Thursday, November 17, 2016

Arctic warming threatens nomad reindeer herding: study

The loss of sea ice in the warming Arctic is threatening reindeer herding in northern Russia -- the livelihood of one of the region's last remaining nomad communities, researchers said Thursday.

Scientists from the Arctic Centre of the University of Lapland found that shrinking ice in western Siberia was likely responsible for two severe instances of the "rain on snow" phenomenon in 2006 and 2013 that led to tens of thousands of reindeer starving to death.

And if these freak years become more frequent as the Arctic warms, the nomad Yamal Nenets population -- who have been herding reindeer for centuries -- could lose their livelihood, the study warned.

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