Arctic Environmental Quality
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The Arctic environment is characterized by reduced incoming solar radiation and great annual variation in length of day. Vast areas of land remain permanently frozen below the surface, and seas are never completely free of ice. Native Arctic life—plant, animal, and Inuit—is distinctively adapted to the extreme climate. This unique and fragile biota is threatened by many activities; foremost among these are activities associated with energy production. Opportunities exist to minimize these threats. This chapter explores the nature of the Arctic environment, the principal threats now before it, and several opportunities to minimize those threats.
KeywordsPolar Bear Ringed Seal Tundra Ecosystem Gray Whale Bowhead Whale
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