Vanessa Lide

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A path remains after the Finnish icebreaker MSV Nordica traversed the Northwest Passage through the Franklin Strait in the Canadian Arctic Archipelago in July 2017. (AP)

Heat waves from Greece to Siberia — and fires north of the Arctic Circle — are the latest signs this summer that the Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the world. This once-inhospitable corner of the globe is becoming the next global commons as the polar ice cap melts.

This will have broad implications for the Arctic as well as non-Arctic nations, and for local and global ecosystems. But the changing environment, new sea lanes and potential new commercial opportunities also open up global security and diplomacy questions.

Here’s what’s happening. Scientists project that the Arctic Ocean will be largely open water during the summer months, a change that will occur within the next two decades.…  Seguir leyendo »

A rescuer of the Malta-based Migrant Offshore Aid Station carries a migrant baby rescued from a wooden boat in the Mediterranean Sea off the coast of Sabratha in Libya this month. (Darrin Zammit Lupi/Reuters)

Climate change is more than melting ice caps and swamped islands. The environmental effects of climate change — droughts, floods and severe weather, for instance — have increasingly put more people on the move.

In 2015, the U.N. Refugee Agency counted 65.3 million people around the world as “forcibly displaced,” including about 40 million within their home countries. Wars, ethnic conflicts, economic stresses, famines and disasters are among the reasons people leave their homes.

Less understood, perhaps, is how climate-induced environmental changes — such as increased flooding, salinization, droughts or desertification — amplify these drivers of migration. What are the policy options to help people stay in place or minimize the security concerns related to migration?…  Seguir leyendo »