A Warmer Arctic Means Change for All

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Science  30 Aug 2002:
Vol. 297, Issue 5586, pp. 1490-1493
DOI: 10.1126/science.297.5586.1490

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The seeming inevitability of shrinking ice on the Arctic Ocean means hard times for polar bears, a threat to an indigenous way of life, and an age-old dream come true for sailors, who may be able to navigate an ice-free Northwest Passage in the summer months. This new polar frontier might well set the stage for conflict, however, as naval powers stake out competing claims in the newly open waters of a new "global commons." A hundred years from now, life around the Arctic Ocean will go on--but it will not be the same.