The Arctic Essay Research Paper The Artic

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The Arctic Essay, Research Paper The Artic Introduction. The Artic is a region at the upper most tip of the NorthernHemisphere. The Artic includes the area around Greenland, USSR,Canada and Alaska. Much of the Artic circle is permanently frozenice. The Artic is a pristine environment, clean and void of humaninterference. However as humans move into these areas and beginto extract what ever they can be balance can be tipped, resultingin pollution and destruction of the environment. Climate. The Artic winters much longer than the Summer. In the winter thesun never rises and in the summer it never sets. The averagetemperature for the Artic is zero degrees of less. Industry and the Artic. There was once a time when the land of the Artic Circle wasconsidered useless and only

hospitable to those native to it.However once vast quantities of oil and fish had been found therewas a rush of interest in the land. Fishing in the Artic has occurred for thousands of years but inrecent years man has been fishing the Artic; in greater numbersand taking more fish. Professional fishermen are taking all kindsof fish as well as whales and seals. In some areas fishermen havebecome so efficient at their job that quotas have needed to beput on to limit or stop the capture of certain animals. There are many mineral deposits within the Artic Circle.In Russia: nickel, iron ore, apatite, diamonds, gold, tin, coal,mica, and tungsten. In Sweden: iron ore. In Greenland: lead,zinc, molybdenum and cryolite. Spitsbergen: coal. Canada:uranium, copper, nickel, lead, zinc, tungsten

and iron ore.The digging out of minerals would inevitably disturb the naturalhabitat as well as the environment there would be a great cost tomaintain the site. Industry that is designed to process variousminerals have waste products that would be most unwelcome in theArtic. A good example of this is the pollution that has arisen asa result of the smelting of metals in the Artic. It is for thisreason that there is very little industry in the Artic. HoweverRussia, Canada, Greenland and Iceland have several small scalemanufacturing plants. The largest industry in the Artic is oil. The rush began in 1968when a large oil field was discovered, there was a great deal ofprotest but the development went ahead. Oil extracted from the felid makes its way to Port Valdez via a1300 kilometre

pipeline. Although steps were taken to limit thepipelines affect on the environment it still disrupts themigration of caribou. In 1989 the unthinkable happened and the super tanker ExxonValdez ran aground spilling millions of gallons of crude oil into the Prince William Sound. The effects of the slick were devastating. Within a week workerscounted 24000 dead sea birds and 1000 sea otters. The effects ofthe slick were felt throughout the food chain from photoplanktonto bears. The Exxon company funded the clean up but there was nocompensation for the hundreds of people that lost their job as aresult of the slick. Pollution of the Artic A large threat to the Artic is transboundry pollution andbioaccumulation. These are both complex subjects but are easilyexplained. Transboundry

pollution is the pollution of the Articfrom other countries. The ocean currents and wind conditionsresult in large amounts of pollution being deposited in theArtic. In winter when the sun is low thick blankets of hazecan be seen over the Artic. Bioaccumulation is the process wherepollutants build up in the Artic because they cannot be brokendown due to the extreme cold. Once harsh chemicals find their wayinto the food chain they stay there forever, trapped in theanimals and sediments. A result of increased pollutants in the atmosphere is theoccurrence of acid rain. Sulphur and Nitrogen dioxides drift fromdeveloped countries and when they mix with water in theatmosphere they can produce acid rain as strong as lemon juice.The acid snow melts in summer and spring producing an