The Arctic tundra of the Yukon, Canada. Photo credits JEFF KERBY/NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC SOCIETY
People have been experiencing the effects of global warming and climate change. The scorching heat of the sun, massive floods, drought, and even wildfires. You may have high hopes of the Earth healing again but the drone photos of the arctic might just make re-think.
Right now, the Arctic is getting greener and could be a sign of the earth is getting worse. The Artic’s color is something to be astounded about as it connotes an abundance of vegetation in the region and that it warms twice than the rest of the planet causing rapid melting of permafrost that is also causing holes in the landscapes. Permafrost contains thousands of years of the accumulated carbon in the form of plant material. The melt of the permafrost also releases more water into the soil that leads to a contagion effect. According to Kerby, “When a ground is frozen, plants don’t have any access to water so it’s almost like being in a desert for part of the year”.
Permafrost thaws, and the land slumps PHOTOGRAPH: GERGANA DASKALOVA/NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC SOCIETY
Photo credits Science News
The transformation in the Arctic doesn’t just show possible consequences to the place itself but the whole world as well.
Researchers are now trying to quantify how the plant species in the Arctic are coping up in a warmer place. With the use of drones, satellite data, fieldwork, and several scientists found an abundance of vegetation in the area such as shrubs and grasses.
This phenomenon is called “The Arctic Greening” and is considered to have bad implications in both the Arctic and the world’s climate.
When the soils defrost deeper, it will also release gobs of nutrients that have been trapped underground for maybe thousands of years, and it changes the growth of these abundant Arctic plant species which also means the landscape could get even greener and more adaptable to plants that can take warmer temperatures.
In tundra ecosystems such as the Arctic, up to 80 percent of the biomass is below ground which explains that the green surface we are seeing is just the tip of the iceberg. These plants that cause the greener hue may be actually all in the below-ground world that makes it difficult for researchers and scientists to track.
The Arctic could be a great place to look at with its greener grazing, but it’s slowly harming the planet’s connatural state.