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When will trees be back in Antarctica?


Itoero
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On 8/11/2017 at 9:43 AM, Itoero said:

With the current rate of global warming, how long will it take for trees to be able to grow back in Antarctica?

It may take longer than you think.  It isn't just the climate that keeps the trees from growing, although that is the biggest contributor.  The amount of sunlight is also a factor.  The tree line stops just north of the Arctic Circle ( 66°33′46.8″ N) and just south of the Antarctic Circle ( 66°33′46.8″ S).  The trees get smaller and more spaced apart the closer one gets to the poles.  Clearly climate is a major factor, but the lack of sunlight for as long as 90 days at a time is also a factor.  The northern forests of Russia, Alaska, Canada, Norway, and Sweden all have tree lines that stop just a few miles north of the Arctic Circle, even though there is still arable land further north.  The north-slope of Alaska is completely treeless, even though the southern interior of Alaska is far colder during the winter.  Lichen and other tundra plants seem to do better under such conditions than trees.

We have to remember that when the continent of Antarctica was lush with forests it was not located at the South Pole, but much further north in a much warmer (and better lit) climate.  Eventually the Antarctic continent will move away from the South Pole, but we are talking tens of millions of years from now.

 

 

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On the Mackenzie river delta, near Inuvik (200km north of artic circle), you find decent-looking trees. The climate decides how big the trees can get. Kolari (in Finland) lies maybe 150km North of arctic circle. This is a picture of a lake in Kolari.Lake Kesänki at Ylläs

Because of global warming climates will get warmer and will change.

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18 hours ago, dimreepr said:

That maybe true, but how do the seeds get there?

As Itoreo has said, possibly carried on the wind. Alternatively caught on the feathers of birds, or dispersed in their droppings. Branches, or even complete trees, bearing seeds carried on ocean currents and blown by winds are another possibility.

If you think about it, even the smallest of islands always has at least one tree.

desert-island.gif

Edited by Area54
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On 8/22/2017 at 5:04 AM, Itoero said:

On the Mackenzie river delta, near Inuvik (200km north of artic circle), you find decent-looking trees. The climate decides how big the trees can get. Kolari (in Finland) lies maybe 150km North of arctic circle. This is a picture of a lake in Kolari.Lake Kesänki at Ylläs

Because of global warming climates will get warmer and will change.

No, actually, you are not finding "decent-looking trees" near Inuvik.  This is what Inuvik in the Northwest Territory actually looks like:

Inuvik-Town-Shot-sm.jpg

Not a single tree to be seen as far as the eye can see.  I don't know where "Kolari" is located, but clearly it is not as far north of the Arctic Circle as Inuvik.

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1 minute ago, T. McGrath said:

No, actually, you are not finding "decent-looking trees" near Inuvik.  This is what Inuvik in the Northwest Territory actually looks like:

Inuvik-Town-Shot-sm.jpg

Not a single tree to be seen as far as the eye can see.  I don't know where "Kolari" is located, but clearly it is not as far north of the Arctic Circle as Inuvik.

None are seen on Easter Island either, my point was, the inaccessibility would prevent tree's, at least in the geological short term, not all plants.

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1 hour ago, T. McGrath said:

No, actually, you are not finding "decent-looking trees" near Inuvik.  This is what Inuvik in the Northwest Territory actually looks like:

Inuvik-Town-Shot-sm.jpg

Not a single tree to be seen as far as the eye can see.  I don't know where "Kolari" is located, but clearly it is not as far north of the Arctic Circle as Inuvik.

I'm a little confused. What are those big, tall pointy things with leaves in your picture. Or in this one, from wikipedia?

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2 hours ago, T. McGrath said:

No, actually, you are not finding "decent-looking trees" near Inuvik.  This is what Inuvik in the Northwest Territory actually looks like:

 

Not a single tree to be seen as far as the eye can see.  I don't know where "Kolari" is located, but clearly it is not as far north of the Arctic Circle as Inuvik.

I've been in Kolari (Finland), Norway, Alaska and Yukon+NWT. When I was on the Mackenzie river delta near Inuvik, there were trees. Your picture shows the area around Inuvik....This is a pic of the Mack river delta near Inuvik.

Black Spruce Trees / Boreal Forest growing in Mackenzie River Delta near Inuvik, Northwest Territories, Arctic Canada Stock Photo

Edited by Itoero
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13 hours ago, Itoero said:

 

I've been in Kolari (Finland), Norway, Alaska and Yukon+NWT. When I was on the Mackenzie river delta near Inuvik, there were trees. Your picture shows the area around Inuvik....This is a pic of the Mack river delta near Inuvik.

Black Spruce Trees / Boreal Forest growing in Mackenzie River Delta near Inuvik, Northwest Territories, Arctic Canada Stock Photo

Your photo could be anywhere, and it is clearly south of the tree line.  Kolari, Finland, is only a few kilometers north of the Arctic Circle (67° 19' 50'N), not the 200 km north of the Article Circle that Inivuk is located.  The photo I displayed was of the village of Inuvak itself, and the surrounding area.  There were no trees, just alder bushes and shrubs.  Just as there are no trees anywhere on the northslope in Alaska.  I should know, I live in Alaska and have worked on the northslope for years.  There are absolutely no trees north of the Brooks Mountain Range in Alaska.  I do not know why you insist that trees continue to grow beyond the tree line, but that is not the case.

The tree line in Alaska is at ~68°N.  The tree line in Canada's Northwest Territory is at ~69°N.  The tree line in Canada's Nunavut territory is at ~61°N.  The tree line at Canada's Labrador Peninsula is at ~60°N.  The tree line in Greenland is at ~64°N.  The tree line in Norway is at ~70°N.  The tree line in central Siberia is ~66°N.  The tree line in eastern Siberia (Kamchatka and Chukotka) is at ~60°N.

 

Edited by T. McGrath
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2 hours ago, T. McGrath said:

Your photo could be anywhere, and it is clearly south of the tree line.  Kolari, Finland, is only a few kilometers north of the Arctic Circle (67° 19' 50'N), not the 200 km north of the Article Circle that Inivuk is located.  The photo I displayed was of the village of Inuvak itself, and the surrounding area.  There were no trees, just alder bushes and shrubs.  Just as there are no trees anywhere on the northslope in Alaska.  I should know, I live in Alaska and have worked on the northslope for years.  There are absolutely no trees north of the Brooks Mountain Range in Alaska.  I do not know why you insist that trees continue to grow beyond the tree line, but that is not the case.

The tree line in Alaska is at ~68°N.  The tree line in Canada's Northwest Territory is at ~69°N.  The tree line in Canada's Nunavut territory is at ~61°N.  The tree line at Canada's Labrador Peninsula is at ~60°N.  The tree line in Greenland is at ~64°N.  The tree line in Norway is at ~70°N.  The tree line in central Siberia is ~66°N.  The tree line in eastern Siberia (Kamchatka and Chukotka) is at ~60°N.

 

Kolari lies more then 80 km above the Arctic circle. The water in a river has kinetic energy, it causes soil to thaw more quickly (this lengthens the growing season) and it lowers the permafrost which allows trees and plants to grow bigger. This causes trees and plants in and around Inuvik to be smaller then the ones in Mackenzie river delta. There are many factors that influence the tree line. Where in Alaska do you live? In a hostel in Fairbanks I met several people that worked in Deadhorse.

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