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Home* News and Stories → Mil­der win­ters: bad for polar mam­mals

Mil­der win­ters: bad for polar mam­mals

Mil­der win­ter wea­ther with rain ins­tead of snow is not­hing com­ple­te­ly new for polar are­as with a mari­ti­me cli­ma­te such as Spits­ber­gen, but the­re is more of it in times of cli­ma­te chan­ge, a ten­den­cy expec­ted to incre­a­se in the future. Rain that free­zes to ice on cold ground during an alrea­dy dif­fi­cult sea­son has always been dif­fi­cult for rein­de­er, and an incre­a­sed fre­quen­cy of such events will make their alrea­dy chal­len­ging life cer­tain­ly not easier.

Pregnant fema­le polar bears need slo­pes with good snow cover in the ear­ly polar night and good hun­ting grounds on sea ice in spring. Both, but espe­cial­ly the lat­ter, may be lacking more and more fre­quent­ly in the future with a chan­ging cli­ma­te.

Spits­ber­gen-rein­de­er in late win­ter. Ear­ly May 2010, Eskerda­len.

Climate change - Spitsbergen-reindeer in late winter

Source: NINA

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last modification: 2014-07-01 · copyright: Rolf Stange
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