Global warming makes tundra greener

Sep 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: Life 'not as we know it' possible on Saturn's moon Titan

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Permafrost thaw exacerbates climate change

Mar 21, 2014

The climate is warming in the arctic at twice the rate of the rest of the globe creating a longer growing season and increased plant growth, which captures atmospheric carbon, and thawing permafrost, which ...

Recommended for you

Could the Milky Way become a quasar?

Feb 27, 2015

A quasar is what you get when a supermassive black hole is actively feeding on material at the core of a galaxy. The region around the black hole gets really hot and blasts out radiation that we can see billions ...

Galactic dinosaurs not extinct

Feb 27, 2015

One of the biggest mysteries in galaxy evolution is the fate of the compact massive galaxies that roamed the early Universe.

User comments : 0

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.