Moving on ice becomes more difficult as the water bodies freeze later in the autumn and melt earlier in the spring. Movement on the ice is more difficult as the water bodies freeze later in the autumn and melt earlier in the spring. In Greenland, for example, the thinning and thawing of sea ice make it difficult to move, hunt or fish.
Erosion is a major problem on the Arctic coasts of North America, where permafrost is melting and the sea is without ice cover longer than before (see research from Herschel Island or Qikiqtaruk, Canada). Dozens of indigenous villages are threatened by the shoreline collapse. Many villages have voted in favour of relocating their villages but have not received sufficient funding for the relocation.
Population, roads, railways, oil pipelines and industry are all threatened by the thawing of permafrost, because the ground collapses as the ice melts. Deep craters resulting from methane hydrate escaping into atmosphere have been observed in Siberia. A sudden eruption could cause great destruction near a settlement or on an oil and gas field. (Academy of Finland)
Winners or losers?
Climate change will increase economic inequality. Studies estimate that global warming will increase economic growth at the higher latitudes, but that the economy will suffer lower latitudes. Arctic countries such as Iceland, Finland and Norway are estimated to be among the "winners" of climate change from an economic point of view.
On the other hand, there are also risks that can turn financial gains into losses. As the Arctic's natural resources and sea routes become more accessible, their exploitation poses a threat to the environment that recovers slowly as well as to the inhabitants. For example, drilling for oil in the Arctic poses major environmental risks.