Climate Change Causes Shrinking Of Reindeers; Who Will Help Santa Now?By Emily Marks, UniversityHerald Reporter
Climate change may prove to be a hindrance to Christmas. Apparently, reindeers are shrinking due to global warming. Who will help Santa Claus in his journey to town now?
The Verge reported that reindeers are continuing to decrease in size because of climate change. Global warming has hurt the Christmas icons' food access, researchers said.
Data from ecologists reveal that adult reindeers have shrunk by about 12 percent over the years. Since 1994, scientists have gone to the Arctic to keep track of the reindeers' measurements.
In 2010, it was noted that these animals were about 106 pounds. This is a problematic trend since reindeers weighed 121 pounds during the first measurement.
Scientists believe that the reindeers' shrinking is due to global warming, which ruins their food and their environment. The findings were presented at the annual meeting of the British Ecological Society.
According to Geek, climate change has affected the Arctic in that the place is already up to 36 degrees warmer than usual. With this comes more precipitation, which brings in more rain.
This rain then seeps into the soil and freezes. Oftentimes, it forms a thick sheet of solid ice above ground, which locks away many of the grasses and mosses - the main food of reindeers.
"Warmer summers are great for reindeer but winters are getting increasingly tough," Professor Steve Albon told The Guardian. Albon is an ecologist at the James Hutton Institute in Scotland and led the study with Norwegian researchers.
While warmer summers have increased the population of reindeers, a larger population and low food supply would make it unstable. It would also make the group more susceptible to sudden, environmental shocks.
It was noted that it would be much better to have a smaller number of reindeers with stronger constitutions. This can help them face a variety of harsh conditions.
Reindeers are not the only ones affected by climate change. It also has a negative impact on polar bears in terms of seal-hunting.