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Normally news about greening spaces has a positive connotation, but when it comes to the Arctic, a greener landscape is not a good thing. Researchers published new projection models in the journal Nature Climate Change which reveal that by 2050, the great white north could have as much as double the amount of vegetative cover as it does now as a result of higher temperatures and precipitation changes.
“Such widespread redistribution of Arctic vegetation would have impacts that reverberate through the global ecosystem,” Richard Pearson, lead author on the paper and a research scientist at the American Museum of Natural History’s Center for Biodiversity and Conservation, told Physorg.
Working with researchers from AT&T Labs-Research, Woods Hole Research Center, Colgate University, Cornell University, and the University of York, the team was able to predict what limited number of species would be thrive in the Arctic’s extreme weather conditions under temperatures that are increasing twice as fast as the global average.
Trees will be found hundreds of miles from the current tree line in Siberia, Physorg notes as an example of what the Arctic region will look like in the next few decades, while migratory birds accustomed to nesting on open ground at northern latitudes will be among the casualties of these drastic changes. Not only that, but large swaths of white space reflect sunlight back into the atmosphere, while dark spaces absorb heat. Which means that the feedback loop will contribute to even greater warming. And this is no April Fool’s joke.