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ETD 85 A.Why is Rudolf Dying Off? B. Why should we care?
June 07, 2013 at 9:08am


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Wendy Lundquist
June 09, 2013 at 8:37pm

Brenan explained to me that 'Rudolf' is actually the caribou in the Arctic. Contrary to what you might expect, global warming has resulted in more precipitation (snow and frozen rain)in this region. As a results the food supply of the caribou, lichen, is covered in deeper layers of snow or sheets of ice. This causes them to expend more valuable energy obtaining their food. The young caribou are not hearty enough to survive this environmental stress and is resulting in population decline :( . --------------------------- I've learned that many people have not heard of the less direct effects of global climate change, such as the increase in precipitation in certain areas. It is contrary to the title of global warming, because there are more layers of ice and snow covering the lichen and grasses in the arctic even though the overall temperature in the region has increased.

Elizabeth O., Period 1
June 10, 2013 at 1:29am

Elizabeth taught me about the decline of the Caribou in the Arctic regions. One factor is that paradoxically with global warming there is more snow in the Arctic. The increase snow freezes and covers the rocks where the Caribou’s food source, lichen, grows. The caribou are then forced to paw through increasing layers of ice to get their food, often damaging their hooves in the process. In the warmer Arctic summers, the permafrost is melting. One result is a massive increase in the mosquito population. The mosquitoes feed on the caribou blood. This has the effect of driving the caribou to higher altitudes where they are able to escape the mosquitoes, but where food is scarce. As a result of these factors and increased turbulent weather, the critical conditions for caribou mating and reproduction are not met and the number of calves being born has dropped significantly. Things are looking quite dire for the caribou. ---------------------- In discussing with my dad the issue of the decline in the Caribou population, I kept on emphasizing the whole idea of the K-Strategy. Conditions have to be just right in order for the Caribou population to reproduce. Sadly, conditions for the Caribou population have been far from perfect, as Caribou’s suffer the consequences of human behavior. There are many reasons as to why we should care about this matter (i.e. more nature=less, but healthier people; harness current sun energy; more trees=more filters).

Adilah M
June 14, 2013 at 4:12am

Adilah taught me about why caribou populations are reducing in the Arctic.She explained to me that, due to global warming, there is more snow where they live. This makes an important food source to the caribou unavailable.She also explained to me how this this causes an increase in mosquitoes and how they further weaken the caribou populations. ------------------------------------------ I taught my mom about how lichen disappear and mosquitoes increasing because of global warming. She thought this topics was very interesting. By teaching this to my mom, I was able to solidify this process in my memory. I was also able to develop a better understanding for the concept by answering her questions.

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