Oil and gas exploration in the Arctic likely to occur independent of Arctic warming
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However, the melting of the Arctic ice cap is not a certainty. Although the Arctic may continue to grow warmer in the coming years,32 its climate variability-described as "decade long oscillations"33-indicates the warmer temperatures may not continue.34 In a nutshell, "predicting the future climate is risky."35 Despite the climate uncertainty, oil and gas exploration of the Arctic does not rely solely on the Arctic ice cap melting.36 In fact, a panel of experts convened by the United States Arctic Research Commission determined that "the exploration, development, production and transportation of petroleum in the Arctic will expand with or without climate change as prices continue to rise due to the decreasing rate of discovery of reserves elsewhere. Climate warming and reduction in ice cover will facilitate and perhaps accelerate the process."