Today: Saturday, 18 May 2024 year

Science: Record Arctic heat drives reindeer into cool tunnels in Norway

Science: Record Arctic heat drives reindeer into cool tunnels in Norway

The Norwegian Meteorological Institute posted a temperature of 31.2 degrees Celsius on Wednesday in Finnmark, AFP said. In this major reindeer herding region located within the Arctic Circle, the poor animals have to look for some cool air in the tunnels, say the scientists.

In Norway, the record-breaking heatwave made some changes in the common behaviour of the local biodiversity. This phenomenon is nothing new, but it could be intensified by record temperatures in Norway’s northernmost regions. Local animals like reindeer and sheep retreat to colder places, find refuge in tunnels and shaded areas to cool down.

Last week, the Norwegian authorities have even urged motorists to watch out for reindeer that are seeking refuge in tunnels to cool themselves amid extreme heat in the nation’s far north.

“It has been very hot for weeks in northern Norway,”

Tore Lysberg, a senior official at the Norwegian Public Roads Administration, told AFP.

In 2018, north Norway’s region Finnmark is so hot that it has experienced 12 “tropical” nights with evening temperatures above 20 degrees Celsius so far, said the experts from the Norwegian Meteorological Institute. While reindeer are walking down the motorways looking for the cool tunnels, the Norwegian Public Roads Administration said no serious accidents involving animals have been reported yet but described the situation as “a challenge”.

The government agency, which has multiplied its messages to raise awareness among motorists, should be helped by the weather, which is expected to return towards normal starting this weekend.