Increased prevalence of human activity in the Arctic as a result of climate change, and the impacts on the Arctic ecosystem from resulting increases of introduced species
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Arctic sea ice levels have been steadily decreasing since the end of the 20th century, and there is no evidence of this trend disappearing in the coming years. As a result of this, shipping routes are opening up within Arctic seas, and ships have begun traversing through these waters with increasing consistency. These ships are bringing with them countless hull fouling organisms and ballast waters filled with invasive species. With increasingly temperate conditions in the Arctic, the ecosystem is becoming more and more susceptible to adverse effects of invasive species. This paper discusses specific invasive species in the Arctic, the impacts that these organisms may have on the carefully balanced Arctic ecosystem, and policies that may help combat the adverse effects of a steadily increasing prevalence of invasive species within the area.