Once Upon A Wolvog

Stories from the front lines

Benefits of Climate Change

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The bearlift in Maddaddam is how the corporations are trying to help the polar bears survive the melting arctic. This is, of course, done mostly for PR campaign. Reading the trilogy, even if you don’t want it, but an alarmist feeling creeps up on you. I even begun to believe in a negative outcome for the future of humans. However, the coin always has two sides and while when it comes to climate change the negative consequences vastly outnumber the positive ones. There are potentially positive developments due to the melting ice in arctic.

Many of us know that arctic ice is melting. Scientists say that within our lifetime, the ice on the arctic will completely disappear. The consequences of that could be both positive and negative.

Let’s take phytoplankton for example. Since the ice is thinning, the phytoplankton is getting more sun light, thus giving phytoplankton a favorable atmosphere in which to reproduce. In fact, according Harvard researchers, the increase of phytoplankton under the arctic ice, directly related to the current climate change.

“They’re [phytoplankton] really, really important because they’re sort of the base of the food chain,” said Kent Moore Fulbright visiting chair in Arctic studies at the University of Washington.

Currently it is hard to say how the increase of phytoplankton will affect the life in the arctic. For example, zooplankton plan their reproduction based on that of phytoplankton, and because of the thinning of the ice, zooplankton might miss the primary production of phytoplankton, potentially depriving them from this food source. Others are saying that they might take advantage of the situation and shift their reproduction to that of phytoplankton, allowing the population of zooplankton to grow.

Another potentially beneficial impact of the melting arctic if the fact that it will open the trade routes from for North America, Europe and Asia. Those trade routes are cheaper and could potentially boost the economies of those continents and increase trade while simultaneously reducing the cost of the tradable goods.

I do understand, however that the negative consequences of climate change by far outnumber the positive once, but I personally hate to look only on the negative consequences since it wouldn’t provide a full picture of the situation.

http://globalnews.ca/news/3345848/arctic-sea-ice-phytoplankton-food-chain/

http://www.cfr.org/arctic/thawing-arctic-risks-opportunities/p32082

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