Unusual weather linked to climate change was responsible for the death of tens of thousands of reindeer in Arctic Russia. According to a study published Wednesday in the journal Biology Letters, two unseasonal weather events in 2006 and 2013 caused over 81,000 reindeer to starve to death as their food supply was cut off — events that not only significantly cut down the reindeer population in northwest Russia, but also threatened the livelihood of the nomadic herders in the region.
In 2006 and 2013 — both years when ice in the Barents and Kara seas began retreating in early November — the Yamal Peninsula in northwest Siberia witnessed heavy rainfall in autumn. As a result of these “rain-on-snow” events, which were caused by an uptick in evaporation of sea ice melt, the rain-drenched snow froze to form a thick crust over the grass and lichen the reindeer usually feed on.
Ho ho ho – Rudolph there you go 😦