“Icy Arctic warming -the Arctic reindeer is threatened”

Snow was late coming to reindeer land in the Arctic this year.

Icy Arctic warms three times faster -will reindeer become endangered too?

The reindeers survival is closely linked to their abiiity to eat dry lichens. This year the area around the Barents Sea are unseasonably mild, above zero degrees Celsius. The Arctic reinder eat dry lichens, but with their home warming their food souce has to be supplemented. Why?

reindeer hers down

When this wet ice in the lichen is eaten and enters the reindeers’ stomach, they can’t digest the food. In the past, when the snows have come, they have generally fallen on dry ground, this year the lichens are filled with water.

Because the reindeer’s traditional food is dry lichens, if they eat wet lichens it upsets their digestion. “there’s wet ice in the lichen.” so they can’t digest the food.” To avoid losing precious reindeer, the Sami, native people of Norway, the reindeer herders, are forced to move their herds to drier ground and even feed them straw. Since there is less snow and it is coming later, it is more important than ever to let these herders drive the reindeer across the entire north of the nation.

The Arctic is being hit hard by global warming. It warms three times faster than elsewhere in the Northern Hemisphere because of a phenomenon called Arctic amplification. As global air temperatures increase, the Arctic tends to show greater changes, because the ice pack that once reflected solar rays  is melting. When more of the sun’s rays are absorbed rather than reflected warming  accelerates and the polar ice melts and shrinks.

First the polar bear and now will the reindeer be the next artic animal to become endangered after the polar bear?

We can make the difference by living more simply, recycling and using less plastics, pesticides and growing our own organic food. Will you become part of the solution?

Resources

Excerpts courtesy of terradaily.com/Global_warming_a_growing_threat_to_Arctic_reindeer

Excerpts courtesy of http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/54130

Image courtesy of nasa.gov/goddard/images/content/173181main_reindeer_herd.jpg

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