Physical Facts About the Tundra

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    • There are two types of tundra: Arctic tundra and alpine tundra. The Arctic tundra and the alpine tundra are generally similar, with the major difference between the two being the presence of permafrost in the Arctic tundra. Permafrost is permanently frozen subsoil.


    • The tundra is located in the polar regions of the Northern Hemisphere (generally above 60 degrees north latitude) and on mountains at high altitude above the tree line where winters are cold and long.


    • The major physical feature of the tundra is permafrost, although the alpine tundra does not have permafrost. Other characteristics are poor nutrients, a cold climate, minimal precipitation, poor drainage, a short growing season, limited biological diversity and an absence of trees.


    • Tundra covers about 20 percent of the earth's surface.


    • Scientists predict that the tundra will shrink in the coming years. The decrease in the size of the tundra is related to global warming.

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