Well, you've read about how cold, dry, and windy the alpine tundra can be. This means that plants and the animals that depend on them have a very short summer season when they can grow and reproduce.

In snowy areas of the tundra, plants may have to wait until late June or even early July before the snow melts away and they can begin growing. At the Niwot Ridge D1 alpine weather station there are only an average of 47 days each year without freezing temperatures. The record high temperature at the D1 weather station is only 66°F (18.9°C) !

Some folks might say that summer never really comes to the alpine tundra. In fact, there is a mountain range in Colorado called the Never Summer Range!

Look for ways that plants and animals have adapted to the short growing season above treeline on the alpine tundra.

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