Reindeer herders and scientists collaborate to understand Arctic warming

The spring 2014 annual reindeer festival in Yar-Sale, a rural town on the Yamal Peninsula in Western Siberia, was a grim affair. A rainstorm followed by a deep freeze the previous November had turned the normally snow-covered tundra into an ice shield. Reindeer could not paw through the thick ice to access lichen, their primary food source. In a region where winter temperatures can plunge below –50° Celsius, that ground remained frozen months later. Tens of thousands of reindeer had already died of starvation. Thousands more were on the brink of death.

A prominent reindeer herder named Vasily Serotetto approached a group of scientists. Could they predict when such

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