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Current Event Review Geo 605

1118 words - 5 pages

Current Event Review – Climate Change in the North

Summary of Event and Background
Canadian North is the forefront of the climate change and its effect can be seen very evidently on the daily basis. Warmer temperatures have led to changes in shifting tree line, major impact on several species especially caribou population; other wildlife species foreign to this area moving further north from the south like cougar and whitetail deer. North is also facing problems with territory’s winter road network for example due to the reduced thickness of ice roads, Diavik Diamond Mine in Northern Canada were forced to fly in fuel rather than try to transporting it – costed extra $11.25 million. ...view middle of the document...

Critical Thought
Whenever we stumble upon this issue of climate change and our north, one question pops up in our mind; is the climate change a northern catastrophe or an Artic opening? The vital factor that we all are aware off and it is evidently witness is melting of the polar ice cap. When we ponder upon this issue, we get list of unanswered questions including how will this change effect lives, economies and security realities of the North? Will the opening of the Northwest Passage create major new economic and security challenges? Were there will be a resource boom, and if so who benefits? How about the lives of northern people such as intuits, will they be disrupted or cause changes in their traditional ways due to climate change, or they benefit from autonomy and development that may flow in because of ownership of natural resources? The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change showed warning signals due to dramatic changes taking places in the global climate environment, but there are parts of Canada that do benefit from warmer climate. Even in the Canadian North, warmer climate may be beneficial for food production and other industries that can benefit from northward expansion such as maple syrup developers. "Total biomass of production from wild, capture fisheries in Canada [are] expected to increase due to climate-induced shifts in fish distributions," the report states. Melting sea ice and permafrost may offer new opportunities for extraction of oil and gas and various mineral resources. Opening of the Northwest Passage does create new economic and security challenges as this will result in increased destination for cargo ships and tankers moving in and out of the Artic. A narrative has developed over few years that Canada should not get too excited due to increasing numbers of ships traffic on the Russian side. Many researched say that NWP’s physical and climatic differences will make Northern Sea Route above Russia more preferable. Supporter of this view have also concluded that our route will always be too dangerous and expensive. On opposing side, we have people such as Prof. Rob Huebert of University of Calgary that believe this view to be wrong stating the fact that companies owning Nordic Orion planned around 10 voyages for last year proving that it can be done on economic basis. On the resource front, we could definitely benefit from climate change as...

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