Aug 18, 2009
NPR – When wildlife biologists visited a remote spot in Canada called Banks Island in the spring of 2004, they discovered thousands upon thousands of dead musk oxen. It took years to determine the cause. They called it “rain-on-snow” — the worst case of it ever documented. “Long story short, about 20,000 musk oxen starved to death because of this event,” says geologist Jaakko Putkonen. It was a “humongous event” that took place in the fall of 2003. Putkonen, who is a professor at the University of North Dakota, has since discovered a few anecdotal accounts of big rain-on-snow events that killed reindeer in the Arctic and in Scandinavia.
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