Rush to develop the Arctic

  • Will take place on January 01, 2040
  • Quoted on December 30, 2007
  • Countdown 22 Years Left
  • Votes 2
  • Chance 50.0 %
  • Influence 134

Rising prices for natural resources could lead to a full-scale rush to develop the Arctic. Not just oil and natural gas, but also the Arctic's supplies of nickel, copper, zinc, coal, freshwater, forests, and of course fish are highly coveted by the global economy. Whether the Arctic states tighten control over these commodities or find equitable and sustainable ways to share them will be a major political challenge in the decades ahead.

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Scientist

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Thinking about the Arctic's Future: Scenarios for 2040

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arctic, arctic rising

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I agree that the melting of the polar ice caps will expose a wealth of resources that are currently locked up under the glaciers (including the water in the glaciers). But, what state will the world be in if the permafrost melts and releases its greenhouse gases, furthering global warming? What about the protection and preservation of the existing ecosystems and inhabitants of these areas (Canada and Russia, mostly)?

Of course "the states" that control these areas will "find equitable ways to share" these resources: sell them! But sustainable?? Therein lies the challenge.

Dan

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  • Submitted byAishia