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The Resource Frontier

THE RESOURCE FRONTIER With global warming increasing accessibility to the Far North and commodity prices incentivizing investment, the Arctic has become more and more attractive to resource companies. But just because resources are easier to get at doesn't mean it's easy. As Charles Emmerson and Glada Lahn wrote in their report on the economic opportunities of the region, "Even under conditions of climate change, the Arctic remains a frontier operating environment." Here are seven reasons why. Communications High-frequency radio and GPS communications degrade north of 70° because of magnetic and solar phenomena, interference, and satellite geometry, complicating navigation and search and rescue operations. Remoteness Weather The distance from the A shortage of weather stations and satellite South and the lack of infrastructure in the Arctic means that constraints mean that accurate forecasts are transportation to and around the region, accident management, and search and rescue hard to come by. Storms and extremely cold weather can put workers, machinery, and structures at risk. operations all come with a higher price tag. ::::: Icing Frozen machinery can seize up and vessels top-heavy with ice can capsize. Icing is especially a problem for coastal infrastructure Icebergs Environmental Sensitivities While the amount of summer The Arctic region is, as a whole, more sensitive to environmental damage because of its relatively simple ecosystem and shorter growing season. Cleaning up an oil spill, especially in ice-covered areas, could prove to be particularly difficult. sea ice is expected to decrease because of global warming, ice will still be an issue for much of the year, making regular traffic difficult. In some areas, global warming may increase the number of icebergs calving off of glaciers. exposed to sea-spray. The Amount of Oil and Gas While the U.S. Geological Survey has estimated that the Arctic contains some 412.2 billion barrels of undiscovered oil and oil equivalent, the actual amount is still very much a question mark, heightening the risk for oil and gas companies. Design: Cameron Tulk Source: Arctic Opening: Opportunity and Risk in the High North By Charles Emmerson and Glada Lahn From Chatham House and Lloyd's

The Resource Frontier

shared by OpenCanada on Sep 20
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Just because resources are easier to get at in the Arctic doesn't mean it's easy. We put together a graphic on why the Arctic is still very much "a frontier operating environment" that was published w...


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