Oil exploration began in the Arctic almost a century ago, long before the words “climate” and “change” were paired with “human induced” and the ushering in of a new geological epoch, the Anthropocene. Paradoxically, even as the science emerged, the world’s reliance on oil grew—globally, we use about 35 billion barrels of oil each year.
The sea ice melts. Oil prices rise. The sea ice melts. Oil prices fall. The sea ice melts. There’s an oil glut. The sea ice melts. There’s an oil shortage. And the sea ice melts, creating better conditions for building remote oil platforms in the frigid waters and for land-based drilling operations that can take advantage of newly-thawed shipping routes.
Read more here. Research by Jimmy Thomson and Ami Kingdon; text by Jude Isabella; illustration by Mark Garrison.