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‘Ice Wars’ heating up the Arctic

July 17, 2011 Comments off

cnn

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Scrambling for a piece of the Arctic pie

Editor’s note: CNN correspondent Kaj Larsen recently visited the Arctic to observe the U.S. naval exercise known as ICEX. His experience is part of the CNN documentary “Ice Wars,” which will air at 8 p.m. ET Sunday on CNN Presents.

(CNN) — On a small, floating piece of ice in the Beaufort Sea, several hundred miles north of Alaska, a group of scientists are documenting what some dub an “Arctic meltdown.”

According to climate scientists, the warming of the region is shrinking the polar ice cap at an alarming rate, reducing the permafrost layer and wreaking havoc on polar bears, arctic foxes and other indigenous wildlife in the region.

What is bad for the animals, though, has been good for commerce.

The recession of the sea ice and the reduction in permafrost — combined with advances in technology — have allowed access to oil, mineral and natural gas deposits that were previously trapped in the ice.

The abundance of these valuable resources and the opportunity to exploit them has created a Read more…