07th March, 2016 (MAINS)


Q1. What are the economic significances of discovery of oil in Arctic Sea and its possible environmental consequences?

[12.5marks/2015/GS-1] 200 words.

Please write answer in the comments section.

  • Aniruddh Shrivastava

    Arctic region perhaps is the last frontier of oil era. Overused oil fields around the planet are dwindling, tempting energy firms to tap the top of the planet despite its hostile environment.

    Economic Significance : Already falling oil prices may still fall with speculation of arctic oil in market in near future but cost of oil exploration in arctic is very high. so oil , if produced and added to world oil market will not be that helpful to companies and consumers.As this resource
    is exhaustive, Sooner or later it is going to end up so Arctic drilling is inevitable. Under Arctic policy,Russia has even started drilling.

    Environment Consequence :

    Oil spill if occurs causes much damage to already fragile and vulnerable arctic ecosystem.

    This spill is impossible to clean up and takes much to recover because of factors like,lack of sunlight high wind,low visibility and moving icebergs.

    Moving ocean currents increase the risk of spill spread to adjoining areas and this poses threat to marine ecosystems.

    Toxins like Mercury, lead and arsenic could be released into arctic region.

    Excessive oceanic noises during extraction process will cause damage to species like whales which uses sound to navigation and hunting.

    More oil implies more greenhouse gases which will eventually increase global warming.

    Black carbon during oil spill will spread on ice and which in turn absorbs more sunlight causing more warming in the region which is already
    facing problem of melting of ice.