Climate-change narratives are re-shaping the way in which we see the world. The Arctic and the Antarctic have been historically left out of conventional world maps or unproblematically distorted in such maps. Unfortunately, we are growing more and more accustomed to semi-apocalyptic polar projections, such as the North Pole atlas (Figure 1), due to rapid climate change fuelled by the common (global) denominator of excessive fossil-fuel consumption. The melting of the polar ice fields, the collapse of glaciers, and the resultant alteration of the attendant ecosystems (e.g., tundra and fisheries) has led to economic and military competition over the control of these once-buried resources, once-frozen polar sea routes and once-ignored international borders.
Figure 1: Seasonal North Pole atlas projection showing clashing interests between indigenous communities, resource extraction, shipping routes and states’ borders. © Nataly Nemkova & Penny Fyta
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