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This enormous green belt keeps the earth breathing. But only 3% is protected.

Scientists see The Great Northern Forest as the boreal forest ecosystem – the global coniferous forest blanketing the northern hemisphere. The Russians traditionally call it “Taiga”. If you could look at the planet from above, it is the green crown circling the Arctic, the enormous green belt that keeps the earth breathing.

The Great Northern Forest, the boreal forest ecosystem circling the Earth © Greenpeace

Animals have tricks for surviving the dramatic temperature changes. Many animals in the Great Northern Forest change color based on the seasons: the Snowshoe Hare and Mountain Hare for instance are white during winter months and brown in the summer. Also the Least Weasel and even the Peary Caribou turn white in winter. The Siberian Salamander can survive temperatures of -35 degrees. It does this by replacing its water with natural ‘antifreeze’ chemicals. Not recommended for humans though, and alcohol won’t help.

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