Arctic Plants on the Move Due to Global Warming

Arctic bell
Wikimedia Commons

Way up in Svalbard, the rocky Arctic Ocean archipelago that's home to a high-security seed bank, researchers have found that plants have already adapted to global warming. The scientists found that the nine species of flowering plants they studied actually re-located to follow the climate they liked best when confronted with warming and cooling patterns.

The plants surely would have walked if they could had, but they couldn't, so instead they moved in seed or fragment form, hitching rides with drifting sea ice, gusty winds or bird droppings until they found a new area to colonize that matched their temperature preferences.

These plants seem to be the exception to the rule: other Arctic residents like the Arctic Fox have proven to be less resourceful. Research has shown that during the last ice age, Arctic Foxes living in Europe did not move to adjust for climate change and quickly went extinct.

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