The north pole is melting fast, in a trend which could threaten the livelihoods of millions of people. That is the conclusion of the biggest-ever survey of the Arctic climate which involved 250 scientists worldwide. The four-year study was funded by eight nations bordering the Arctic region, including the United States and Russia. It shows how global warming is heating the Arctic almost twice as fast as the rest of the planet, which could cause the ice cap to melt to half its current size by the end of the century.
Robert Corell is the chairman of the project: “The first consequence of the reduction of the sea ice is that it is going to open up navigation routes. The one that is going to open up first is the one around Russia, we call that the Northern Sea route… been a dream of Russia forever and it will stimulate development. It will also impact the local people who have lived off the land, who have lived off the ice – for them it is a disaster.” Sea levels could rise dramatically by the end of the century, flooding vast areas of coastal cities like New York City.It would also have a massive impact on the survival of many species including polar bears, threatening the lives of many local people who depend on hunting to survive.