chapter  2
29 Pages

Tourism and Environmental Change in Polar Regions: Impacts, Climate Change and Biological Invasion –

ByC. MICHAEL HALL

Introduction The polar regions and their species are regarded by many commentators as the proverbial canaries in the coal mine with respect to global environmental change (GEC), and climate change in particular (e.g. Natural Resources Defense Council 2005; An Inconvenient Truth 2006; National Wildlife Federation 2008; Union of Concerned Scientists 2008). Although climate change receives considerable attention in both academic and popular media, climate change is only a part of the broader issue of GEC. As Slaymaker and Kelly (2007: 1, 2) comment with respect to cryospheric change, ‘a single focus on climate is likely to be counterproductive in the interpretation of environmental change…In fact, any surface cover change, whether natural or anthropogenic, causes changes in energy and mass balance that can have dramatic effects on the landscape.’