As the Arctic sea ice melts, it’s uncovering vast resources, leading to an international energy and mining rush. Companies are lining up to explore the region, and nations are reviving Arctic border disputes in hopes of tapping its wealth. But the exploitation of the area’s resources could have dire environmental consequences, Ed Struzik writes on Yale Environment 360.
Transporting goods out of the area, by ship or land, will disrupt important animal mating and migration grounds. The biggest risk, though, is an oil slick that "could make the 2-year, $2 billion clean-up of the Exxon Valdez look like a kitchen spill," Struzik writes. Asks one expert, “How would you get a cleanup crew on site with no port or airstrip? We just don't have the infrastructure.”