Global warming makes tundra greener

September 15, 2005

Satellite images taken over decades show two seemingly contradictory events that indicate global warming is affecting Alaska.

Thousands of satellite images show Alaskan tundra becoming greener, while also indicating that forests stretching from Alaska's interior into northeast Canada are becoming less green, the Anchorage (Alaska) Daily News reported Thursday.

"Everyone (assumed) these forests were (also) going to continue to green, and it turns out that there may be other factors that are causing unexpected results," Scott Goetz, a senior scientist at Woods Hole Research Center in Massachusetts and one of four scientists analyzing the satellite data told the newspaper.

Alaskan snow researcher Matthew Sturm said some scientists theorize tundra bushes that grow above the snow make the surface darker, accelerating heating by up to 70 percent and, therefore, increasing tundra greening,

Fairbanks ecologist Glenn Juday said the forests are becoming less green because the trees are rapidly drying in the increasing warmth.

The study appears online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: Ecology on the wing

Related Stories

Ecology on the wing

September 21, 2015

Drones have been flying over the Ugalla Forest in Western Tanzania. Far from being part of a military operation, these drones are being used to map chimpanzee habitat as part of an international research collaboration.

Natural soundscapes may become 'digital fossils' of the future

September 11, 2014

Sounds are integral to Henry David Thoreau's "Walden," the book about two years he spent living in a cabin in the woods near Walden Pond in Massachusetts in 1846-47 - the wind blowing through the rushes, the rumbling of the ...

Recommended for you

The hand and foot of Homo naledi

October 6, 2015

The second set of papers related to the remarkable discovery of Homo naledi, a new species of human relative, have been published in scientific journal, Nature Communications, on Tuesday, 6 October 2015.

New surfaces delay ice formation

October 6, 2015

If you've ever waited on an airport runway for your plane to be de-iced, had to remove all your food so the freezer could defrost, or arrived late to work because you had to scrape the sheet of ice off your car windshield, ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.