Northern watersheds draining to the Arctic Ocean are increasingly the location of economically important resource extraction in both North America and Siberia.
The “Ring of Fire” chromite deposit in the Hudson Bay Lowlands is a prominent Canadian example. The same watersheds are covered with vast cold weather peatlands storing carbon that would otherwise escape as gases to the atmosphere.
They are already being affected by changing climate more than temperate regions.
Understanding how development can take place in these flat and vulnerable northern watersheds without compromising the natural ecosystem services they provide is a major research challenge for the Living with Lakes Centre. The Hudson Bay Lowlands are an ideal natural laboratory from which Canada can both contribute and learn. It is both a challenge and an opportunity of a generation.
Learn more about the issues facing the Far North: The Far North Science Advisory Panel. 2010. Science for a Changing Far North. The Report of the Far North Science Advisory Panel. A report submitted to the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources.