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Environmental problems associated with Arctic development especially in Alaska

Abstract

Exploration and extraction of mineral and petroleum resources in the arctic tundra and subarctic taiga regions of the world has potential impacts on the environment, wildlife, and human health and safety. Transportation, especially over low wet-tundra in summer, causes long-term changes in vegetation by reducing insulation to the underlying permafrost. Gravel laid directly on the tundra mat, makes the most suitable permanent road-bed. However this causes problems such as spreading of dust, impoundment of water, behavioral barricading of animals, alteration of river channels, and siltation of streams. Anadromous fishes are a major food alteration of stream channels or siltation of rivers can affect their movement and reproduction. Oil-spills in aquatic systems are harder to control and clean up than terrestrial ones, and recovery of ponds takes several years. The oil-rich outer-continental shelves in the Beaufort, Chukchi, and Bering Seas, now under exploration for oil, are especially sensitive. They contain unique populations of marine mammals and birds. Human habitation of the Arctic requires transport of food, fuel, and construction materials, and disposal of refuse and wastes which, due to the permafrost-underlain vegetative mat, is difficult. Heating by fossil fuels results in ice-fogs in winter and accumulation of atmospheric pollutants at ground-level  More>>
Authors:
Publication Date:
Oct 01, 1976
Product Type:
Journal Article
Reference Number:
EPA-; ERA-02-046279; EDB-77-108381
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Environmental Conservation; Journal Volume: 3; Journal Issue: 3
Subject:
54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; 29 ENERGY PLANNING, POLICY AND ECONOMY; ALASKA; ENERGY SOURCE DEVELOPMENT; LAND USE; ARCTIC REGIONS; ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS; AIR POLLUTION; ANIMALS; ATMOSPHERIC PRECIPITATIONS; BIOLOGICAL STRESS; CONSTRUCTION; CONTINENTAL SHELF; FISHES; FOOD; FOSSIL FUELS; HUMAN POPULATIONS; MINERAL RESOURCES; OIL SPILLS; PERMAFROST; PETROLEUM DEPOSITS; PONDS; RIVERS; ROADS; SEASONAL VARIATIONS; SILT; TRANSPORT; TUNDRA; WASTE DISPOSAL; WATER POLLUTION; AQUATIC ORGANISMS; ENERGY SOURCES; FUELS; GEOLOGIC DEPOSITS; MANAGEMENT; NORTH AMERICA; PACIFIC NORTHWEST REGION; POLAR REGIONS; POLLUTION; POPULATIONS; RESOURCES; STREAMS; SURFACE WATERS; USA; VARIATIONS; VERTEBRATES; WASTE MANAGEMENT; 510100* - Environment, Terrestrial- Basic Studies- (-1989); 290300 - Energy Planning & Policy- Environment, Health, & Safety; 290400 - Energy Planning & Policy- Energy Resources; 291000 - Energy Planning & Policy- Conservation
OSTI ID:
7107234
Research Organizations:
Univ. of Alaska, Fairbanks
Country of Origin:
Switzerland
Language:
English
Other Identifying Numbers:
Journal ID: CODEN: EVCNA; ISSN 0376-8929
Submitting Site:
TIC
Size:
Pages: 218-224
Announcement Date:

Citation Formats

West, G. C. Environmental problems associated with Arctic development especially in Alaska. Switzerland: N. p., 1976. Web. doi:10.1017/S0376892900018646.
West, G. C. Environmental problems associated with Arctic development especially in Alaska. Switzerland. doi:10.1017/S0376892900018646.
West, G. C. 1976. "Environmental problems associated with Arctic development especially in Alaska." Switzerland. doi:10.1017/S0376892900018646. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/10.1017/S0376892900018646.
@misc{etde_7107234,
title = {Environmental problems associated with Arctic development especially in Alaska}
author = {West, G. C.}
abstractNote = {Exploration and extraction of mineral and petroleum resources in the arctic tundra and subarctic taiga regions of the world has potential impacts on the environment, wildlife, and human health and safety. Transportation, especially over low wet-tundra in summer, causes long-term changes in vegetation by reducing insulation to the underlying permafrost. Gravel laid directly on the tundra mat, makes the most suitable permanent road-bed. However this causes problems such as spreading of dust, impoundment of water, behavioral barricading of animals, alteration of river channels, and siltation of streams. Anadromous fishes are a major food alteration of stream channels or siltation of rivers can affect their movement and reproduction. Oil-spills in aquatic systems are harder to control and clean up than terrestrial ones, and recovery of ponds takes several years. The oil-rich outer-continental shelves in the Beaufort, Chukchi, and Bering Seas, now under exploration for oil, are especially sensitive. They contain unique populations of marine mammals and birds. Human habitation of the Arctic requires transport of food, fuel, and construction materials, and disposal of refuse and wastes which, due to the permafrost-underlain vegetative mat, is difficult. Heating by fossil fuels results in ice-fogs in winter and accumulation of atmospheric pollutants at ground-level during thermal inversions at all seasons. Perhaps the greatest impact is the increased intervention of the human population. Where native people were previously only sparsely settled or nomadic in the tundra, and on coasts where they congregated, now the economic need for resources has resulted in increased pressure overall which will result in fewer habitats for wildlife, destruction of wilderness, and increased access to humans for further exploration and recreation.}
doi = {10.1017/S0376892900018646}
journal = {Environmental Conservation}
issue = {3}
volume = {3}
journal type = {AC}
place = {Switzerland}
year = {1976}
month = {Oct}
}