Arctic Tundra Essay

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Arctic Tundra As children, we dream of the North Pole as a magical place ware happiness fills the air. The North Pole along with Alaska, Northern Canada, Northern Scandinavia, Northern Siberia, Russia and edges of Greenland are all in the Arctic Tundra. The tundra’s latitudes are 55 degrees to 75 degrees N. This covers over three million square miles and encapsulates one fifth of the Earths land mass. This biome is the coldest of all of them, yet it’s also one of the driest. The Tundra rarely gets above -18 degrees during the harsh winter. However, in the short 6-10 week summers it can reach a mild 50 degrees. Unlike the cold, dark and bitter winter months, the summer sun shines 24 hours a day. Winds are strong in the tundra and can blow from 30 to 60 miles per hour. The Tundra’s precipitation levels are very low, on average getting 6-10 inches of rain. This manly consists of melted snow. The surface of the tundra is frozen all year. This condition is called permafrost. The land is so frozen that the permafrost doesn’t allow water or plant roots in. In the spring the top layer of the permafrost softens and allows some plants to grow and repopulate. Nonetheless these plants become passive when winter comes. The Arctic Tundra appears to be soggy during the summer weeks because of its many bogs and shallow lakes. These bogs and lakes don’t drain because of the barrier of the permafrost underneath. The word Tundra comes from the Finnish word Tunturi which means a treeless and barren land. As expected the Tundra is treeless because trees roots would not be able to penetrate the thick permafrost. Because the tundra doesn’t have much soil this is an ideal place for moss to grow. It is able to grow on top of the permafrost as well as underwater. Artic moss grows low to the ground to avoid the brutal winds. Like moss, lichens also can grow without soil. In
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