As the Arctic thaws, can science help to chart a sustainable path for the north? Published online 12 October 2011 | Nature 478, 171 (2011) | doi:10.1038/478171a
Last winter, parts of the Canadian Arctic basked in record-breaking warmth. In the town of Coral Harbour, at the mouth of Hudson Bay, temperatures rose above freezing for a few days in January for the first time ever. Across the Arctic, extreme climate conditions are becoming the norm, even as the region faces other profound changes, such as the growing political power of indigenous peoples and the race to extract mineral resources (see page 172).
This week, Nature examines how these changes are affecting scientific access to the north (see page 174), and what scientists should do to keep Arctic development green (see page 179) and peaceful (see page 180). Some are calling for international regulations to safeguard the environment as ship traffic increases (see page 157). Both research and development need to consider the views of local peoples, and scientists are learning how to do so (see page 182). Locals can provide insight into environmental changes; scientists might help them to be heard.
More (Click here) (Editorial and Introduction)
More (Click here) (After the ice – listing of special articles)