When a pristine area is brought to mind, it can be imagined that the city is pure, untouched, and unbothered by outside factors, however, what once used to be a pristine area is no longer what it once was. The Arctic is no longer a pristine area due to the severe amounts of airborne pollutants and excess waste surrounding the former pristine area. A significant factor that contributes to the fact that the Arctic is no longer a natural area is the excess pollution created by snowmobiles. Many of these snowmobiles are contributing to a lot of the pollution in the northern regions. The snowmobiles affect the environment in different ways that include; Impacts to wildlife, aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, Soil and vegetation damage, impacts to air and water quality, and noise pollution. These effects are felt in the environment, and the pristine areas are not spared.
The flaws in the snowmobile's engine cause excess air pollutants and thus leading towards the demise of the pristine Arctic. Snowmobiles are not the only factors that produce air pollutants in the Arctic. There are many different types of activities that cause airborne pollution. From shipping, power production, and other industrial activities are significant activities that contribute to the ever-growing airborne pollution in the Arctic. The Canadian Arctic is one area that has been affected by pollution. The Canadian Arctic is no longer a 'pristine' area, and the increased airborne pollution has caused this from different sources like the snowmobiles and other sources.
Evidence from different scientific research has shown that over-snow vehicles or the snowmobiles have a lot of impacts on the environment. They affect the ecosystem very much and cause a lot of pollution. They change the wildlife so much, and this happens through the noise and their activity which produces stress to the wildlife, the wildlife also experience an elevation of energy levels, and changes that occur in the habitat use (Eisen, McClay & Quick, 2018). It causes problems because it can lead to the displacement of the wildlife from their preferred habitats. It goes to the extent of reducing the chances of the animal to survive during winter something that affects the animals very much.
The snowmobiles also affect the aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems, and this happens because of the exhaust from the snowmobiles. The exhausts end up accumulating, and when released during the spring a time when the snow is melting, it elevates the levels of acidity in the water surfaces (Eisen, McClay & Quick, 2018). It affects the arctic areas very much. Snowmobiles also affect the soil and vegetation by damaging them. It is done through direct physical injury to the plants and due to the increased erosion in the areas that have the thin cover of snow (Eisen, McClay & Quick, 2018). What the snowmobiles do is they compact the snow, and this affects the growth of vegetation and its development.
Another impact is felt in air and water qualities. The exhaust from the snowmobiles contains airborne toxins that include nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, ozone, aldehydes, butadiene, and polycyclic which is an aromatic hydrocarbon (Eisen, McClay & Quick, 2018). These toxins affect the quality of the air and water sources. Lastly, they cause noise pollution because of their loudness. The noise from the snowmobiles is heard in the long distance, and this affects the winter soundscape. The sound is a disturbance to the wildlife.
The reason why snowmobiles produce a lot of fumes that pollute the environment is how their engines are manufactured. Most of the snowmobile engines are 2-stroke, and this is why they produce too much exhaust that affects the climate (Explore Nature, n.d). The conventional vehicle has a 4-stroke engine, and this reduces the amount of exhaust that it can produce but for the 2-stroke engine in a snowmobile a lot of the fumes are generated and thus end up polluting the environment so much.
The Canadian Arctic has faced a lot of airborne pollutants, and for this reason, it is no longer a pristine area. According to the Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC), an organization that is tasked with informing the Canadians on issues about protecting and conserving the natural heritage, the Canadian Arctic faces a lot of severe amount of airborne pollution and due to this it can no longer be considered as a pristine environment (Bottenheim, 2016). The pollution from the snowmobiles, ships and other sources affects the area making it polluted. The research that they carried showed that there were unusual chemical reactions in the arctic ice and this is due to the continued pollution.
Due to the influences from different activities in the Arctic, the area is facing global change. The pollution that comes from shipping, power production, and other industrial activities has a significant contribution to making the Arctic a non-pristine area (Johnson, 2016). All these activities contribute to airborne pollution that affects the Canadian Arctic. The pollution has a lot of effects on the arctic-like presence of chemicals in the water and air too. It changes the arctic which is a pristine area.
The Arctic is experiencing a lot of threats which lead to it being polluted. The risks are always changing and evolving, and this increases risks that the pristine areas encounter - the changes caused by the activities that affect the areas (Tedsen, Cavalieri & Kraemer, 2014). The Arctic Marine Governance engages experts in a transatlantic discussion about the risks in the Arctic area. The debate is about the laws that are meant to protect the Arctic area, for instance, ecological authority in the Marine Arctic (Tedsen, Cavalieri & Kraemer, 2014). These laws are of importance because they are meant to protect the marine environment. Because climate change is happening at a rapid rate, more economic challenges in environmental governance are affecting the region.
With the arctic no longer a pristine environment, we need to look at the broader subject and dwell on the effects to the people who live in the Arctic. All these changes will affect the economy as well as other areas. The residents of the Arctic are highly adaptive but the difference is now taking place at a very high rate, and this poses a considerable challenge to the residents. Cryospheric changes that happen in the Arctic have a lot of problems and also opportunities (Hovelsrund, 2012). The possibilities include better access to them, and this will lead to increased human activities and industrial sources (Hovelsrund, 2012). However, this also poses challenges which are affecting the areas. These challenges include industrial developments, globalization, and societal changes. All these changes will have an effect on the Arctic and beyond.
All these changes have contributed to the negative influences in the Arctic including the Canadian Arctic. The effects from the snowmobiles and other sources like shipping have affected the Arctic so much, and today it is no longer a pristine area. The Arctic has had adverse effects from global warming and other industrial activities.
Eisen, H., McClay, K., & Quick, M. (2018, November 15). Trailhead.
Environment and Climate Change Canada, D., Bottenheim. (2016, May 31). Investigations of the Depletion of Ozone and Mercury over the Arctic Ocean (OASIS-CANADA) Brochure
Explore Nature (U.S. National Park Service). (n.d.).
Hovelsrud, G. K. (2012, January 22). Arctic Societies, Cultures, and Peoples in a Changing Cryosphere.
Johnson, N. (2016, May 19). Arctic air pollution: Challenges and opportunities for the next decade.
Tedsen, E., Cavalieri, S., & Kraemer, R. A. (2014). Arctic marine governance: Opportunities for Transatlantic cooperation. Berlin: Springer.
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