The tundra It is a type of biome of the subglacial climate , characterized by the frozen subsoil and the absence of trees. These are flat lands, with the I usually covered with mosses and lichens.
Most of the tundra spans Siberia , Alaska , he northern canada , he southern greenland and the european arctic coast . In the southern hemisphere, it is possible to find portions of tundra in the southern tip of Argentina and Chile , the subantarctic islands and the zones of the north of Antarctica which are close to sea level.
Statistics indicate that the tundra occupies about a fifth of the surface emerged from our planet. It is possible to distinguish between two types of tundra: alpine or high mountain tundra (which appears at great heights) and the arctic tundra (arises in lower areas and exhibits more vegetation).
The geology called permafrost to the permanent ice sheet that exists at the surface levels of the soil in regions of very low temperatures. In the tundra, large areas frozen during winter become swamps or peat bogs when the temperature rises, since permafrost does not allow melt water to seep.
The seals, the sea lions, the white bear and the wolf are some of the animals that inhabit the tundra. Other species, such as reindeer, migrate to other areas in the coldest times of the year. As for the flora, it does not usually exceed 10 centimeters in height due to the action of the wind.
The melting of polar ice caps has endangered the fauna of the tundra, and the polar bear is one of its main victims. Unfortunately, there are no concrete measures to combat this situation. On the other hand, hundreds of thousands of seals that do not pass the year of age are killed by blows to trade with its skin and fat in the form of dietary products and aphrodisiacs.
Fires and climate change
After being absent for about ten millennia, the fires They have returned to the Arctic tundra, which accentuates the severity of the climate change. A study shows that these fires can negatively affect areas far from the specific points at which they take place.
In 2007, a team of ecologists from the University of Florida, North America, conducted an investigation with the purpose of quantifying the amount of carbon that had been emitted in a fire that same year on the Anaktuvuk River in Alaska. The results were alarming: 2 million 100 thousand tons of carbon were released into the atmosphere, about twice the annual emission of the city of Miami, and enough to impact the weather of the entire world.
Smoke from the fire sent gas of greenhouse effect to the atmosphere, although this represents only a small portion of the impact on the environment, since on the other hand it consumed a third of the insulating layer of organic matter that is responsible for protecting permafrost.
Since the soil of the Arctic tundra is rich in combustible material, such as peat, permafrost is exposed and a layer very absorbent to the heat of the sun is formed on it, which can contribute to its melting. When this occurs, the organic matter that the ice had kept isolated begins to be decomposed by microbes, with the consequent release of carbon that had remained trapped for centuries or millennia.
The tundra is a large carbon deposit, and that is why a fire in its extensions has an especially negative impact on the Planet.