Arctic Yearbook 2015 - Page 423

423 Arctic Yearbook 2015 The Arctic becomes global and more complicated, since dramatic changes, such as sea ice loss, are projected to occur in Arctic ecosystems and influence the rest of the world with extreme weather events and unpredictable consequences. Arctic sea ice has decreased 14% between 2010 and 2012 since the 1970s (Tilling et al. 2015). The changes in the Arctic Ocean are so profound and climate change is faster and more severe in the Arctic than in most of the rest of the world. The Arctic is warming at a rate of almost twice the global average. That’s why sound adaptation strategy against climate change in the Arctic is needed for the global community as well as for the Arctic region. Figure 2: Sustainability Indices of Arctic Council members (US=1.00). Economy index indicates GDP per capita based on purchasing power parity (PPP). Energy index refers to use of primary energy (kg oil equivalent per capita) before transformation to other end-use. Emission indicates carbon dioxide emissions (metric tons per capita) stemming from burning of fossil fuels and manufacturing. Security index and life expectancy at birth explain military expenditures (% of GDP) and the number of years a newborn infant would live if prevailing patterns of mortality at time of birth were to stay the same throughout its life, respectively (based on World Development Indicators 2011). economy 1.5 1 life expectancy at birth 0.5 RUS energy USA CAN 0 FIN SWE NOR emission security Climate change triggers irreversible changes. 95% of the change in the climate is caused by CO2. And CO2 emissions come from energy use, mostly fossil fuel. The Arctic has huge potential to supply oil and gas, although challenges to Arctic resource recovery comprise two sides of the same coin. Balancing opportunities and obstacles is key in developing Arctic oil and gas. Although the external cost in present value seems to be high in the case of Arctic oil drilling, the timing of Arctic oil recovery depends on two markets: the global oil market and the carbon market. Figure 3: CO2 Emissions (metric tons per capita) based on World Development Indicators. Kim