Declining sea ice is resulting in accelerating maritime and industrial activity in the Arctic Ocean, with an attendant increase in the risk of offshore oil spills or fuel spills. Remediation efforts in this harsh, cold, and remote environment will be challenging and expensive, such that relying on marine oil-degrading bacteria as “emergency first responders” is an important consideration. Socioeconomic risk modeling and determinants of insurance premiums for marine shipping can benefit from inputs of genomic data describing baseline microbial communities and their potential to respond to an oil spill. Genomics is similarly valuable in understanding ecosystem impacts and can inform clean-up costs should a marine oil spill occur.
Genomics and the Global Bioeconomy, 2022, pp 125-138,