Economic Powerhouse to Emerge in the Arctic

As result of climate change, dwindling resources and shifting demographics, a new economic powerhouse is likely to emerge in the arctic by mid-century, according to the new book "The World in 2050".
November 3, 2010, 7am PDT | Nate Berg
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Written by Laurence C. Smith, the book looks at the four forces that are driving major change in the economy and human lifestyle, including decreasing natural resources, demographic shifts, globalization and climate change.

"While this book is partly about such global forces, it has a more specifically geographical remit: the Arctic and the far north. These regions have been the focus of much of Smith's academic research. He has important work to his name on how Arctic ecosystems will be transformed by climate change and how this may feed back to impact the rest of the world – for instance through methane bubbling out of the melting permafrost and adding to global warming. Now he posits that the far north will become the cockpit of wider global change.

This is important. We have for decades focused our global angst around the teeming tropics. We fear that economic development there is wrecking the rainforests and releasing their carbon into the air. And we worry that the poor billions in the hottest region of the planet will suffer most from global warming. But Smith's 'thought experiment' switches to events in the high latitudes of the north."

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Published on Friday, October 22, 2010 in Seed
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