The fight over the Arctic’s future is heating up

The White House Arctic Science Ministerial comes at a pivotal time for the region. While glacial ice hits record lows, the Arctic is more exposed than ever to the ravages of climate change. That’s because the receding ice has oil producers pushing harder than ever for permission to drill in the ecologically sensitive area.

The Arctic is often seen as ground zero for climate change. Disappearing glaciers, sea-level rise, melting permafrost, rapidly changing habitats: These are all climate change-related impacts being felt right now in the region. According to a recent report from the Center for American Progress, the Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the globe.

But complicating the fight to save the Arctic is that the region houses a massive, largely untapped reservoir of oil. The irony here is that as the ice recedes, it is easier to drill in the Arctic. More drilling, in turn, leads to more fossil fuel use, which drives climate change.

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