Set sustainable goals for the Arctic gateway coordinated international governance is required to resist yet another tipping point

Su Shiung Lam, Shin Ying Foong, Bernard H.K. Lee, Felicia Low, Aage K.O. Alstrup, Yong Sik Ok, Wanxi Peng, Christian Sonne

Research output: Contribution to journalComment/debatepeer-review

Abstract

Global warming is reducing the Arctic sea-ice and causing energetic stress to marine key predatory species such as polar bears and narwhals contributing to the ongoing pollution already threatening the biodiversity and indigenous people of the vulnerable region. Now, the opening of the Arctic gateway and in particular the increase in shipping activities causes further stress to marine mammals in the region. These shipping activities are foreseen to happen in the Northwest and Northeast Passage, Northern Sea Route and Transpolar Sea Route in the Arctic Ocean, which could be yet another step towards a crucial tipping point destabilizing global climate, including weathering systems and sea-level rise. This calls for international governance through the establishment of Arctic International National Parks and more Marine Protected Areas through the Arctic Council and UN's Law of the Sea to ensure sustainable use of the Arctic Ocean and adjacent waters.

Original languageEnglish
Article number146003
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Volume776
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Jul 1

Keywords

  • Climate change
  • Marine mammals
  • Sea ice
  • Shipping
  • UNCLOS
  • Underwater noise

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution

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