Sorry kiddos but Christmas is cancelled this year because 200 reindeer were found dead in Norway because the effects of climate change killed them.
So, every year a group of scientists from Norwegian Polar Institute (NPI) go on a 10 week trip between Norway and the North Pole to monitor the reindeer population. However, this year’s expedition team made a grim discovery when they found the remains of 200 reindeer in the Norwegian archipelago of Svalbard.
SThe group have been surveying the area for the last 40 years and believe this to be one of the largest annual death tolls on record.
According to the NPI report, the temperature in the area has risen by a whopping 3.7 degrees since 1900, which is roughly triple the average increase of the planet’s temperature in that time. Basically, the huge spike in temperature killed off all of the cute reindeer. Sorry Rudolph!
“It is scary to find so many dead animals. This is a terrifying example of how climate change affects nature. It is just sad,” NPI researcher Ashild Onvik Pedersen said.
Basically, scientists reckon the increase in rainfall ruined the animals’ food supply, causing them to die of starvation or malnutrition from eating foods like seaweed that doesnt contain vital nutrients. The heavy rainfall caused a sheet of ice to form, trapping the vegetation and keeping it out of reach of the hungry reindeer.
Pedersen said that “the large number [of deaths] we see now is due to heavy rainfall, which is due to global warming.” Great. That’s just fantastic.
On top of being cute Christmas decorations, reindeer actually play a super important role in the ecosystem.
“Reindeer is the largest herbivore in Arctic regions. If it disappears and thus does not eat, tramples and fertilizers around, the landscape will look very different,” Norweigian nature researcher Torkild Tveraa says.
And honestly this news is still terrifying even if you don’t celebrate Christmas.
Svalbard is also home to the “Global Seed Vault”, which is basically the world’s last resort storage of seeds in case somebody nukes us and kills off our food supply. It’s pretty damn important so it’d be grand if we could stop fucking with the planet before we ruin that too!
So there you have it! Climate change is fucking up our oceans and now its ruined Christmas. Good work everyone.