Published on Mar 22, 2013
The Arctic is the least studied of all regions of the planet, but also that which has warmed fastest to-date and which is predicted to continue to do so throughout the 21st century. While the Antarctic Treaty opened an era of scientific investigation and collaboration in Antarctica, the bases in the Arctic were not really for science, but for the
US and the USSR to watch each other’s movements on the chess board of the
Cold War. International collaboration remains challenging in the Arctic.
Meanwhile, rapid melting of ice in Greenland and the Arctic Ocean have
both shown catastrophic acceleration in 2012, qualifying the changes in the
Arctic as “dangerous climate change” as per the UN Climate Convention.
While there are some positives, such as ease of access to resources in the
Arctic, triggering a Gold Rush, the forces that the rapid changes in the Arctic
can unlock are phenomenal, and can propagate a wave of change for the rest
of the planet. The changes in the Arctic should be of concern to everyone. The
challenge is that dangerous climate change does not spread, unchecked
across the planet.