Tundra

Tundra Climate Type

(all measurement in Fahrenheit and inches... sorry rest of the world)

Where is it Usually Located?
Tundra climate is usually found between the 60-75 degree latitude lines. Tundra climate is mainly found along the coast of the Arctic Ocean.  Tundra is a transition climate between Ice Cap and Subarctic, similar to Semiarid being a transition between Arid and more humid climate.  

What Seasons Does it Have?
Tundra climate areas experience a a very harsh winter and a cool summer. During the summer, much of the snow and ice melts and forms soggy marshes and bogs.  However, some of the deeper parts of the soil stays frozen even through the summer--a layer called permafrost, as in permanent-frost.  The permafrost can be between 10 and 35 inches.  The permafrost prevents the melted snow and ice from draining into the ground water, so marshes and bogs form.  

 Soil Layers


What are the Temperatures like?
Winters are very harsh in Tundra climate.  Winter months temperatures are usually between -18 and -50 degrees.  "Summer" temperatures range from 35-50 degrees.  High latitudes are the main cause of of the low temperatures.  These areas mainly receive indirect sunlight.  Indirect sunlight delivers light, but little heat.  Even during the summer, Tundra mainly receives indirect sunlight, which is why temperatures rarely go above 50 degrees.  

How Much Precipitation Does it Receive?
Tundra climates receive low levels of precipitation.  Between 5-15 inches of precipitation falls every year in Tundra climates, usually in the summer.  The temperatures are far too low to cause significant amounts of evaporation.  If Tundra received just a few less inches of precipitation it could be considered a "desert".  

What Kinds of Vegetation (Plants) Does it Have?
The permafrost (frozen soil) prevents any trees from growing here (see picture below).  Many different types of mosses, lichens, and algae grow in Tundra climate.  Lichens are a mixture of algae and fungus (see Ice Cap Climate).  Some grasses and low shrubs can also survive.  











What Kind of Animals Does it Usually Have?
The main animals found in Tundra climate are Polar Bears, Musk Ox, Arctic Fox, Snow Owl, reindeer, and lemmings.  Many insects and birds also exist, especially during the summer.  
 Polar Bear Musk Ox Reindeer (Caribou)