The tundra climate is a transitional climate between the Subarctic and Ice cap climates. It is a region of rolling to nearly level terrain almost entirely devoid of trees. Polar climates like the tundra are characterized by very cold temperatures and generally dry conditions. Temperatures never rise above 10 o C 50 o F during the summer. The tundra located near the Arctic and Antarctic Circle, experiences times when the Sun never rises above the horizon. Figure 9. Ice mounds are a product of ground heave caused by alternating freezing and thawing of permafrost. It is so cold in the tundra that permafrost is a prominent feature. Permafrost is soil, rock, or peat that has been frozen for more than two years. Near the surface the "active" layer thaws during the summertime and subsides or moves down slope.
All rights reserved. Barren tundra lands are home to hardy flora and fauna and are one of the Earth's coldest, harshest biomes. Tundra ecosystems are treeless regions found in the Arctic and on the tops of mountains, where the climate is cold and windy, and rainfall is scant. Tundra lands are covered with snow for much of the year, but summer brings bursts of wildflowers. Mountain goats, sheep, marmots, and birds live in mountain—or alpine—tundra and feed on the low-lying plants and insects. Hardy flora like cushion plants survive in the mountain zones by growing in rock depressions, where it is warmer and they are sheltered from the wind. The Arctic tundra, where the average temperature is to 20 degrees Fahrenheit to -6 degrees Celsius , supports a variety of animal species, including Arctic foxes , polar bears , gray wolves , caribou , snow geese , and musk oxen.
The arctic tundra is a harsh environment that only the toughest plants and animals can survive in. The habitat has a long and brutal winter and the barren landscape provides many challenges. Below are some really neat facts about the arctic tundra! While the arctic tundra is confined to only the areas near the north pole, other areas that are part of the tundra biome can be found in Antarctica and certian cold, mountainous regions alpine tundra.
Winter precipitation generally consists of dry snow , with seasonal totals less than in the summer when cyclonic storms that develop along the boundary between the open ocean and sea ice yield rainfall. Typical annual totals are less than 35 cm about 14 inches , but a range from 25 to cm 10 to 39 inches is possible, with higher totals in upland areas. Days are long a result of the high latitude , but they are often cloudy.