Researchers say, elevated temperatures and a longer growing season mean some of Earth’s chilliest regions are looking increasingly green.
As reported and base from the new study, at present the plant life at northern latitudes often looks like the vegetation researchers would have observed up to 430 miles (700 kilometers) farther south in 1982.
“It’s like Winnipeg, Manitoba, moving to Minneapolis-Saint Paul in only 30 years,” study researcher Compton Tucker of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md., said in a statement.
A team of university and NASA scientists including Tucker looked at 30 years’ worth of satellite and land surface data on vegetation growth from 45 degrees north latitude to the Arctic Ocean. The researchers suggest that, in this region, large patches of lush vegetation now stretch over an area about the size of the continental United States and resemble what was found 4 to 6 latitude degrees to the south in 1982.
“Higher northern latitudes are getting warmer, Arctic sea ice and the duration of snow cover are diminishing, the growing season is getting longer and plants are growing more,” climate scientist Ranga Myneni of Boston University said in a statement, adding that the changes are leading to great disruptions for the region’s ecosystems....