Climate Change part of cause of corroding
In addition to BP's negligence, climate change has increased corrosion by changing the weather on the North Slope of Alaska, from being entirely frozen about two thirds of the year in 1970 to being frozen a third of the year now.
This massive change, which has been well documented by scientists, is a significant cause of increased corrosion on the North Slope of Alaska.
For decades, oil companies could only drive out on the open tundra when the permafrost was frozen 12 inches deep and there was 6 inches of snow, in order to supposedly protect the tundra from damage (much damage still was caused).
In 1970, more than 200 days met this criteria. Only 103 days met this criteria in 2002. Cox news reported in 2003, “global warming, which most climate experts blame mainly on large-scale burning of fossil fuels, is interfering with efforts in Alaska to discover yet more oil.”
The State of
Even before, the criteria did not protect the tundra. It still caused massive ruts that last for decades, along with more than 550 oil spills a year across the North Slope of Alaska.
The new criteria allow much more damage. Kister has a chapter on this, ‘Interference With Oil Exploration’ in his second book, Arctic Melting (going into its second edition this summer). It was published in 2005 by Common Courage Press.
The reason for the major changes seen in
In addition to these impacts, this change is melting the permafrost, making the support for everything, from pipelines to Inupiat buildings weaker. Pipelines and buildings are collapsing into the melting permafrost.
This melting permafrost is also releasing more and more of the massive
amount of stored carbon dioxide and methane – both greenhouse gases – in the
permafrost. I witnessed a 30-foot
deep sinkhole in the tundra just outside
It was in the high 80s for days far above the
Kister is the author of Arctic Quest: Odyssey Through a Threatened Wilderness Area and Arctic Melting: How Climate Change is Destroying One of the World’s Largest Wilderness Areas, both published by Common Courage Press. Kister is also the Producer of the 2006 film Caribou People.