Truck, Padloping Island, Baffin Island, Canada
High in Canada’s Arctic lies an old military base slowly rusting into the tundra. Deemed too expensive to remove, the rubbish will take centuries to degrade. Perhaps this is only a glimpse of what we can expect dotting the Arctic landscape in the future. The warming climate has melted sea ice and opened up trade routes and access to new oil and mineral resources. Many nations, including Canada, are flexing their political and military muscle to gain control of what is hidden therein.
The heavier traffic and exploration is a threat to the fragile Arctic ecosystem. Oil spills will be impossible to clean up and arctic biodiversity will take much longer to recover from any potential disaster. In a sick irony, the corporations who have, for decades, made it their business to extract the fossil fuels that have created this crisis, are leading the charge to the Arctic. Their goal; to find more! To add fuel to the fire, the warming Arctic has potential to unleash a ticking time bomb. The permafrost contains a huge amount of carbon in the form of dead plant matter. If it thaws, this carbon will be released as methane and C02 in amounts that will make human-caused emissions look minor. We are entering a dangerous period of feedback loops in the Arctic at a faster rate then anyone predicted.