The melting of Arctic ice in summer will be both an economic blessing and a curse, said marine scientist Dr. Peter Ewins.

 

  • Warmer summer months means longer shipping seasons for the port of Churchill. Passages that were previously ice-covered will become much easier to navigate. More shipments means more jobs. It also means the easier shipment of necessary goods to Northern Canada.

  • Local Inuit will see a vast cultural change. Peoples who hunt and trap to feed their families will see their traditional culture change as bears, seals and other Arctic animals disappear. The government will have to deal with an entire culture that can no longer support itself.

  • People do not understand the role the Arctic plays in regulating weather, said Ewins. A melting Arctic means the Earth will heat up even faster, leading to more violent weather and flooding, resulting in more damage to cities and infrastructure, not to mention loss of life. The total bill for that is impossible to estimate accurately, but some reports put it at trillions of dollars.