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Arctic: Overview

arctic sea iceThe Arctic is one of the most beautiful and forbidding places on Earth, where temperatures regularly plunge well below zero and the time between sunset and sunrise is sometimes measured in months rather than hours.

Yet despite these difficult conditions, a variety of people and animals have adapted to thrive at the top of the world.

The Arctic is at the most dramatic of crossroads. The pressures of climate change and industrialization create a bottleneck for survival in the Arctic Ocean. The more pressure we put on the Arctic, the narrower the bottleneck becomes, but if we reduce or remove those pressures, we can widen the possibility for survival.

While the Arctic may be hovering on the edge of disaster, it also presents us with the unique opportunity to use the lessons we have learned about ecosystem management and ocean conservation. We can decide today to protect rather than recklessly exploit one of the planet's last frontiers and chart a new course for how we live on the Earth.

To best protect Arctic marine ecosystems and preserve opportunities for the subsistence way of life of Arctic peoples, Oceana is focused on addressing all of the threats together -- climate change, industrial fishing, shipping, pollution, and oil and gas exploration and development.