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Global Warming Freezing Out Reindeers

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  • Lessard, George
    ... From: Arctic Peoples Alert, Govert de Groot [mailto:arctica@PLANET.NL] Sent: March 6, 2003 1:25 PM To: CHUM-L@LISTSERV.DFN.DE Subject: [CHUM-L] [AEDF]
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 6, 2003
      -----Original Message-----
      From: Arctic Peoples Alert, Govert de Groot [mailto:arctica@...]
      Sent: March 6, 2003 1:25 PM
      To: CHUM-L@...
      Subject: [CHUM-L] [AEDF] Global Warming Freezing Out Reindeers


      March 5 - LONDON (Reuters) -
      Reindeers, caribou and elks could be the latest victims of climate
      change.

      Increased rainfall on snow-covered pastures is causing ice crusts to
      form over the soil which make it difficult for animals living in
      permafrost areas such as Scandinavia, Siberia and Alaska to feed.

      The animals can't break the ice to get to food.

      "Researchers have already noticed that winter rainfall seems to be
      followed by a lot of reindeer deaths," according to New Scientist
      magazine.

      Researchers were not sure why the ice formed but Jaakko Putkonen and
      Gerard Roe from the University of Washington in Seattle found the answer
      by studying weather data and soil samples from the Arctic island of
      Spitsbergen.

      "From this they worked out that the rainwater seeps through the snow to
      the ground, where it freezes as heat is lost to the cold permafrost
      beneath," the magazine said.

      A weather pattern known as the North Atlantic Oscillation increases the
      likelihood of rain falling on snow (ROS). Strong winds and storms and
      warm air from the south combine to produce rain instead of snow.

      "By 2080 ROS is likely to affect 40 percent more land than it does at
      present, squeezing the reindeer into an ever smaller area," said Roe.

      Copyright 2003 Reuters News Service. All rights reserved. This material
      may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
      http://abcnews.go.com/wire/SciTech/reuters20030305_414.html


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