[pccgrads] Reminder: "Climate change and oil development in the Arctic: an economic perspective" - a presentation and conversation June 13 at noon (RSVP for pizza!)

UW PCC uwpcc at uw.edu
Fri Jun 9 10:34:30 PDT 2017

Reminder—if you haven’t already, RSVP by Monday morning June 12 for pizza!

Special PCC/GCeCS Seminar and Discussion

“Climate change and oil development in the Arctic: an economic perspective”

Michelle Dvorak, School of Marine and Environmental Affairs

Tuesday, June 13


OCN 425

Michelle will be sharing the results of her SMEA research, and following up
with a conversation about the audiences perspectives on oil development,
economic drivers and environmental stewardship. This seminar and discussion
are part of her GCeCS capstone project
<https://pcc.uw.edu/education/graduate-certificate/> . PLEASE RSVP for
pizza by Monday, June 12
by responding to this message (uwpcc at uw.edu).

Abstract: In the last 50 years, the Arctic has warmed by approximately 2 °C,
or 3.4 °F – twice the rate of the rest of the world.1 Multiple feedback
mechanisms exist that accelerate Arctic warming through local radiative
effects2 and increased heat storage and transport by the oceans and
atmosphere.3,4 Studies suggest that a “business-as-usual” global emissions
scenario will lead to substantial reductions in summer sea ice extent by
mid-century, and up to near-complete loss by the end of the century.5-7 Yet
diminishing ice brings expanding economic opportunities. The circumpolar
north is estimated to contain 13% of the world’s undiscovered oil resources,
with over 10 billion barrels of oil estimated in the Chukchi Sea alone.8
Revenues from the sale of these resources could bring substantial economic
benefits to the U.S. However, oil development in the Arctic is not without
risks – to the marine environment and to the Indigenous communities that
subsist on Arctic marine resources. An economic benefit-cost analysis of oil
development in this region shows that between these risks and the high costs
of production, net benefits are slim. And when the corresponding social
costs of greenhouse gas emissions are internalized in the form of a tax on
oil production in the Chukchi Sea, a clearer picture emerges: society cannot
afford to develop Arctic oil in a climate-constrained world.

1National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC). 2017. “Warm Arctic, cool
continents.” Retrieved from https://nsidc.org/arcticseaicenews/.

2 Screen, J. and I. Simmonds. 2010. The central role of diminishing sea ice
in recent Arctic temperature amplification. Nature, 464, 1334–1337.

3 Bitz, C.M., et al. 2006. The influence of sea ice on ocean heat uptake in
response to increasing CO2. J. Clim., 19, 2437–2450.

4 Serreze, M.C. and J.A. Francis. 2006. The Arctic amplification debate.
Climatic Change, 76, 241–264.

5 Overland, J.E. and M. Wang. 2007. Future regional Arctic sea ice declines.
Geophys. Res. Lett.

6 Zhang, X. and J.E. Walsh. 2006. Toward a seasonally ice-covered Arctic
Ocean: Scenarios from the IPCC AR4 model simulations. J. Clim., 19,

7 Arzel, O.; Fichefet, T.; Goosse, H. 2006. Sea ice evolution over the 20th
and 21st centuries as simulated by current AOGCMs. Ocean Modell., 12, 40

8 U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). 2008. Circum-Arctic resource appraisal:
estimates of undiscovered oil and gas north of the Arctic circle. Retrieved
from https://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/2008/3049/fs2008-3049.pdf.

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