Santas Reindeers Dying Due To Changes In The Climate (VIDEO)

Reindeer are dying because they cannot paw through the ice ring to reach the grass beneath. So they are starving. Not only that, the Arctic Perspective Initiative (API) and scientists’ are concerned about Arctic changes, about things we don’t yet understand.  For example, there have not been ticks in the area, but now that has changed. The reason that we hate to see ticks is that they carry viruses and other diseases.

The API is an international nonprofit group concerned with communications about the circumpolar region. It hopes to support North and Arctic people through technology, education and training.

Twenty-two scientists got together and wrote a study that was published in the journal Nature Climate Change. They puzzled out how change has happened over the last 21,000 years, especially as it related to reindeer. One point is that the climate fluctuates, and so far the reindeer have adapted.

There are two basic categories of reindeer: those living in the primarily stable climate leading to a high level of genetic diversity and those living during a high level of fluctuation and less likely to “adapt to future change.” The report says,

A Very Large Bull Reindeer Forages For Grass. Photo Credit: Courtesy Of Public Domainview terms Dean Biggins (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) - US FWS, DIVISION OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS, WO3772-023

A Very Large Bull Reindeer Forages For Grass.
Photo Credit: Courtesy Of Public Domainview terms
Dean Biggins (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service) – US FWS, DIVISION OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS, WO3772-023

“Svalbard reindeer, the closest population to the North Pole, show low genetic diversity but are experiencing rapid climate change which may affect their long-term viability.”

One of the authors of the report, Dr Justin Irvine who is an ecologist at the James Hutton Institute said:

“A basic condition for the success of any species is that it is adapted to the environment, including climate, that it finds itself in. The genetic diversity within a species allows a species to adapt and adjust as the environment changes. The climate has always fluctuated and the distribution of species we see today is to some extent a result of how species have adapted to this.

“We are currently in a period of considerable climate change and although we understand that some species may suffer and others benefit from these changes, depending on the situation, we know less about how the genetic diversity within a species may be affected as the climate changes.

“By understanding how past climate has affected genetic diversity we can use the approach developed for this study in other situations to identify the susceptibility of different species to adapt to future climates.”

Let’s hope that the reindeer are able to adapt to the rapidly changing climate.

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