Arctic Wildlife’s Fight Against Climate Change

Barry Nerhus

Originally published on

arctic-wildlifeA recent study conducted by scientists from the University of Oxford has suggested an alternative approach to combating climate change in the Arctic: an increase in the populations of bison, reindeer, and wild horses throughout the grazing lands.

The effects this rehabilitation would have on the Arctic are much like that of the woolly mammoth’s during the Pleistocene to the early Holocene epoch. Herds roaming the tundra would create even larger grasslands which would, in turn, preserve carbon and permafrost throughout by preventing tree growth.

At first, slowing the growth of trees may sound counterintuitive, but more tree species today are beginning to grow further north with the warming of the Arctic, breaking up the snow and permafrost that would otherwise reflect sunlight back into space. All grazing animals, alongside wolves, birds, rodents, and many other species, combine to create a natural geo-engineering team that directly affects…

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  1. There are some great ideas for conservation. However, it seems each one often results in some unexpected outcomes. I remain a believer in lowering human consumption as the place to start.

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