On Monday, scientists revealed that reindeer in Arctic have significantly shrunk in size. Due to the global warming, these species continues to decrease not only in size but also in numbers.
A reindeer is usually known as Santa Claus' sleigh in a traditional Christmas folklore. Every Christmas, these animals are one of the most common representations of the holiday. They are most prevalent to the people during the winter season.
However, due to global warming, it seems like people will barely see the usual big bulk-sized reindeer. According to Science, Svalbard reindeer in Norway have substantially become smaller. From 1994 to 2015, the scientists took and observed 135 reindeer for research. This led them to conclude that the result throughout those years drastically decreased.
From 55 kilograms, the weight dropped to 48 kilograms noting a 12 percent decrease. The dismal result was due to the effects of climate change. The researchers cited that the temperature has something to do with it. Since winter became warmer in the Arctic, food also became a major problem to them.
Winter rains followed by snows usually freezes the ground. This makes it difficult for the reindeer to brush aside the snows. As a result, food sources are frozen leading them to the hunger strike. Starving is the leading cause of reindeer's stunted growth and death.
Meanwhile, it was confirmed in The Guardian that the reindeer in the North Pole struggle as the temperature increases. An ecologist at the James Hutton Institute in Scotland, Professor Steve Albon, confirmed that the results are true. Albon led the Norwegian research team in this particular study.
As their population rises, this also leads them to the scarcity of food sources during winter. Climate change causes the fluctuation of the temperature as well as its consistent increase from the average level. Meanwhile, other animals in the Arctic such as Arctic foxes, Svalbard rock ptarmigan birds, and polar bears were the main target of research studies.
A Norwegian researcher, Eva Fuglei, observed that Arctic foxes have the higher rate of survival during winter. Reindeers are their most common source of food. "All the weak reindeer die - the sick, the elderly and calves," Fuglei, who was not associated with the reindeer research study, said.
Global warming is not an uncommon issue since everyone experiences its effects to the earth. It's just that the reindeer serves as the living proof of it.