With global warming, Arctic access will diminish by land but improve by sea

Global warming over the next 40 years will cut through Arctic transportation networks like a double-edged sword, limiting access in certain areas and vastly increasing it in others, a new UCLA study predicts.

“As sea ice continues to melt, accessibility by sea will increase, but the viability of an important network of roads that depend on freezing temperatures is threatened by a warming climate,” said Scott Stephenson, a UCLA graduate student in geography and the study’s lead author.

Winners are expected to be coastal communities, coastal resource-extraction operations, tourism, fishing, and shipping concerns, the researchers say. Potential losers include inland mining and timber operations, inland oil and gas drilling, and smaller inland communities, often inhabited by indigenous peoples. Even northern Canadas famed Tibbitt-Contwoyto “diamond road,” said to be the worlds most lucrative ice road, is expected to suffer, according to the researchers.

The findings appear in the current issue of the peer-reviewed scholarly journal Nature Climate Change.

via With global warming, Arctic access will diminish by land but improve by sea.

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2 Responses to With global warming, Arctic access will diminish by land but improve by sea

  1. alfy says:

    How did this article manage to slip through the current morbid orthodoxy on global warming? No doom and gloom. The possibility of sailing easily around the north polar regions? A whole new world of beautiful landscapes released from the grip of permanent ice. A vision of Britain as it used to be around 10 000 years ago. What a tourist attraction!

    How about the south pole? A whole continent awakening from a winter slumber. Tough on the polar bears (in the north) and on the penguins in the south but what a revelation.

    Why should we ever have imagined that polar ice caps were the norm for our planet? It is an unwarranted assumption. How about the Piri Reis map? (See earlier deskarati posting) This map shows the coastline of Antarctica free of ice. It is an accurate survey as 20 C research has demonstrated. How long ago was this map made?

    Let’s all join together and welcome global warming and enjoy the benefits it can bring.

  2. Deskarati says:

    Well although we might not agree with your estimation of the consequences of global warming we do love your optimism. For those who might be interested, here is the link to the Piri Reis Map post – http://deskarati.com/2010/12/23/piri-reis-map/ Piri Reis Map

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