A recent study by Sheng Hu of the University of Illinois and his team identified global warming as the reason behind frequent Alaskan Arctic tundra fires.

The research team arrived at this conclusion after analyzing sediment samples collected from the tundra region and 60 years of data on fire, temperature and precipitation records. The study published in the Journal of Geophysical Research found direct link between the climate conditions and tundra fire.

"There is a dramatic, nonlinear relationship between climate conditions and tundra fires, and what one may call a tipping point," Hu said in a University of Illinois press release. “Once the temperature rises above a mean threshold of 10 degrees Celsius (50 degrees Fahrenheit) in the June-through-September time period, he said, "the tundra is just going to burn more frequently."

Researchers feel that in the warmer climate facilitates the shrubs growth in tundra region and it increases the chance for severe fire. In 2007, nearly 621 square miles of Alaskan tundra was destroyed after a severe fire in the Anaktuvuk River due to lowest rainfall and highest temperatures. It was the fiercest fire in the region in the past 5000 years.

Arctic tundra is the coldest place on earth with temperature of -37 degrees F in winter with no sun for at least 6 months in a year. But, in the recent past most of the arctic region has seen 3-4 degrees F rise in the temperature and the scientists expect the temperature to rise another 10 degree F by 2100. According to Hu and his team global warming is affecting Arctic region more than any other region in the planet. As a result, this region is heating up faster causing frequent fires in the region. These fires can turn detrimental to the tundra forests in the region and may endanger the vast variety of animals and birds that live here.