Girl Planting seeds

Changes in snow coverage threaten biodiversity of Arctic nature

Many of the plants inhabiting northern mountains depend on the snow cover lingering until late spring or summer. Snow provides shelter for plants from winter-time extreme events but at the same time it shortens the length of growing season, which prevents the establishment of more southern plants. This is why the reduced snow cover may be an even larger threat to the Arctic plants than rising temperatures.  In a study published in the renowned scientific journal Nature Climate Change, researchers from the University of Helsinki and the Finnish Environment Institute analysed how projected changes in temperature and snow cover duration will affect the risk for extinction in northern flora. The results show that many plant species can benefit from a warmer climate, but the rapidly receding snow cover may irradicate a large part of the flora typical to northern mountains. Many of these species are already endangered, which makes their conservation an urgent challenge.  Read more...

 

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