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Forest invades tundra

... and the new tenants could aggravate global warming

By
11:17am, June 20, 2008
For the Arctic, green is the new black.

People frequently say “green” to mean “environmentally friendly.” But encroaching conifer forests — really big greens — threaten to further spike the far North’s already low-grade fever.


Temperatures in the high
Arctic already are climbing “at about twice the global average,” notes F. Stuart Chapin of the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

The newest data on the advance of northern, or boreal, forests come from the eastern slopes of
Siberia’s northern Ural Mountains. Here, north of the Arctic Circle, relatively flat mats of compressed, frozen plant matter — tundra — are the norm. This ecosystem hosts a cover of reflective s
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