The tundra is the coldest biome on Earth. Biomes are areas on Earth with similar climates, animals, and plants.
The tundra is located in the Arctic Circle. This is an area around the top of the Earth. Canada, Greenland, Iceland, Norway, and Russie all have land inside the Arctic Circle.
The cold environment makes it difficult for plants to grow, but some plants have adapted to life in the tundra. Mosses, lichen, and small shrubs grow close to the ground and in tight groups to stay protected against the cold winds of the tundra. There are no trees in the tundra.
Animals have adapted to survive in the tundra as well. Wolves, squirrels, and bears have thick fur coats as protection from the cold. Many animals, such as bears, also hibernate (or sleep) through the coldest parts of the year. Polar bears have a thick layer of fat called blubber. This fat keeps the polar bears warm when they are swimming in the freezing ocean or walking along the snow and ice.
In the summer, the snow melts to form small pools of water. Insects live around the water. Birds migrate to the tundra for the summer to eat the many insects. When it gets cold, the insects die off and the birds fly south for the winter.
An important part of the tundra is permafrost. It is a layer of soil that is permanently frozen solid. Even in the summer, it stays frozen.
The summer is very short in the tundra, but during summer the days are 24 hours long. That means the sun is always out. During the winter, it is dark most of time.
The tundra is a difficult place to live, but plants, animals, and people have made it their home.