Climate Change Is Starving North Pole Reindeer

Sami Reindeer Herding

From TIME:

“Scientists say while there are more reindeer, they are much smaller in size

Climate change is impacting the amount of food available for reindeer on a chain of islands near the North Pole. Because of the diminishing amount of food available, scientists say the average weight of reindeer on Svalbard, located just north of Norway, has dropped from 55kg, or 121 lbs, to 48kg, or 106 lbs.

The Guardian reports the reindeer are losing access to plants because warmer winter temps mean less snowfall. Without snow, the precipitation that falls is often rain which eventually freezes the ground; the ice sheets serve as a barrier between the reindeer and their food. The changes in temperature also mean reindeer have more food in the warmer months, a change that has led to a population boom. So while the reindeer are smaller, there are more of them.”

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