National Geographic
National Geographic 2 Jan 2021

Building a Tree Stand in the Arctic


In preparation for hunting season Andy Bassich and Denise Becker build a lookout station within the trees in order to hunt for caribou and other big game.

The Arctic is not a barren, frozen wasteland. It's home to some of the most unique ecosystems in the world. More than this: it's home to people. Those people are at the center of the controversy over drilling for oil in the Arctic. The Trump administration is now starting the formal process of selling leases in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to oil companies, according to the New York Times. The move comes after the Trump administration opened the refuge for oil drilling in August 2020. There are potentially billions of dollars in untapped oil and gas reserves in the Arctic. But, there is value in keeping the region untouched, too. The Arctic provides more than $281 billion per year in fishing, oil, mineral extraction, tourism and climate stabilization services, according to a preliminary assessment done in 2016 by environmental economist Tanya O'Garra, who worked at the Center for Research on Environmental Decisions at Columbia University at the time the research was conducted.
The ice caps are melting and sea levels are rising. In this Climate Now live we discuss what's really happening to the Arctic, Greenland and Antarctica. Euronews science correspondent Jeremy Wilks puts your questions to the experts. When will the Arctic be ice free in summer? How fast are the giant Antarctic glaciers melting? How is Greenland reacting to climate change? How high and how fast will sea levels rise this century? Which cities are at risk, and what can be done?

Experts are:
Dr Ruth Mottram, Climate Scientist, Danish Meteorological Institute
Prof David Vaughan, Director of Science, British Antarctic Survey
Anders Levermann, Professor of Dynamics of the Climate System, Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research
Ricko DeWilde constructs a bench outside of his family cabin and teaches his kids how to create safe space from the gnats that swarm the area during the summer.
It is becoming increasingly difficult to catch King Salmon during the annual salmon run, but Andy Bassich and Denise Becker manage to catch four salmon and release one of them.

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