Scientists at the Siberian Federal University (SFU) also make disappointing predictions about changes in the behavior, habitat, timing and migration routes of the reindeer due to climate change. The wild reindeer is a key link in the Arctic ecosystem; over the past 25 years, the number of the Taimyr-Evenk reindeer population has decreased from 900 to 320 thousand.
The cause is cited as greenhouse gases that trap heat, and the natural trend of rising temperatures every few years across the Earth. Warming in the Arctic is considered disproportionately large by scientists. Compared with the average value for 1991-2020, the temperature anomaly here will be three times greater than the global average.
SFU scientists have noted some evolutionary changes and the reindeer’s preparation for climate change. As Taimyr reindeer observations show, their habitat is shifting from the tundra to the Evenkia forests, the migration timing and behavior are changing.
In the Arctic, a record high annual temperature has been recorded for several years, and it is possible that by 2030 the Arctic ocean will be completely free of ice in summer. And if the Arctic is warming faster than the whole world, then Taimyr is warming faster than the entire Arctic.
Earlier, an expedition of SFU scientists stated a decrease in the number of wild reindeer in Taimyr. Norilsk scientists classified this animal species as endangered.
Text: Denis Kozhevnikov, Photo: Nikolay Shchipko and Siberian Federal University website