Arctic sea ice has shrunk by almost 39% since 1980, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Centre. In the Antarctic region, sea ice has shrunk by more than 6% over the same period.

While these changes present new challenges for Arctic communities, the region’s increasingly accessible conditions are inviting keen interest from shipping, mining and other commercial sectors, which could exacerbate the climate crisis.

This article was first published in World Economic Forum.