Alpine Climate
Highland Climate (H)

The Alpine biome is one of the coldest biomes in the world. It is so cold because of its high altitudes. Summer temperature range between -12 degrees Celsius to 10 degrees Celsius. The average precipitation is 30 cm a year.

It is very much like the Tundra biome. Both the alpine and the tundra biomes are cold and dry throughout the year. The Alpine biome is also similar to the arctic biome.

Alpine biomes are located all around the world in high altitudes. The Alpine and Arctic biomes cover 16% of the earth's surface area.

Alpine biomes are located on mountains where trees can't grow. The growing season (for plants) is about 180 days. The night temperature is almost always below freezing. Unlike the arctic tundra, the alpine soil is well drained.

The problem of light is quite different in alpine biomes than in other biomes. The little amount of atmosphere at high altitudes exposes the Alpine area to sunlight, especially UV, at a dangerous level.

Some of the plants in an alpine biome are tussock grasses, dwarf trees, small-leafed shrubs, and heaths. Some animals in the alpine biome are; mountain goats, sheep, elk, beetles, grasshoppers and butterflies.

by Grace Murphy, 2000