The impacts of climate change in the Arctic underscore the urgency with which the world's governments must seriously reduce CO2 emissions, yet instead, many are racing to secure their "right" to drill for oil that may be found underneath the Arctic ice.
Fossil fuel madness is threatening the Arctic.
They show little interest in preventing the devastating climate change by enacting policies to reduce CO2 emissions and to increase the use of renewable energy resources. Instead they are viewing the destruction of the Arctic ecosystem as an opportunity to pump out yet more climate destroying oil.
The world's leaders are at a crossroads and their decision will be an intelligence test: drill and burn the fossil fuels reserves that are accessible only because climate change is causing the sea ice to melt? Or protect the Arctic and give it a chance to adapt to the already catastrophic changes taking place and in the meantime get on with enacting policies that reduce national CO2 emissions and put in place renewable energy systems.
So far, the melting sea ice has driven a rush of seabed studies, each aimed at showing the continuation of the continental shelf to the North Pole, and thus sovereignty over those parts of the Arctic.
Arctic territorial seabed claims
Durham University's International Boundaries Research Unit map of the frequently overlapping boundaries, jurisdictions and claims of various countries in the Arctic.
The US, Canada and Russia have dispatched icebreakers, submarines and prime ministers to pursue their sovereignty claims, and other Arctic states are also involved in the melee. The planting of a Russian flag on the Lomonosov Ridge, a 1,200- mile underwater mountain range, and Russia's claim that it had enough evidence to prove it is part of Russia's continental shelf made worldwide headlines in 2007.
The "race" to exploit the oil that is rumoured to be under the Arctic ice also threatens global security. It has been identified as a serious global conflict threat with the increases in military spending and activity in the region leading to discussions at NATO and to increases in Arctic military spending by the US, Canada, Russia and other Arctic nations. We need to act now to prevent a new "cold war" from developing in the Arctic.