When I wrote Arctic Rising, 2050 for ice-free sounded science fictional. Now some scientists are saying it’s 2040:
“Looking at not just the area, but also the age and thickness of sea ice is a key aspect of understanding why an ice-free Arctic summer could occur in far less time than previously thought – perhaps less than a decade from now. It is also a level of complexity often ignored by the media.”
“Last year, Russian state-controlled oil conglomerate Rosneft became the largest oil company in the world after acquiring one of its major competitors. The company has had its sights on tapping Russia’s vast, treacherous Arctic reserves, and after making a few huge deals, it looks like it now has the resources needed to do so.”
I’m still not seeing a lot of calls for ice-free summers in 2050-ish, which is the ‘sf-nal’ component of my recent novel Arctic Rising, but Phil Plait here goes over why it will likely be by 2100:
“These two issues overlap mightily when it comes to Arctic sea ice. The ice around the North Pole is going away, and it’s doing so with alarming rapidity. I don’t mean the yearly cycle of melt in the summer and freeze in the winter, though that plays into this; I mean the long-term trend of declining amounts of ice. There are two ways to categorize the amount of ice: by measuring the extent (essentially the area of the ocean covered by ice, though in detail it’s a little more complicated) or using volume, which includes the thickness of the ice. Either way, though, the ice is dwindling away. That is a fact.”
China wants involved in decisions about the Arctic:
“Contrary to what you might expect, the reason China wants so badly to be a fly on the wall of the council doesn’t have as much to do with its push to mine the Arctic’s trove of oil, natural gas, and metals. It can negotiate mining and extraction concessions for that on a country-by-country basis.”
The Department of Defense worries about global warming play a strong part in my novel Arctic Rising. In particular the Navy’s interest in global warming got my attention and a lot of the research for the novel sparked.
“US national security officials have taken an increasing interest in the destabilising impact of climate change. In February this year, the US Department of Defense (DoD) released its new Climate Change Adaptation Roadmap, which noted that global warming will have:
‘… significant geopolitical impacts around the world, contributing to greater competition for more limited and critical life-sustaining resources like food and water.’
The effects of climate change may:
‘Act as accelerants of instability or conflict in parts of the world… [and] may also lead to increased demands for defense support to civil authorities for humanitarian assistance or disaster response, both within the United States and overseas … DoD will need to adjust to the impacts of climate change on its facilities, infrastructure, training and testing activities, and military capabilities.’
Interesting TV pilot that I haven’t had time to try and watch. Recently SF Signal gave it a go and liked it. Here’s the whole thing:
SF Signal had this to say:
“This reminds me of a couple of things that I’ve seen on bookshelves lately – Tobias Buckell’s Arctic Rising and Margaret Atwood’s story Bearlift, and this seems like it could have been an early foray into climate-focused science fiction on the small screen, something that we’ve seen already in books in the couple of years.
What stood out for me is that Borealis was a surprisingly smart production: it’s plot was impeccable, both setting up a world and characters, all the while having a superior story to boot, making it better than most of the productions that make it to the television. It’s a bit of a shame that it wasn’t picked up for a full series, because if this was the starting point, where it ended up could be really interesting.
At the end of the day, Borealis is a great hour and a half that stands fairly well on its own. Hopefully, we’ll see something like it make the rounds again at some point.”
Another whiff of the future that my novel Arctic Rising was playing with due to global warming:
“The oil sands pipeline would have to cross roughly 2,000 miles of Arctic tundra and wetlands to get to Tuktoyaktuk, population 930. The village’s natural harbor would have to be upgraded to accommodate the increased commercial activity.
Tanker traffic would probably be limited to the summer months because the Beaufort Sea is iced in for much of the year. However, warming temperatures are keeping the Arctic ice-free for longer periods each summer.”
“Since 2006, each of the Arctic nations has adopted its own security policy to safeguard its sovereign rights. What they must do now is compare their separate security policies, identify the ways in which those policies reinforce or conflict with one another, and then balance national interests with common interests.
How, for instance, will each nation position its military and police its territory? How will the Arctic states deal with China and other nations that have no formal jurisdictional claims but have strong interests in exploiting Arctic resources? How will Arctic and non-Arctic states work together to manage those resources beyond national jurisdictions, on the high seas and in the deep sea? Without ratifying the Convention on the Law of the Sea, a 1982 treaty governing use of the world’s oceans, how can the United States cooperate with other nations to resolve territorial disputes in the ocean?
NATO’s top military commander, Adm. James G. Stavridis of the United States Navy, warned in 2010 of an ‘icy slope toward a zone of competition, or worse, a zone of conflict’ if the world’s leaders failed to ensure Arctic peace.”
Born in the Caribbean, Tobias S. Buckell is a New York Times Bestselling author. His novels and over 50 short stories have been translated into 17 languages and he has been nominated for the Hugo, Nebula, Prometheus and John W. Campbell Award for Best New Science Fiction Author. He currently lives in Ohio.
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Advice on writing:
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