new... 8
- Jim Bennett: The ALS Ice Bucket... 8
- Parents respond to Nicki Minaj's 'vile'... 7
- Getting ready for Salt Lake Comic Con:... 4
- Angelina Jolie, Brad Pitt wed privately... 3
- Student evades monitors, spreads Ebola... 3
- Linda & Richard Eyre: How media could... 3