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TUNDRA CLIMATE

(most measurements in Fahrenheit and inches... sorry rest of the world)

Tundra climate is found along the Arctic Ocean and is an extremely harsh climate during the winter. Summers are cool and never completely melt the soil, creating permafrost. The frozen soil prevents trees from growing and water from draining into the Earth. The water sits at the top and creates bogs and marshes. 

Where is Humid Tundra Climate Usually Located?

Tundra climate is usually found between the 60-75 degree latitude lines. Tundra climate is mainly found along the coast of the Arctic Ocean.  Tundra is a transition climate between Ice Cap and Subarctic, similar to Semiarid being a transition between Arid and more humid climate.

What Seasons Does Tundra Climate Have?

Tundra climate areas experience a a very harsh winter and a cool summer. During the summer, much of the snow and ice melts and forms soggy marshes and bogs.  However, some of the deeper parts of the soil stays frozen even through the summer--a layer called permafrost, as in permanent-frost.  The permafrost can be between 10 and 35 inches.  The permafrost prevents the melted snow and ice above from draining into the ground water, so marshes and bogs form. 

Tundra Soil Layers
This is a graphic of the layers in Tundra soil, showing permafrost.
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What are the Temperatures like in Tundra Climate?

Winters are very harsh in Tundra climate.  Winter months temperatures are usually between -18 and -50 degrees.  "Summer" temperatures range from 35-50 degrees.  High latitudes are the main cause of of the low temperatures.  These areas mainly receive indirect sunlight.  Indirect sunlight delivers light, but little heat.  Even during the summer, Tundra mainly receives indirect sunlight, which is why temperatures rarely go above 50 degrees.

How Much Precipitation Does Tundra Climate Receive?

Tundra climates receive low levels of precipitation.  Between 5-15 inches of precipitation falls every year in Tundra climates, usually in the summer.  The temperatures are far too low to cause significant amounts of evaporation.  If Tundra received just a few less inches of precipitation it could be considered a "desert".

What Kinds of Vegetation (Plants) Does Tundra Climate Have?

The permafrost (frozen soil) prevents any trees from growing here (see picture below).  Many different types of mosses, lichens, and algae grow in Tundra climate.  Lichens are a mixture of algae and fungus (see Ice Cap Climate).  Some grasses and low shrubs can also survive.

Tundra Bog
This is a pictures of the a bog found in the Tundra region.
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What Kinds of Animals Does Tundra Climate Have?

The main animals found in Tundra climate are Polar Bears, Musk Ox, Arctic Fox, Snow Owl, reindeer, and lemmings.  Many insects and birds also exist, especially during the summer. 

Polar Bear
This is a picture of a polar bear on the ice.
Musk Ox
This is a picture of a Musk Ox.
Caribou
This is a picture of a caribou eating grass.
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Caribou

This is a picture of a caribou eating grass.