Arctic Greening Driven by Warmer Temperatures
Data from NASA/USGS Landsat satellites show that during 1985-2016, vegetation in the arctic tundra showed a 38% increase in greenness – representing plants growing more, becoming denser, and/or shrubs encroaching on typical tundra grasses and moss.
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Music: The Rework, by Josslin Bordat [SACEM], published by Koka Media [SACEM], available from Universal Production Music
As Arctic summers warm, Earth's northern landscapes are changing. Using Landsat satellite data to track global tundra ecosystems over decades, a new study found the region has become greener, as warmer air and soil temperatures lead to increased plant growth.
Landsat data can be used to determine how much actively growing vegetation is on the ground – greening can represent plants growing more, becoming denser, and/or shrubs encroaching on typical tundra grasses and moss. Between 1985 and 2016, about 38% of the tundra sites across Alaska, Canada, and western Eurasia showed greening. Only 3% showed the opposite browning effect, which would mean fewer actively growing plants.
Please give credit for this item to:
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center