What is Permafrost?

Global warming has been a hot topic for a few years now. However, Sarah James, an Alaska Native Elder, has noted yet another effect taking root in her hometown. The melting permafrost in Northeastern Alaska is causing erosion which is drastically changing the natural skyscape of that reason. The trees are tilting.

Permafrost, permanently frozen ground, is melting at an increasing and unprecedented rate in northern regions all over the world. As a result, the ground is cracking and buckling in places, causing trees to tilt at bizarre angles. This is causing people and animals to have to uproot themselves as they are now in danger of trees falling, merely from the haphazard angle of growth.

The most affected areas are in Alaska, Canada, and Northeast Eurasia, particularly in lowland arboreal forests. Most climate models predict the extermination of permafrost environments and their ecowebs by the end of the century as a direct result of global warming.

The trees in Alaska, primarily black spruce and birch, are being termed “drunken trees,” given their tipsy nature, and around 7-8 percent of trees in the middle boreal zone in Alaska fall into that category.

There is a temporary benefit to drunken trees. It’s causing more driftwood to run downstream, providing much-need fuel and building material for communities at the other end. However, the looming theme was put pretty concisely by Sarah James, “Climate change, global warming, is real here in the Arctic. It seems when I go other places they’re not worried about it, but one way or another, it’s going to get there.”

Contact Spruce Point Tree Farm today to supplement your own landscape and let’s do everything we can to give the environment a leg to stand on as global warming creeps in.

Source: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/04/140417-drunken-trees-melting-permafrost-global-warming-science/