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Environmental Change and GlobalizationDouble Exposures$
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Robin Leichenko and Karen O'Brien

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780195177329

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195177329.001.0001

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Dynamic Feedbacks and Accelerating Changes

Dynamic Feedbacks and Accelerating Changes

(p.91) 7 Dynamic Feedbacks and Accelerating Changes
Environmental Change and Globalization

Robin M. Leichenko

Karen L. O'Brien

Oxford University Press

This chapter explores linkages and feedbacks between global environmental change and globalization. It first shows how interactions between the two processes may enhance global connectivities and contribute to accelerating rates of global change. It then presents a case study of feedback double exposure in the arctic region. The Arctic is changing rapidly as the result of both climate change and the expansion of international shipping. Direct linkages between the processes emerge because climate change-related reductions in sea ice open new shipping routes and provide greater access to the oil and gas resources of the region. Feedbacks may occur as consumption of the region's oil and gas leads to further increases in greenhouse emissions and further arctic melting. The case shows how efforts to exploit the benefits of climate change and globalization without considering the feedbacks may lead to an acceleration of both processes, with significant implications for sustainability.

Keywords:   feedbacks, Arctic, consumption, sustainability, shipping, transport, sea ice, oil, natural gas, Northern Sea Route

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