Svalbard, which serves as a sort of Arctic bellwether, is experiencing an increase in freezing rain, which encases snow in a thick crust animals can't penetrate. This is linked to shifting cycles related to a warming Arctic climate. The result: Fragile tundra vegetation will perish under the ice, and the herbivores will starve. Brage Bremset Hansen, from the NTNU's Centre for Conservation Biology, studied years of data on ptarmigans, reindeer, voles and foxes and noticed population crashes among the herbivores after icy winters. Arctic fox populations lagged a year behind, however.