Melting Arctic leads to black-gold rush

A quarter of the world’s undiscovered oil and gas reserves may lie beneath the Arctic Ocean. For centuries they’ve been stuck under a thick layer of ice, but luckily, the Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the planet and all that bothersome ice is melting! Oil companies around the world are drooling over the black gold up north. Under the auspices of International Polar Year, a 60-nation project designed to tackle global warming and study how it will affect polar regions, the U.S. Geological Survey is teaming up with Brit oil giant BP and Norwegian oil giant Statoil to scope out drilling prospects in the Arctic. The director of the British Antarctic Survey has criticized the venture, saying, “I don’t think that fits very comfortably within either the scientific guidelines or the ethical underpinning of the IPY.” Ethics? We’re talking about oil here! Meanwhile, oil prices hit a record high of $71.79 a barrel today.