What Are the Ecological and Environmental Concerns of the Tundra Biome?

ecological-environmental-concerns-tundra-biome Credit: Daniel J. Cox/Stone/Getty Images

According to the Seattle P-I, the environmental and ecological concerns of the tundra biome include climate change, air pollution, human development and ecological imbalances. Recently, humans have been increasingly impacting the tundra both directly and indirectly. In the past, the tundra has not been able to support much human life and therefore remained free of human disturbance.

The main concern of the tundra biome is global climate change. Arctic temperatures have risen 3 to 5 degrees within the past 50 years and are expected to double in the future, as stated by the Seattle P-I. Warming temperatures thaw the permafrost of the biome, causing problems such as plant invasions, erosion and wildfires. Air pollutants are carried into the tundra along air currents. This pollution is causing many issues, including harming the lichen population and 'arctic haze,' which contributes to acid rain. It also leads to greater radiation damage due to holes formed in the ozone layer. Large reserves for oil, natural gas, diamonds and other minerals are found in the tundra. These reserves have led to the construction of roads, mines and drilling operations on the land. Land where development takes place is affected, causing disrupted migration routes, road dust that chokes plants and the potential for oil spills. In addition, the Seattle P-I states that ecological imbalances have affected the area. This includes a 5 to 7 percent annual increase of Canadian geese population inhabiting the tundra.