Greenpeace activists targeted Shell petrol stations in Edinburgh and London on Monday in a protest against the oil giant's plans to drill in the Arctic.
A white gold rush has begun in the region, as melting ice makes harvesting diverse resources — from oil to diamonds — now possible.
Experts believe Scotland could be one of the countries to benefit but activists and scientists have warned that exploiting the Arctic could lead to environmental disaster.
However, while the ecological scenarios are familiar, there is also the possibility of conflict breaking out over control of key resources.
Energy security is becoming a pressing issue around the world and experts believe Scotland could face the belligerence of nations vying for control of natural resources.
Dr Michael Bravo from the Scott Polar Research Institute told Scotland Tonight: “There’s always the possibility that a very strident nationalism — I’m thinking of Russia in particular — could make the Arctic potentially a more volatile region.”
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