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Are Reindeers The Top Secret To Fight Climate Change?

By Sai , Dec 29, 2016 12:26 AM EST
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Considering the fact that global climate change conditions has indeed gone worse as compared to the previous years, global warming advocates are dreading about looking for certain solutions that could potentially be used to put an end to the problem. It is in line with this that a new Swedish research has recently suggested that reindeers may have an important role to play in slowing down climate change too.

Reindeers In Fighting Climate Change: How Is That Possible?

According to reports revealed by IFL Science, in the study which was published in the journal Environmental Research Letters, scientists claimed that when a reindeer reduces the height and abundance of shrubs on the Arctic tundra through grazing, the amount of solar energy that the Earth reflects back known as albedo is basically increased rather than being absorbed. Experts have noted that both ice and snow have a high albedo volumes as they prevent heat absorption of the Sun by reflecting the light and heat back into space. Hence, when the reindeer grazes, especially in the summer, they are effectively clearing the ground, which is then seen to boost the landscape's albedo.

Furthermore, in one of her statements reported by Phys Org, study lead author Dr. Mariska te Beest, from Umeå University in Sweden, has claimed that with regards to the effect of the reindeer's grazing, it is most likely to have on albedo and energy balances is potentially large enough to be regionally important. It also points towards herbivore management being a possible tool to combat future warming. It was found that most of the arctic tundra is grazed by either domesticated or wild reindeer, which makes it as an important finding, Dr. Mariska adds.

On the other hand, experts have highly emphasized that the impact that the reindeer does when it comes to climate change will have to vary depending on their densities and the subsequent effects on the vegetation levels across the whole tundra. Ultimately, the team's study was found to have highlighted the importance of mammalian herbivores for the Earth system beyond their local grazing impacts. However, although the findings show that the estimated differences might appear small, they are large enough to have consequences for the regional energy balance.

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