What does it mean when a place whose hold on the public imagination for five centuries was based on its inaccessibility suddenly becomes accessible? In our May/June 2016 issue, regular PSmag.com contributor Eva Holland boards a small cruise ship to travel through the Northwest Passage, where receding Arctic sea ice has made navigation possible for the first time. With the potential for mass commercial shipping on the horizon, and the risk of a humanitarian or environmental disaster in one of the most remote regions on the planet, the debate over who owns the passage is heating up.
Plus: Bonnie Tsui profiles Jane Lubchenco, who left President Obama's team as head of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in frustration after four years, and is now working as the United States' first-ever oceans envoy; James McWilliams questions why drowning remains the fifth-leading cause of unintentional injury or death in the U.S.; Moises Velasquez-Manoff visits dead zones along the West Coast, where climate change is altering the ocean so rapidly that, in spots, it's starting to resemble the oxygen-depleted waters that preceded many of the mass extinctions in Earth's past; and much more.
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