After the ice

The Arctic is changing fast. In September 2011, the extent of summer sea ice was either a new record low or tied with the low of 2007, depending on how you crunch the data. Ships are plying the newly opened waters, oil companies are increasing their exploration, locals are developing their mineable resources, and scientists are scrambling to study the changing environment and promote its sustainable development. Nature investigates the state of science at the new northern frontier.

Image credit: Chris Linder, WHOI

World View

  • Marine protection in the Arctic cannot wait

    Global economics, not declining sea ice, is driving ships to the Arctic Ocean. Only international regulation will protect the region, says Lawson Brigham.

    Nature 478, 157 ( )



  • A green Arctic

    Academic collaboration is essential for creating a sustainable future for Arctic development, says Lars Kullerud.

    Nature 478, 179 ( )

  • A peaceful Arctic

    Encourage dialogue between the producers and consumers of scientific knowledge in the north to keep the region conflict free, says Oran R. Young.

    Nature 478, 180-181 ( )

  • The local perspective

    Indigenous knowledge is maturing as a science, says Henry P. Huntington. But more work is needed to give the field the respect it deserves.

    Nature 478, 182 ( )


  • Nature Podcast 13 October 2011

    Plague and pestilence on the show this week, as we talk about the bacterium that caused the Black Death. Plus, local knowledge helps scientists in the Arctic, and the genome of the naked mole rat - ugly as sin, but long-lived and cancer-resistant.

    Nature ( )