As the world becomes continually warmer, the effect of climate change in the arctic regions becomes more intense. Within the past 50 years, arctic regions in Canada have experienced warming of 2 to 3 degrees Celsius (Fergal & Prowse, 2007). One of the most important areas in the Canadian arctic is the Cryosphere (Appendix A), which is the area consisting of season snow cover, permafrost glaciers, and sea ice (Fergal & Prowse, 2007). This area is significant because it has provided a stabilized surface for building pipelines, as well as provides access to northern communities (Fergal & Prowse, 2007).
The change in climate has already been apart of consideration for major developmental projects (Fergal & Prowse). Not only are companies preparing for climate change but also the communities are concerned with how the impact will change their access to survival resources such as fish, water, wildlife and forestry (Fergal & Prowse, 2007). It is projected that in 25-30 years, sea ice in the Canadian arctic will be completely melted and which could strongly affect the northern communities (Fergal & Prowse, 2007). This essay will discuss the positive and negative impacts of climate change on transportation for Northern Canadian communities and their accessibility to resources as the sea ice melts.
As sea ice begins to melt, opportunity in sea transportation strikes as an interesting topic for the Canadian economy. Wintertime shipping has proven to be difficult in the Canadian arctic, due to heavier and thicker ice (Fergal & Prowse, 2007). Summertime has always been a preferable season for sea transportation partially due to the softened ice, and the amount of daylight produced, compared to wintertime darkness (Fergal & Prowse, 2007). From an economically perspective, the melting ice permits for easier transportation through large passages such as Viscount Melville Sound, allowing for an increase in transportation efficiency and activity in the Canadian arctic (Fergal & Prowse, 2007). For local communities, access to once non-accessible resources will present opportunity for these communities to also gain economic stability (Fergal & Prowse, 2007).
New sectors and new business are appearing as positive opportunities for northern communities, but discussion of the negative impacts must be present. Firstly, the increased transportation can be cause for concern from an environmental standpoint. By, 2020 there is expected to be a decrease of 10 travel days for shippers (Fergal & Prowse, 2007), which will increase the activity in future years. As activity increase, so does the potential for hazardous cargo spills, which could cause damage to northern communities water supply as well as the surrounding wildlife (Fergal & Prowse, 2007). Traditional cultural standards of the Inuit communities’ may be at odds when economic opportunities arise, especially as activities of illegal transportations and pollution increases (Fergal & Prowse,...