Adapting to Cold and Dry

Reading time: 2 mins

Cold and Dry

dry winter leave by Pavlina Jane

The cold, dry air of the arctic causes life to slow to a crawl. The slow decay and sparse plant life contributes to poor soil quality. Plant life grows briefly in Summer and then must prepare for the icy hibernation of winter. Every animal in these environments must adapt. They insulate themselves in fat and burrow underground to create warmer microclimates.

In the arctic life itself seems to escape with every breath. The air pulls water and heat out of your skin. In the arctic, people need to stay warm and moist. As northern peoples eat nutritionally dense foods, it providing more metabolic heat. It creates a tropical greenhouse inside, serving as a climate barrier against the frigid landscape. To help maintain this barrier they use pungent foods such as leeks garlic or hard liquor to maintain warmth. Where pungent foods are scarce, sweat baths achieve similar effects. Smokehouses and saunas can be found throughout the Arctic circle from Scandinavia to Alaska. Continue reading