A comprehensive four-year study of warming in the Arctic shows that heat-trapping gases from tailpipes and smokestacks around the world are contributing to profound environmental changes, including sharp retreats of glaciers and sea ice, thawing of permafrost and shifts in the weather, the oceans and the atmosphere.
Global warming is not only fact, but most definetly will rapidly accelerate as more greenhouse effect gases accumulate in the atmosphere, methane hydrate deposits rupture, and earths surface reflects less heat due to the melting of ice.
The economic viability of drilling for hydrocarbons and mining ore will only increase the warmer the arctic becomes. Given the inevitability of global warming, its foolhardy to think that antartica can be protected from exploitation and development. The worst case scenario is not just the development of antartica, but of wars between nations reminiscent of the wars caused by the discovery of the americas by europe. The arctic treaty only works because antarctica is so inhospitable, if global warming can't be stopped then neither can the exploitation of anarctica.
The possiblity of exploiting antartica only becomes compounded by the increasing cost for crude oil, and the crisis countries will be forced to deal with as sea levels rise and low lying areas become flooded.
There are essentially 3 plausable results for a warmer, more hospitable antarctica.
1. Antartica becomes divided into different segments for several different nations.
2. Antartica becomes wholly controlled by a single country
3. Antartica becomes an independent nation with its own populace.
Does anyone else feel that antarticas development is not only regretfully inevitable, but rapidly approaching?