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The warming global climate is causing fundamental changes to the carbon cycle in northern parts of the world. peupleloup/flickr

Will the Arctic shift from a carbon sink to a carbon source?

Global warming is changing the movement of carbon within northern ecosystems to the point where the Arctic could become a net source, rather than sink, of greenhouse gas emissions.
Troubles with Shell: in 2013, its drill became stranded and had to be rescued. Aaron M. Johnson/US Air Force

Despite Shell’s about-face, interest in Arctic oil grows

Shell has abandoned oil exploration offshore Alaska for now but a variety of trends are driving the energy industry to take a fresh look at Arctic drilling.
Time to get cracking: a Canadian research vessel in the Arctic. John F. Williams/Office of Naval Research

Temporary ban on fishing reflects how fragile Arctic ecosystem is

A melting Arctic means new areas will be open to commercial fishing but scientists – and bordering countries – say they need time to study the ecological and economic risks.
In some regions of the Arctic, polar bears will spend their entire lives on sea ice or the ocean. Christopher Michel/flickr

Polar bears unlikely to compensate for ice loss in summer

Could polar bears slip into a hibernation-like state to tough out lean hunting during summers with little sea ice? Sadly, experiment suggests no.
Satellite image showing clouds over the Greenland Sea downstream of the ice edge during conditions where there was a large transfer of heat and moisture from the ocean to the atmosphere. NASA

Declining winter sea ice near Greenland spells cooler climate for Europe

Loss of sea ice near Greenland and Iceland portend a colder future for Europe.
The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska has for decades been a center of debate on the tradeoffs between environmental protection and oil drilling. Alaska Region US Fish & Wildlife Service

Can Americans have both environmental preservation and expanded oil drilling?

In a few months, we will mark the five-year anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. The accident released millions of barrels of oil into the Gulf of Mexico, causing extensive impacts on the marine…
In the long run all this will be gone. NASA

Why Arctic melting will be erratic in the short term

Arctic sea ice melts each summer, reaching its minimum extent sometime in September, before refreezing through the winter. Over the past 35 years, the September sea ice extent has reduced by about 35…
This is the area that holds strategic importance Reuters/Balazs Koranyi

As the Arctic melts, the US needs to pay attention

In a few short months the United States assumes Chair of the Arctic Council (AC). This is a two-year long opportunity to shape the future of the Arctic, an opportunity that will likely not come around…
Time to get on the Arctic mine train? Kitty Terwolbeck

Why mining companies might be the Arctic’s best hope

Economic interests are set to play an increasingly important role in shaping development in the Arctic. Yet prominent members of the mining industry, familiar with the economic and reputational perils…

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