Climate of the Tundra In Alaska
- Average Precipitation: min = 6 inches, max = 10 inches
- Average Winter Temperature is around -30° F
- Average Summer Temperature ranges from around 37-54° F
The Alaskan tundra has two seasons - winter and summer. Summer only lasts a few weeks in the tundra. Most of the year is dry season, for the tundra only receives 6-10 inches of rain per year.
Alaska's tundra exists along its western and northern coasts. It consists of barely any trees and is very windy with dramatic seasonal changes, including drastic changes in daylight hours. The tundra only receives about as much precipitation as a desert, but over one thousand species of plants are able to thrive there. Alaskan tundra temperatures only reach above freezing for a few weeks each year, and a layer of its soil is in a constant state of permafrost.
Net Primary Productivity
The Alaskan Tundra is in between the latitude lines 60-75° N and is not very biologically diverse. The temperatures are too cold and the winds too strong for trees to grow, and there are only a few dozen animals adapted to living there. The land is very similar to that of a dessert and most of the living organisms there are shrubs, mosses, grasses, and flowers.
Compared to the other biomes, the Tundra receives much less rainfall, has extremely little growing season, and has the second lowest net primary productivity at 600 kilocalories/square meter/year, but makes up the most percent of earth's land surface. While the tropical rain forest, estuary, swamps and marshes receive more than 60 inches of rainfall, temperate grassland receive 10-30 inches, deciduous temperate forest receives 30-60 inches, and boreal forest receives 12-33 inches, the tundra and desert only receive less than 10 inches of rainfall each year. While the majority of the biomes have 365 days of growing season, the boreal forest, tundra, and desert have less than 120 days. Also, while the other biomes (besides the desert) have thousands of kilocalories/square meter/year net primary productivity, the tundra only has 600 kilocalories/square meter/year. Finally, of the percent of earth's land surface, tropical rain forest consists of 11%, estuary and swamps/marshes consist of 3%, savanna and temperate grassland consist of 21%, deciduous temperate forest and boreal forest consist of 22%, and tundra and desert consist of the highest percent of earth's land surface at 33%.
Tundra soil quality and fertility is very poor. Tundra soil lacks minerals and nutrients (besides the ones it receives from animal droppings) and has a frozen layer (permafrost) due to the extremely low temperatures. This soil is not used for anything because of its poor quality.
Endangered and Invasive Species in the Tundra