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The Extreme Arctic snow wiped out, breeding of animals and plants, study finds

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An extreme snowfall event in the last year, in the north-east Greenland, have resulted in a large reproductive failure, scientists claim.

The Arctic is exposed to a large amount of snow in the end of 2018, which does not melt until the end of the summer. In the scientific journal PLOS Biology, researchers examined the impact of this event, through the comparison of the extreme years of the last two decades.

Researchers have, however, found that the Arctic is changing, and the region has been experiencing both a long-term global warming and the retreat of snow cover.

Although the impact of long-term change has been well documented, researchers know much less about climate change and extreme weather events impact on the Arctic region.

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In the Zackenberg valley in Northeast Greenland in the summer of 2018.
(Lars Holst Hansen)

“Non-nesting years, it is hardly to be harmful to the high-arctic species,” Niels Martin Schmidt from Aarhus University in Denmark and lead author of the study, said in a statement. “The care perspective is that, in 2018, will offer a glimpse into the future, where the increased variability of the climate may be pushing it with the arctic animals — and possibly beyond — its limits.”

He went on to explain: “Our study shows that climate change is more than just a warming up of the earth and the ecosystem to be hit hard by that time, it was a rare, but extreme events. Be it what it may, it is the incomparable value of long-term observations at the north Pole. It is only by keeping an eye on the entire arctic ecosystem, we can understand the devastation caused by climate change.”

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