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tundra

The Tundra Biome
Image: iStockphoto.com/Andy_Astbury

The Tundra Biome

The coldest of all the biomes, tundra means "treeless plain" in Finnish. It's known for its short growing season, "frost-molded landscapes," and nutrient pool of dead organic material.

Explore the two types of tundra — Arctic and alpine — and the animals and plants that inhabit this mostly frozen land.

University of California, Berkeley
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Tundra Fires and Climate Change: More Bad News

Tundra Fires and Climate Change: More Bad News

Fires in the Arctic tundra have been on the rise over the past few decades — in turn, changing the global carbon balance. More...

Article
NPR
Arctic National Wildlife Refuge: Active Layer

Arctic National Wildlife Refuge: Active Layer

It’s so cold in the Arctic that the soil beneath the surface remains frozen year-round. Under the summer sun, though, the top few inches thaw. It's in this active layer that plants take root and insects burrow. Watch the never-ending thawing and freezing cycle. More...

Interactive
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Planet’s Best: Polar Bear Tundra Buggy

Planet’s Best: Polar Bear Tundra Buggy

Out on the tundra life is harsh. Polar bears rule the land...but humans have the Tundra Buggy. This "school bus on steroids" takes people on frozen safaris. More...

Video
Animal Planet
The Tundra and Climate Change

The Tundra and Climate Change

Steve Hastings has been studying the carbon cycle of the tundra for 23+ years. Watch him model how ice and organic matter come together in permafrost. Then see how climate change is changing the tundra. More...

Video
Exploratorium
Tundra and Permafrost

Tundra and Permafrost

It takes more than a shovel to dig deep into permafrost. Build on top of it, though, and your construction might "tilt like the Leaning Tower of Pisa." More...

Article
Exploratorium
Tundra Biome Quiz

Tundra Biome Quiz

Is your knowledge of the tundra as solid as permafrost? Check your facts or prep for a test with this 10-question quiz. More...

Interactive
SoftSchools.com
Tundra Landscapes

Tundra Landscapes

It's not all snow, ice, and barren landscapes on the tundra. Browse this photo gallery with fall colors as well as ice floes and the midnight sun. More...

Images
National Geographic
Tundra Threats

Tundra Threats

They may be frozen bogs with not much diversity, but tundras are also sensitive habitats. Take a look at the threats facing 10% of Earth's lands. More...

Article
National Geographic
Tundra Wildlife & Plants

Tundra Wildlife & Plants

Think the tundra is a frozen wasteland? Think again...and browse this photo collection of the tundra's animals and plants. More...

Images
National Geographic
What Lies Beneath

What Lies Beneath

Meet Dr. Larry Hinzman, an expert in why and where permafrost is thawing — and what that means for our planet. Take a look at the tools he uses and his ongoing satellite project with NASA. More...

Profile
NASA

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