Scientists and community leaders have ended three days of talks about the future of the Arctic.
Arctic Futures 2050 took place Washington DC at the end of a summer of record temperatures in the Northern Hemisphere.
And that’s renewed warnings about climate change, some countries are eyeing up how the region can serve their needs.
CGTN’s Owen Fairclough has more.
Kim Holmén, International Director at the Norwegian Polar Institute, has studied the Arctic for 30 years.
“The changes in Svalbard are profound, large and rapid,” he says.
“It will continue, unfortunately, and it will change the ecosystems and it will change how we can relate to the Arctic. It will be a very different Arctic.”
Arctic sea ice has receded by 12 percent a decade since 1979.
And this year has witnessed record heat—prompting renewed warnings that temperature rises will cause irreversible climate change.
But the climate agenda is competing with major powers looking to exploit the region as a commercial shipping route and source of oil.
Scientists at the Arctic Futures 2050 conference say the fate of this part of the world has huge implications for the entire planet.
And yet finding a consensus on limiting global warming is proving difficult after the U.S., the world’s second-worst polluter, pulled out of the international accord on climate change.