Arctic oil drilling Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Larangan Penggunaan Minyak Berat di Arktik

LONDON – Tiga puluh lima tahun yang lalu, sebagai bagian dari ekspedisi global, Charles Burton dan Saya melakukan perjalanan melintasi Samudera Arktik melalui Kutub Utara, serta berkemah selama tiga bulan di sebuah hamparan es yang bergerak dengan cepat. Perjalanan tersebut, bagi kami, adalah sebuah perjalanan yang sangat membekas dalam kehidupan kami, dan merupakan sebuah bagian dari suatu rekor dunia yang belum terpecahkan.

Namun sebuah rekor lain, yang lebih tidak stabil, dimiliki oleh hamparan es Arktik itu: yang pada bulan Maret tahun ini, telah menyusut ke ukuran terkecil yang pernah dicatat.

Menyusutnya es di kutub diakibatkan oleh penggunaan bahan bakar fosil, yang tidak hanya menyebabkan pemanasan global, namun juga memiliki dampak yang dapat dilihat dalam waktu singkat, disebabkan oleh adanya ketergantungan terhadap minyak berat (Heavy Fuel Oil/HFO) sebagai bahan bakar kapal. HFO adalah bahan bakar dengan harga yang murah dan melimpah jumlahnya, namun bahan bakar ini juga beracun serta tidak ramah lingkungan. Ketika kapal melintasi Samudera Arktik, polutan seperti sulfur oksida dan karbon hitam mengendap ke es dan salju. Akumulasi polutan tersebut mempercepat pencairan salju, yang meningkatkan suhu air laut dan kemudian menciptakan sebuah lingkaran setan yang menyebabkan lebih banyak es mencair.   

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