News 27.7.2022

Microclimate temperature variability considerable in boreal forests and the oroarctic tundra

The study published in the Agricultural and Forest Meteorology journal examined the temperatures of microclimates in northern environments based on observations from nearly 450 microclimate stations. According to the study, microclimate temperatures vary considerably in northern environments.
Photo: Hannu Manninen

With new and comprehensive measurement data, researchers can assess the impacts of climate change on northern nature more accurately than before. The measurement data will enable researchers to assess, for example, changes in the living conditions favourable to endangered species, variations in insect pest populations and small-scale variations in carbon and water cycle processes.

The study emphasises the considerable temporal and regional variations in microclimate temperatures. In the northern focus areas, the variation is particularly linked to their diverse topography and snow cover, whereas the role of forest canopies and water bodies as factors regulating temperatures are emphasised in the southern areas.

The study found that the magnitude of microclimate variability is dependent on the season. For example, in the early summer, temperature differences of over 30 °C between microclimate stations were observed at times in the tundra.

Researchers from the Finnish Meteorological Institute, the University of Helsinki and the University of Oulu participated in the study. The study is part of the Academy of Finland’s ACCC Flagship project (Atmosphere and Climate Competence Center).

Further information:

Research Professor (tenure-track) Juha Aalto, Finnish Meteorological Institute, Professor Miska Luoto, Department of Geosciences and Geography, University of Helsinki,

Scientific article is available on Agricultural and Forest Meteorology Reference: Aalto, J., Tyystjärvi, V., Niittynen, P., Kemppinen, J., Rissanen, T., Gregow, H., & Luoto, M. (2022). Microclimate temperature variations from boreal forests to the tundra. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 323, 109037.