With today’s status, sea ice is decreasing day by day because of weather changes. On the other hand, the Arctic Circle turning into a tourist destination instead of just a place to explore. People, tourists, and explorers who venture to the Arctic Circle had either fallen into an unfortunate death or come back with mental problems. However, the situation as we know is changing.
Here are the reasons how Arctic tourism poses a threat to the environment.
Arctic Tourism and Its Dangers to The Environment
A report done by the Ice Data Center and National Snow shows that in December 2017, sea ice covered smaller area if compared during 1981-2010, which emphasizes the Arctic ice’s rapid melting rate.
A few Nordic countries and Greenland have taken actions regarding Arctic tourism. Reports say that in 1999, thousands of passengers just passed Iceland; however, in 2016, about 250,000 tourists visit the country every year.
A threat of Oils Leaks and Spills
The Arctic Circle has always been subject to weather conditions which makes it hard for tourists and seafarers to travel, based on studies. Due to their location, navigational and communication systems also fail to function. With that being said, if there is an unfortunate event of an oil spill or leakage, the area would most likely become threatened knowing that proper communication is absent.
With the increasing tourism activities taking place in the Arctic Circle, experts say that the oil spill is highly possible, which would do a massive to the environment.
Increasing Cruise Ships and Holidays
To make bigger and improved profits, the cruising industry keeps on growing the number and size of their business. Many companies carry out cruise trips, hosting a massive amount of both crew and guests. With this, it is vital that these companies follow and heed extra caution and safety measure for them to be equipped with the extreme weather conditions of the Arctic.
The International Maritime Organization has introduced the Polar Code in 2016 to make sure that cruise operators are capable and equipped in maintaining safety for both of their crew and guests.
Through this, people who desire to witness beautiful sights and various species can experience it without putting their lives on the line.