Polar sea ice extent
Stratospheric ozone depletion in antarctica
Exploitation of natural resources
Challenges for the future
Atmospheric emissions, environmental pollution,
and the impacts of activities associated with the exploitation of natural
resources had negative impacts on the Polar Regions
- Inuit populations in Greenland and Canada were found to have
one of the highest environmental exposures in the world to some
persistent organic pollutants and mercury.
- An analysis of satellite data indicated that Arctic sea ice
has retreated by 900 000 km2 – an area the size of Nigeria
– over the last 30 years.
- The stratospheric ozone hole over Antarctica peaked in size
at 28 million km2 in mid-September 2003, the second largest
value on record.
|Sources: AMAP 2003a, BAS 2003a and 2003b, Cavalieri
and others 2003
Evidence continued to emerge in 2003 that average temperatures in the
Arctic were rising even more rapidly than the global average. Satellite
data indicated that the rate of the surface temperature increase over
the last 20 years was eight times the global average over the last 100
years (Comiso 2003).