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Since the majority of the Arctic is ocean covered in rapidly melting glacial sheets, an unseen sovereignty problem arises as nations vie for drilling rights to oil reservoirs.Governments and scientists are attempting to find methods to substantiate their claims to features in the Arctic Ocean, however, there is a lack of defined policy and legislation over the Arctic.(EIA 2008) The majority of Arctic oil and gas reservoirs have already been discovered, with approximately 61 large oil and gas fields currently located by various geographic agencies.
Changes in the Arctic climate will not only affect the animals, plants and people living in the Arctic regions, but it will also affect the rest of the world.
The Arctic region is made up of the northern parts of Canada, the United States, Greenland, Iceland and the Eurasian continents.
Glacial ice melt is chronic in the Arctic, with causality directed at steadily increasing global temperatures.
Historic meteorological observations in the North American Arctic display that the mean temperature rapidly rose a whoppingÂ Ëœ 1Â°C from 1900 through 2000.
This has led to considerable tensions between the two main powers in this region, Russia and the United States.
Empirical evidence has been compiled over the last century to give an incredibly clear picture of how climate change is severely affecting the rate of glacial ice melt and permafrost thaw in the Arctic Circle.
(IPCC 2014) Hence, glacial ice melt is exacerbated in the Arctic, as is permafrost thaw on continental land.
The Eurasian and North American Arctic areas have lost several hundred kilometers of ice in the past 50 years alone.
This extra ultraviolet radiation has negative effects for the animals, humans, and plants of the area.
Finally, the people of the Arctic will be impacted by factors such as growing populations, urbanization, and self-determination movements.