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Posted Mon May 30 2011: from Reuters:
Ice melt to close off Arctic's interior riches: study
Global warming will likely open up coastal areas in the Arctic to development but close vast regions of the northern interior to forestry and mining by mid-century as ice and frozen soil under temporary winter roads melt, researchers said. Higher temperatures have already led to lower summer sea ice levels in the Arctic and the melting has the potential to increase access for fishermen, tourists and oil and natural gas developers to coastal regions in coming decades.... But the warming also will likely melt so-called "ice roads", the temporary winter roads developers now use to access far inland northern resources such as timber, diamonds and minerals, according to a study published on Sunday in the journal Nature Climate Change. "It's a resource frontier where we don't even know what all is there and I'm beginning to think we never will," Lawrence Smith, a professor of geography at the University of California Los Angeles and a co-author of the study, said about the Arctic interior.... Oil and natural gas developers could lose access to some inland drilling, but the industry would gain access to coastal drilling and would benefit from easier shipping routes. Timber and metal mining, however, would suffer far more because it would be cost-prohibitive to build permanent roads leading to these resources.
[Read more stories about: forests, permafrost meltdown]

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'Doc Michael says:
The boreal forests, somewhat protected by slush.

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