Christmas Climate Change
Reindeer and Christmas trees; two of the most recognisable symbols of Christmas at risk of being wiped out due to climate change, studies have warned.
16:01 14 December 2016
New studies have warned that future generations may also see Christmas trees and reindeer in photos as the two most recognisable symbols of the Yuletide season are at risk of being wiped out due to climate change.
Ecologists from the James Hutton Institute, the Norwegian Institute for Nature Research and the Norwegian University of Life Sciences said that Arctic reindeer are becoming smaller and lighter as their food supplies get affected by the global warming. Over a period of 16 years, the weight of adult reindeer studied in Svalbard fell to 48kg from 55kg.
Lead researcher Professor Steve Albon, from the James Hutton Institute in Scotland, said: "The implications are that there may well be more smaller reindeer in the Arctic in the coming decades, but possibly at risk of catastrophic die-offs because of increased ice on the ground,"
Meanwhile, another study confirmed that Christmas trees are also affected by the global warming. Researchers from the University of Copenhagen and University of Reading studied the possible effect of worsening climate change to plant life as temperature continuously increases. They found that one of the species projected to be under “critical threat” in Europe by 2050 is the Picea family of trees, which include the Norwegian Spruce – also known as the original Christmas tree.